RNG121 Wildland Ecology
Ecological principles will be applied to understand contemporary issues related to wildlands, specifically the rangeland biomes that comprises over 50% of the Earth's surface (FAO, SRM, USDA ERS). Topics to be covered fall into the following categories: Fundamentals of Ecology; Animals (wildlife & livestock); Disturbance (e.g., invasive species, fire, mineral extraction, etc.); Ecosystem Goods & Services (e.g., carbon sequestration, watersheds, biodiversity, recreation, etc.). The course will largely focus on U.S. wildlands, however a portion will examine the ecology and issues of international rangelands in Africa, Eurasia, Australia, and South America.
RNG341 Rangeland Ecology & Management
Foundational information and skills from which all-subsequent RNG courses built. RNG341 focuses on disturbance ecology using a new online textbook authored by top rangeland scientists and managers in the US. The course covers: a.) what are rangelands? b.) why are they important? c.) how do they function ecologically? d.) what are the drivers of change (historically and currently)? and e.) how have they been and are currently managed?
RNG352 Rangeland Ecology II - Shrublands
Introduces the ecology of shrubland, desert and woodland-savana communities, and explores the effects of land use and stressors such as temperature, drought, fire, and herbivory on plant biology and plant community dynamics. Covers life histories of common shrubs and descriptions of shrubland communities used to promote understanding of autecological principles.
RNG355 Desert Watershed Management
Fundamentals of watershed management and hydrologic function will be the foundation of this course. There will be a focus on (a) the hydrologic cycle as the connecting link among the components of watersheds; (b) the role of vegetation in maintaining healthy watersheds; and (c) the importance of and methods for increasing and regulating water yields, maintaining soil stability, and enhancing biological productivity. Students will become familiar with data collection and analysis techniques used by watershed managers. We will touch on some of the sociopolitical aspects of watershed management to increase our effectiveness in the public involvement processes that characterize watershed management approaches.
RNG421 Wildland Restoration
RNG421 is a 4-credit course designed for persons who will be responsible for assessing rangelands and developing and implementing restoration plans that bolster ecological resiliency and foster sustainable management. This course will take a landscape level approach to rangeland restoration and through a systems approach, students will apply ecological, restoration and management principles to formulate a restoration plan.
RNG441 Rangeland Analysis
Students will learn how to design a statistically sound rangeland assessment and monitoring program that correlates to management objectives. Students will learn a variety of monitoring methods and which ones are best suited for specific plant community attributes, management objectives, or landscape issues. Additionally students will become familiar with integrating monitoring data with commonly used rangeland monitoring and assessment tools such as state-and-transition models and GIS. Knowledge and skills developed in this course are similar to those expected of professional level natural resource managers and scientists.
RNG442 Rangeland Animal Relations (Changing to Sustainable Livestock Ranching)
Ecological principles of domesticated livestock grazing and their applications to manage rangelands will be discussed. The emphasis will be on sustainability of ecosystem goods and services in a grazed system. Grazing effects on individual plants, plant communities and ecosystems will be discussed as well as livestock distribution, nutrition, and production. Grazing systems and their management of ecosystem services will be presented as a balance to integrate sustainable livestock production and enhance environmental services.
RNG490 Rangeland Management (capstone course)
RNG490 is the capstone course for the Rangeland Sciences program. As a capstone course it is intended to provide an opportunity for students to integrate what they have learned over their academic career into a cohesive whole to address an issue or thoroughly examine a topic. Additionally this course will foster students developing knowledge and skills in the areas of leadership, planning, management approaches and communication.
ANS446 Grazing Livestock Production
Fundamentals of grazing management fundamentals and basic ruminant livestock (beef cattle, sheep & market goat) production knowledge. Course is focused on the terms, concepts, methods and calculations related to the livestock production and the livestock - plant/soil/water complex relationship. It is the prerequisite course for RNG442 Sustainable Livestock Production, in which students learn how to manipulate animals and natural resources to ensure sustained ecosystem goods and service delivery.