Rangeland Ecology and Management (RLEM)
Students majoring in Rangeland Ecology and Management are taught to integrate knowledge and technology in a systems approach to manage land for sustainable utilization of natural resources. Emphasis is placed on conservation and maintenance of biological diversity in wet to arid environments and sustainable production, conservation and function of land. Rangelands comprise approximately 50% of the land area of the United States and the world. Natural resources on rangelands provide many products and values for society including: livestock grazing, habitat for game and non-game wildlife, water for urban and agricultural uses, recreational opportunities, minerals, oil and gas. The expansiveness and diversity of rangelands require that knowledge and technology be drawn from numerous disciplines.
Employment opportunities are diverse. They include all aspects of natural resource management, including ranch management, environmental consulting, conservation and natural resource planning on private lands and with state and federal agencies. Students also find employment in agribusiness sales, marketing, agricultural finance real estate, consulting and reclamation. Students can also pursue professional careers in teaching agricultural science.
Two options in the Rangeland Ecology and Management curriculum provide the opportunity for specialization in a minor field.
Ranch Management Option
This degree is designed for students preparing for careers in ranch management and agribusiness. This option emphasizes management and utilization of rangeland for livestock and wildlife production. It provides excellent preparation for students desiring to obtain a Master of Agriculture degree in ranch management. Employment opportunities are available on private ranches, businesses, and industries supporting ranches and with state and federal agencies.
Rangeland Resources Option
This degree is designed for students preparing for careers in the private, state and federal sectors in the area of natural resources conservation and management. It also provides good preparation for graduate study leading to positions in extension, teaching, research and consulting. It allows maximum flexibility to orient a degree program towards specific career interests. Students are encouraged to develop an emphasis area by selecting 24 hours of directed elective courses in related disciplines.