Feb 05, 2013
Humboldt State University’s Department of Rangeland Resources and Wildland Soils is leading a federally-funded partnership to attract more youth nationwide to high-demand jobs in rangeland ecology.
Building on its status as a nationally-recognized leader in rangeland studies, HSU is partnering in the recruitment effort with Rangeland West, a worldwide multidisciplinary database for researchers and private and public land managers aimed at fostering sustainable development. HSU offers the only rangeland resources degree in California, in a broad-based, cross-disciplinary curriculum.
The HSU/Rangeland West team has launched a website: http://rangelandswest.org/careersandeducation/ provides prospective students everywhere with educational resources from a multitude of institutions of higher learning that offer curriculum choices, research projects and employment opportunities to rangeland science majors.
The new site features thumbnail sketches of current students who share their classroom and outdoor research experiences in various parts of the Western U.S. Profiles include rangeland students from Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Oregon as well as HSU.
Humboldt State undergraduate Katie Tenneson, who is working in the Arcata Soil Survey Office, says, “I have always loved working with animals. I raised show calves and hogs for 10 years and sold them at my local fair. I want to be able to expand my knowledge of land management and ecosystem health by the interactions I will have with different landowners and professionals.”
The HSU campus is located minutes from private ranches and state and federal lands, offering myriad diverse opportunities in laboratory and field trip research and job experience for prospective students in the western U.S.
Students who major in Rangeland Resource Science in HSU’s College of Natural Resources and Sciences can choose between rangeland resources and wildland soils. Humboldt State’s wildland soils degree option is the only non-crop-based soils program in California.
HSU’s program is buttressed by faculty expertise: Rangeland Resources Department Chair Kenneth Fulgham is a director on the board of the Society for Range Management and chairman of The Buckeye, the California North Coast conservancy of ranchers and forest landowners who support private conservation of natural resources.
Wildland Soils Professor Susan E. Marshall was recently appointed to the Certified Rangeland Manager Certification Panel. California is the only state that offers a certification program at the state level.
Marshall also is in line to serve as President of the Range Science Education Council in 2015, the year the Society for Range Management will convene its annual meeting in Sacramento.
Rangeland ecology students at HSU acquire key practical experience in such areas as prairie land reclamation and restoration, vegetation management and state and federal land management research in fire and range ecology.
A Rangeland Management Specialist earns a degree in range management or a related discipline with at least 42 semester hours in a combination of the plant, animal and soil sciences, plus natural resources management. Details are spelled out on the new website.
The initiative is financed by a $40,500 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture via the University of Idaho, which funded HSU’s development of the website by its in-house Department of Marketing & Communications.