Jul 26, 2021  
2021-2022 General Catalog 
2021-2022 General Catalog

Wildland Resources

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Department Head: Karen E. Mock
Location: Natural Resources 206
Phone: (435) 797-2503
FAX: (435) 797-3796
E-mail: marsha.bailey@usu.edu
WWW: http://qcnr.usu.edu/wild

Undergraduate Advisor: Shelly Kotynek, Natural Resources 120, (435) 797-2473, shelly.kotynek@usu.edu

Degrees offered: Bachelor of Science (BS) in Conservation and Restoration Ecology, Forest Ecology and Management, Rangeland Ecology and Management, and Wildlife Ecology and Management; Master of Science (MS) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Ecology, Forestry, Range Science, and Wildlife Biology

Graduate specializations: MS, PhD in Ecology—Conservation Biology, Forest Ecology, Wildlife Ecology; MS, PhD in Range Science—Range Animal Nutrition, Range Management; MS, PhD in Wildlife Biology—Wildlife Management

Full details of the learning objectives, assessment plan, student outcomes, and evidence of continuous improvement can be found at qcnr.usu.edu/wild/about/assessment/undergrad_assessment for Wildland Resources undergraduate programs of study and at  qcnr.usu.edu/wild/about/assessment/grad_assessment for graduate programs of study.

Undergraduate Programs


The Department of Wildland Resources offers four undergraduate degrees: Conservation and Restoration Ecology, Forest Ecology and Management, Rangeland Ecology and Management, and Wildlife Ecology and Management. These degree programs offer broad educational opportunities for students interested in the analysis and management of forest and rangeland ecosystems and their associated wildlife populations. The department’s philosophy of education is to promote a broad interdisciplinary approach to natural resources analysis, management, and science.

The first two years of study in the Department of Wildland Resources are designed to provide students with a sound background in the natural sciences, an introduction to the field of natural resources management, and an introduction to their respective major. The last two years are designed to provide an advanced understanding of natural resource management and science, depth concentration in the major, and experience with the integration of scientific and management concepts across a diversity of disciplines and management scenarios. To maintain correct course sequencing and to stay on track for graduation, students are encouraged to enroll for 15 or more credits of coursework per semester.

Career Opportunities

Graduates in all degree programs receive a solid background in biological and quantitative sciences, as well as the communication skills needed to succeed in many career paths. Our Forest Ecology and Management and Rangeland Ecology and Management degrees are accredited by the Society of American Foresters and Society for Range Management, respectively.


Admission Requirements

Admission requirements for the Department of Wildland Resources are the same as those described for the S.J. and Jessie E. Quinney College of Natural Resources .

Recommended Four-year Plans

Recommended semester-by-semester four-year plans for students working toward bachelor’s degrees are available on the catalog website  and in the Department of Wildland Resources.

Students should consult with their advisor to develop a plan of study tailored to their individual needs and interests.

Financial Assistance

The main opportunities for undergraduates to find financial support through grants, work-study, and loans are listed in the Financial Aid and Scholarship information section. In addition, more than 30 scholarships are available for eligible students in the S.J. and Jessie E. Quinney College of Natural Resources. Some students may be able to find paid internships with private or governmental organizations or work for a faculty member on a research project. Interested persons should contact the college’s Academic Service Center for more information on financial assistance for undergraduate students.

University Honors Program

The University Honors Program offers students in all colleges and majors the unique opportunity to deepen their educational experience with hands-on practical applications of their academic knowledge. The Honors Program admits incoming, transfer, and existing USU students based on application. High achieving students with at least one year remaining are encouraged to apply.  See the University Honors Program catalog entry and website (honors.usu.edu) for more information.

Additional Information

The undergraduate program may be tailored to individual student needs with the help of the QCNR undergraduate advisor. For additional information about the degree requirements, course sequencing, and departmental specialization options and their related coursework, as well as updated information describing current programs and courses offered by the Department of Wildland Resources, visit the Wildland Resources main office, Natural Resources 206, or visit qcnr.usu.edu/wild.

Major requirement sheets, which outline career opportunities and required courses for departmental majors, can be obtained from the department.

Graduate Programs

Admission Requirements

The Department of Wildland Resources offers opportunities for graduate study through MS and PhD degree programs in Ecology, Forestry, Range Science, and Wildlife Biology. The programs of instruction and research leading to graduate degrees in the department are available only to students meeting high scholastic standards who are accepted for study by the departmental faculty. Students desiring entrance to these graduate programs should contact the department for information concerning eligibility.

USU School of Graduate Studies general admission requirements are listed in the Graduate Admissions section. Applicants for graduate study in the department should have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, an overall GPA of at least 3.0 (out of 4.0), and GRE scores (quantitative and verbal) above the 40th percentile. Foreign students should submit a TOEFL score of at least 550. Exceptions to these standards will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Written statements of interest help match applicants with faculty advisors. A faculty member must agree to serve as the major professor in order for an applicant to be accepted for study. Prospective students are encouraged to contact faculty members early in the application process to investigate mutual interests, projects, and prospects for financial support.

A natural resources baccalaureate degree is not required for admission to the department’s graduate programs although a sound background in the natural sciences is strongly recommended. Students lacking the requisite background will work with their supervisory committee to address deficiencies.


Cooperation with other departments and research centers of the University, as well as with government collaborators, permits strong graduate programs in all aspects of forest, range, and wildlife-related sciences. Department faculty affiliate closely with the USU Ecology Center, the Utah Agricultural Experiment Station, the Utah Cooperative Fisheries and Wildlife Research Unit, the Predator Ecology and Behavior Field Station, the Jack H. Berryman Institute, the U. S. Forest Service, the Rocky Mountain Research Station, and the USDA Agricultural Research Service.

Financial Assistance

General aspects of financial support for graduate students at Utah State University are listed in the Graduate Financial Assistance  section in the School of Graduate Studies. This includes important information on the University-wide policies and terms of reference for research and teaching assistantships, graduate tuition obligations and benefits, Western Regional Graduate Programs, and competitive University-wide fellowships and scholarships. The S.J. and Jessie E. Quinney College of Natural Resources also offers a limited number of Quinney Doctoral Fellowships for incoming doctoral students.

Graduate research assistantships may be available on a competitive basis to both MS and PhD students through major professors having contracts, grants, or other awards from the University, private sector, or government agencies. These assistantships vary in the amount of support offered, but they commonly offer a stipend to help cover living expenses and operating funds to carry out the research. Other benefits may include assistance with tuition and student health insurance, as well as opportunities to travel.

The department also has a few graduate teaching assistantships for MS and PhD students who help with teaching or grading. These typically pay only a modest supplement on a semester basis, however, and are not sufficient to cover living expenses. Acceptance to pursue graduate study does not guarantee the student financial assistance.

Master of Natural Resources

In addition to its Master of Science and doctoral programs, the department also participates in the Master of Natural Resources - MNR . This is a non-thesis master’s degree program designed for students and practicing professionals seeking advanced training in natural resource management, with an emphasis on collaboration and interdisciplinary teamwork.

Additional Information

For more information about graduate programs and departmental faculty and their research emphasis areas, as well as updated information describing current programs and courses offered by the Department of Wildland Resources, visit the Wildland Resources main office, Natural Resources 206, or visit qcnr.usu.edu/wild.

FACULTY - S.J. and Jessie W Quinney College of Natural Resources  

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