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Forest, Rangeland, and Fire Sciences
Rangeland Ecology & Management
4range@uidaho.edu
phone: (208) 885-6536
fax: (208) 855-5190
College of Natural Resources
University of Idaho
P.O. Box 441135

Career Tracks in Rangeland Ecology & Management

Career tracks are available to further define degree options. Some career track courses will fulfill degree requirements, and others are taken as restricted electives. Career track coursework represents an area of expertise. Several career tracks lend themselves to the completion of an additional minor. If none of these tracks represent your interests you can create a personalized career track with the help of your advisor.


Environmental Consultant  

Environmental Consultant

Students who can integrate scientific and management information from a wide variety of disciplines in natural resources will have excellent career opportunities with environmental consulting firms, government agencies and private industries. The necessary information gathering and interpretive skills can be gained by taking these suggested courses.

Courses Include: Wildland Restoration Ecology, Rangeland Ecology, Ecological Monitoring & Analysis, Spatial Analysis, Technical Writing, Introduction to Environmental Regulation, Limnology, Riparian Ecology, Statistics and Sampling Methods

Field Botanist  

Field Botanist

Many land management agencies and environmental organizations seek employees who have excellent field botany skills. By completing this career track you can demonstrate excellence in plant identification and develop knowledge related to endangered and invasive plants.

Courses Include: Botany, Genetics, Plant Physiology, Wildland Field Plant Identification, Dendrology, Weed Biology and Conservation Biology

A minor in Biology can be fulfilled by this career track with just 12 additional credits.

Invasive Plant  

Invasive Plant Manager

One of the greatest threats to the ecological integrity of rangelands is invasion by exotic plants we commonly call "weeds." Completing the following classes will equip you to battle invasive plants that limit forage for livestock and wildlife, reduce biodiversity and degrade the aesthetic and recreation value of rangelands.

Courses Include: Ecological Monitoring & Analysis, Wildland Restoration Ecology, Spatial Analysis, Weed Control, Biology of Weeds, Pesticides in the Environment and Integrated Range Management

Communication Specialist  

Natural Resource Communication Specialist

Natural resource management requires inclusion of ideas from all people who use and care about these resources. Students who understand the science behind rangeland management and can communicate it effectively to diverse audiences will be in high demand.

Courses Include: Professional Presentation Techniques, Media Writing & Information Gathering, Environmental Communication Skills, Public Involvement in Natural Resource Management, Environmental Education, Public Relations for Natural Resources Professionals and Conflict Management

GIS Specialist  

Natural Resource GIS Specialist

This career track will prepare students for careers that specialize in the application of technology like Geographic Information Systems. Students will become proficient in GIS mapping techniques, relational database management and spatial analysis methods used in natural resource management.

Courses Include: GIS Primer, Geographic Information Systems, Spatial Analysis for Natural Resource Managers, Remote Sensing of the Environment, Landscape Ecology and GIS Applications in Fire Management

Range Conservationist  

Range Conservationist

Many rangeland professionals enjoy careers managing public rangelands or providing technical assistance to landowners. Agencies such as the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, Natural Resource Conservation Service and State Land Departments need well-trained people with a broad understanding of ecological principles and management practices. Students interested in the "hands-on" management of rangelands can pursue this career track to meet state and federal hiring standards and seek certification as a range management specialist.

Courses Include: Rangeland Principles, Ecology, Wildland Plant Field Identification, Ecological Monitoring & Analysis, Rangeland Ecology, Integrated Rangeland Management, Riparian Ecology, Soil Classification, Animal Science, Wildlife Management and Natural Resource Economics

Rangeland Economist  

Rangeland Economist

Students interested in land appraisal, rural development or natural resource economics could take the following suggested courses to gain expertise in rangeland economics. This career track prepares students for employment in ranch-based communities with organizations involved in economic development such as large corporate ranches, county extension service or rural development commissions.

Courses Include: Principles of Economics, Ag Economics & Agribusiness, Principles of Farm & Ranch Management, Agricultural Programs & Policies, Farm & Natural Resource Appraisal, Economics for Natural Resource Management and Land & Natural Resource Management

A minor in natural resource economics & community development can be fulfilled with this career track.

Range Livestock manager  

Range Livestock Manager

Enjoy the challenge and solitude of managing livestock on wide open spaces? Students interested in pursuing professional careers in livestock management on rangeland can take a series of animal science classes that can lead to a minor in animal science or double major in rangeland management and animal science. The degree offers an even mix of range management and animal science classes. Range livestock managers work for ranches and agencies that work closely with ranchers.

Courses Include:
Rangeland Principles, Rangeland Ecology, Integrated Rangeland Management, Animal Nutrition, Animal Reproduction & Breeding, Beef Cattle Science and Sheep Science.

Restoration Ecologist  

Restoration Ecologist

Students interested in the ecological restoration of western rangelands can gain field experience and take the following suggested courses. This career track will prepare students for positions that require knowledge and skills for repairing damaged and degraded wildland ecosystems.

Courses Include:
Rangeland Ecology, Wildland Restoration Ecology, Soil Development & Classification, Soil & Site Evaluation, Soil Fertility, Weed Biology, Wildland Fire Management Ecology, Plant Materials and Land & Natural Resource Economics

Riparian Ecology  

Watershed or Riparian Ecologist

Water is exceptionally important to western landscapes. Maintaining healthy streams and aquifers requires a keen understanding of land management. This career track will prepare students for positions that require knowledge and skills to understand and manage forested and rangeland watersheds.

Courses Include:
Riparian Ecology & Management, Wetland Ecology, Soil Development & Classification, Environmental Hydrology, Limnology, Watershed Science & Management, Hydrologic Measurement Techniques and Meteorology

Tribal Land Manager  

Tribal Land Manager

Many natural resource management positions are available with American Indian Tribes that manage large tracts of land in western North America. Students should consider adding courses from the American Indian studies program to gain expertise in the history and current issues relevant to tribal lands.

Courses Include:
Silviculture, Wildland Fire Management & Ecology, Fisheries Management, Field Crop Production, Contemporary American Indian Issues, Introduction to Ethnic Studies, North American Indians, History of Indian-White Relations and Plateau Indians

Wildland Fire Manager  

Wildland Fire Manager

Altered fire regimes threaten the ecological health of range and forest lands in Idaho. This career track provides students the expertise to implement management practices including prescribed fire and wildfire management in the fire ecology.

Courses Include:
Wildland Fire Management, Rangeland Ecology, Landscape Ecology, Wildland Restoration Ecology, Fire Ecology & Management, Prescribed Burning Laboratory, Forest Ecosystem Processes, Silviculture, Assessing Fire Effects and GIS Applications in Fire Management

A minor in fire ecology & management is fulfilled by this career track.

Wildland Soil Specialist  

Wildland Soil Specialist

The foundation of any healthy and productive grassland, shrubland, desert, or woodland is, of course, soil. Students intrigued by the lively ecosystem below the surface should consider adding the following courses to their degree. An emphasis in soil management can offer career opportunities with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Soil Conservation Districts or U.S. Geological Survey.

Courses Include:
Carbon Compounds, The Soil Ecosystem & Lab, Soil Development & Classification, Wildland Restoration Ecology, Soil Physics, Environmental Soil Chemistry, Soil Fertility and Soil Biology

Completion of this career track can fulfill a minor in soil science. Careful selection of courses in the Rangeland curriculum and as few as 22 additional credits could allow students to gain a second major in soil & land resources.

Wildlife Habitat Manager  

Wildlife Habitat Manager

More than 80% of wildlife species in North America spend a significant portion of their lives on rangelands. Managing these birds, reptiles and grazing ungulates requires knowledge of animal requirements and habitat attributes. The following courses could be taken as part of a rangeland management degree to show expertise in the measurement and management of wildlife habitat.

Courses Include: Rangeland Ecology, Wildlife Ecology & Lab, Conservation Biology, Behavioral Ecology, Nongame Management, Fish & Wildlife Population Ecology, Wildlife Management and Ecological Monitoring & Analysis

A minor in Wildlife Resources is fulfilled by this career track.