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Natural Resource Management

Degree: BS

Campus: Columbus

School: Environment and Natural Resources

The natural resource management program focuses on the connection between environmental systems and the social sciences. Course work will help students understand how decisions are made regarding the use or protection of our natural systems. In a combination of classroom and hands­-on learning, students will gain the knowledge needed to manage human interactions with the natural world in parks and protected areas, natural resource organizations, or agriculture and food systems.

Admitted students can directly enroll as majors in natural resource management within the School of Environment and Natural Resources. A student’s first year will include several foundational courses in environment and natural resources as well as general education requirements such as mathematics, chemistry, biology, the humanities, etc. 

Using a mix of classroom and experiential learning, students develop knowledge and skills in a selected specialization area to manage human interactions with the natural world in parks and protected areas, natural resource organizations, or agriculture and food systems. 

The following foundational courses provide an initial exposure to an array of issues that impact natural resources, focusing on physical and natural sciences as well as the social sciences. 

  • Introduction to Environmental Science
  • Society and Natural Resources
  • Introduction to Forestry, Fisheries and Wildlife
  • Introduction to Soil Science 


The parks and recreation specialization includes course work in communication, law and planning, and focused training in a particular aspect of recreation through courses in forestry, fisheries, wildlife; soil and water; visitor services; or zoo science and management.
The natural resource administration and management specialization includes course work in communication, law, planning, leadership and finance. Students may then choose to pursue a depth of understanding in a particular natural resource content area (forestry, fisheries, wildlife; soil and water; visitor services; or zoo science and management) or increase their breadth of knowledge by selecting courses across these areas. 
Students in the sustainable agriculture specialization gain knowledge and practical experience in the development of sustainable agriculture. Students can further gain additional expertise in a particular area of sustainable agriculture, including production related skills, planning for sustainable agriculture and food systems, or business management.

All students are encouraged to gain an international experience with study abroad. Several study tours offer programs focusing on aspects of the environment, natural resources or sustainability in places such as China, Dominican Republic, New Zealand, Australia and Iceland.


Gaining real world experience through internships is critical to student success. Students gain valuable work experience at a variety of federal, state and private agencies and organizations in the field of forestry, fisheries and wildlife. By working with SENR Career Services, students can find local, national and international internships related to their career goals. 

The Environment and Natural Resources Honors program challenges high-ability students by providing a program in greater breadth and depth and provides special recognition and scholarships for outstanding scholastic achievement. Students are able to design their own study plan that guides their course selection and honors research. Freshmen with University Honors standing may be accepted directly as a candidate for the Environment and Natural Resources Honors program.

Environment and Natural Resources Scholars share an interest and passion for the environment and being outdoors. Students live together in Morrill Tower and participate in service learning projects, educational trips, and seminars and workshops with leading environmental researchers.

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Students interested in pursuing research can engage in the generation of new knowledge and understanding alongside world-class faculty and complete requirements to graduate with research distinction.

Students present their research at the college’s Undergrad Research Forum to prepare for the university-wide Denman Undergraduate Research Forum.

Students can also take advantage of research projects monitoring the health of the Lake Erie environment at Stone Lab.

Student organizations, such as the Parks and Recreation Society, give students hands-on experiences in the field and help them develop network connections with professionals.

Students have the opportunity to join the SUSTAINS Learning Community, which fosters connections among students who are interested in becoming sustainable leaders. Students will learn how sustainability influences their own and others' lives and how their actions impact society.

The School of Environment and Natural Resources Career Services Office offers students counseling to identify job opportunities and assistance preparing cover letters and resumes. 

Upon graduation, students are prepared to work in a variety of positions including with federal, state or local natural resource management agencies, non profit organizations, or in the private sector in farming or for businesses servicing the farm community. Students can find careers as environmental educators, park administrators, park rangers and officers, conservation law officers, resources specialists and in sustainable agriculture. We encourage students to go forward for advanced education in areas such as public administration or business administration to prepare for top level positions.  

Graduates obtaining entry-level positions can expect typical salaries to be around $38,000 to $48,000 per year. Those seeking work in recreation law enforcement will find annual entry-level salaries ranging from $61,000 to $75,000.