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Department of Forest, Rangeland, and Fire Sciences

College of Natural Resources

phone: (208) 885-7952
fax: (208) 885-6564

875 Perimeter Drive MS 1133
Moscow, ID 83844-1133
fire ecology courses

Course List

Course Checksheets

Download course checksheets for the current academic year | Fire Ecology & Management

Your Forest Resources degree has a number of course electives that will expand your knowledge and may help you meet your goals.

Your degree may also be enhanced with a minor in one of our other programs. Many of our classes cross over and help you build minor credits.

For detailed information, please visit the catalog description for this degree and its options.

Course Descriptions

Biol 115 Cells and the Evolution of Life (4 cr)

The cell, heredity and evolutionary processes. Three lec and one 3-hr lab a wk. Coreq: Chem 101 or 111

CSS 383 Natural Resource and Ecosystem Service Economics (3 cr)

The role and application of economic theories and methods in natural resource and ecosystem service decision-making. Economic tools are applied to the management of forests, fisheries, rangeland, recreation, wildlife, and other contemporary issues. (Spring only) Prereq: For 235 or CSS 235; and Econ 202 or Econ 272; and Math 143

Econ 202 Principles of Microeconomics (3 cr)

Econ 201 and Econ 202 may be taken in either order. Microeconomic principles governing production, price relationships, and income distribution. Econ 201 or Econ 202 carry only two cr after Econ 272. May involve some evening exams.

For 235 Society and Natural Resources (3 cr)

Same as CSS 235. An exploration of how people use, value, manage, impact, and are affected by natural resources; course emphasizes social and economic realities and political and legal processes in a context of current and historical natural resource issues. Two lectures and one 1-hr small discussion group meeting a week.

For 274 Forest Measurement and Inventory (3 cr)

Practical techniques for the design and execution of vegetation measurements for the inventory of forests, shrublands, and fire-fuels. Three one-hour lectures and one three-hour lab per week. (Fall only) Prereq: Math 143; or SAT math score of 610 or above, or ACT math score of 27 or above. Prereq or Coreq: Math 144 Coreq: Stat 251

For 326 Fire Ecology and Management (3 cr)

Credit may only be earned in For 326 or For 426, but not both. The study of wildfire as a biophysical and ecological process, including controls of wildfires, ecological effects of wildfires, fire history, and fire in the context of global environmental change. Current issues in fire management in the Western US and globally, including readings and discussions of recent scientific literature. One-day field trip with data collection and formal lab write up. (Fall only). Prereq: For 221 or REM 221

For 330 Forest Soil and Canopy Processes (4 cr)

Above- and below-ground biophysical processes that determine how forest ecosystems function. Emphasis is on interactions affecting forest productivity including soil nutrient cycles, light energy, water and nutrient acquisition. Process modeling is used to illustrate effects of complex interactions on carbon budgets. Applications include effects of environmental stress and disturbance such as forest management, fire, pests and global climate change. Builds from general ecology (For 221/REM 221) by exploring processes controlling forest production, and establishes a foundation to address forest management questions in For 324 and For 424. Two lec and one 4-hr lab a week, including several field trips. Prereq: Soil 205; and Math 143 or Math 160, and Phys 100/100L or Phys 111/111L, and For 221 or REM 221

For 375 Introduction to Spatial Analysis for Natural Resource Management (3 cr)

Methods and techniques for obtaining quantitative and qualitative geospatial information from aerial and satellite images, maps, and the Global Positioning System for input into geographic information systems. Analysis of geospatial data for mapping, monitoring and planning associated with all aspects of natural resource management. Two lec and one 2-hr lab a wk. Prereq: College Algebra

For 427 Prescribed Burning Lab (3 cr)

Planning, conducting and evaluating prescribed burns designed to accomplish natural resource management objectives. Sampling, models and analysis used in writing required fire use plan. 5 days of field trips; some on Saturdays. (Fall only) Prereq: For 426, REM 244, and Senior standing; and Permission Coreq: For 426

For 433 Fire and Fuel Modeling (2 cr)

Learn to use and critically evaluate spatial fire behavior prediction systems, with attention to assumptions, uncertainty, sensitivity, and probability analysis. Topics include fuels classification systems, scale considerations, thematic mapping, and GIS overlay analysis, and how to access on-line geospatial data and decision-support tools. Read and discuss primarily literature on quantitative spatial analysis in fire science, engage in hands-on laboratory exercises, and prepare written reports comparing management alternatives with regards to fire behavior, fire effects, and ecological departure. Prereq: For 375, Geog 385, or Permission Coreq: For 450

For 450 Fire Behavior (2 cr)

Understand the physical and chemical processes controlling combustion and fire behavior. Gain in-depth knowledge of commonly-used, point-scale fire behavior models and tools, including key assumptions and limitations. Critically review and discuss scientific literature, current topics, and case studies. Lab sessions include designing and undertaking small-scale fire behavior experiments, developing simple quantitative models, and a field trip. Prereq: For 426; and Phys 100/100L or Phys 111/111L Coreq: For 433

For 484 Forest Policy and Administration (2 cr)

Evaluation of land and forest problems and policies in the U.S.; analysis of current conditions and policies; historical development of governmental and private agencies concerned with the administration of forest conservation program. Recommended Preparation: FOR 235. Prereq: Junior standing

Geog 301 Meteorology (3 cr)

Atmospheric processes that produce weather; temperature; moisture, clouds, and precipitation; synoptic-scale weather; severe storms; weather instrumentation, weather maps, and forecasting; influences of weather on humans and impacts of humans on weather. (Fall only) Prereq: Geog 100/Geog 100L, Phys 100/Phys 100L, Phys 111/Phys 111L, or Phys 211/Phys 211L; and Math 143; or Permission

NR 101 Exploring Natural Resources (1 cr)

Introduction to the interdisciplinary fields and professions in natural resources. (Fall only)

Phys 100 Fundamentals of Physics (3 cr)

For students in nontechnical fields. Conceptual study of laws of nature and their application, including mechanics, heat, electricity and magnetism, light, and modern physics. Three lec and one 2-hr lab a wk. (Spring only)

REM 244 Wildland Fire Management (2 cr)

Introduction to wildland fire management including fire behavior, fuels, fire prevention and suppression, fire policy and fire ecology. Includes discussion of current fire management issues.

REM 459 Rangeland Ecology (2 cr)

Application of ecological principles in rangeland management; stressing response and behavior of range ecosystems to various kinds and intensity of disturbance and management practice. Web only. Recommended Preparation: courses in general ecology (e.g., REM 221) , technical writing (e.g., Engl 317) , and vegetation assessment (e.g., REM 411 or For 274) or Permission. (Fall only)

Soil 205 The Soil Ecosystem (3 cr)

Introduction to the physical, chemical, and biological nature of soils. Prereq: Chem 101 or satisfy Prereq for Chem 111

Soil 206 The Soil Ecosystem Lab (1 cr)

Lab study relevant to Soil 205. Experiments and demonstrations on basic and applied aspects of soil science. One 3-hr lab a wk. Coreq: Soil 205

Stat 251 Statistical Methods (3 cr)

Credit awarded for only one of Stat 251, Stat 301, and Stat 416. Intro to statistical methods including design of statistical studies, basic sampling methods, descriptive statistics, probability and sampling distributions; inference in surveys and experiments, regression, and analysis of variance. Prereq: Math 108, Math 137, Math 143, Math 160, Math 170, or 2 yrs of high school algebra and Permission

Biol 116 Organisms and Environments (4 cr)

The evolution of diversity, the biology of plants and animals, and their environments. Three lec and one 3-hr lab a wk. Prereq: Biol 115 and Chem 101 or 111

PlSc 205 General Botany (4 cr)

Growth, development and ecology of plants, fungi, and protists in relation to their environments. Recommended Preparation: Chem 101 and PlSc 102. (Spring only) Prereq: Biol 115

Chem 101 Introduction to Chemistry I (4 cr)

Full credit may be earned in only one of the following: Chem 101, or 111. General treatment of the fundamentals of chemistry. Three lec and one 3-hr lab a wk. Does not satisfy the prereq for Chem 112.

Chem 111 Principles of Chemistry I (4 cr)

Full credit may be earned in only one of the following: Chem 101, or 111. Note that grades in Chem 111 will supersede any grades earned in Chem 101. Intensive treatment of principles and applications of chemistry. Three lec and one 3-hr lab a week. Recommended Preparation: A grade of ‘B’ or better in a high school chemistry course. Prereq: Chem 050 or min 560 SAT math or min 25 ACT math or min 49 COMPASS College Algebra, or a grade of ‘C’ or better in Chem 101, Math 143, Math 160, or Math 170; or Permission

Engl 313 Business Writing (3 cr)

Principles and practice in writing business correspondence, memoranda, and reports that employ conventions, tone, and style appropriate to the specific discourse situation. Recommended for students with some business background or upper-level standing. Prereq: Engl 102 or Equivalent; Sophomore standing

Engl 317 Technical Writing (3 cr)

Principles of clear writing related to technical style; problems such as technical description, proposals, formal reports, and technical correspondence. Prereq: Engl 102 or Equivalent; Junior standing or Permission

For 221 Ecology (3 cr)

Fundamental principles of ecology. Major topics covered in the course include the physical environment, how organisms interact with each other and their environment, evolutionary processes, population dynamics, communities, energy flow and ecosystems, human influences on ecosystems, and the integration and scaling of ecological processes through systems ecology. Recommended preparation: introductory botany and zoology Prereq: Biol 102/102L, 115, 116, or PlSc 205; or Permission

REM 221 Ecology (3 cr)

Fundamental principles of ecology. Major topics covered by the course include the physical environment, how organisms interact with each other and their environment, evolutionary processes, population dynamics, communities, energy flow and ecosystems, human influences on ecosystems, and the integration and scaling of ecological processes through systems ecology. Computer-based materials are used extensively for guided independent learning of ecology. An online version of this course is offered as a separate section. Recommended Preparation: Introductory botany, zoology and good working knowledge of Windows-based computer systems. Prereq: Biol 102/102L, 115, or 116; or Permission

Math 143 Pre-calculus Algebra and Analytic Geometry (3 cr)

Carries no credit after Math 160 or 170; carries 2 credits after Math 137. Algebraic, exponential, logarithmic functions; graphs of conics; zeros of polynomials; systems of equations, induction. Taught using the Polya Math Center, a studio environment featuring group study, one-to-one interaction with instructors, computer-mediated modules, and lectures. Prereq: Sufficient score on SAT, ACT, or COMPASS Math Test; or Math 108 with grade of C or better. It is recommended that Math 143 be taken within two years of passing Math 108 or its equivalent.

Math 144 Analytic Trigonometry (1 cr)

Not open for cr to students who have previous high school or college cr in trigonometry. Trigonometric functions, inverse functions, applications. Taught using the Polya Math Center, a studio environment featuring group study, one-to-one interaction with instructors, computer-mediated modules, and lectures. Prereq: Sufficient score on SAT, ACT, or COMPASS Math Test. Students may qualify by enrolling concurrently in Math 143 or Math 170. Required test scores can be found online.

Math 160 Survey of Calculus (4 cr)

Carries no credit after Math 170. Functions, graphing, derivative, integral, exponential and logarithmic functions, functions of several variables. Primarily for students in business, life sciences or architecture who need only one semester of calculus. Prereq: Sufficient score on SAT, ACT, or COMPASS Math Test, or Math 137 with a C or better, or Math 143 with a C or better. Required test scores can be found online.

Comm 332 Communication and the Small Group (3 cr)

Problem-solving methods; performing as a group leader or as a group member; small group behavior.

CSS 287 Foundations of Conservation Leadership and Management (3 cr)

Overview of conservation leadership and management from a political, economic, behavioral, and land use management perspective; philosophical, theoretical, historical, and managerial foundations of conservation as they relate to societal trends. Overview of applied communication methods necessary for the successful management of natural resources as well as an introduction to applied public involvement. Recommended Preparation: NR 101. (Fall only)

CSS 387 Environmental Communication Skills (3 cr)

Introduction to communications skills in the context of natural resources, including environmental and cultural interpretation; communication psychology and media applied to noncaptive audiences in natural resource situations. Field trip may be required. Special fee assessed. Prereq: CSS 287 or Permission

CSS 481 Conservation Leadership (3 cr)

Generates essential understanding, insight, and skills into leadership of political and organizational systems designed to conserve natural resources. Field trip may be required. (Spring only) Prereq: CSS 235, 287

CSS 486 Public Involvement in Natural Resource Management (3 cr)

Theoretical and applied concepts of public involvement in both public and private sectors of natural resource management; historical and legal mandates, government agency responsibilities, applied methods and techniques, case studies, and practical experience. Three lec and three hrs of lab a wk; field trip may be reqd. (Spring only)

For 320 Dendrology (4 cr)

Phylogenetic approach to understanding the systematics, morphology, geography, and ecology of the major species of North American woody plants. Includes identification and classification of important tree species of North American and other important woody plants of the Pacific Northwest and northern Rocky Mountains. Three lectures and two 1.5-hour labs a week; two 1-day field trips. Prereq or Coreq: Biol 116 or PlSc 205

REM 252 Wildland Plant Identification Field Studies (3 cr)

Develop skills to identify, classify, and collect rangeland plants in the field. Focus on identification of grasses, forbs, and shrubs. Discussions will also encompass the ecological roles of wildland plants and the ecosystem classification. This course includes a 7 to 9-day field trip. Required for REM majors. (Spring only)

REM 341 Systematic Botany (3 cr)

Phylogenetic approach to understanding plant systematics and evolution with a primary focus on the flora of the Pacific Northwest. Includes identification of important plant families and the use of dichotomous keys for species identification. (Spring only) Prereq: Biol 115; and Biol 213 or PlSc 205

Ent 469 Introduction to Forest Insects (2 cr)

Roles and impacts of insects within forest ecosystems. Current management techniques of arthropod pests (insects and mites) in natural and managed forest systems. Interactions of arthropods with other agents of forest disturbance (fire and fungi). Identification of some common arthropod pests of Rocky Mountain forests. Prereq: For 221 or REM 221

Geog 450 Global Environmental Change (3 cr)

Same as REM 450. Major global environmental changes addressed using an interdisciplinary approach. Topics may include processes and principles of ecosystems, biogeochemical cycles, impacts and mitigation of climatic change, atmospheric chemistry, feedbacks between climate and various earth system processes, and trends in global biodiversity. Prereq: Math 143 or Stat 251

REM 429 Landscape Ecology (3 cr)

Ecological relationships and conservation issues for biotic communities across the landscape, including spatial and temporal dynamics and patterns, and importance of landscapes in maintenance of ecosystem diversity and function. One or more field trips; one 2-3 hour lab period per week. Recommended Preparation: Familiarity with spreadsheet programs and problem solving using computers. (Spring only) Prereq: For 221 or REM 221

REM 440 Wildland Restoration Ecology (3 cr)

Ecological principles and management practices involved in restoring and rehabilitating wildland ecosystems after disturbance or alteration to return damaged ecosystems to a productive and stable state. (Spring only). Prereq: For 221, or REM 221, or equivalent general ecology course

WLF 314 Wildlife Ecology I (3 cr)

Ecology and natural history of birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians. (Fall only) Prereq: For 221, REM 221, or Biol 314

WLF 440 Conservation Biology (3 cr)

Patterns of biological diversity; factors producing changes in diversity; values of diversity; management principles applied to small populations, protected areas, landscape linkages, biotic integrity, restoration, legal issues, and funding sources. (Fall only) Prereq: For 221, REM 221, or Biol 314 or Permission

Geog 385 GIS Primer (3 cr)

Intro to basic concepts and applications of geographic information systems (GIS), lab exercises on PC-based GIS packages. Two lec and 2 hrs of lab a wk. Prereq: Basic knowledge of PC-based operating system

Geog 401 Climatology (3 cr)

Physical basis for climatic processes and patterns; mechanics of global atmospheric circulation; radiation balance and heat budget of the earth; models of weather patterns and climate. (Spring, alt/yrs) Prereq: Geog 301, Geog 313, or Graduate Standing

REM 411 Ecological Monitoring and Analysis (2 cr)

Field and data analysis course where students collect, analyze, and report ecological data related to scientific research, wildlife habitat, fire, grazing, and land management practices. Class field trips required. Recommended preparation: Ability to use excel. Prereq: Stat 251 or Permission Prereq or Coreq: REM 410

CSS 385 Conservation Management and Planning I (4 cr)

Intro to theory, processes, and techniques for the management and planning of conservation systems including conservation organizations, natural areas, and their uses; focuses on resource and user management programs and techniques such as programming, budgeting, financing, contracting, and personnel management processes as well as conservation planning processes including operational, strategic, and long-range planning for natural sites and larger landscapes. A required 2-day field trip, collaborative group projects and a Service-Learning project are required. (Fall only) Prereq: Junior or Senior standing

CSS 490 Wilderness and Protected Area Management (3 cr)

Historical and legal aspects of the wilderness and protected area concepts; conceptual and applied approaches, considering both ecological and sociological elements; recent research. (Spring, alt/yrs)

For 324 Forest Regeneration (3 cr)

Natural and artificial regeneration of forest ecosystems; reproduction methods; selection of seed source and stock type; nursery cultural practices; tree improvement; site preparation methods to establish regeneration. One lecture and one 2-hr lab a week. Two all day field trips. A semester-long project requires time spent weekly in a nursery to regularly monitor plant development under varied environmental conditions (approximately 45 hours over the 18-week spring semester in addition to lectures, labs and out-of-class studying). (Spring only) Prereq: For 274, For 330, Soil 205 and Soil 206

For 424 Forest Dynamics and Management (4 cr)

Integrated methods and techniques for sustainable management of forest ecosystems including, stand and disturbance dynamics, exercises in forest assessment, thinning, harvesting, silviculture prescriptions, forest modeling and communicating management guidelines. Major integrative final project required. Course includes field labs and lectures; on average 3-hrs of lectures and 2-hrs of lab per week. (Fall only) Prereq: Senior standing and For 274, For 320, For 324 and For 330

For 430 Forest Operations (3 cr)

Overview of the primary equipment and harvesting systems used in modern forest operations, including field design, layout, and administration of timber sales, logging production and cost estimation, laws, and certification. A brief introduction to quantitative forest planning methods is also provided. There are 2-3 early morning trips and one Saturday field lab (Fall only) Prereq: Math 144; and Phys 100/100L or Phys 111/111L

For J454/J554 Air Quality and Smoke Management (3 cr)

Assessment of the controls and drivers of emission processes and impacts on air quality from agricultural, prescribed, and wildfires. Overview of the combustion and emission process, how these emissions impact the ‘quality of air’, and what models exist to monitor the emission. Other topics to include: recent EPA and other guidelines for smoke management planning, attainment issues, collaborative process for implementing smoke management plans. Additional work required for graduate credit. Prereq: For 426

For 462 Watershed Science and Management (3 cr)

Influence of land management practices on hydrologic processes, water quality, and riparian habitat w/emphasis on wildland watersheds. One day field trip. (Fall only) Prereq: Math 143; and Phys 100 or Phys 111, or high school equivalent.

REM 456 Integrated Rangeland Management (3 cr)

Management strategies for integrating grazing with other natural resource values such as wildlife, water, timber, recreation, and aesthetics; emphasis on herbivore ecology including ecological impacts of grazing, ways to manage grazing, and nutritional relationships between plants and free-ranging ungulates on rangeland, pastureland, and forest ecosystems. One 4 to 5 day field trip. Recommended Preparation: REM 151. (Spring only) Prereq: Engl 313 or Engl 317