Contact CNR


College of Natural Resources
phone: (208) 885-8981
toll free: 88-88-UIDAHO
fax: (208) 885-5534

875 Perimeter Drive MS 1142
Moscow, ID 83844-1142
online coursework

Online Fire Courses

Global Fire Ecology and Management (FOR 426, Section 2, 3 credits)


Designed to give you an in-depth understanding of fire ecology and implications for ecologically-based fire management in a variety of wildland ecosystems. You will learn about the ecological effects of fire on plants, animals, soil, water and air. Our discussions about fire management address current issues, including fire management in the wildland/urban interface, climate change, and effects of fires on watersheds, streams and riparian areas. We read current scientific literature to gain familiarity with fire ecology research. We emphasize fire as an ecological process in wildland ecosystems, how to characterize and predict fire effects over time and space, and how to apply this to restoration ecology.

Camille Stevens-Rumann | | Fall semester | Sample Syllabus

Fire Ecology (FOR 526, 3 credits) (Available Fall 2015) 


Overview of fire effects in multiple ecosystems, as well as key concepts, approaches to studying ecological effects of fires, and the science literature. Exams are take-home, requiring extensive reading in scientific journals available online through the University of Idaho library. Because you can choose which questions to address on the take-home exam, you can tailor this class to your interests in fire ecology. Restoration ecology, fire and climate change, and other ecological issues.

Penny Morgan | | Fall semester

Fuels Inventory and Management (FOR 451, 3 credits) 


In-depth understanding of fuels inventory and management. You will gain experience with tools, quantitative analysis, and approaches for inventory and management of fuels for wildland fires over large, diverse areas in forests, woodlands, shrubland, and grasslands, including fieldwork and critical review and synthesis of relevant scientific literature.

Camille Stevens-Rumann | | Spring semester | Sample Syllabus

Advanced Fire Behavior (FOR 504, 3 credits) (Available Spring 2015) 


Basic chemistry and physics involved in fire, including heat transfer processes and the main factors affecting fire behavior. Key fire behavior models useful for professionals. Illustrations with exercises to bridge the gap between basic science and application of science in fire analysis. Examples from different areas of the world, making use of developments in different aspects of fire, from grassfires or spotting of Australian eucalypts to crown fire experiments in the boreal forests of Canada, relying heavily on work from the U.S. and Europe, on modeling fire behavior.

Francisco Castro Rego | | Spring semester | Sample Syllabus

Fire Policy (FOR 504, 2 credits) 

Core and Policy

Relationships between fire science, federal laws and regulations that affect fire management in fire affected ecosystems; the politics of wildland fire; and the effects of wildland fire on wildland-urban interface (WUI) communities. Recommended preparation is a course in natural resource and/or environmental policy or FOR 584.

Jo Ellen Force | | Fall semester

Synthesizing Science (FOR 504, 3 credits) (Available Fall 2015) 

Core and Human Dimensions

Learn together about synthesizing science for application in management. We emphasize fire science. Extensive writing and reading required. In this online course students become informed users of science, learn best practices for synthesizing science, and deepen their understanding of the science-management interface and how to communicate science effectively. We address advocacy. Students complete multiple science briefs and syntheses.

Penny Morgan | | Fall semester | Sample Syllabus

Non-Thesis Master’s Research (NR599, Section 2, 2 credits) 


Professional research project in fire sciences. Requires an oral presentation, written paper encouraged.

Landscape and Habitat Dynamics (REM 507, Section 2, 3 credits)   


Designed for students interested in quantitative methods for predicting landscape change and dynamics. Central topics are the concepts of disturbance ecology, potential vegetation, niche modeling, successional change, climate change scenarios, human induced change, and effects of change on species ranges and habitat. In the laboratory section we use geospatial analysis tools to quantify landscape composition under a variety of modeled management and/or climate scenarios. We read and discuss scientific papers and work on development, analysis, and reporting of an independent student selected project.

Eva Strand | | Spring semester (alternate years)

Wildland Restoration Ecology (REM 440, 3 credits) 


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). Prerequisites: FOR 221, or REM 221, or equivalent general ecology course. Hybrid, online with a five-day field trip.

Beth Newingham | | Spring semester

Rangeland Ecology (REM 459, 2 credits) 


Ecology of steppe, woodlands, and other semi-arid and arid ecosystems that occupy nearly 50% of the world's land surface. We discuss major ecological principles and processes that influence the function of rangeland ecosystems focusing on succession, disturbance (e.g. herbivory, fire, and climatic variation), and nutrient cycling. Diversity and sustainability of ecosystems are ever- increasing important considerations. We will discuss these topics as they are currently applied to rangelands. Examples from other types of ecosystems, such as wetlands, tide marshes, and temperate forests are included.

Eva Strand | | Fall semester| Sample Syllabus

Air Quality, Pollution, and Smoke (FOR J554, 3 credits) 


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.

 Alistair Smith | | Spring semester

Principles of Vegetation Measurement and Assessment (REM 410, 2 credits) 


Overview of vegetation measurement techniques for grasslands, shrublands, woodlands, and forests. Students will gain a solid understanding of how to assess and monitor vegetation attributes relative to wildlife habitat, livestock forage, fire fuel characteristics, watershed function, and many other wildland values. Recommended Preparation: A basic statistics course and understanding of how to use computer spreadsheets such as Excel.

Beth Newingham | | Fall semester

Ecological Monitoring & Assessment (REM 411, 2 credits) 


Methods for inventory and monitoring of ecosystems; basic field sampling techniques used for measuring vegetation and soil attributes related to ecosystem function and land management; evaluation of plant communities and soil will be interpreted with respect to ecological function, watershed protection, and value as livestock and wildlife habitat. Hybrid, online with a required field trip.

Beth Newingham | | Spring semester

GIS Applications in Fire Ecology & Management (REM 407 / REM J510, 2 credits)


Designed to give you an in-depth understanding of how geographical information systems are applied in fire ecology and management. You will be introduced to GIS applications in fire ecology, research, and management including incident mapping and fire progression mapping. You will apply GIS overlay analysis, remote sensing fire severity assessments, fire atlas analysis, and explore the role of GIS in the Fire Regime Condition Class concept using LANDFIRE spatial data.

 Camille Stevens-Rumann| | Spring semester| Sample Syllabus


Visit or email for information about the Masters of Natural Resources Program. For answers to questions about courses and Certificate in Fire Ecology, Management and Technology, contact, or call 208-885-7952.