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Range Science

Rangelands are ecosystems where agriculture and conservation meet. Rangelands cover more than half of the Earth’s land area, and include prairie, grassland, savanna, shrubland and chaparral, alpine meadows, wetlands and deserts. Rangelands are dynamic ecosystems, teeming with biodiversity and driven by patterns of climate, soil, and water, and have been used by humans for thousands of years. As range scientists, we seek to understand rangeland ecosystem patterns and processes to ensure sustainable management.

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An Ecosystem perspective

North Dakota is fortunate to have large areas of rangeland, and grazing agriculture remains a vital part of the state’s economy and way of life. At North Dakota State University, we look at the entire rangeland ecosystem–from plant diversity, to wildlife, to soils and water–and study how humans can best manage these natural resources for both sustainable production and conservation. We prepare students to study and manage rangelands not only in North Dakota, but across the country and around the world.

The Curriculum

Range science provides students with knowledge and experience to assess, monitor and manage rangeland resources. Using an ecosystem perspective, students study the inter-relationships between a variety of plant, soil, animal and social sciences. The undergraduate program is designed to train students in rangeland plant ecology and management; disturbance ecology and management, including grazing and fire; range improvement and restoration, management and monitoring; and watershed management. Students are required to have basic knowledge in biology, botany, chemistry, mathematics and zoology. Courses in related fields such as animal science, soil science, entomology, geology, geographic information systems and natural resource management are included.

High School Preparation

High school preparation should include course work in biology, chemistry, math and English.

Career Opportunities

Range science graduates find rewarding, lifelong careers with federal, state and provincial government agencies; private industry and consulting firms; college and university research, teaching and extension positions; and non-profit conservation organizations. The increasing need for research in natural resource sciences has led many graduates to seek further education in graduate programs. Specifically, graduates of our program find jobs as ranch managers, rangeland livestock managers, restoration ecologists, invasive plant specialists, mined-land reclamation specialists, wildlife habitat managers, watershed managers, wetland management specialists and many more in various agencies and private firms.

Range science graduates are in high demand and qualify for a wide variety of careers in conservation and natural resources management. Examples of employment opportunities include:

Federal Agencies

  • Natural Resources Conservation Service
  • U.S. Forest Service
  • Bureau of Land Management
  • Agricultural Research Service
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • National Park Service
  • U.S. Geological Survey
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency


State Agencies

  • Natural resource departments
  • Game and fish departments
  • State land departments
  • Experiment stations
  • Extension Service


Private Industry

  • Ranch management
  • Environmental consulting
  • Agricultural sales and service
  • Agricultural advisors
  • Mined-land reclamation specialists


Foreign Assignments

  • Peace Corps
  • U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization
  • U.S. Agency for International Development

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Range science majors are eligible to apply for many program scholarships as well as College of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Natural Resources scholarships each year. Scholarships are announced in spring semester and awarded fall semester. In addition, part-time work and work-study are available through the program and the School of Natural Resource Sciences.

Range Science Plan of Study

Please note this is a sample plan of study; actual student schedules will vary depending on start year, individual goals, applicable transfer credit, and course availability. Students are encouraged to work with their academic advisor on a regular basis to review degree progress and customize their own plan of study.

Freshman

Fall

Credits

Spring

Credits

BIOL 150 General Biology I

3

CHEM 122 General Chemistry II

3

BIOL 150L General Biology I Laboratory

1

COMM 110 Fundamentals of Public Speaking

3

CHEM 121 General Chemistry I

3

ENGL 120 College Composition II

3

CHEM 121L General Chemistry I Laboratory

1

SOIL 210 Introduction to Soil Science

3

ENGL 110 College Composition I

4

Gen Ed Wellness

2

MATH 103 College Algebra (or placement)

3

 

RNG 136 Introduction to Range Management

3

 

 

18

 

14

Sophomore

Fall

Credits

Spring

Credits

ANSC 114 Introduction to Animal Sciences

3

SOIL 217 Introduction to Meteorology & Climatology

3

RNG 213 Rangeland Sampling Techniques

3

STAT 330 Introductory Statistics

3

ECON 201 Principles of Microeconomics

3

RNG 450 Range Plants

3

Gen Ed Humanities & Fine Arts/Gen Ed Social &

     Behavioral Sciences

3

RNG 452 Geographic Information Systems in Range Survey

3

 

Gen Ed Social & Behavioral Sciences

3

 

12

 

15

Junior

Fall

Credits

Spring

Credits

BIOL 456 Ornithology

3

ENGL 321324, or 459 Writing in the Technical Professions,

3

RNG 456 Range Habitat Management

3

     Writing in the Sciences, or Researching and Writing Grants and Proposal

BIOL 364 General Ecology

3

PLSC 380 Principles of Plant Physiology

3

SOIL 351410, or 444 Soil Ecology, Soils and Land Use, or

     Soil Genesis and Survey

3

PLSC 315 & 315L Genetics & Genetics Laboratory

4

Gen Ed Upper Division Writing

3

Elective

6

 

15

 

16

Senior

Fall

Credits

Spring

Credits

RNG 458 Grazing Ecology

3

RNG 462 Natural Resource and Rangeland Planning

3

RNG 460 Plant Ecology

3

RNG 451 Ecology of Fire-Dependent Ecosystems

3

BIOL 475 or 476 Conservation Biology or Wildlife Ecology

     and Management

3

RNG 453 or 454 Rangeland Resources Watershed Management or

     Wetland Resources Management

3

BIOL 458 Mammalogy

3

Gen Ed Humanities & Fine Arts/Gen Ed Cultural Diversity

3

BIOL 452 or 454 Ichthyology or Herpetology

3

Elective

3

 

15

 

15

Total Credits: 120

View NDSU equivalencies of transfer courses at: www.ndsu.edu/transfer/equivalencies

Morrill Hall
Room 201

Morrill Hall is located on the south end of campus on Albrecht Boulevard (Campus Map)

Contact Information

Range Sciences
School of Natural Resource Sciences
North Dakota State University
Morrill Hall 201
Dept #7650, PO Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108-6050

Tel: (701) 231-7582 / Fax: (701) 231-8557
Email: ndsu.range@ndsu.edu
Web: www.ndsu.edu/range/

Office of Admission
North Dakota State University
Ceres 114
Dept #5230, PO Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108-6050

Tel: (701) 231-8643 / Fax: (701) 231-8802
Email: NDSU.Admission@ndsu.edu
Web: www.ndsu.edu/admission/

 

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Office of Admission
North Dakota State University
Phone: +1 (701) 231-8643 / Fax: (701) 231-8802
Campus address: Ceres Hall 114
Physical/delivery address: 1301 Administration Ave., Fargo, ND 58102
Mailing address: NDSU Dept. 5230 / PO Box 6050 / Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Page manager: NDSU Webmaster

Last Updated: Friday, August 10, 2018 2:09:38 PM
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