Natural Resource Ecology and Management
The School of Renewable Natural Resources offers a B.S in Natural Resource Ecology and Management. The curriculum is diverse with opportunities to study wetlands, wildlife, conservation biology, fisheries, aquaculture, forestry, habitat management, and law enforcement. Additionally, students in this program may prepare for careers as wildlife-oriented veterinarians. This program differs from traditional biology programs by integrating a hands-on approach to learning and introducing resource policy, regulations, and human aspects of resource research and management. Students in this program can expect field experiences in forests, wetlands, and in the water. Importantly, unlike similar programs, the focus will be on habitats, animal populations and communities, people management, and less on individual animals in this program.
This curriculum is designed to offer students the opportunity to be certified professional scientists by The Wildlife Society, American Fisheries Society, or the Society of Wetland Scientists. Graduates work for state or federal wildlife and fisheries or land management agencies, non-governmental organizations (e.g., The Nature Conservancy), private or publicly-held environmental consulting firms, or pursue veterinary school or graduate education toward advanced, research-oriented degrees.
Unique facilities and resources are one of the hallmarks of the B.S in Natural Resource Ecology and Management. Students will have the opportunity to take courses and have access to the School’s Lee Memorial Forest that has dorms and teaching facilities and is an actively managed forest. Additionally, the School has vans and trucks for off-campus field trips and activities.
Students in the B.S in Natural Resources Ecology and Management have nine options for specialization. Three options are oriented to the management of animal populations and their habitats (Conservation Biology, Fisheries and Aquaculture, and Wildlife Ecology), two options focus on conservation and restoration of habitats (Wildlife Habitat Conservation and Management and Wetland Science), three options prepare students for ecological restoration and forest management, and one option prepares students for veterinary school.
- Conservation Biology Area of Concentration
- Students in this specialization are interested stopping loss (conserving) rare, uncommon, threatened, or endangered species. Students are interested in learning about habitat manipulations and genetic approaches to enhancing these species.
- Students are prepared for managing, conserving, and enhancing populations of aquatic organisms in the wild or through the use of aquaculture. Commercial aspects of fisheries and aquaculture also will be explored.
- Students in this concentration are interested in managing habitats to promote wildlife. Students in this concentration may take two paths. One focuses on wetland wildlife habitat, and the other offers greater experience with forest management including an 8-week forestry camp off-campus at Lee Memorial Forest.
- The Wetland Science Area of Concentration was designed for students who wish to specialize in wetlands, which are valued as wildlife and fish habitat, for maintaining water quality, and for economic benefits.
- Students study a broader range of wildlife than other specializations, including recreationally and culturally important game species and ecologically important non-game species. Students participate in a two-week camp off-campus at Lee Memorial Forest. Students are generally preparing for pursuit of advanced degrees.
- Students are preparing for a career as a wildlife or zoo veterinarian. These veterinarians do not typically work in clinics. Rather, these veterinarians work for state or federal agencies, non-governmental environmental organizations, wildlife rehabilitation facilities, or zoos and aquariums. This option includes all of the courses required for application to the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine. Students interest in more traditional veterinary medicine, with a focus on companion animals or livestock, should check out the LSU School of Animal Science.
- Students in this specialization are interested in using the principles of forestry and natural resource management to conserve and restore impacted landscapes.
- Students are prepared for the diverse challenges of managing forested landscapes for various sustainable uses. This area of concentrations is specifically designed to assist the student into becoming a Certified Forester.
- Students in this specialization focus on the business aspects of forestry and wood products. Forestry is the largest agricultural sector in Louisiana, and forest products and enterprises contribute greatly to local, state, and national economies.
A number of scholarships are offered to students in the program in addition to those offered by the College of Agriculture and LSU. After 14 day of class, in the Fall Semester, the scholarship committee meets and awards scholarships based on G.P.A. and individual scholarship requirements. In any given year, 15-20 scholarships may be awarded. Scholarship information (LSU, College of Agriculture, and the School of Renewable Natural Resources) is provided here.