Courses


Fire Ecology and Management

FOR 426-2, 3 credits | Camille Stevens-Rumann | Fall semester 

This course covers fire ecology of multiple ecosystems and relates them to challenging fire management issues. This course is often taken by senior undergraduate students and graduate students. There are readings from science literature and you must write short papers addressing ecologically-based fire management issues. Exams are on Blackboard and include short answer essay as well as comparing and contrasting and applying different fire terms and concepts. 

Fire Ecology 

FOR 526, 3 credits | Penelope Morgan | Fall semester 

This graduate course provides an 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. I have high expectations of my students for their ability to synthesize science information, and to write concisely in style of scientific journals. We cover restoration ecology, fire and climate change, and other ecological issues, but this is not a course on fire management. 

Plant Ecophysiology 

REM 560-40, 3 credits | Ronald Robberecht | Fall semester 

Functional responses and adaptations of individual plant species to their environment, emphasizing morphological and physiological mechanisms that influence plant establishment, the physical environment, below- and above-ground productivity, and plant interactions such as competition, herbivory, and allelopathy. 

Rangeland Community Ecology 

REM 459, 2 credits | Stephen Bunting | Fall semester 

A discussion on the major ecological principles and processes that influence the function of rangeland ecosystems. Ecological processes are similar across all types of ecosystems. However, some processes are more important determinants in some ecosystems than in others. We will focus on those processes that greatly influence the function of rangeland ecosystems such as 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. I will often use examples from other types of ecosystems, such as wetlands, tide marshes, and temperate forests, to illustrate particular points. 

Wetland Restoration 

FISH 540, 3 credits | Lynaire Banks | Fall semester 

This web-based course contains modules covering wetland science, restoration ecology, freshwater restoration, coastal restoration, and monitoring/maintenance. The emphasis is on the science of wetland ecosystems and the applied ecology/practice of restoration, with additional consideration of cultural and socio-political contexts. Extensive readings, an assignment, and a study guide are required for each module. Students apply their learning in and contribute relevant professional experience to weekly online discussions. Students are also responsible for obtaining documentation of at least one wetland restoration site in their region and conducting a site visit in order to evaluate the success of the restoration project. A final exam (re-design of a failed restoration project) is administered online, with partial credit earned through discussion with an interdisciplinary team of classmates and the remaining credit earned through individual analysis and synthesis. 

Wildland Restoration Ecology 

REM 440, 3 credits | James Kingery | Spring semester 

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. 

Restoration Ecology Practicum 

CSS 580, 2 credits | Charles Harris | Summer session 

Capstone experience in the Restoration Ecology Certificate Program. Students work independently to develop plan for implementing and assessing the success of ecological restoration; plan must synthesize literature, concepts, and challenges; plan shall be written with graphics and electronic submission for possible Internet publication.

Environmental Hydrology 

BAE 450-2, 3 credits | Jan Boll | Spring semester 

This course is designed for non-engineers in the fields of environmental science, natural resources, geography, soil science, and other related sciences. The overall objective of this course is to provide a comprehensive understanding of hydrologic processes associated with environmental processes and to develop initial conceptual evaluations that are part of most assessments. 

GIS Applications in Natural Resources 

NR 502, 1-2 credits | Eva Strand | Spring semester

Application of GIS principles to natural resource problems. Topics include GIS/GPS integration, habitat inventory, site suitability studies, risk assessment, sources of spatial data, map accuracy, etc. ArcView software and extensions will be used in hands on exercises. 

GIS Applications in Fire Ecology and Management  

REM 407, 2 credits | Eva Strand | Spring semester 

Introduces applications of GIS in fire ecology, research, and management including incident mapping, fire progression mapping, GIS overlay analysis, remote sensing fire severity assessments, fire atlas analysis and the role of GIS in the Fire Regime Condition Class concept and the National Fire Plan. 

Principles of Vegetation Measurement/Assessment  

REM 410, 2 credits | Karen Launchbaugh | Fall semester 
 
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. 

Principles of Environmental Toxicology 

ENVS 409/509 or FS 409/509, 3 credits | Gregory Moller | Fall semester 

Fundamental toxicological concepts including dose-response relationships, absorption of toxicants, distribution and storage of toxicants, biotransformation and elimination of toxicants, target organ toxicity and teratogenesis, mutagenesis, and carcinogenesis; chemodynamics of environmental contaminants including transport, fate, and receptors; chemicals of environmental interest and how they are tested and regulated; risk assessment fundamentals. Students registering for FS 509 are required to prepare an additional in-depth report. 

Food Toxicology 

FS 464/564, 3 credits | Gregory Moller | Fall semester

General principles of toxicologic evaluation of chemicals, which intentionally or unintentionally enter the food chain. Toxicology of food additives, colors, preservatives, drugs, pesticides and natural toxins in foods and risk characterization. Additional projects/assignments required for graduate credit. This is a cooperative course available to WSU degree-seeking students.

Water and Energy Systems 

ENVS 483/583, 3 credits | Gary Johnson | Fall semester 

The class covers the basic science of water and energy and the applied interrelationships of those two resources in today's society. The broad spectrum coverage of the topic includes the energy linkage to both the supply and demand of water and also the water linkage to the supply of and demand for energy. The class includes development of systems dynamics models for describing the resource interactions. 

Hydrologic Applications of GIS and Remote Sensing

GEOG 424/524, 3 credits | Karen Humes | Fall semester 

Concepts of area-based hydrologic modeling and assessment and the various types of spatially distributed information commonly used in these activities, such as topographic data, vegetation cover, soils and meteorologic data. Hands-on experience in manipulating these types of data sets for hydrologic applications. 

Managing Scientific Projects 

BUS 551, 3 credits | John Lawrence | Fall semester 

Study of business principles needed to manage scientific projects with emphasis on accounting, financial, and scheduling concepts. Course topics include revenue and cost analysis, analysis of financial return, assessing project impact on financial statements, budgeting, project scheduling and capacity planning, risk management, and project control. 

Management of Scientific Innovation  

BUS 552, 3 credits | John Lawrence | Spring semester 

Study of business and economic principles needed to manage scientific innovation with emphasis on strategy, organizational leadership, and marketing concepts. Course topics include the role of innovation in strategy, the development of systems and processes that support innovation, the management of technical teams, the commercialization and regulation of scientific innovation, and the protection of intellectual property. 

Public Relations and Communication for Resource Management Professionals  

CSS 504, 3 credits | Charles Harris | Fall semester 

This course focuses on key concepts, principles and practices of good public relations and social marketing - and in particular, their application for more effective resource management. Ensuring clear communications, good public relations, and positive, constructive dealings with both internal publics (organization employees) as well as external publics (clients, special interests, the general public) is critical for sound resource management, results-oriented planning, and productive policy development. 

Environmental Philosophy 

ENVS 552 or PHIL 552, 3 credits | Department of Philosophy | Spring semester 

Philosophical examination of various ethical, metaphysical, and legal issues concerning humans, nature, and the environment; issues covered may include biodiversity and species protection, animal rights, radical ecology, environmental racism, wilderness theory, population control, and property rights. Additional projects/assignments required for graduate credit. 

Human Dimensions in Restoration Ecology 

CSS 572, 3 credits | Charles Harris | Spring semester 

An in-depth investigation of multidimensional human considerations, including economic, social, and cultural values and the role they play in maintaining, restoring, or sustaining ecosystems. Explores the premise that projects designed for the restoration and sustainable management of ecosystems and associated resources must be economically viable and socially desirable as well as ecologically sound to be successful. The rationale for this course is that consideration of human values and the issues they raise are as important for resource management and planning as ecological values. Key issues for society and management include: determining who decides what the desirable condition for an ecosystem is, what that desirable condition for an ecosystem should be, how and when that condition is to be attained, and how economic, social, and cultural values will be affected and mitigated, where possible. 

Principles of Sustainability 

ENVS 504-2, 3 credits | Gregory Moller | Fall and spring semesters 

This online course is a digital walkabout on the primary concepts, principles, and issues of sustainability. This course is intended for upper division or graduate level university students. Rather than lectures, the course has ten Chapters, each with several Parts that detail the Chapter topic area. This course is an experiment in PowerPoint-free courseware, and the course material is presented by information intensive doculectures filmed on-location or in a studio. It is our target that the information intensity of these doculectures captures that of a well-developed university lecture, but with the dynamic sights and sounds of an HD documentary to enhance learning. All instructional doculectures will be downloadable to mobile devices. 

Environmental Politics and Policy 

CSS 504-2, 3 credits | Patrick Wilson | Summer session 

This course explores the complex, multi-faceted issues and institutional structures that shape environmental politics in the United States. It examines the role of various institutional actors (Congress, President, Courts) in environmental policymaking, considers the relationship between politics and science, and the role of the market solutions to environmental protection challenges. Specific topics include energy and environmental politics, global issues and questions (population, food, climate change), and the future of American environmentalism. 

Integrated Rangeland Management 

REM 456, 3 credits | Karen Launchbaugh | Spring semester 

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. Students are required to participate in a one one-week field trip. 

Natural Resource Policy Development 

FOR 584, 3 credits | Jo Ellen Force | Fall semester 

The development of natural resource policy with emphasis on the policy process at the federal level in the U.S.; the role of and interrelationships between staff, committees, agencies and elected officials; the relationship of science and scientists with policy and politicians in the development of natural resource policy, including preparation of testimony related to natural resource science and policy issues; implementation of policy within the natural resource agencies and judicial interpretation of major natural resource policies in the U.S. 

Planning & Decision Making for Watershed Management 

CSS 573, 3 credits | Charles Harris | Fall and Summer semesters 

Focus on ecological and human factors in process-oriented approaches to watershed analysis and planning for effective decision-making; emphasis on practical applications of current tools and approaches, e.g., GIS, MAU Theory, collaborative management. 

Nonprofit Fundraising 

COMM 456, 3 credits | Sharon Harvey | Fall semester 

Explores theory and practice of fundraising for nonprofit groups. Surveys public campaigns and communication strategies, fundraising methods, ethics of fundraising, and fundraising leadership/management. Students will develop methods of evaluation for fundraising, and do so by case studies and preparation for fundraising campaigns. 

Ecotourism Principles and Issues 

CSS 404/492, 3 credits | Sam Ham | Spring semester 

This course will introduce you to the study of ecotourism. We will examine both its ideology and Conceptual foundations as well as the major issues surrounding its growth around the world. Among these issues are the promised benefits of ecotourism (ranging from environmental and cultural sustainability to economic development, environmental awareness and even world peace). We will also look at the downsides of ecotourism, including environmental degradation, sociocultural impacts, economic leakage and the ecological footprint of international travel. Our goal will be to arrive at a better understanding of these issues and a clearer interpretation of what they might actually mean (or not mean) in the context of the “triple bottom line” of ecotourism (environmental, economic and cultural sustainability). 

Pollution Prevention 

ENVS 428, 3 credits | Maxine Dakins | Fall semester 

Basic concepts of pollution prevention and waste minimization; pollution prevention strategies and case studies for solid waste, hazardous waste, water and energy use, and air pollution. 

Energy Efficiency and Conservation 

ENVS 485, 3 credits | Gary Johnson | Fall semester

Includes aspects of science, policy, and economics of energy use and efficiency measures. Considers use trends and existing and potential efficiencies primarily on a national scale with some consideration of both global and local situations. Focuses on residential and transportation energy with some coverage of commercial and industrial energy use.