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Natural Resource Ecology and Management200 |300 |400 |Graduate Courses |500 |600 |
The forestry curriculum offers courses dealing with the management of forest ecosystems for multiple benefits including wood and fiber products, biodiversity, recreation, water, wilderness, and wildlife. Conservation and preservation of natural resources are emphasized. The department offers work for the bachelor of science degree with a major in forestry and options in forest ecosystem management, interpretation of natural resources, urban and community forestry, natural resource conservation and restoration, or sustainable materials science and technology. All options lead to a professional degree in forestry (Bachelor of Science). The forestry major has been accredited by the Society of American Foresters (SAF) since 1935. The Council for Higher Education Accreditation recognizes SAF as the specialized accrediting body for forestry education in the United States. The primary goal of the undergraduate curriculum in forestry is to educate foresters to be capable of scientifically managing the nation's forest lands and related ecosystems - private and public.
Graduates understand and can apply scientific principles associated with forests, forest ecosystem management, and wood and non-wood products. Graduates are able to communicate effectively and work well in teams. They are capable of preparing and delivering effective oral and written communication of scientific and technical decisions to professional and lay audiences. They are proficient in technical skills such as measurements, computer usage, inventory, economic analysis, data and situation analysis, and ecosystem assessment. They recognize the importance of ethics in forestry and are sensitive to cultural diversity and broad environmental concerns.
Graduates of the forest ecosystem management option are skilled at understanding how forests function and how forests can be managed to produce desired goods (wood, fiber, recreation, wildlife habitat) and services (clean water, carbon sequestration, wilderness) in the long-run. They are skilled at interpretation of interactions and effects of abiotic and biotic factors in forests and quantification of bio-physical, social, and economic outputs from forest ecosystems. They are skilled at complex decision-making involving private and public forest resources where ethical, legal, social, economic, and ecological dimensions are explicitly considered.
Graduates of the interpretation of natural resources option are skilled at communicating with the public about the values associated with forest ecosystems and providing educational programs for all ages.
Graduates of the urban and community forestry option are able to combine biological, social, legal, and economic expertise to effectively manage trees or forests in an urban setting. They are skilled at decision-making related to site assessment, and long-term management of urban trees and forests to achieve multiple goals.
Graduates of the natural resource conservation and restoration option are skilled at assessing the natural functions of the environment and human impacts. They are skilled at interpretation of forest and other natural environments and making decisions relating to their conservation and preservation.
Graduates of the sustainable materials science and technology option understand the anatomical, physical, and chemical properties of wood and other bio-renewable materials and know wood processing operations involved in drying, composite materials manufacturing, and chemical treatment.
Elective courses related to the forest ecosystem management option can be selected to emphasize forest ecology; wildlife, wilderness, and recreation management; water quality and erosion protection; quantitative-analytical techniques; business and marketing; and other areas related to natural resource management. Elective courses in the urban and community forestry option can be selected to emphasize plant health, policy and planning, ecology, hydrology, sociology, business administration, or horticulture/design. Elective courses related to the natural resource conservation and restoration option can be selected to emphasize, ecology, wildlife, recreation, nature interpretation, landscape design, sociology and ethics of conservation and preservation. Similarly, elective courses in the sustainable materials science and technology option can be selected to emphasize wood production, bio-renewable materials, wood fiber, business and marketing, and quality assurance. Elective courses in the interpretation of natural resources option can be selected to emphasize natural history, animal ecology, and environmental education.
Many private firms as well as national, regional, state, and local agencies seek forestry graduates to fill positions in management of natural resources for commodity and non-commodity multiple benefits. Graduates in forestry are prepared to be involved with evolving forestry systems, such as agroforestry and urban forestry. Wood processing industries, such as composite products, plywood, particle board, lumber, and pulp and paper offer professional opportunities in production, product development, quality control, and marketing.
With advanced graduate study, the range of professional job opportunities for a person with a B.S. in forestry is expanded. Opportunities include research and education as well as more specialized managerial and administrative positions with private firms and public agencies.
During fall semester of the second year of study (sophomore year, typically), forestry students are required to enroll in the department's integrated forestry modules consisting of 201, 202, 203, 204, 205, and 206. That semester, consisting entirely of forestry coursework, is designed to give students an early understanding of the many aspects of forestry and how they are interrelated. In addition to work in the classroom, students will spend time in laboratory and field work each week. A 3-week off-campus fall camp during the semester will reinforce concepts learned both in the classroom and during laboratory/field sessions. Transfer students should check with the department for counsel on timing their completion of the integrated forestry modules.
The department offers a minor in forestry which can be earned by completion of a minimum of 15 credits in forestry courses. Students wishing to emphasize management and environmental aspects of forestry must select at least 15 credits from the following courses: 302, 356, 451, NREM 120, 301, 345, 390, 407, and 472. Students wishing to emphasize wood products and wood utilization must complete 280 and an additional 12 credits from the following courses: 480, 481, 483, 485, 486, 487, and 490B.
The Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management offers work for the degrees master of science and doctor of philosophy with majors in fisheries biology, forestry, and wildlife ecology. A non-thesis masters degree is available for students desiring a general degree program without thesis research. Students may also major in interdepartmental graduate majors in biorenewable resources technology, ecology and evolutionary biology, environmental science, genetics, plant physiology, sustainable agriculture, or toxicology (see Index). All students are required to teach and conduct research as part of their training for the Ph.D. degree.
Graduates have a broad understanding of the basic principles of animal biology, ecology and management, and relevant aspects of basic mathematics and natural sciences, computing applications, and personal and professional development. They are able to execute rigorous independent research, have developed problem-solving and critical-thinking skills, and can communicate effectively with scientific colleagues and the general public in both formal and informal settings.
Personnel of the U.S. Geological Survey's Iowa Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit contribute significantly to the graduate program of the department through teaching and research. Governmental agencies such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, and non-governmental agencies such as The Nature Conservancy and the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation also contribute to the graduate program by funding research, providing in-kind support, and providing numerous formal and informal mentoring relationships.
No more than two dual-listed animal ecology courses may be applied for major graduate credit. Additional work is expected of students taking a dual-listed course for credit at the 500 level.
The department offers programs leading to the degrees of master of science and doctor of philosophy with a major in forestry and minor work to students taking major work in other departments.
Graduates are skilled at defining a research problem in forestry, applying scientific principles and appropriate methods, and analyzing the results. They are capable of understanding the many facets of forest and wood science and are very knowledgeable in specific areas in forestry. They are able to deal with complex forestry problems, and where appropriate, they are capable of blending ecological, social, ethical, legal, and economic factors in the research process. They are very skilled at communicating, both in written and oral form, research results to professional and lay audiences. They are sensitive to cultural diversity and work effectively with peers, natural resource professionals, and the public.
The graduate program is open to, and suitable for, students who have majored in forestry or related natural resource fields. A non-thesis master's option is available.
The department participates in the Masters in Business Administration (M.B.A.), with specialization in the agriculture program administered by the College of Business, providing an opportunity to obtain an M.B.A. degree while taking advanced courses in forestry and maintaining contact with the profession of forestry.
Courses primarily for undergraduate students
For 201. Forest Biology. (2-0) Cr. 2. F.Prereq: Concurrent enrollment in 202, 203, 204, 205, and 206. Discussion of ecological concepts, individual tree structure and growth, variation and diversity in tree populations. Physical environment of trees and forests, ecological processes in forest communities, and introduction to different regional forest communities.
For 202. Wood Utilization. (2-0) Cr. 2. F.Prereq: Concurrent enrollment in 201, 203, 204, 205, and 206. Processing of sustainable materials including wood into products and general properties and proper use of these products.
For 203. Resource Measurements/Evaluation. (2-0) Cr. 2. F.Prereq: Concurrent enrollment in 201, 202, 204, 205, and 206; Math 140. Survey techniques involved in quantification, valuation, and evaluation of tree and stand growth and other variables in the forest environment (e.g., recreational use, wildlife habitat value, biomass, and solid wood).
For 204. Forest Ecosystem Decision-Making. (2-0) Cr. 2. F.Prereq: Concurrent enrollment in 201, 202, 203, 205, and 206. Methods of decision-making related to forest ecosystems including communications, teams and conflict resolution. Current issues relating to public, private, and urban forests; quantification of processes, services, and goods produced by the forest and expected by the public such as wildlife, water, range, recreation, wilderness, biodiversity, as well as wood and fiber products.
For 205. Integrated Forestry Laboratory. (0-8) Cr. 3. F.Prereq: Concurrent enrollment in 201, 202, 203, 204, and 206. Field and laboratory exercises integrating the evaluation and management of forest goods, services, and the processing of wood products.
For 206. Fall Forestry Camp. Cr. 4. F.Prereq: Concurrent enrollment in 201, 202, 203, 204, and 205. Three-week field camp to address topics and issues covered in 201, 202, 203, 204, and 205.
For 280. Wood Properties and Identification. (3-3) Cr. 4. S.Properties of wood and how they relate to its successful use. Comparative anatomical characteristics, scientific nomenclature, and hand lens identification of commercially important North American woods.
For 283. Pesticide Application Certification. (Cross-listed with Ent, Agron, Hort). (2-0) Cr. 2. S.Holscher. Core background and specialty topics in agricultural, and horticultural pesticide applicator certification. Students can select certification categories and have the opportunity to obtain pesticide applicator certification at the completion of the course. Commercial pesticide applicator certification is emphasized.
For 290. Special Problems. Cr. 1-4. Repeatable.Prereq: Freshman or Sophomore classification, permission of instructor.
For 302. Silviculture. (2-3) Cr. 3. S.Prereq: 201. Manipulation of forest vegetation based on ecological principles for the production of goods and services. Nonmajor graduate credit.
For 342. Dynamics of Forest Stands. (2-3) Cr. 3. Alt. F., offered 2010.Prereq: 203, Stat 101. Change in forest species composition and structure at the stand and landscape scales resulting from site quality, tree growth, competition, succession, and disturbance. Methods for assessing tree growth and reconstructing past stand development. Applications to forest and savanna management. Nonmajor graduate credit.
For 356. Dendrology. (Cross-listed with Biol). (2-4) Cr. 4. F.Prereq: Biol 211. Identification and ecology of North American woody plant species. Importance of woody plants in timber production and wildlife habitat. Natural disturbances, human impacts, management and restoration concerns for major North American forest regions will be addressed. Nonmajor graduate credit.
For 416. Forest Insect and Disease Ecology. (Cross-listed with Pl P). (3-3) Cr. 4. S.Prereq: 8 credits in biological sciences, including Biol 211. Harrington. Nature of insects and pathogens of forest and shade trees; their role in the dynamics of natural and managed forest ecosystems; and the management of indigenous and exotic pests. Nonmajor graduate credit.
For 451. Forest Resource Economics and Quantitative Methods. (3-3) Cr. 4. S.Prereq: 203, Econ 101, Math 150. Application of economic principles to forest resource management considering both market and non-market goods and services. Methods of identifying and specifying problems in the management and use of forest resources. Application of mathematical and statistical models to the solution of managerial problems. Nonmajor graduate credit.
For 452. Ecosystem Management. (Cross-listed with NREM). (2-3) Cr. 3. F.Prereq: Junior classification, and NREM 301 or A Ecl 312. Principles of planning, regulating, and decision-making associated with public and private lands, with consideration of forest, grassland, wetland, and freshwater aquatic ecosystems. Integrated natural resources management within ecological, social, economic and policy constraints. Nonmajor graduate credit.
For 453. Forest Resource Policy and Administration. (3-0) Cr. 3. S.Prereq: junior or senior classification. Forest and related natural resource policies and contemporary policy issues. Integration of elements of policy development processes, various participants in these processes, and resulting programs. Ethics in professional forestry and natural resource conservation, and conflict resolution. Participation in the policy process involving communication with policy makers and natural resource professionals, study of current issues, promotion of issues with students as issue educators. Participation in policy meetings to identify/determine various elements and applications of strategies associated with the policy development process. Nonmajor graduate credit.
For 454. Forestry Practicum. (1-4) Cr. 3. S.Prereq: 20 credits in student's major at 300 level or above. Integrated decision-making related to the conservation, management, and preservation of private and public forests, wildlands, urban/community forests, and/or the production and utilization of wood products. Student teams work with a client and develop management plans that incorporate ecological, social, economic, ethical, and institutional/political factors. Effective teamwork, written/oral/visual communication, and problem-solving stressed. Multiple trips to project site and client. Nonmajor graduate credit.
For 475. Urban Forestry. (Cross-listed with Hort). (2-3) Cr. 3. F.Prereq: Junior or senior classification, 3 credits in biology. Discussion of establishment and management of woody perennials in community-owned urban greenspaces, consideration of urban site and soil characteristics, plant physiology, plant culture, urban forest valuation, inventory methods, species selection, and urban forest maintenance (health care and pest management). Nonmajor graduate credit.
For 480. Wood Anatomy and Fiber Analysis. (2-3) Cr. 3. Alt. F., offered 2009.Prereq: 280 or permission of instructor. Microscopic anatomy and ultrastructure of wood and other industrial lignocellulosic materials. Microscopy techniques for fiber analysis. Comparison of fiber properties. Nonmajor graduate credit.
For 481. Conversion of Lignocellulosic Materials. (Cross-listed with TSM). (2-3) Cr. 3. F.Prereq: 280 or TSM 210 or A E 216 or equivalent. Chemical properties of lignocellulosic materials. Wood chemistry. Various conversion processes. Pulp and paper technology. Biobased products. Other fiber products. Cellulose derivatives. Term paper and/or student project required for graduate level. Nonmajor graduate credit.
For 483. Wood Deterioration and Preservation. (Cross-listed with Pl P). (2-3) Cr. 3. Alt. F., offered 2009.Prereq: For 280. Deterioration of wood in use by biological and physical agents. Wood preservation and fire retardant treatments. Environmental impact of wood treating. Nonmajor graduate credit.
For 485. Lignocellulosic Composite Materials. (2-3) Cr. 3. Alt. F., offered 2010.Prereq: 280 or permission of instructor. Consolidation behavior of lignocellulosic materials. Principles of adhesion. Manufacturing processes for wood and lignocellulose composites such as plywood, oriented strand products, laminated lumber, particleboard, and medium density fiberboard. Extrusion processing of natural fiber/plastic composites. Nonmajor graduate credit.
For 486. Moisture Interactions of Lignocellulosic Materials. (2-3) Cr. 3. Alt. S., offered 2010.Prereq: 280 or permission of instructor. Principles of moisture relations in hygroscopic materials; adsorption, desorption, equilibrium moisture content. Transport processes in natural materials such as wood. Drying processes for wood and other lignocellulosic materials. Influence of moisture on dimensional stability and durability of lignocellulosics and composites. Nonmajor graduate credit.
For 487. Physical Properties of Wood. (3-3) Cr. 4. Alt. S., offered 2010.Prereq: 280. Mechanical, thermal, electrical, and acoustical properties of wood. Lumber grading and stress rating, nondestructive evaluation of wood and wood composite products. Nonmajor graduate credit.
Courses primarily for graduate students, open to qualified undergraduate students
For 599. Creative Component. Cr. 1-12. Repeatable.
Courses for graduate students
For 603. Plant Physiological Ecology. (4-0) Cr. 4. Alt. F., offered 2010.Prereq: NREM 301 or a course in plant physiology. Structural and functional adaptations in woody and herbaceous plant species to environmental variables, with and emphasis on understanding relationships between physiological processes at the whole plant scale with ecosystem processes related to nutrient, water, and carbon cycling. Plant physiological responses to natural disturbances, management practices, global climate change, and other forces of environmental change.
For 696. Research Seminar. (Cross-listed with GDCB, Agron, BBMB, Hort, PlBio). Cr. 1. Repeatable.Research seminars by faculty and graduate students. Satisfactory-fail only.
For 699. Research. Cr. 1-12. Repeatable.