What are Rangelands


Rangelands affect us all. They comprise over 40% of the landmass of the world and provide valuable grazing lands for livestock and wildlife. Rangelands serve as a source of high quality water, clean air and open spaces and benefit people as a setting for recreation and economic means for agriculture, mining and communities.

What are rangelands?

Rangelands are a type of land on which the natural vegetation is dominated by grasses, forbs and shrubs and the land is managed as a natural ecosystem.

Where are rangelands?

Global extent of major rangeland cover types:

  • Grassland 42%
  • Shrubland 23%
  • Woodland 12%
  • Other (tundra, desert, forest) 23%

What goods and services are derived from rangelands?

Rangelands serve multiple purposes as:

  • a habitat for a wide array of game and non-game animal species;
  • a habitat for a diverse and wide array of native plant species;
  • a source of high quality water, clean air and open spaces;
  • a setting for recreational hiking, camping, fishing, hunting and nature experiences;
  • the foundation for low-input, fully renewable food and fiber production systems of grazing industries.

Because of the diversity of goods and services derived from rangelands, their management and health are linked closely to the economic well being of many communities.

Why a degree in Rangeland Sciences?

Our students go on to become professionals and leaders in a wide array of exciting careers. Students in the Department of Animal and Rangeland Sciences at Oregon State University are people who are learning how to make a difference for the future of Oregon and the world!

As a student you will have numerous opportunities to apply your classroom knowledge to field experiences so you will be prepared to enter the professional arena. We are proud to be able to offer students the benefit of many strong partnerships we have forged through the years with State and Federal land use agencies, private industries, non-profit organizations, as well as a generous welcome from numerous private land owners. As a professional, you will be concerned with the restoration, improvement, conservation, ecology, and use of rangelands.

Facilities for study include classroom and field-oriented educational environments both on campus and at locations throughout Oregon. Field trips are taken in conjunction with specific courses. Because the Department of Animal and Rangeland Sciences is moderately sized, students enjoy a high degree of exposure to all the department professors and to their advisor.

As a Rangeland Sciencest professional, you will find employment opportunities are abundant. It is estimated that there are three jobs for every one of our graduates. Employment prospects for graduates with a bachelor's degree in the Rangeland Ecology and Management field are excellent.

The Department of Animal and Rangeland Sciences is accredited by the Society for Range Management and is recognized throughout the country as one of the leading institutions of rangeland management.