Baccalaureate in Natural Resource Management
The Department of Land Resources prides itself on its hands-on approach to learning. Students are provided experiences that duplicate real-world applications as closely as possible. Housed in the Land plenty Center within the Waco Center, the Department has state-of-the-art facilities and about 300 acres of land adjacent to the building for outdoor projects. A greenhouse and sawmill are located on the property for student use along with storage buildings for timber harvesting equipment. A computer lab is available for the appropriate classes. The lab contains computers, plotters, a scanner, and software that replicate those used in government, business, and industry offices. A wide array of hand tools, large equipment, and instruments suitable for field labs are available to enhance instruction and learning. Global positioning systems (GPS) and geographic information systems (GIS) technologies are used in several classes.
The baccalaureate degree in Natural Resource Management provides students with the knowledge, analytical and practical skills, and decision-making competencies to protect and use effectively our renewable resources. Students receive instruction on ecosystem function, environmental assessment, geospatial analysis, and management. Further, the Program integrates course offerings from the Department of Science and Mathematics, Department of Business, and Department of Social Science. The degree encompasses general education, a Natural Resource Management core, seven major concentration areas and a block elective component. The seven degree concentrations are Applied Science, Business Management, Criminal Justice, Environmental Science, Forest Technology, Landman Technology, and Land Surveying Technology.
Two associate degree programs are offered, Forest Technology and Land Surveying Technology. Students completing these associate degree programs can matriculate seamlessly into the Natural Resource Management degree program. The Forest Technology Program has been recognized by the Society of American Foresters (S.A.F.) since 1971. In 2009, S.A.F. began the transition from recognition to full accreditation of forest technology degree programs. The program is currently a candidate for accreditation. There are only 22 accredited programs in the country. Graduates can become registered under state law to practice forest management in West Virginia. Graduates of the Land Surveying associate degree program receive a surveyor intern status as the curriculum is approved by the West Virginia Board of Examiners of Land Surveyors and the degree provides two of the six years required for licensure.
The associate degree programs, like the baccalaureate program, have active advisory committees comprised of representatives from government, business, and industry. These advisory bodies ensure that classes are continually updated and meet the needs of industry and government. Job opportunities remain strong for graduates of the three degree programs.