May 21, 2019  
2011-2012 General Catalog 
    
2011-2012 General Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG Please see current catalog]

Natural Resources and Environmental Education (NREE) Certificate


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College of Natural Resources

Department of Environment and Society

Director: Steven W. Burr, Environment and Society
Location:
Biology-Natural Resources 289
Phone: (435) 797-7094
E-mail: steve.burr@usu.edu

Program Office: Department of Environment and Society
Location: Natural Resources 201
Phone: (435) 797-1790
FAX: (435) 797-4048
WWW: http://www.cnr.usu.edu/envs/htm/graduate-programs/nree-certificate

Graduate Program Description

The Natural Resources and Environmental Education (NREE) Program offers an Interdisciplinary Graduate Certificate Program to provide graduate students with a comprehensive educational foundation for understanding and communicating natural resources and environmental information, and for developing the analytical skills needed to effectively implement appropriate environmental education and communication techniques for varying audiences. The NREE Certificate Program is administered by the Department of Environment and Society, College of Natural Resources. The certificate program consists of three components, for a total of 15-17 credits: (1) the NREE Core that includes two foundation courses, a NREE graduate seminar, and an “integrating” capstone experience; (2) one Human Dimensions of Natural Resources/Environment course; and (3) one Natural Resources/Environmental Management course.

The purpose of the certificate is to meet an identified need expressed by graduate students with interests in working professionally in the field of natural resources and environmental education and interpretation. The certificate program provides an interdisciplinary perspective on environmental education, and provides graduate students with the ability to teach people how to think critically and creatively in understanding, interpreting, and dealing with environmental issues and challenges. This approach enables students to focus on a broad spectrum of issues and content related to natural resources and the environment.

The structure of the certificate program emphasizes: (1) processes and skills necessary to present and integrate information across a broad spectrum of delivery systems; (2) interdisciplinary information and technical content across many areas, including natural resources, ecology, human resources, history, education, sociology, etc.; and (3) development of an interest area of personal/professional inquiry. The program provides a mechanism to support graduate student project development and research, emphasizing scholarship, discovery, and application of findings in applied settings in order to contribute to the professional field of natural resources and environmental education and interpretation.

Completion of the certificate program will provide graduate students with a working knowledge of the depth and breadth of the professional field of environmental education and interpretation. Moreover, it will prepare them for a job market demanding innovative and creative approaches for incorporating environmental education and interpretation in natural resource management agencies, in both formal (K-12 school-based) and nonformal (youth, community, and outdoor) education programs, in nonprofit organizations, and in the for-profit commercial sector. Although professionals working in natural resources and environmental education may work in a wide range of settings, they share one objective: to help people appreciate and understand the relationship between humans and the natural world around them. Thus, the value of the NREE Certificate Program goes far beyond more traditional approaches associated with education-oriented certificate programs.

Certificate

Students who complete the program receive a certificate in Natural Resources and Environmental Education. Notification of this certificate appears on the student’s transcript.

Admission Requirements

To apply for admittance into the NREE Interdisciplinary Graduate Certificate Program, a graduate student must: (1) be accepted by the School of Graduate Studies at Utah State University for graduate study (current or provisional), (2) complete an NREE Interdisciplinary Graduate Certificate Program Application, and (3) submit a resume with references, along with a narrative describing personal interest in completing the NREE Certificate Program with respect to his or her professional goals. The NREE Program Director reviews the application and makes a recommendation for admittance into the certificate program, if appropriate, to the NREE Certificate Advisory Committee.

Student Advisement

An NREE Certificate Advisory Committee, comprised of the NREE Program Director, NREE Program Associate, and two NREE-affiliated faculty from participating departments and colleges, will assist in reviewing graduate student applications for admission into the certificate program, identifying major advisors, identifying funding opportunities, recommending courses to meet the NREE Certificate requirements, and advising graduate students. Graduate students accepted into the NREE Certificate Program will work with their major faculty advisor, as well as with the NREE Certificate Advisory Committee, to support them in understanding and meeting the requirements of the NREE Graduate Certificate Program.

Course Requirements


The NREE Interdisciplinary Graduate Certificate Program consists of three curriculum components, for a total of 15-17 credits: (1) the NREE Core, (2) one Human Dimensions of Natural Resources/Environment course, and (3) one Natural Resources/Environmental Management course. Many of the identified courses in the latter two categories will also satisfy the requirements for a specific degree program in different departments. Therefore, students can select courses in these two categories to complete their specific degree requirements, while at the same time satisfying the requirements of the NREE Certificate Program.

I. Natural Resources and Environmental Education Core Courses (10 credits)


For the NREE Interdisciplinary Graduate Certificate Program, students are required to take the following two foundation courses, participate in the Graduate Seminar, and complete an “integrating” capstone experience, for a total of 10 credits, to fulfill the requirements of the NREE Graduate Certificate Program Core.

NREE Graduate Core:


Note:

The Environmental Education course and the Advanced Natural Resource Interpretation course serve as Foundation Courses. Environmental Education covers teaching about the environment, as well as using the environment and natural world to teach other subjects, with a strong emphasis on participation and on practicing techniques. Advanced Natural Resource Interpretation examines the planning processes, techniques, and evaluation procedures for using information and education to influence human behavior and increase benefits to visitors in natural settings, and also focuses on the leadership of teams involved in producing personal and nonpersonal interpretive programs and materials.

Note:

The Graduate Seminar requires student attendance at a number of different speaker seminars, occurring during the fall or spring semester, that are related to NREE, along with occasional meetings with NREE affiliated faculty to discuss connections and relevance of the seminars to NREE.

Capstone Experience

Students must complete 3 credits in a capstone experience, developed in consultation with a faculty advisor. Credits may be completed in the following types of courses:

Graduate Internship/Co-op
Graduate Special Topics
Graduate Directed Study
Thesis Research
Dissertation Research

The Capstone Experience requirement may be fulfilled in a number of ways, based on each student’s interest, through an internship/coop/ special field experience, an investigation of a special topic and/or development of a project, directed readings/study, or a research project. In meeting this requirement, it will be important for students to be able to demonstrate they are getting an “integrating” capstone experience in natural resources and environmental education. Depending on the topic and its relationship to natural resources and environmental education, the completion of a student’s Plan A thesis or Plan B project at the master’s level may also fulfill this requirement. A student’s doctoral dissertation research may qualify as a Capstone Experience. The student’s graduate advisor, graduate committee, and NREE Advisory Committee will approve the “capstone” experience. A final “integrative” paper or thesis/dissertation will be the product for the “capstone” experience, emphasizing scholarship and discovery, as well as application of findings in applied settings in natural resources and environmental education.

II. Human Dimensions of Natural Resources/ Environment Courses (2-3 credits)


For the NREE Interdisciplinary Graduate Certificate Program, students are required to take one of the following courses, in order to gain a human dimensions’ orientation toward natural resources and the environment, and help place natural resources and environmental education in a broader context of human-environment relationships.

Note:


There may be another course that can satisfy this requirement, but the course will need to be approved by the student’s graduate advisor and the NREE Advisory Committee.

Note:


There may be another course that can satisfy this requirement, but the course will need to be approved by the student’s graduate advisor and the NREE Advisory Committee.

IV. Personal/Professional Inquiry


Although not formally required, a number of courses exist that can support students’ interest in natural resources and environmental education, and support student efforts in completing individual degree requirements. These courses include the following:

NREE Affiliated Faculty


Professors
Mark W. Brunson, Environment and Society
Melody Graulich, English
Michael R. Kuhns, Wildland Resources
Terry L. Sharik, Wildland Resources
Richard E. Toth, Environment and Society

Associate Professors
James J. Barta, Elementary Education
Steven W. Burr, Environment and Society
Christopher A. Call, Wildland Resources
Christopher A. Conte, History
Nancy O. Mesner, Watershed Sciences
Jan E. Roush, English
Robert H. Schmidt, Environment and Society

Assistant Professors
Christopher Cokinos, English
Michael Dietz, Environment and Society
Christopher Monz, Environment and Society
Jennifer A. Peeples, Languages, Philosophy, and Speech Communication
Bonnie L. Pitblado, Sociology, Social Work and Anthropology

Other Affiliated Individuals
David T. Anderson, Project Director, Utah Botanical Center
Darren J. McAvoy, Extension Program Associate, Wildland Resources
Barbara Middleton, Environment and Society
Susan K. Morgan, Geology
Jack Shea, Director, Teton Science School
Debra M. Spielmaker, Director, Utah Agriculture in the Classroom
Karla VanderZanden, Director, Canyonlands Field Institute

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