| | CNR | University of Idaho

An integrated approach to the understanding and management of natural resources


Program category: Ecology & Management

The science of ecology explores the interactions among organisms and their environment. The proper and sustainable management of natural resources requires the application of ecological principles. The suite of courses in this MNR program category will provide the foundational knowledge and understanding of ecology and its application to the management of natural resources. While this program category emphasizes ecological principles, you should strive to independently integrate these topics with those in the other three program categories throughout your graduate program.


MNR Selection criteria | Course preparation | Registration | UI course schedule | UI Course catalog

Online courses | Consult the UI schedule for the latest changes in course information

Graduate seminar live and on-demand viewing options: Current topics in climate change and the conservation and management of populations (FISH 504-1, 1 credits | 4:30 5:20 p.m. Pacific time).


Climate change is now recognized as a major force that will affect ecosystems and economies in coming decades. This graduate seminar will examine the current understanding of climate controls on ecosystems, likely scenarios for climate change in coming years, and expected effects to populations of economic and cultural importance. The emphasis will be on current understanding of climate effects on ecosystems and populations. Topics include: Major factors driving climate, spatial and temporal scale of climate effects, global, regional or local effects?, available climate models and predictions, how do the models make predictions and at what scale(s)?, major linkages between climate and populations (e.g., phenology, food webs, pathogens), biological responses to climate shifts: adapt or move (or be moved), indirect effects of greenhouse gases (e.g., acidification), and other emerging issues.


Dr. Christopher Caudill | 208-885-7614 | Delivery method: Live and on-demand | Fall semester

Conservation Genetics (WLF 540, 1 - 3 credits)
  The application of molecular genetic methods has become increasingly important in the conservation and management of fish, wildlife and plant species. This course is designed to help students learn the basic principles of population genetics and phylogenetics as they are applied in the fields of conservation genetics and conservation genomics. Students will learn to design conservation genetics research projects, interpret genetic data and critically review papers from a wide-range of important topics in conservation genetics and genomics.

Professor Lisette Waits and Kim Andrews | 208-885-7823 | Delivery method: Blackboard Learn | Fall semester

Ecology (starting summer 2017: NR 321, 3 credits) | Background course not for graduate credit
  Fundamental principles of ecology. Major topics covered by the course include the physical environment, how organisms interact with each other and their environment, evolutionary processes, population dynamics, communities, energy flow and ecosystems, human influences on ecosystems, and the integration and scaling of ecological processes through systems ecology. Computer-based materials are used extensively for guided independent learning of ecology.

Professor R. Robberecht | 208-885-7404 | Delivery method: Custom web site and Blackboard Learn | Fall semester, and summer

Global Fire Ecology and Management (FOR 426-2, 3 credits)
  This course covers fire ecology of multiple ecosystems and relates them to challenging fire management issues. This course is often taken by senior undergraduate students and graduate students. There are readings from science literature and you must write short papers addressing ecologically-based fire management issues. Exams are on Blackboard and include short answer essay as well as comparing and contrasting and applying different fire terms and concepts.

Contact MNR Director, Dr. Leda Kobziar | 208-885-0118 | Delivery method:  Blackboard Learn | Fall semester 2016

Fire Ecology (FOR 526, 3 credits)
  This graduate course provides an overview of fire effects in multiple ecosystems, as well as key concepts, approaches to studying ecological effects of fires, and the science literature. Exams are take-home, requiring extensive reading in scientific journals available online through the University of Idaho library. Because you can choose which questions to address on the take-home exam, you can tailor this class to your interests in fire ecology. I have high expectations of my students for their ability to synthesize science information, and to write concisely in style of scientific journals. We cover restoration ecology, fire and climate change, and other ecological issues, but this is not a course on fire management.

Dr. Leda Kobziar | Delivery method: Custom web site | Fall semester

Ecophysiology (REM 560-40, 3 credits)
  Functional responses and adaptations of individual species to their environment, emphasizing the physiological mechanisms that influence the interactions between organisms and the major environmental factors (e.g., solar radiation, energy balance, temperature, water and nutrients, climate), and how this affects the interactions among species and their growth and survival (e.g., competition, herbivory, and allelopathy). Interactive computer-based learning materials are used extensively.

Professor R. Robberecht | 208-885-7404 | Delivery method: Custom web site | Fall semester

Landscape Genetics (WLF 561, 2 credits)
  Landscape genetics is an interdisciplinary field of study that evaluates how landscape and environmental features influence gene flow, population structure and local adaptation by integrating landscape ecology, population genetics and spatial statistics. This course covers applications of landscape genetics that can improve our understanding of ecology, evolution, and management of wild populations. Recommended Preparation: Population genetics or conservation genetics, and multivariate or spatial statistics.

Professor Lisette Waits | 208-885-7823 | Delivery method: Blackboard Learn | Spring semester

Rangeland Community Ecology (REM 459, 2 credits)
  A discussion on the major ecological principles and processes that influence the function of rangeland ecosystems. Ecological processes are similar across all types of ecosystems. However, some processes are more important determinants in some ecosystems than in others. We will focus on those processes that greatly influence the function of rangeland ecosystems such as succession, disturbance (e.g. herbivory, fire, and climatic variation), and nutrient cycling. Diversity and sustainability of ecosystems are ever- increasing important considerations. We will discuss these topics as they are currently applied to rangelands. I will often use examples from other types of ecosystems, such as wetlands, tide marshes, and temperate forests, to illustrate particular points.

Dr. Eva Strand | 208-885-5779 | Delivery method: Custom web site | Fall semester

Wetland Restoration (FISH 540, 3 credits)
  This web-based course contains modules covering wetland science, restoration ecology, freshwater restoration, coastal restoration, and monitoring/maintenance. The emphasis is on the science of wetland ecosystems and the applied ecology/practice of restoration, with additional consideration of cultural and socio-political contexts. Extensive readings, an assignment, and a study guide are required for each module. Students apply their learning in and contribute relevant professional experience to weekly online discussions. Students are also responsible for obtaining documentation of at least one wetland restoration site in their region and conducting a site visit in order to evaluate the success of the restoration project. A final exam (re-design of a failed restoration project) is administered online, with partial credit earned through discussion with an interdisciplinary team of classmates and the remaining credit earned through individual analysis and synthesis.

Dr. Caren Crandell | (or 208-885-6434 for a follow-up) | Delivery method: Custom web site and Blackboard Learn | Fall semester

Wildland Restoration Ecology (REM 440, 3 credits)
  Ecological principles and management practices involved in restoring and rehabilitating wildland ecosystems after disturbance or alteration to return damaged ecosystems to a productive and stable state.

 Dr. Leda Kobziar | Delivery method: Blackboard Learn | Spring semester

Course companion program

  Although the availability of online courses is increasing each semester, the suite of online courses for the MNR program is smaller than the number of on-campus courses. In order to broaden the curriculum for our off-campus students, we will provide the opportunity to participate in on-campus courses from your off-campus location. If you are off-campus and wish to enroll in an on-campus course, you can elect to participate in the course companion program, in which you will participate in a live on-campus course via Skype video on a laptop computer. Your course companion will bring and setup the laptop for each class session, where you will be able to participate as if you were in the classroom live.

Please note the following conditions:
1. If you are a non-Idaho resident, non-resident fees will apply
2. An on-campus student in the course must agree to assist you with the companion program
3. The instructor of the course must provide their permission for the course companion program
4. The course is live: Participation in the course is on the scheduled days and time (Pacific time)
5. Your participation in the course is on the same conditions as on-campus students
6. For courses with field trip components, students must travel to the campus (regularly scheduled laboratories are not included in the course companion program)

To participate in the course companion program, contact the Director, MNR program.


On-campus courses

  Because of the large number of on-campus courses approved for the MNR program, on-campus students in the MNR program have access to a wider range of courses than the suite of online courses. Consult with your graduate advisor to design your study plan of courses that may include on-campus courses and online courses. 


Course preparation - Suggested books and journals

Books   Journals

Archibold, O.W. 1995. Ecology of world vegetation. First edition. Chapman & Hall.

Barbour, M. G., J. H. Burk, W. D. Pitts, F. S. Gilliam, and M. W. Schwartz. 1999. Terrestrial plant ecology. Third edition. Benjamin/Cummings Publishing.

Bonan, G. B. 2002. Ecological climatology: Concepts and applications. Cambridge University Press.

Barbour, M. G., and W.D. Billings. 2000. North American terrestrial vegetation. Second edition. Cambridge University Press.

Henderson, P. A. 2003. Practical methods in ecology. Blackwell

Larcher, W. 2003. Physiological plant ecology: Ecophysiology and stress physiology of functional groups. Fourth edition. Springer.

Odum, H.T., and E.C. Odum. 2000. Modelling for all scales: An introduction to system simulation. Academic Press.

Silverton, J., and J. Antonovics. 2000. Integrating ecology and evolution in a spatial context. British Ecological Society.

Smith, T.M., and R.K. Smith. 2012. Elements of ecology. Eighth edition. Pearson.



  Science of ecology
Ecological Monographs
Functional Ecology
Journal of Ecology
Journal of Animal Ecology
The American Naturalist

Applied ecology
American Fisheries Society
Ecological Applications
Forest Ecology & Management
Journal of Applied Ecology
Journal of Wildlife Management
Rangeland Ecology & Management
Restoration Ecology

Organizations & Research
British Ecological Society
Ecological Society of America
Society of American Naturalists
Society of American Foresters
Society for Ecological Restoration
Society for Range Management
The Wildlife Society

LTER - ecological studies
Man in the Biosphere (MAB)
World biomes
Ocean - online atlas


Selection criteria for MNR program Registration procedures Resources

Five credits minimum per program category
You may select any courses within a particular program category to meet the minimum five-credit requirement. However, we highly recommend that you vary your course selection for a good balance of topics within a program category.

Transfer courses & alternative courses
Alternate courses may be substituted or transferred from other institutions into your MNR program with prior approval of your graduate advisor. Any such courses must meet the focus and objectives of the particular MNR program category.

  Non-University of Idaho students
Register as a non-degree student
Admission requirements: Non-degree student
Information: Graduate Admissions | Contact
UI course schedule
UI Course catalog
University of Idaho students Fees
If you cannot register for the course directly,
send your University of Idaho student ID number
to the professor so that your registration profile
can be revised to allow enrollment.
No out-of-state tuition fees are assessed for online courses at the University of Idaho as long as you only enroll in online courses. There is a course support fee in addition to the normal in-state fees. If you enroll in both online and on-campus courses at the University of Idaho, out-of-state tuition fees will apply.

Student Accounts/Cashiers Office
Email contact | 208-885-7447