The College of Agriculture, Biotechnology & Natural Resource's Rangeland Ecology & Management degree program is now accredited by the Society for Range Management, and University of Nevada, Reno is now a Society for Range Management accredited university.
This is the first time that the degree and the University have been accredited by the Society.
The Society is a professional scientific and conservation organization that provides leadership for the stewardship of rangelands based on sound ecological principles. It accredits quality professional programs in range management education and the universities that provide them.
The University received word from the Society of the accreditation this summer, just a few short months after the University achieved the Carnegie Classification of "R1" in December and just before it learned last month that U. S. News and World Report ranked the University in the top tier of national universities for the 10th straight year.
Like earning R1 and Tier 1 status, receiving Society accreditation too is big news for the College, the University, Nevada and beyond.
Watching over the world's wildland
Nevada has more rangeland acres than any state in the U.S., and the world's rangelands make up about 70 percent of the earth's surface. Extremely productive and rich in biodiversity, rangelands provide:
- Essential wildlife habitat and carbon sequestration
- A setting for social, cultural and aesthetic activities
- A source of high-quality water, clean air and open spaces
- Economic means for agriculture, mining and local communities
- An environment for recreation, such as hiking, camping, hunting and fishing
Since rangelands cover much of our planet's surface and since they have many important functions, managing them well is essential.
With the new accreditation and R1 and Tier 1 status, the University and its rangeland program now better stand out to current and future land managers worldwide. The University will be able to attract more managers here to study, where they will learn the science of watching over the world's wildland.
"I believe there are only 12 programs in the world that are Society-accredited," Agriculture, Veterinary & Rangeland Sciences Department Chair Tamzen Stringham said. "We have worked extremely hard to meet the accreditation requirements, and I would like all of Nevada and beyond to know of this accomplishment."
A range of opportunities
The degree's interdisciplinary program of study gives students a foundation for science-based decision-making in natural resource management. Students graduate with the knowledge and skills needed to integrate information about geographical information systems, land-use policy, livestock use, plant communities, soils, watershed functions, wildlife species and more to conserve and restore rangeland ecosystems.
The curriculum meets U.S. Civil Service requirements for range conservationist and soil conservationist. It can be customized to also meet U.S. Civil Service requirements for soil scientist and ecologist.
Program graduates find careers in:
- Parks management
- Ranch management
- Native plant research
- Conservation planning
- Wildlife habitat management
- Soil science and conservation
- Fuels and wildfire management
- Rangeland economics and policy
- International rangeland management
- Rangeland restoration and rehabilitation
- Riparian and wetland ecology and management
- Rangeland livestock production and management
They work for university Experiment Stations and Extension offices; non-profit conservation organizations; private environmental consulting firms; federal, state, local and public lands agencies; national, state and local parks; and more.
To explore a day in the life of a program graduate who works for a private firm, read Women in science: Jamie Ludwig Dafoe, rangeland specialist. To understand how graduates' employer organizations, including universities, Experiment Stations, and federal, state and public lands agencies, work together to protect and restore rangeland, read Up in Smoke: University ecologists help firefighters protect Nevada's lands.
To learn more about the program, contact Tracy Shane, lecturer and student advisor, at 775-682-7047.