Undergraduate Course Description

Ecosystem Science and Management (ESSM)

ESSM 102 Introduction to Natural Resources and Ecosystem Management. (1-0). Credit 1. Introduction to natural resources and ecosystem system approach to wildland management; survey of the field of natural resources and related industries.

ESSM 201 Exploring Ecosystem Science and Management. (1-0). Credit 1.Exploration of knowledge, skills and abilities required for varied careers within ecosystem science and management; development of a professional portfolio and résumé; exploration of career options through team approach; conduct one service project.

ESSM 203 (FORE 1314) Forest Trees of North America. (2-2). Credit 3. Taxonomy, phylogeny, and identifica­tion of the important forest trees of North America and their ecological and social uses and benefits. Prerequisites: BIOL 101, BIOL 107, BIOL 111 or BIOL 113 and BIOL 123 or equivalent.

ESSM 291 Research. Credit 1 to 4. Research conducted under the direction of faculty member in ecosystem science and management. May be repeated 2 times for credit. Prerequisites: Freshman or sophomore classification and approval of instructor.

ESSM 300 Field Studies in Forest Ecosystems. (1-6). Credit 3. Field-oriented focus on forest ecosystem sci­ence and management; problem-solve management questions through data collection and team-based research; investigate the relationships between landowner objectives, mensuration, silviculture, ecol­ogy, soils, and regeneration-focused harvesting systems; foster the development of student-faculty rela­tionships; enhance professional knowledge and skills. Prerequisites: Junior or senior classification or approval of instructor.*

ESSM 301 Wildland Watershed Management. (2-2). Credit 3. Elements of watershed management and prin­ciples and practices of wildland management for protection, maintenance and improvement of water resource values. Prerequisite: Junior or senior classification or approval of instructor.*

ESSM 302 Wildland Plants of North America. (2-2). Credit 3. Familiarization with the distribution and eco­nomic value of important wildland plants in Texas and North America and fundamentals of sight identi­fication of these plants; plant collection required. Prerequisite: Junior or senior classification or approval of instructor.*

ESSM 303 Agrostology. (1-6). Credit 3. Classification and identification of grasses based on macro- and micro­morphological variations of spikelets; interpretation of spikelet variation and use of diagnostic keys to identify important species of North America; a grass collection required. Prerequisites: Junior or senior classification or approval of instructor.*

ESSM 304 Rangeland Plant Taxonomy. (2-6). Credit 4.Interpretation of plant morphology for keying and identification of important flowering rangeland plants; vegetative and floral characters for important plant families including toxic compounds affecting domestic livestock. Plant collection required. Prerequisites: Junior or senior classification or approval of instructor.*

ESSM 305 Watershed Analysis and Planning. (3-0). Credit 3. Provide an integrated framework for watershed planning that addresses the related biophysical, social and economic issues; comprehensive in scope and approach giving students the tools and techniques for developing sound watershed management policy and practice; water issues, problems and regulations for Texas. Prerequisite: Junior or senior classification.*

ESSM 306 Plant Functional Ecology and Adaptation. (3-0). Credit 3. Investigation of physiological mech­anisms influencing ecological patterns and processes, including plant acclimation and adaptation in contrasting habitats; abiotic controls on species productivity and distribution; underlying genetic and evolutionary mechanisms contributing to the occurrence of specific genotypes and phenotypes in unique environments. Prerequisites: RENR 205, any BIOL course, junior or senior classification or approval of instructor.

ESSM 307 Forest Protection. (2-3). Credit 3. Destructive agents in forestry as related to importance, identifica­tion, cause, extent of losses and protective measures. Prerequisites: RENR 205, AGEC 105 or equiva­lent, junior or senior classification or approval of instructor.*

ESSM 308 Fundamentals of Environmental Decision-Making. (3-0). Credit 3. Introduction to environmen­tal issues in natural resources management; fundamental principles and methods for understanding biosocial interdependencies in complex environmental issues; use of computer-aided group decision-making techniques to develop cooperative strategies for resolving local or global environmental issues. Prerequisite: Junior or senior classification or approval of instructor.*

ESSM 309 Forest Ecology. (3-0). Credit 3. Life history and general characteristics of trees; structure and func­tion of forest ecosystems; fundamental principles of forest tree physiology and ecology applied to an analysis of tree growth in relation to environmental factors and present day forest management; global changes and forests. Prerequisite: Junior or senior classification or approval of instructor.*

ESSM 310 Forest Tree Improvement and Regneration. (3-0). Credit 3. Genetic improvement or manipulation of forest trees through breeding or transformation; regeneration of forests including reproduction, nursery production, stand establishment, natural regeneration and problems affecting regeneration. Prerequisites: BIOL 101, BIOL 113 or equivalent;  junior or senior classification.

ESSM 311 Biogeochemistry and Global Change. (3-0). Credit 3. Framework for understanding biogeochemi­cal cycles, their significance at both global and ecosystem levels of organization, and their contemporary relevance to ecosystem science and management. Prerequisites: RENR 205, RENR 215, any BIOL and/or CHEM course, junior or senior classification or approval of instructor.

ESSM 313  Vegetation Sampling Methods and Designs in Ecosystems. (2-2). Credit 3.Basis for vegetation sampling in ecosystems; methods for conducting sampling; selection of sampling unit appropriate for vegetation type; sampling statistics; mean comparisons; regression analysis; sampling design princi­ples; development of sampling plan; presentation and interpretation of sampling data. Prerequisites: Any MATH course satisfying university core curriculum, junior or senior classification or approval of instructor.

ESSM 314 Principles of Rangeland Management Around the World. (3-0). Credit 3. Basic knowledge of world rangeland ecosystems, how these systems are managed in diverse cultural settings; principles of underlying ecological processes influenced by various land management practices; foster understand­ing of the values that people in different countries place on rangeland resources; use of these values to enhance geologically sustainable and socially acceptable rangeland management practices.* Prerequisite: Junior or senior classification or approval of instructor.

ESSM 315 Rangeland Inventory and Monitoring. (0-2). Credit 1. Theory and methods to inventory rangeland vegetation; sampling design; analysis of inventory data; interpretation of sampling data; preparation of a technical report; presentation of inventory data in text, tables, and graphs using the style of the Rangeland Ecology and Management discipline. Prerequisites: ESSM 313, junior or senior classification or approval of instructor.*

ESSM 316 Range Ecology. (2-2). Credit 3. Organization and distribution of rangeland ecosystems of the world, with emphasis on North America; community dynamics and functions stressed including biotic history, succession, disturbance regimes, competitive interactions, herbivory, energy flow and nutrient cycling; conservation of rangeland resources. Prerequisites: RENR 205, RENR 215, ESSM 302, ESSM 314, ESSM 315, junior or senior classification or approval of instructor.*

ESSM 317 Vegetation Management. (3-0). Credit 3. Familiarization with practices that cause changes in rangeland vegetation composition for multiple uses; understanding of criteria for range improvement practices; comparison of expected responses of livestock forage production, watershed parameters and wildlife to vegetation changes following range improvements; systems concept for planning, analysis and implementation of range improvement practices. Prerequisites: ESSM 314, junior or senior classifi­cation or approval of instructor.*

ESSM 318 Coupled Social and Ecological Systems. (3-0). Credit 3. Resilience-based stewardship of social-eco­logical systems; ecological concepts of resilience, sustainability, ecosystem services, and vulnerability; investigation of linkages among social and ecological system components; contribution to sustainability and provisioning of ecosystem services; evaluation of multiple knowledge sources as the basis for adap­tive ecosystem management. Prerequisites: RENR 205, AGEC 105 or equivalent, junior or senior clas­sification or approval of instructor.

ESSM 319 Principles of Forestry. (3-3). Credit 4. Theory and practice of forestry in controlling forest establish­ment, composition, structure and growth; principles of natural and artificial regeneration; intermediate cultural operations; silvicultural systems; use and control of fire in forests; principles of sustainable stand management. Prerequisite: Junior or senior classification or approval of instructor.

ESSM 320 Ecosystem Restoration and Management. (3-0). Credit 3. A basic conceptual framework for res­toration ecology and ecological restoration; major principles of ecology related to practical problems confronting humankind, such as, environmental pollution and degradation, exotic species invasions, land use and management trade-offs and consequences; importance of biological diversity. Prerequisite: RENR 205, RENR 215 or equivalent, junior or senior classification or approval of instructor.*

ESSM 324 Forest Measurements. (0-4). Credit 2. Measures and measurement of the dimensions and attributes of forested areas including the diameters, heights, volume and biomass of trees within a well-defined area; tools used for forest measurement; the conduct of forest inventories; summary measures and reports of inventory results; remote sensing and related technologies that assist forest measurements. Prerequisite: ESSM 313 and ESSM 319 or concurrent enrollment; junior or senior classification.

ESSM 351 Geographic Information Systems for Resource Management. (2-2). Credit 3. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) approach to solving spatial problems and managing natural resources, including the capture, analysis, manipulation and mapping of spatial and non-spatial databases; identifi­cation of natural and cultural features from aerial photography and remote sensing products; integration of GPS technologies; extensive use of GIS software to solve real-world problems. Prerequisite: Junior or senior classification or approval of instructor.

ESSM 398 Interpretation of Aerial Photographs. (2-3). Credit 3. Identification and evaluation of natural and cultural features on aerial photographs; methods for extracting information concerning land use, vegetative cover, surface and structural features, urban/industrial patterns and archaeological sites. Prerequisite: Junior or senior classification or approval of instructor.

ESSM 404 Changing Natural Resource Policy. (3-0). Credit 3. Process through which environmental policies are changed; study theories of social and political change; teams use theories with their original research on environmental policy problems to create and implement plans for changing environmental policies in their own communities. Prerequisite: Junior or senior classification or approval of instructor.

ESSM 405 Forest Resource Assessment and Management. (1-4). Credit 3. Integration of biophysical, eco­nomic and social factors in forest resource analysis, management planning and decision making; appli­cations of interdisciplinary knowledge and multiple-use principles to practical forest management problems. Prerequisite: Senior classification or approval of instructor.

ESSM 406 Natural Resources Policy. (3-0). Credit 3. Natural resources and forest policy development in the United States and review of current issues in forest and related natural resource policy. Prerequisite: Junior or senior classification or approval of instructor.

ESSM 415 Range Analysis and Management Planning. (3-2). Credit 4. Basic concepts and theories of range management systems. Resource inventory, analysis and management planning. Prerequisite: ESSM 314, junior or senior classification or approval of instructor.*

ESSM 416 Fire Ecology and Natural Resource Management. (3-0). Credit 3. Behavior and use of fire in the management of natural resources; principles underlying the role of weather, fuel characteristics and physical features of the environment related to the development and implementation of fire man­agement plans. Prerequisite: RENR 205 or equivalent, junior or senior classification or approval of instructor.

ESSM 420 Ecological Restoration of Wetland and Riparian Systems. (2-2). Credit 3. How wetland and ripar­ian areas link terrestrial and aquatic systems and function hydrologically and ecologically within water­sheds; integrated approaches for restoration of degraded wetland and riparian systems; improving water resources through vegetation management with a special interest in rangelands. Prerequisites: RENR 205, junior or senior classification or approval of instructor.

ESSM 430 Advanced Restoration Ecology. (3-0). Credit 3. A dynamic discipline relying heavily on the funda­mentals of ecology; practice translating and communicating key ecological concepts to advanced case studies in ecological restoration; enhance skills for professional applications. Prerequisites: RENR 205 and ESSM 320 or ESSM 420; junior or senior classification.

ESSM 440 Wetland Delineation. (2-2). Credit 3. Covers the application of the 1987 Wetland Delineation Manual in use by the Army Corps of Engineers (CORPS); field indicators of hydrophytic vegetation; hydric soils, wetland hydrology, methods for making jurisdictional determinations in non-disturbed and disturbed areas, recognition of problem wetlands and technical guidelines for wetlands. Prerequisite: Junior or senior classification.*

ESSM 444 Remote Sensing of the Environment. (2-3). Credit 3. Principles and techniques necessary for apply­ing remote sensing to diverse issues in studying and mapping land uses and land covers of the terrestrial environment; emphasizes a hands-on learning approach with theoretical foundations and applications in both aerial and satellite remote sensing, using optical and lidar datasets. Prerequisite: Junior or senior classification or approval of instructor.

ESSM 459 Spatial Databases and Programming. (2-3). Credit 3. Computational tools for creating new data, sharing, integrating that data with other databases; conducting analyses and interpretation of informa­tion ranging from spreadsheets to advanced scientific workflow processing systems; tools to create higher quality, more useful data. Prerequisite: Junior or senior classification or approval of instructor.

ESSM 461 Spatial Databases for Data Storage, Manipulation and Analysis. (1-4). Credit 3. Relational databases and advanced geodatabase capabilities; types of geodatabases; Structured Query Language including join-types and subqueries; ArcGIS Desktop Advanced. Prerequisite: ESSM 459; junior or senior classification or approval of instructor.

ESSM 462 Advanced GIS Analysis for Natural Resource Management. (2-2). Credit 3. Advanced topics in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to solve natural resource problems; manipulation of raster data types; three-dimensional modeling; emphasis on geoprocessing as it relates to applied projects, particu­larly with habitat suitability models; field and lab use of Global Positioning Systems (GPS); internet-based GIS modeling. Prerequisites: ESSM 351 or AGSM 461 or equivalent or approval of instructor; junior or senior classification. Cross-listed with AGSM 462 and GEOG 462.

ESSM 464 Spatial Project Management. (2-2). Credit 3. Integration of key components of spatial project man­agement to ensure a successful project implementation using life-cycle methodology and spatial proj­ect management; strategy and planning, requirements analysis, design, development, deployment, and operations and maintenance; term project working with real world data to develop and manage a spatial project for practical applications. Prerequisites: A minimum of two GIS and/or remote sensing courses at 300 or 400-level, junior or senior classification or approval of instructor.

ESSM 481 Senior Seminar. (1-0). Credit 1. Completion of professional e-portfolio, résumé and job application; exploration of job search, application, and interview; discipline competency exams; program evaluation. Prerequisite: Senior classification in ESSM degree program.*

ESSM 484 Internship. Credit 1 to 4. Supervised experience program conducted in the student's area of specializa­tion. Prerequisite: Approval of student's advisor.

ESSM 485 Directed Studies. Credit 1 to 3 each semester. Individual study and research upon a selected range problem. Prerequisite: Approval of student's advisor.

ESSM 489 Special Topics in... Credit 1 to 4. Selected topics in an identified area of rangeland ecology and man­agement. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: Approval of instructor.*

ESSM 491 Research. Credit 1 to 4. Research conducted under the direction of faculty member in ecosystem science and management. May be repeated 3 times for credit. Registration in multiple sections of this course are possible within a given semester provided that the per semester credit hour limit is not exceeded. Prerequisites: Junior or senior classification and approval of instructor.

FRSC 420 Arboriculture. (2-2). Credit 3. Tree selection and planting to fit climatic, space and edaphic condi- tions; diagnosing tree abnormalities and practicing intensive tree care. Frequent field work and demon- strations. Prerequisite: Senior classification or approval of instructor.*

FRSC 421 Urban Forestry. (3-0). Credit 3. Conceptual role of trees in improving the urban environment; op- timum use of existing forested areas and the establishment of trees in appropriate open spaces; tree ordinances, species evaluation, street tree planning and tree inventory systems. Prerequisite: Approval of instructor.*

RENR 205 Fundamentals of Ecology. (3-0). Credit 3. Principles of ecology using a holistic approach treating plants, animals and humans as one integrated whole; composition, structure, nutrient cycles and energetics of biotic communities; adaptations to environmental factors; biotic relationships; and problems of environmental quality and resource use.

RENR 215 Fundamentals of Ecology--Laboratory. (0-3). Credit 1. Sampling and estimating plant-animal pop- ulations, measuring environmental factors and recognizing and studying morphological, physiological and behavioral adaptations of plants and animals to biotic or abiotic influences.*

RENR 400 Study Abroad in Natural Resources. Credit 2 to 12. Provides students with an opportunity to gain first-hand experience in natural resource management in foreign countries; focus on the interaction of public, communal and private land tenure systems with the ecological and human dimensions of range- land management, wildlife conservation and nature-based tourism. May be taken two times for credit. Prerequisite: Junior or senior classification.

RENR 405 GIS for Environmental Problem Solving. (2-2). Credit 3. Interdisciplinary approach to train stu- dents to integrate GIS and relevant technologies for environmental problem solving; helps students relate learning to real world situations; students conceptualize, develop and manage projects using real data; one term project required. Prerequisite: RENR 201 or equivalent or approval of instructor.

RENR 410 Ecosystem Management. (3-3). Credit 4. Concepts and practices relevant to the development of landscape/ regional level ecosystem management plans; an ecosystem management plan will be de- veloped utilizing a strategic management/coordinated resources approach to establish resource goals, ecosystem resource analysis and impact evaluation, and implementation compatible with societal and individual concerns. Prerequisite: Senior classification or approval of instructor.*

RENR 470 Environmental Impact Assessment. (3-0). Credit 3. The evolution of natural resources regulatory policies and how this influences current procedures for environmental/natural resources assessment and management; demonstration of the environmental impact assessment procedures and policy issues associated with environmental impacts. Prerequisite: Senior classification or approval of instructor.

*Field trips may be required for which departmental fees may be assessed to cover costs.

For more information please check the catalog: http://catalog.tamu.edu/pdfs/13-14_UG_Catalog.pdf