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Natural Resources Management

This major includes core environmental conservation and management courses plus a required minor degree that allows students to concentrate their coursework on one of many diverse nature-based careers.

Natural Resources Management

The Natural Resources Management major*, soon to be known as the Environmental Conservation and Management degree, prepares the next generation of leaders with the knowledge, ability, and excellence to conserve and manage our natural systems for a sustainable future. The degree is an innovative interdisciplinary combination of social and ecosystem sciences structured to generate critical thinking and problem-solving skills necessary to address the many diverse challenges of complex natural resource and environmental issues.

Throughout the world, the quality of life of individuals and communities is directly associated with the use and management of land, water, soil, plants, and wildlife. Natural resource managers seek to thoughtfully balance the diverse and interconnected needs of society with the sustainable use of natural resources to guide how humans interact with their surrounding environments.

Our curriculum teaches students to holistically integrate the social, technological, economic, and scientific aspects of society with the need to conserve and protect our natural resources and environment for the future.

The Auburn University Natural Resources Management degree is flexible, providing students the opportunity to tailor their academic experience with a minor so that they may discover and pursue their career interests while acquiring a diverse skill set expected of today’s natural resource professionals.

Depending on a student’s career goals, they may choose a natural resources minor such as coastal management, environmental law, forest health, nature-based recreation, natural resources ecology, forest seedling nursery management, urban forestry, or watershed sciences, or another minor offered on campus, such as business, communications, fisheries, geography, sociology, foreign language, or sustainability. Small class size and close contact with world-class faculty provide for a challenging and high-quality academic experience. Beyond the classroom, our students have ample opportunities for hands-on learning through study abroad, undergraduate research, internships, and other real-world experiences that prepare them for exciting and rewarding careers.

Natural resources management is a growing field with a wide variety of career options and solid earning potential in both public and private sectors, including positions within federal, state and municipal governments as well as nonprofit agencies such as land trusts, conservancies, and other environmental organizations. Depending on an individual’s specialization, experience, and skill level, graduates may qualify for diverse natural resource occupations that include:

      • Land and resources manager or planner
      • Water quality manager
      • Environmental consultant
      • Environmental or conservation scientist
      • Urban planner
      • Wetland ecologist
      • Geospatial analyst
      • Land Trust manager
      • Sustainability officer
      • Environmental educator
      • Communicator
      • Parks and recreation director
      • Ecotourism operator
      • Urban forester or arborist

Explore this career guide toolkit to learn more about outdoor recreation and conservation careers. Students who wish to further specialize or advance in their fields or occupations after graduation, may opt to continue their education by pursuing a Master of Science, Master of Natural Resources degree or an online professional graduate certificate. Visit our Graduate Student Services office web page or Distance Education and Online Learning center for more details about how these opportunities might benefit your natural resources career.

Note: Students may incur laboratory, transportation, or other fees associated with labs and field experiences required for course credit.

* With the development of new CFWE courses and minors, the Natural Resources Management degree has been renamed as the Environmental Conservation and Management* major to better reflect its curriculum and career fields. This change is pending approval by ACHE in the spring 2024.

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