Undergraduate Program 

Natural Resource Ecology and Management (NREM), B.S.

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.Students in an airboat in the marsh

The  B.S. in Natural Resource Ecology and Management  curriculum is designed to offer students the opportunity to be certified professional scientists by The Wildlife Society, American Fisheries Society, the Society of Wetland Scientists, or the Society of American Foresters. The Forest Resource Management area of concentration is accredited by the Society of American Foresters (SAF). 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.

Students sampling on a sand dune at the beach

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 (Areas of Concentration - AoCs). Click each for a description of the program below. A link to the current  curriculum is provided.

Students holding a large turtle in its natural habitat
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.

These students generally find careers in nongame state and federal agencies working with species of conservation concern, like endangered species.

View the curriculum for an area of concentration in Conservation Biology  (B.S in Natural Resources Ecology and Management, NREM, 2021-2022 catalog).

Students using seining nets for sampling during class
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.

Career Possibilities: aquaculture specialist, conservation biologist, environmental lawyer (with additional education), wildlife or fisheries biologist or ecologist, wildlife or fisheries veterinarian (with additional education), wildlife law enforcement officer, forester, wetland scientist. Students find employment usually in state or federal positions or with environmental consulting firms. 

View the curriculum for an area of concentration in Fisheries and Aquaculture (B.S in Natural Resources Ecology and Management, NREM, 2021-2022 catalog).

Students releasing ducks to flight

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.

Career Possibilities: aquaculture specialist, conservation biologist, environmental lawyer (with additional education), wildlife or fisheries biologist or ecologist, wildlife or fisheries veterinarian (with additional education), wildlife law enforcement officer, forester, wetland scientist. This is the path for future state or federal biologists working with deer, turkey, or waterfowl or other large, well-known wildlife. 

View the curriculum for an area of concentration in Wildlife Ecology  (B.S in Natural Resources Ecology and Management, NREM, 2021-2022 catalog).

Students pose in the marsh for a photo opportunity
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.

Career Possibilities: aquaculture specialist, conservation biologist, environmental lawyer (with additional education), wildlife or fisheries biologist or ecologist, wildlife or fisheries veterinarian (with additional education), wildlife law enforcement officer, forester, wetland scientist. 

View the curriculum for an area of concentration in Wetland Science  (B.S in Natural Resources Ecology and Management, NREM, 2021 - 2022 catalog).

Students study the local ecology of a wooded area

Students in this specialization are interested in using the principles of forestry and natural resource management to conserve and restore impacted landscapes.

Career Possibilities: aquaculture specialist, conservation biologist, environmental lawyer (with additional education), wildlife or fisheries biologist or ecologist, wildlife or fisheries veterinarian (with additional education), wildlife law enforcement officer, forester, wetland scientist.

Students in this concentration have a diversity of employment opportunities with environmental consulting firms and state and federal agencies.

View the curriculum for an area of concentration in Ecological Restoration  (B.S in Natural Resources Ecology and Management, NREM, 2021-2022 catalog).

Students taking measurements on a forest plot
Students are prepared for the diverse challenges of managing forested landscapes for various sustainable uses. This area of concentration has been accredited by the Society of American Foresters (SAF) since 1937, and student with this AOC can become certified foresters.

Students in this concentration have a diversity of employment opportunities with the forest industry, environmental consulting firms, and state and federal agencies.

View the curriculum for an area of concentration in Forest Resource Management (B.S in Natural Resources Ecology and Management, NREM, 2021-2022 catalog).

Students practice logging skills at regional conclave
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.

View the curriculum for an area of concentration in Forest Enterprise (B.S in Natural Resources Ecology and Management, NREM, 2021-2022 catalog).

Students and faculty discuss a wildlife habitat issue in a forested area
Students in this concentration are interested in managing habitats to promote wildlife. Compared with other wildlife concentrations, students in this concentration gain greater experience with forest management including an 8-week forestry camp off-campus at Lee Memorial Forest.

Students in this concentration have a diversity of employment opportunities with environmental consulting firms and state and federal agencies.

View the curriculum for an area of concentration in Wildlife Habitat Conservation and Management (B.S in Natural Resources Ecology and Management, NREM, 2021-2022 catalog).

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.

These students intend to pursue unconventional veterinary careers studying wildlife diseases, practicing with exotic animals, and in zoo management.

View the curriculum for an area of concentration in Pre-Veterinary Medicine - Wildlife & Fisheries (B.S in Natural Resources Ecology and Management, NREM, 2021-2022 catalog).

Six NREM Areas of Concentration (AoCs) Receive Accreditation from the Society of American Foresters

[Jan 2017] Six areas of concentration are now accredited by the Society of American Foresters.

Three of the AoCs (Forest Resource Management, Forest Enterprise, and Wildlife Habitat Conservation and Management) meet the standards for accreditation under SAF’s traditional Forestry program. The other three AoCs (Conservation Biology, Ecological Restoration, and Wetland Science) meet the standards for accreditation under SAF’s new program called Natural Resource and Ecosystem Management.

Accreditation is a mark of academic quality, a demonstration of accountability, and a promise of continued planning for the future.

The forestry program in RNR has been continuously accredited by SAF since 1936, the first year SAF started its 81-year-old accreditation program. The Society of American Foresters established the standards for accrediting natural resource and ecosystem management programs in 2014 to create educational criteria that train resource professional in the art and science of sustaining ecosystem composition, structure, and function that satisfy long-term objectives. RNR’s long history of accreditation reflects the School’s ability to identify and respond to the evolving needs of society from its natural resources.

 Certification and Licensure

Whereas licensure or certification may be available in this field of study, our program does not directly or automatically lead to such licensure or certification upon graduation. Depending on concentration, the professional preparation that you receive in our program meets the educational requirements for certification as an Associate/Certified Fisheries Professional, Associate/Certified Wildlife Biologist, Professional Wetland Scientist, Certified Forester, or a state licensed forester, and the program may still assist you in such pursuits; however, the certification and licensure process falls under the jurisdiction of the individual professional society issuing the certification or jurisdiction of the licensing board for the state, territory, or foreign entity in which a forester practices. Those individuals pursuing state forester licensure or Certified Forester should enroll in certain concentrations in this program that are accredited for forestry and natural resource areas by the Society of American Foresters. If you intend to obtain such credentialing, we strongly advise you to contact the applicable professional society (American Fisheries Society, Society of American Foresters, Society of Wetland Scientists, or The Wildlife Society) to familiarize yourself with its specific requirements, which frequently include additional non-coursework requirements. For state forester licensure information, we strongly advise you to contact the Alabama, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New Hampshire, North Carolina, South Carolina, Vermont, or West Virginia state boards of licensure and regulation. Alternatively, you are welcome to contact Dr. Michael Kaller (mkalle1@lsu.edu) with questions in this regard, and we will do our best to assist you in your career planning.

Contact

Dr. Mike Kaller
George William Barineau Jr. Professor and
Curriculum Coordinator,
105 Renewable Natural Resources Bldg
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, LA 70803

Email Dr. Mike Kaller