GS-454 Rangeland Management
The GS-454 Rangeland Management (0454) series covers positions that require primarily professional knowledge and competence in rangeland management to perform work involving the preservation, development, and management of rangelands. This includes the ability to analyze and protect the natural resources, to develop programs and standards for rangeland use and conservation, and to advise State officials, and private and Indian landowners in rangeland management practices. The basic title for this occupation is Rangeland Management Specialist.
The University of Idaho offers a variety of online courses in a broad range of topics that in combination with work experience may help you meet the GS-454 OPM Qualification Standards.
The GS-0454 OPM Qualification Standards are defined as one of the following:
- Degree: range management; or a related discipline that included at least 42 semester hours in a combination of the plant, animal, and soil sciences, and natural resources management, as follows:
- Range Management -- At least 18 semester hours of course work in range management, including courses in such areas as basic principles of range management, range plants, range ecology, range inventories and studies, range improvements, and ranch or rangeland planning.
- Directly Related Plant, Animal, and Soil Sciences -- At least 15 semester hours of directly related courses in the plant, animal, and soil sciences, including at least one course in each of these three scientific areas, i.e., plant, animal, and soil sciences. Courses in such areas as plant taxonomy, plant physiology, plant ecology, animal nutrition, livestock production, and soil morphology or soil classification are acceptable.
- Related Resource Management Studies -- At least 9 semester hours of course work in related resource management subjects, including courses in such areas as wildlife management, watershed management, natural resource or agricultural economics, forestry, agronomy, forages, and outdoor recreation management.
Please make sure to check with the appropriate Human Resources officer to ensure that our courses will qualify for the GS-454 OPM Qualification Standards. All are semester-based courses. Note some prerequisites can be waived by the individual College Departments and instructor. Check the University of Idaho master course schedule to ensure availability.
Suggested courses to meet Range Management requirements (18 semester hours)
Basic Principals Range Plants of Range Management
REM 151 – Rangeland Principles (3 credits)
Rangelands are vast landscapes that cover most of western North America and the earth. Students will examine the ecological principles that cause these grasslands, shrublands, woodlands and deserts to change or stay the same. How humans use and manage these ecosystems will also be explored. The modern challenges of rangeland management must be met with broad thinking and new, sustainable practices to maintain and restore rangelands and the human communities that rely on them. Course requires in-class projects and field experience(s).
REM 252 Wildland Plant Identification (2 credits)
Develop skills to identify and classify major rangeland plants. Focus is 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 1-day field trip. Required for REM majors. (Spring).
REM 440 – Wildland Restoration Ecology (3 credits)
The ecological restoration of disturbed ecosystems. Fundamental principles from ecology, ecophysiology, and community ecology are used in a systems ecology approach to examine how the structure and function of damaged ecosystems can be restored -- with the goal of establishing a stable and self-sustaining ecosystem.
Prereq: NR 321, FOR 221, REM 221, WLF 220, BIOL 314 or permission
REM 280 – Introduction to Wildland Restoration (2 credits)
History and overview of the ecological, social, and economic aspects of wildland restoration using case studies. Students will explore approaches and philosophies towards restoring and rehabilitating wildlands that have been damaged through natural forces and human activities such as wildfire, overgrazing, cultivation, and weed invasion.
Range Inventories and Studies
REM 410 – Principles of Vegetation Measurement (2 credits)
This course introduces theory and application of quantitative and qualitative methods for measuring and monitoring vegetation in grasslands, shrublands, woodlands, and forests. Students will gain a solid understanding of how to measure and evaluate vegetation attributes and design and implement monitoring programs relative to wildlife habitat, livestock forage, fire fuel characteristics, watershed function, and many other wildland values. (Fall only)
Recommended Preparation: A basic understanding of how to use computer spreadsheets such as Excel. Students are encouraged to also enroll in REM 460 for field experience in collecting vegetation data that will be used in this course. Graduate students should enroll in REM 520 - Advanced Vegetation Measurements and Monitoring.
Prereq: STAT 251 or permission
WLF 411 – Wildland Habitat Ecology and Assessment (2 credits)
This course integrates theoretical concepts with field sampling related to scientific research, wildlife habitat, and land management practices. Students collect, analyze, and report on ecological data in various formats, and learn specific protocols used by professionals to assess wildlife habitat. Class field trips are required for on-campus students and alternative field assignments will be required for remote, online students. Additional assignments required for graduate credit.
Recommended Preparation: REM 252 and REM 253, REM 341, or other plant identification class; introductory statistics course; ability to use excel. Co-enrollment in REM 410 is recommended.
REM 429 – Landscape Ecology (3 credits)
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. (Spring only)
Recommended Preparation: Familiarity with spreadsheet programs and problem-solving using computers.
Prereq: FOR 221 or REM 221
REM 459 – Rangeland Ecology (3 credits)
Application of ecological principles in rangeland management; stressing response and behavior of range ecosystems to various kinds and intensity of disturbance and management practice. Recommended Preparation: courses in general ecology (e.g., REM 221), technical writing (e.g., ENGL 317), and vegetation assessment (e.g., REM 410 or FOR 274) or Permission. Students are encouraged to also enroll in REM 460 for field experience in collecting vegetation data that will be used in this course.
Ranch or Rangeland Planning
REM 456 – Integrated Rangeland Management (3 credits)
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. (Spring only)
Recommended Preparation: REM 151.
Prereq: ENGL 313 or ENGL 317
Suggested courses to meet Related Plant, Animal, and Soil Sciences requirements (15 semester hours)
REM 341 – Systematic Botany (3 credits)
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 and Summer).
Prereq: BIOL 114 or BIOL 115; and BIOL 213 or PLSC 205
Suggested courses to meet Related Resource Management requirements (9 semester hours)
ENVS 450 – Environmental Hydrology (3 credits)
Comprehensive understanding of the hydrologic processes associated with the environmental processes. Includes components of the hydrologic cycle, analysis of precipitation and run off, evapotranspiration, routing, peak flow, infiltration, soil and water relationships, snowmelt, and frequency analysis. (Spring only)
Prereq: MATH 143 or vertically related higher course
FOR 326 – Fire Ecology (3 credits)
The global 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. Evolutionary plant adaptations to fire and mechanistic impacts of fire on organisms. Current issues in fire science in the Western US and globally, including readings and discussions of recent scientific literature.
Prereq: FOR 221, REM 221, or WLF 220
FOR 410 – Fire Effects and Management (3 credits)
Understanding fire effects is a very important part of fire management. This course will discuss the direct and indirect effects of fire on humans, soils, water, plants, and animals. In addition to learning the concepts surrounding fire effects, students will complete a literature review on an area of interest and will experience fire effects firsthand in the field.
Recommended preparation: FOR 221 or WLF 220.
FOR 451 – Fuels Inventory and Management (2 credits)
Tools, quantitative analysis, and approaches for inventory and management of fuels for wildland fires over large, diverse areas in forests, woodlands, shrubland, and grasslands. Critically review and synthesize relevant scientific literature.
Prereq: FOR 375, REM 144 and FOR 274 or WLF 411
GEOG 385 – GIS Primer (3 credits)
Intro to basic concepts and applications of geographic information systems (GIS), lab exercises on PC-based GIS packages. Two lectures and 2 hours of lab per week.
Prereq: basic knowledge of PC-based operating system.
FOR 454 – Air Quality, Pollution, and Smoke (3 credits)
Assessment of the controls and drivers of emission processes and impacts on air quality from fires, industry, and other natural sources. 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, atmospheric transport and deposition processes.
REM 407 – GIS Application in Fire Ecology and Management (2 credits)
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. Additional assignment/projects required for graduate credit. (Spring only)
Prereq: FOR 375 or GEOG 385; or Permission
WLF 440 – Conservation Biology (3 credits)
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