College of Natural Resources and Environment
Course Descriptions & Programs of Study
Dean: Paul M. Winistorfer
Associate Dean: Keith W. Goyne
Assistant Dean of Business, Finance, and Administration: Candice Albert
Director of Academic Advising: Stephanie Hart
The College of Natural Resources and Environment, through offerings in the Departments of Fish and Wildlife Conservation, Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation, Geography, and Sustainable Biomaterials, provides an integrated education in renewable natural resource management, conservation, and utilization as well as a valuable perspective for understanding and solving critical contemporary environmental problems at local, regional, and global scales.
All undergraduate programs of the College of Natural Resources and Environment are designed to provide a professional education that starts with core courses emphasizing physical, biological, and social sciences, along with concepts of renewable natural resource management and sustainability. More advanced courses teach the principles and practices of individual disciplines, along with advanced skills in communications, data analysis and interpretation, and computer modeling. Students prepare for professional careers with public agencies responsible for predicting the weather and managing forest, water, wildlife, fish, and recreation resources; with private firms concerned with producing, manufacturing, and marketing wood products; with planning agencies and private firms utilizing skills in environmental and land-use analysis and geospatial techniques; or for graduate studies.
Students may develop additional depth of knowledge and specialized skills through completion of options within a major. Majors offered within the college and options for further specialization are provided below:
Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation
- Fish Conservation
- Wildlife Conservation
Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation
- Environmental Informatics
- Environmental Resources Management
- Environmental Conservation and Society
- Water: Resources, Policy and Management
Department of Geography
Department of Sustainable Biomaterials
- Packaging Systems and Design
- Sustainable Biomaterials
The college offers minors in Forestry, Urban and Community Forestry, Natural Resource Recreation, Watershed Management, Geographic Information Systems, Geography, Meteorology, Sustainable Biomaterials, and Packaging Systems and Design. The college offers pathways minors in Climate and Society, Ecological Cities, Blue Planet, Biodiversity Conservation, and Pathways to Sustainability. Contact the respective departments for more information on minors.
The educational programs in Forestry qualify graduates as professional foresters and are accredited by the Society of American Foresters, the recognized accrediting body. Graduates in Fish and Wildlife Conservation meet certification requirements of the American Fisheries Society and The Wildlife Society, respectively. The Sustainable Biomaterials major is accredited by the Society of Wood Science and Technology, the recognized accrediting body. The degree in Meteorology was developed from guidelines recommended by the American Meteorological Society and the National Weather Service; the degree meets requirements of the federal civil service (GS-1340) for a meteorologist.
The University Honors Program is available to students in the College of Natural Resources and Environment. The program provides enriched opportunities for highly qualified and motivated undergraduate students. Faculty advisors can provide additional information.
The college encourages students to become involved in the Cooperative Education Program, in which students alternate on-campus academic terms with off-campus employment in their areas of interest.
The College of Natural Resources and Environment participates in reciprocal exchange program with the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand. Where appropriate, students can also participate in the International Student Exchange Program.
The college offers educational programs leading to the M.S., M.F., MNR, and Ph.D. Complete information on these programs is in the Graduate Catalog.
1115-1116 (GEOG 1115-1116): SEEKING SUSTAINABILITY 1115: Strategies to promote sustainability through the identification, description, and analysis of the dominant interconnections within and between environmental, social, and economic systems across local to global scales. 1116: Perceptions of, conditions of, and strategies to analyze processes of change within complex systems, and promote sustainability across local to global scales. (3H,3C)
1234: FIRST YEAR EXPERIENCE IN NATURAL RESOURCES & ENVIRONMENT Introduction to problem solving related to natural resources and environmental issues. Developing a sense of identity and place within the college while acquiring skills and knowledge that enhance academic success. Exposure to programs on campus that support sustainability and student success. Introduction to a variety of career pathways within natural resources and environmental conservation. (2H,2L,3C)
1984: SPECIAL STUDY Variable credit course.
2234: 1ST SEMESTER EXPERIENCE-TRANSFER STUDENTS IN NATURAL RESOURCES&ENVIRONMENT Problem solving related to natural resources and environmental issues, focusing on research, writing and oral presentation skills. Orientation to the college while acquiring skills and knowledge that enhance academic success, including university resources and professional/ personal ethics. Introduction to a variety of career pathways within natural resources and environmental conservation. Restricted to transfer students. (2H,2C)
2554 (FREC 2554) (LAR 2554): LEADERSHIP FOR GLOBAL SUSTAINABILITY Leadership principles and humanities perspectives that help examine and engage global sustainable development challenges such as climate change, food-water-energy nexus, rising middle class, circular economy, and environmental justice. Topics include collaboration, stories, conflict resolution, self-awareness, bias, equity, religion, hubris, globalism, and moral naturalism. Examine trade-offs among economic, environmental, and social dimensions of sustainable development. Integration and application of disciplinary topics including ethics, ecology, evolution, anthropology, economics, religion, aesthetics, and risk management. (3H,3C)
2974: INDEPENDENT STUDY Variable credit course.
2984: SPECIAL STUDY Variable credit course.
3954: STUDY ABROAD Variable credit course.
3964: FIELD STUDY Variable credit course.
4004 (FREC 4004): PROFESSIONAL SKILLS IN NATURAL RESOURCES Elements of professionalism and principles of success across a wide spectrum of natural resources careers. Skills for ethical and professional interaction including effective communication, advancement of diversity and inclusion, and personal responsibility. Career preparation principles including employer outreach, job seeking, resume writing, and interview preparation. Guest speakers from academia, industry, and government. Pre: Senior standing. (1H,1C)
4014 (FREC 4014): NATURAL RESOURCES ECONOMICS Examination of domestic and international natural resource use, exploitation, and degradation problems, with special focus on use of economics to understand why potential overuse of natural resources exists, and what policy options are available to correct these problems and ensure sustainable natural resource use over time. Water, forests, fisheries, land and exhaustible resources. Permission of instructor may be substituted for the pre-requisite. Pre: ECON 2005 or AAEC 1005. (3H,3C)
4105-4106: LEADERSHIP IN NATURAL RESOURCES Preparation for leadership roles in the natural resource professions. Introduction to theories of leadership; characteristics of effective leaders; leading and working in interdisciplinary teams. Techniques of meeting facilitation; written and oral communication skills in a leadership context. Effects of preferred modes of interacting with others, perceiving information, making decisions, and approaching tasks on the ability to lead and work with others. Consent of instructor. Pre: FIW 2114 or FOR 2314 or FREC 2314 or GEOG 3104 or SBIO 2124 for 4105; 4105 for 4 106. (3H,3C)
4444 (GEOG 4444): PRACTICING SUSTAINABILITY Practicum in sustainability. Synthesize and integrate knowledge from undergraduate career and apply to real world problems of sustainability. Topics and projects selected from opportunities to examine specific local and regional sustainability issues on the VT campus, in the New River Valley and the Commonwealth at large. Pre: Senior Standing. (3H,3C)
4964: FIELD STUDY Variable credit course.
4974: INDEPENDENT STUDY Variable credit course.
4984: SPECIAL STUDY Variable credit course.
4994: UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH Variable credit course.