A department of diverse faculty & students dedicated to solving critical environmental challenges with cutting-edge research.

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students sitting on the quad

In the News

giant sequoia grove

Research suggests some trees have the potential for immortality

Franco Biondi (dendrochronologist) suggests that trees do not die because of genetically programmed age deterioration, but rather are killed by an external agent or a disturbance event.

Adrian Harpold on location

Researcher Adrian Harpold honored by premier earth science society

Harpold’s research on snow droughts, snowmelt, and how climate change is impacting our forests and water resources has earned him the honor of being selected to receive the 2021 Hydrologic Sciences Early Career Award.

Aspen trees are declining in numbers across North America due to warming temperatures and lack of precipitation.

Continent wide decline of aspen driven by climate change

Hall Cushman and Tyler Resfsland used long-term data from the USFS forest inventory program where individual trees can be followed, and actual death rates and tree biomass can be seen.

The Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Science offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs to educate, inspire and prepare the next generation of scientists. Department faculty are engaged in cutting-edge research in the following areas:

mecury sampling

Air

Topics of study include the characterization of pollutant emissions from combustion sources, the understanding of atmospheric photochemical processes and the quantification of human exposure to air pollution.

stream survey

Water

Topics of study include the use of remote sensing, field observations and modeling to address the most pressing questions in the fields of water quality, lake clarity, stream and creek ecosystems and mountain ecohydrology.

soil samples

Soils

Topics of study include soil hydrologic conditions, the evaluation of current and past environmental conditions and the characterization of physiochemical processes in the region’s soils.

plant survey

Plants

Regions of study include mountain meadows and sierra forest, riparian communities along creeks and streams and the vast open space of the Great Basin rangelands.

big hou=rn sheep

Wildlife

Topics of study include interactions between wildlife and land uses, avian ecology, forestry-wildlife relationships, endangered species management, reproductive ecology, nutrition and foraging ecology, predator-prey interactions and population dynamics.