Natural Resources Program Mission

Provide an academic foundation and framework that allows students to define and pursue both intended and emergent interests according to their personal & professional goals. Our breadth of educational opportunities engages students in building a knowledge and skill set with a concentration in the ecological dimensions (Resource Ecology), the social science dimensions (Resource Planning), or an integration of the two dimensions (Integrated Natural Resources) of the environment and natural resources.

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University General Education
Every student at UVM will take General Education courses on Sustainablity, Writing and Information Literacy and Diversity.

Rubenstein School Core Curriculum
All Rubenstein School students will engage with the School's Core Curriculum: a body of knowledge, skills and values our faculty believe to be central to the study of natural resources and the environment.

Program Specific Learning Outcomes
Each student will pursue the Program Learning Outcomes specific to their chosen major.



Natural Resources Program Learning Outcomes by Concentration

Students in Resource Ecology will:

Apply essential skills of measurement, spatial orientation, sampling, and data analysis;

Identify and explain foundational principles and concepts from biology, chemistry and geology as they apply to ecological systems;

Describe components, structures, processes, and functions of ecological systems, including relationships between abiotic and biotic dimensions, at multiple scales (e.g. community, landscape, global);

Gather, analyze, and evaluate scientific data (including field data) to characterize at least one type of ecological system. This includes capacity to translate ecological data into maps using computer systems;

Identify and explain factors that contribute to and detract from the resilience of ecological processes/systems.


Students in Resource Planning will:

Identify and explain conceptual frameworks from the social sciences and ethics as they apply to interpreting human interactions with environment and natural resources;

Identify and describe key processes, structures and functions occurring in a given social-environmental context;

Analyze collective human processes related to the environment/natural resources in depth and at varied scales (e.g. individual, community, institutional, global) using conceptual frameworks from at least one area of the social sciences;

Draw on and synthesize multiple lenses from social science perspectives to interpret and assess a chosen social-environmental context;

Demonstrate skills for gathering and using data appropriate to their chosen area of study, for example, integrating data into persuasive arguments, data gathering and quantitative and qualitative analysis to characterize human interactions with the environment, data mapping for land use design, educational and interpretative tools for outreach.


Students in Integrated Natural Resources will:

Create a program of study that includes clear learning objectives and learning outcomes for conceptual foundations and applications pertinent to natural resources and environment that (1) are distinct from other majors in the Rubenstein School, (2) locate the program of study in the context of systems or processes that encompass the intersection of social and ecological dimensions of natural resources and environment, and (3) contain an integrative component that addresses the intersection of ecological and social dimensions of natural resources and environment;

Demonstrate proposal writing skills through a proposal that explains clearly a program of study for review, input, and approval by a committee of 3 faculty members;

Complete an in-depth program of study that includes learning outcomes appropriate to the defined learning objectives and courses that will support the achievement of learning objectives and outcomes.