Coastal Management

Coastal lands and resources are under increasing pressure due to a variety of environmental and societal issues. Sea level rise, urbanization, energy production, tropical storms, and habitat loss are just some of the pressing issues facing coastal areas. There is an increasing need for professionals trained to manage natural resources in these areas. Through coursework in the Coastal Zone Management minor, students will gain a comprehensive understanding of the coastal environment and how management and policy are applied to natural resources. To complete this minor, students will be required to attend Dauphin Island Sea Laboratory (DISL) for one summer.

Download a curriculum model for this minor.

Some professional positions that graduates may pursue during their careers include:

  • Regulatory specialist
  • Environmental protection specialist
  • Coastal management project manager
  • Educational program manager
  • Risk assessor
  • Coastal zone manager
  • Coastal planning project manager

Environmental Law

This minor will prepare students about issues related to the current laws governing environmental protection, natural resource management, sustainable development, land-use planning supporting the pursuit of law degree. 15 hours are required to complete the minor.

Download a curriculum model for this minor.

Some professional positions that graduates may pursue during their careers include:

  • Regulatory specialist
  • Environmental protection specialist
  • Coastal management project manager
  • Community planner
  • Environmental lawyer (with a law degree)

Forest Health

Healthy forests are a critical part of our nation’s landscape. Our forests provide humans with several benefits including shelter, water, and food as well as wood for construction, furnishings, and basic necessities. Through coursework in the Forest Health minor, students will gain a comprehensive understanding of insect and disease management to maintain a sustainable forest.

Download a curriculum model for this minor.

Some professional positions that graduates may pursue include:

  • Forest health specialist
  • Forest manager
  • Land manager

Forest Seedling Nursery Management

This *minor will prepare students to work in state, private and federal forest seedling nurseries with the production of conifer and hardwood bareroot and container seedlings used in the reforestation programs throughout North America.

Download a curriculum model for this minor.

Some professional positions that students with this minor may pursue include:

  • Forest seedling nursery manager
  • Nursery specialist

*Minor will be available in spring 2023, however students can take courses immediately.

Nature-based Recreation

Tourism is one of the world’s largest industries and has witnessed significant growth over the last half century. One of the fastest growing segments of the industry, Ecotourism, is anchored in nature-based experiences. Nature-based recreation activities such as hiking, camping, fishing, mountain biking, bird watching, sight-seeing, and hunting benefit society in a variety of ways. Benefits include much needed escape from everyday life, healthy exercise, excitement and adventure and even economic benefits to local towns and companies.  Students in this minor will learn the theory, principles and values, business and management, communication skills, and conservation foci of nature-based recreation and ecotourism. The minor is designed for students who are interested in careers in government, in private business, and non-profit companies who offer outdoor recreation opportunities.

Download a curriculum model for this minor.

Some professional positions that students may pursue include:

  • Natural Resource Manager
  • Park Ranger
  • Environmental Planner
  • Community-Based Conservation Consultant
  • Tourism Consultant
  • Interpretive Ranger
  • Community Recreation Director
  • Tour Coordinator/Ecotourism Operator
  • Forest Protection Officer
  • Education and Operations Director

Natural Resources Ecology

Natural resources ecology is a broad and rapidly evolving field that includes landscape, plant, animal and abiotic systems.   A minor in Natural Resources Ecology provides students with the opportunity to gain knowledge about a wide-range of ecological concepts by taking core courses in landscape, wetland and forest ecology.  Students then select additional courses that focus on the system that interests them most.  This minor is designed for students who would like to pursue careers in areas such as plant or restoration ecology, conservation biology, natural resource education, or fish or wildlife law enforcement.

Download a curriculum model for this minor.

Some professional positions that students with this minor may pursue include:

  • Natural resource technician
  • Conservation biologist
  • Extension professional
  • Natural resource educator

Urban Forestry

Urban forests create a more pleasant and livable environment within our cities. They beautify our landscapes, reduce energy consumption within our buildings, filter air and water, provide shade and wildlife habitat, and help to control storm water.  This minor will prepare students to help cities meet the special challenges of managing trees and forests within urban environments.  Urban forestry specialists will be involved in storm flow analysis, tree planting and care, grant proposals, and supervision of municipal employees.

Download a curriculum model for this minor.

Some professional positions that graduates may pursue include:

  • Urban forester
  • City arborist
  • Tree planting coordinator
  • Urban natural resource or land use planner
  • Urban forestry and beautification manager or supervisor
  • Urban and community forestry program manager
  • Forestry technician
  • Forest protection officer

Watershed Sciences

Freshwater is an essential resource but becoming increasingly scarce in many parts of the world. Watershed science and management is an expanding field that involves managing the availability, quantity, and quality of water. Professionals in this field must have a firm understanding of the various natural processes and human activities that affect water.  The Watershed Sciences minor is intended to provide background courses in natural and physical sciences along with upper-level courses on watershed management, wetland ecology, soil conservation, and electives that match student interests. This minor is well suited for students looking for a career in watershed science, soil conservation, water management, or wetland ecology.

Download a curriculum model for this minor.

Some professional positions that students with this minor may pursue include:

  • Watershed scientist
  • Environmental consultant
  • Water quality regulator
  • Municipal water planner
  • Wetland ecologist