Graduate Course Descriptions

The following directory lists the graduate courses which the University expects to offer, although the University in no way guarantees that all such courses will be offered in any given academic year, and reserves the right to alter the list if conditions warrant. Click on the links below for a list of courses in that subject area. You may then click “View Classes” to see scheduled classes for individual courses.

5115. Field Methods in Hydrogeology

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: Not open to students who have passed GSCI 5790.

Grading Basis: Graded

Field methods associated with ground water and contamination assessments.

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5135. Water Transport in Soils

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Graded

Application of the principles of transport of water in soil for various physical properties of soils and fluids, initial conditions and boundary conditions. The differential equations describing the movement of energy and mass for both saturated and unsaturated flow conditions will be applied to soil evaporation and plant transpiration, infiltration and percolation of wetting fronts, and movement of tracers and chemical constituents of water. Both uniform flow and preferential flow will be examined.

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5145. Environmental Biophysics

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Graded

Gas laws and transport processes. Radiation environment. Momentum, heat, and mass transfer. Steady-state and transient energy balance. Microclimate of plants and animals. Physical and physiological interactions between plants/animals and their environment.

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5150. Ecosystem Science and Management

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Graded

Ecosystem biogeochemical processes, the organism-environment interactions that regulate them, and natural resources management strategies that explicitly consider ecosystem structure and function.

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5155. Principles of Nonpoint Source Pollution

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Graded

An advanced investigation of sources, impacts, modeling and management of nonpoint sources of water pollution.

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5165. Advanced Ground Water Hydrology

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: Not open to students who have passed GSCI 5710.

Grading Basis: Graded

Covers ground water resource assessment, management and protection, understanding the flow of ground water in fractured rock, application of tracer studies in evaluating flow conditions.

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5175. Climate and Environmental Systems Modeling

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: Recommended preparation: Undergraduate calculus I, II

Grading Basis: Graded

How physical processes in climate and environmental systems - such as atmospheric motion, hydrological processes and transport of atmospheric constituents - are represented in numerical models. Topics include classification of numerical models, steps in climate and environmental (mathematical) modeling, conservation theories of mass and energy, mass balance equations, numerical techniques, and initial and boundary conditions.

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5200. Sustainable Natural Resources Management

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Graded

Explores social-ecological systems, including relationships between ecosystem services and human well-being and livelihoods; introduces systems theory for understanding disturbance, feedbacks, thresholds, directional change, adaptation and resilience in social-ecological systems; includes applied case studies in sustainable agriculture, fisheries, forestry, freshwater, marine, and wildlife.

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5205. Decision Methods in Natural Resources

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Graded

Aspects and methods of decision making for individuals, organizations, and institutions, including structured decision making, adaptive resource management, and organizational learning; concepts and techniques for managing risk and uncertainty, model-based and experience-based approaches to link alternative actions and consequences, tradeoff and optimization approaches, and monitoring and evaluation of resulting outcomes.

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5210. Communications for Environmental Decision Makers

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Graded

Methods and techniques for effective communication with diverse audiences using written, spoken, and digital media; includes conflict resolution, crisis situations, persuasion, negotiation, marketing and advocacy.

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5215. Introduction to Geospatial Analysis with Remote Sensing

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Graded

Introduction to collecting, managing, displaying, and analyzing geospatial data. Topics include coordinate systems, finding and using existing sources of geospatial data, analysis of vector and raster data, creating geospatial data with remote sensing, concepts of Global Positioning System (GPS), topographic and landscape analyses, and spatial interpolation.

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5220. Environmental Planning for Sustainable Communities and Regions

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Graded

Principles of environmental planning with application to human health, natural areas, working landscapes, and built environments; basis and context for planning, including laws, regulations, zoning, compliance, uncertainty, and risk management.

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5252. Physiology and Ecology of Trees

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Graded

An examination of the interactions between trees and their environment at the molecular, individual and forest stand scales. Lectures and reviews of current research span at least two spatial scales of organization for each course topic. Course topics include tree carbon balance, water relations, mineral nutrition, morphology, genomics, phenology, climate change and modeling.

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5255. Water Quality Management

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: Recommended preparation: NRE 3125. Not open for credit to students who have passed NRE 3155.

Grading Basis: Graded

An introduction to all aspects of water quality problems relating to the many beneficial uses of water, including the physical, chemical, and biological properties. Taught with NRE 3155.

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5325. Wildlife Management

1.00 - 6.00 credits

Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Graded

The application of ecological principles as practiced by natural resource agencies throughout North America.

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5335. Advanced Stream Ecology

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: Instructor consent. Not open for credit to students who have passed NRE 4205.

Grading Basis: Graded

A broad overview of stream ecology will be presented. Topics covered will include stream habitats and the diversity of organisms which inhabit them, adaptations to life in running water, and energy flow and nutrient cycling in stream ecosystems. Efforts targeted at the conservation of streams will be integrated throughout the semester. One or more field trips required. Instructor consent required. Taught with NRE 4205.

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5340. Ecotoxicology

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: Recommended preparation: prior coursework in ecology or environmental biology, and environmental chemistry.

Grading Basis: Graded

Introduction to the current state of environmental toxicology knowledge and research. Relevant concepts in ecosystem science, toxicology, and public health are taught within the framing of historic and current case studies of environmental contamination problems. Term paper and presentation are required.

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5370. Population Dynamics

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: Recommended preparation: STAT 1100Q, MATH 1060Q or higher, and NRE 3345.

Grading Basis: Graded

How population dynamics models are used in science and in the management of fish and wildlife populations, factors influencing population dynamics. Design, evaluation, and use of a population model. Students will complete activities in the R scripting language. Taught concurrently with NRE 4370.

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5390. Advanced Wetland Ecology

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: Instructor consent required. Recommended preparation: prior coursework in ecology and wetland science.

Grading Basis: Graded

The current state of wetlands research and field methods used to quantify wetland vegetation, hydrology, and soils. Discussions of the primary literature will be complemented by field trips to a variety of wetlands to implement field techniques and explore wetland natural history, classification, biogeochemistry, and responses to anthropogenic stressors.

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5461. Landscape Ecology

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Graded

Interdisciplinary focus on the effect of landscape pattern on environmental processes and conditions and the influence of disturbance and underlying geomorphology on landscape pattern. Consideration of landscape ecology principles in planning and management of pattern and processes in which conservation and production land uses are intermingled.

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5525. Remote Sensing of the Environment

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: Instructor consent.

Grading Basis: Graded

Introduction to remote sensing theory and practice. Includes electromagnetic radiation, spectral reflectance, earth observation platforms and sensors, image processing methods, and multidisciplinary applications.

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5535. Remote Sensing Image Processing

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: A course in remote sensing of the environment.

Grading Basis: Graded

A variety of related topics that include the physical processes involved in remote sensing and various image processing methods. The labs will be primarily focused on how to use image processing software (e.g., ENVI) to analyze satellite imagery.

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5545. Quantitative Remote Sensing Methods

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: A course in remote sensing image processing.

Grading Basis: Graded

Quantitative remote sensing methods for solving real-world problems, and methods for quantitative analysis of remotely sensed imagery plus various remote sensing applications.

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5555. GPS Surveying

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Graded

Theory and practice of global positioning system (GPS) surveying. Includes network design, control, geodectic coordinate systems, field collection of measurements, data processing, and interpretation of results.

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5560. High Resolution Remote Sensing: Applications of UAS and LiDAR

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Graded

Introduction to high-resolution remote sensing data and collection platforms. The first half of the course focuses on unmanned aerial systems (UAS) including operations, data collection, and post-processing of acquired data. Topics include laws, safety, and ethical considerations; mission planning, sensor selection, and photogrammetric processing of the collected data in commercial software. The second half of the course focuses on the fundamentals of light detection and ranging (LiDAR) and applications of LiDAR in mapping and environmental analysis. Topics include LiDAR point-cloud visualization and interpretation, creation of digital elevation and surface models, and feature extraction using ArcGIS and LAS Tools.

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5575. Natural Resource Applications of Geographic Information Systems

4.00 credits

Prerequisites: Not open to students who have passed NRE 4575.

Grading Basis: Graded

The principles and applications of computer-assisted spatial data analysis in natural resources management will be covered. Both hypothetical and actual case studies of the use of geographic information systems (GIS) to solve natural resource problems will be discussed. Raster- and vector-oriented, microcomputer-based GIS software will serve as the hands-on tools for students.

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5585. Python Scripting for Geospatial Analysis

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Graded

GIS scripting techniques in Python for geospatial analyses, enabling students to pursue integrated research in earth resources data geoprocessing applications.

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5605. Environmental Data Analysis

3.00 credits | May be repeated for a total of 3 credits.

Prerequisites: Recommended preparation: a course in introductory linear algebra and introductory statistics.

Grading Basis: Graded

Develop proficiency in fundamental data analytic techniques in the R scripting language commonly used in environmental science and engineering with applications spanning practice and research. Topics include: trend detection, numerical approaches to model fitting, cluster analysis, and introductory machine learning methods.

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5610. Technical Writing and LaTeX

2.00 - 3.00 credits

Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Graded

Students learn how to write technical articles and theses using the LaTeX document preparation system. Subjects include grammar, punctuation, technical-writing style elements, citations and bibliographies, plagiarism, and LaTeX. Students are required to install LaTeX on a computer in order to complete assignments. English language learners may take the course for three units with permission of the instructor.

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5694. Natural Resources Seminar

1.00 credits | May be repeated for a total of 4 credits.

Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Graded

Active participation in weekly natural resources seminars given by invited speakers.

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5695. Special Topics in Natural Resources

1.00 - 4.00 credits | May be repeated for a total of 6 credits.

Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Graded

Advanced topics in the field of natural resources. Topics and credits to be published prior to the registration period preceding the semester offerings.

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5698. Natural Resources Colloquium

1.00 - 6.00 credits | May be repeated for a total of 6 credits.

Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Graded

Study and discussion of readings (journal articles, books, current research) on a selected topic in natural resources.

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5699. Independent Study

1.00 - 3.00 credits | May be repeated for a total of 18 credits.

Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Graded

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5800. Graduate Seminar

1.00 credits | May be repeated for a total of 4 credits.

Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory

The mechanism of presenting and moderating a professional presentation. Topics include presentation, organization, speaking skills, use of media technology, formulation of questions, and moderator activities.

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5830. Internship in Energy and Environmental Management

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: NRE 5200, 5220, or LAW 7812; open to majors or non-degree students in the Master of Energy and Environmental Management program, instructor consent required.

Grading Basis: Graded

Integrate core concepts of the Energy and Environmental Management program with planned and supervised experience in the public or private sector. Students complete an internship or research project that applies knowledge and skills, gains professional experience, and builds networks with prospective employers.

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5850. Practicum in Energy and Environmental Management

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: NRE 5200, 5220 and LAW 7812; instructor consent required.

Grading Basis: Graded

Application and synthesis of core concepts of the Energy and Environmental Management program with project-based work in student?s area of emphasis.

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6000. Research Methods in Natural Resources

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Graded

General research techniques, writing scientific articles and grant proposals, problem solving approaches, experimental design and modeling concepts, and research ethics.

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6135. Small Watershed Modeling

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Graded

Mathematical modeling of hydrologic processes in small watersheds and aquatic systems. Solutions of mass balance and flow relationships. Investigation of dynamic relationships among variables. Examples include: infiltration, overland flow, channel routing, chemical transport and transformations, surface-subsurface interactions and biotic growth and degradation.

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6175. Ground Water Modeling Applications

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: Not open to students who have passed GSCI 5720.

Grading Basis: Graded

Application of Modflow to ground water flow and contaminant problems. Well head protection modeling.

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6450. Teaching Practicum

3.00 credits | May be repeated for a total of 6 credits.

Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory

Doctoral students in the Natural Resources: Land, Water, and Air program take primary teaching responsibility for a course under the supervision of a faculty liaison.

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