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 GEOL 5790. (RG5432)

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 (RG5433).

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. Geospatial Techniques for Environmental Management

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Graded

Introduction to collecting, managing, displaying, and analyzing geospatial data. Modules include geographic information systems (GIS), relational database management systems (RDBMS), Global Positioning System (GPS), geospatial modeling, geoprocessing tools.

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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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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

2.00 - 3.00 credits

Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Graded

Advanced Stream Ecology is intended to introduce graduate students to the current state of knowledge and research in rivers and streams. Topics will include both basic structure and function of stream habitats and biotic assemblages as well as branch into the management and conservation applications of ecological information. Term project and paper is required. Instructor consent required - students with previous stream ecology coursework (such as NRME 3205) may take the course for 2 credits and attend the single weekly meeting. Students lacking a basic introduction to stream ecology may take the course for 3 credits and will attend NRME 3205 lectures in addition to the weekly meeting.

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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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5535. Remote Sensing Imaging 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. (RG5050)

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. Geospatial Data Processing Techniques

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Graded

Research approaches and techniques in geospatial analysis, enabling students to pursue integrated research in earth resources data geoprocessing applications. A variety of computer-based tools, including remote sensing, geographic information systems (GIS), and global positioning satellite (GPS), will be utilized in the acquisition, analysis, and presentation of digital earth resource data and information.

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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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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. (RG5434)

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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