| | CNR | University of Idaho

An integrated approach to the understanding and management of natural resources


Program category: Tools & Technology

A successful graduate program and career as a natural resource professional requires mastery of a key set of tools. The suite of courses in this MNR program category focuses on topics such as mapping and analysis via geographical information systems (GIS), the appropriate and effective graphical representation of scientific data, communicating natural resource issues to the public. Also important is the technical writing experience you will gain from many of the courses in program. The recommended resources shown in the course preparation section provide you with additional resources for mastering the key tools for success. This MNR program category will provide the foundational knowledge and understanding of these important tools - 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
Advanced Fire Behavior (FOR 504, Section 6, 3 credits)
  Basic chemistry and physics involved in fire, including heat transfer processes and the main factors affecting fire behavior. Key fire behavior models useful for professionals. Illustrations with exercises to bridge the gap between basic science and application of science in fire analysis. Examples from different areas of the world, making use of developments in different aspects of fire, from grassfires or spotting of Australian eucalypts to crown fire experiments in the boreal forests of Canada, relying heavily on work from the U.S. and Europe, on modeling fire behavior.

Francisco Castro Rego | Sample syllabus | Spring semester

Air Quality and Smoke Management (FOR 554, 3 credits)
  Overview of air pollution, air quality, and smoke. The common sources of pollutants to the atmosphere, their degradation mechanisms, and removal processes. Further content on global biomass burning and emissions of smoke from wildfires, including historical and current policy.

Dr. Alistair Smith | 208-885-1009 | Delivery method: Blackboard Learn | Spring semesters

Fuels Inventory and Management (FOR 451, 3 credits)
  Tools, quantitative analysis, and approaches for inventory and management of fuels for wildland fires over large, diverse areas in forests, woodlands, shrubland, and grasslands. Critically review and synthesize relevant scientific literature.

Contact MNR Director, Professor R. Robberecht | 208-885-7404 | Delivery method: Blackboard Learn | Spring semester

GIS Application in Fire Ecology and Management (REM 407, 2 credits)
  Introduces applications of GIS in fire ecology, research, and management including incident mapping, fire progression mapping, GIS overlay analysis, remote sensing fire severity assessments, fire atlas analysis and the role of GIS in the Fire Regime Condition Class concept and the National Fire Plan. Additional assignment/projects required for graduate credit.

Contact MNR Director, Professor R. Robberecht | 208-885-7404 | Delivery method: Blackboard Learn | Spring semester

Hydrologic  Applications of GIS and remote sensing (GEOG 524, 3 credits)
  Concepts of area-based hydrologic modeling and assessment and the various types of spatially distributed information commonly used in these activities, such as topographic data, vegetation cover, soils and meteorologic data. Hands-on experience in manipulating these types of data sets for hydrologic applications. Recommended Preparation: Watershed Science and Management (FOR 462), Fundamentals of Hydrologic Engineering (BAE 355 or CE 325), or equivalent.
Prerequisites: An introductory course in GIS (e.g., Geog 385) or equivalent work experience.

Professor Karen Humes | 208-885-6506 | Delivery method: Blackboard Learn | Fall semester

Landscape and Habitat Dynamics (REM 507-02, 3 credits)
  This course is designed for students who are interested in quantitative methods for predicting landscape change and dynamics. Central topics in this course are the concepts of disturbance ecology (focus on fire), potential vegetation, niche modeling, successional change, climate change scenarios, human induced change, and effects of change on species ranges and wildlife habitat. Following an introductory section on spatial modeling and uncertainty, we explore spatial point pattern analysis, species distribution modeling, state-and-transition modeling, fire effects models, and landscape scale treatment design. In the laboratory section of the course we use geospatial analysis tools such as the spatial statistics packages in R, the Vegetation Dynamics Development Tool, the Maximum Entropy model, the Wildland Fire Assessment Tool, and the Landscape Treatment Designer to quantify landscape composition under a variety of modeled management and/or climate scenarios. We read and discuss scientific papers and the latter part of the course is dedicated to development, analysis, and reporting of an independent project on a topic of particular interest to the student. Note. This course has similar content and replaces GIS Applications in Natural Resources (REM 502 and GIS Applications in Natural Resources (REM 402).

Dr. Eva Strand | 208-885-5779 | Delivery method: Blackboard Learn | Fall semester 2015

Management of Scientific Innovation (BUS 552, 3 credits)
  Study of business and economic principles needed to manage scientific innovation with emphasis on strategy, organizational leadership, and marketing concepts. Course topics include the role of innovation in strategy, the development of systems and processes that support innovation, the management of technical teams, the commercialization and regulation of scientific innovation, and the protection of intellectual property.

Dr. John Lawrence | 208-885-5821 | Delivery method: Custom course web site | Fall semester

Prescribed Fire For Ecologically-Based Management (FOR 444, 2-3 credits)
  Learn about prescribed burning in support of ecologically-based management through reading, discussion and participating in hands-on service learning, planning, conducting and monitoring prescribed burns, reading and discussing local ecology and management, working collaboratively, and developing skills in fire management. Course requires travel as well as pre, during and post-travel writing, discussion and presentations.

Professor Penelope Morgan | 208-885-7507 | Delivery method: Blackboard Learn | Spring semester 2016

Principles of Research I (CSS 504, 2 credits)
  Approaches, designs, and methods for conducting social science research as applied to natural-resource related research problems. Skills for reading and understanding research literature. Practice in developing elements of a comprehensive research project proposal, including: research goals and objectives; research questions; project purpose; significance of proposed study based on literature and theory; and theoretical framework. Practice in understanding, selecting, and applying appropriate research paradigm for inquiry into research questions, as well as possible research designs for different research paradigms; and appropriate data capturing techniques and analysis procedures. Practice in proposal and report writing in a formal, professional, technical style.

Contact MNR Director, Professor R. Robberecht | 208-885-7404 | Delivery method: Blackboard Learn | Spring semester

Principles of Research II (CSS 504, 2 credits)
  Readings in research literature pertinent to problems, practices, and theories of the conservation social sciences; evolution of literature and critical evaluation of scientific methods applied. Research approaches, designs, and methods as applied in natural resources professions.

Contact MNR Director, Professor R. Robberecht | 208-885-7404 | Prerequisite: Principles of Research I | Delivery method: Blackboard Learn | Spring semester

Principles of Vegetation Measurement/Assessment (REM 410, 2 credits)
  Overview of vegetation measurement techniques for grasslands, shrublands, woodlands, and forests. Students will gain a solid understanding of how to assess and monitor vegetation attributes relative to wildlife habitat, livestock forage, fire fuel characteristics, watershed function, and many other wildland values. Recommended Preparation: A basic statistics course and understanding of how to use computer spreadsheets such as Excel.

Professor Karen Launchbaugh | 208-885-4394 | Delivery method: Custom course web site | Fall semester

Ecological Monitoring and Analysis (REM 411, 2 credits)
  Companion course to Principles of Vegetation Measurement/Assessment (REM 410, 2 credits). Four-day field trip and weekly laboratory (participation via Skype video)

Professor Karen Launchbaugh | 208-885-4394 | Delivery method: Custom course web site | Fall semester

Public Relations and Communication for Resource Management Professionals (CSS 593, 3 credits)
  This course focuses on key concepts, principles and practices of good public relations and social marketing - and in particular, their application for more effective resource management. Ensuring clear communications, good public relations, and positive, constructive dealings with both internal publics (organization employees) as well as external publics (clients, special interests, the general public) is critical for sound resource management, results-oriented planning, and productive policy development.

Contact MNR Director, Professor R. Robberecht | 208-885-7404 | Delivery method: Blackboard Learn | Fall semester and summer

Scientific Graphics Design (NR 504-40, 3 credits)
  Principles of graphics design for science, including the graphical presentation of data for printed and electronic journals, poster presentations, and oral presentations. Students will analyze published scientific graphics as well as learn to design their own graphs based on data from their graduate research or other sources.

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

Science Synthesis & Communication (FOR 504-4, 3 credits)
  Learn together about synthesizing science for application in management. We emphasize fire science. Extensive writing and reading required. In this online course students become informed users of science, learn best practices for synthesizing science, and deepen their understanding of the science-management interface and how to communicate science effectively. We address advocacy. Students complete multiple science briefs and syntheses.

Professor Penelope Morgan | 208-885-7507 | Delivery method: Blackboard Learn

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
Geographic information systems and mapping
Paul A. Longley, M. Goodchild, D.J. Maguire, D.W. Rhind. 2010. Geographic information systems and science. Wiley.

DeMers, M.N. 2008. Fundamentals of geographical information systems. Wiley.

Reference materials
Allaby, M. 2010. The concise dictionary of ecology. Oxford University Press.

Borror, D.J. 1998. Dictionary of word roots and combining forms. Mayfield Publications.

Fazio, J.R., and D.L. Gilbert. 2000. Public relations and communication for natural resource managers. Kendall Hunt.

Jurin, R.R., D. Roush, and K.J. Danter. 2010. Environmental communication: Skills and principles for natural resource managers, Scientists, and Engineers. Second Edition. Springer.

Lincoln, R.J., G.A. Boxhall, and P.F. Clark. A dictionary of ecology, evolution and systematics. Cambridge University Press.

Dunster, J., and K. Dunster. 1996. Dictionary of natural resource management. CABI.

Williams, T. 2005. A dictionary of the roots and combining forms of scientific words. LuLu.

Scientific method and experimental designs
Ford, E. D. 2000. Scientific method for ecological research. Cambridge University Press.

Gauch, H. G. 2003. Scientific method in practice. Cambridge University Press.

Scientific writing, units, and the graphical display of scientific data
Taylor, B.N. 1995. Guide for use of the International System of Units (SI). NIST.

CBE Style Manual. Seventh edition. Council of Biology Editors.

Charland, M.B. 2002. SigmaPlot 2000/2001 for scientists. Riparian House.

Huff, D. 1954. How to lie with statistics. W.W. Norton & Company.

Gigerenzer, G. 2002. Calculated risks: How to know when numbers deceive you. Simon & Schuster.

Monmonier, M. 1996. How to lie with maps. Second edition. The University of Chicago Press.

Salisbury, F.B. 1996. Units, symbols, and terminology for plant physiology. Oxford University Press.

Tuffe, E.R. 2008. The cognitive style of PowerPoint: Pitching out corrupts within. Second Edition. Graphics Press.

Tufte, E.R. 2001. The visual display of quantitative information. Second edition. Graphics Press, Cheshire.

  Journal of GIS Trends
Journal of Public Relations Research
Journal of Remote Sensing & GIS
Public Understanding of Science
Science Communication
Transactions in GIS

Organizations & Research
National Science Foundation
University of Idaho Library

USDA Plant Database
World Factbook

ArcView by ESRI. Comprehensive computer software for geographical information and mapping.

SigmaPlot by Systat. A comprehensive computer software program for designing scientific graphs suitable for journal and book publication.

Systat. A comprehensive statistical software package for scientists.



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