Courses & Programs

Natural Resources Studies Transfer

The Natural Resources Studies Transfer option applies toward a Natural Resource Studies degree in the Department of Forestry and Wildlife Management at the University of Massachusetts.

Jamie Laurin

Chair, Environmental Science

Science, Engineering & Math

Marieb 325

413.552.2523 (Tel)


Applies toward a Natural Resource Studies degree in the Department of Forestry and Wildlife Management at the University of Massachusetts. This program is for students who have specific career goals not met by other natural resource or environmental majors at the University. As part of the College of Food and Natural Resources, a foreign language is not required.

61 total credits

36 credits General Education Requirements + 25 credits Program Requirements

Depending on the course selection, 50% of this program can be completed online.

General Education Requirements

This course is the first half of the college composition sequence and focuses on close reading, critical thinking, beginning research skills, and the writing process. Students will read, analyze, and cite a range of nonfiction texts. Students will produce several formal essays totaling approximately 3000 words. Prerequisite: Appropriate scores on English placement tests or C- or higher in ENG 095.
This course is the second half of the first-year composition sequence and focuses on close reading, critical thinking, academic writing, research, and the writing process. Students will locate and evaluate both primary and secondary sources, and will gain skill in summarizing and synthesizing source material while employing MLA documentation. Texts will include a range of nonfiction (articles, essays, scholarly sources) and literary works. Students will produce at least 3000 words of formal written work, including a documented essay of at least 1250 words. Prerequisite: ENG 101 with a grade of C-or higher.
An introduction to life's basic processes including the chemistry of life, the structure and function of the cell, how cells use energy and matter, how cells reproduce, and how genetic inheritance occurs. Examples of how these processes affect each and everyone of us on a daily basis will be explored. This course will also explore the methods of science through in class assignments and laboratory work so that students will better understand the processes of collecting, analyzing and interpreting data in various formats. Laboratories supplement lecture by allowing students to explore topics in a hands-on fashion. Prerequisite: Eligibility for ENG 101
Applies biological principles to a survey of the three domains of biological organisms. The biology of animals, plants, bacteria, fungi, protists, as well as viruses will be studied. Evolutionary and ecological relationships between the organisms studied will be used to develop an understanding of the fundamentals of these vital branches of biology. The importance of biological diversity to the functioning of the biosphere will be explored. Laboratories supplement lecture and allow students to investigate the structure and function of the organisms studied. Prerequisite: BIO 100 or BIO 101 or BIO 103 or BIO 107
Conventional (neoclassical) economics assumes that the economy can continue to grow forever, that well-being is determined only by market goods, and that people always act selfishly. Ecological economics in contrast, starts from the understanding that the economy is a sub-system of the global environment, and subject to its bio-physical limits. In addition, human well-being is determined by many other factors besides market goods: friendship, love, status, rights, freedom, etc. and that human behavior is far more complex than simple self-interest.The primary insight of ecological economics is that the human economy is part of the global environmental system. Ecological economics situates human activity within the environment, and the study of the natural environment includes human interests and activities. Ecological economics is a systems approach with a global perspective on human resource use, economic development, and the environment. Ecological economics is concerned not only, like other economists, with efficiency and equity, but also with environmental and social sustainability.This course provides a historical overview of various schools of economic thought, presents the major principles required to fuse ecology with economics, and helps students to analyze economic policies under the lens of ecological reality. Particular attention is paid to economic growth theory and policy as it pertains to the sustainability of human society and management of natural resources. This is a transdisciplinary course, incorporating relevant principles and practices from political science, economics, psychology, philosophy, the natural sciences and physics.Prerequisite: Any ECN course with a passing grade of C- or eligibility for MTH 095, or by permission of instructor.
An introduction to the structure, function, and politics of United States government at the state, county, and municipal levels, emphasizing their roles within the federal system.
This course provides an introduction to the basic principles and processes of economic theory and analysis, as well as exploring applications to contemporary issues. This course also provides basic knowledge concerning the role, use, and interpretation of graphs and equations within economics. Fundamental topics and questions in both microeconomics and macroeconomics are presented to provide a broad background for understanding economic issues.
A survey of the political, economic, social, and cultural developments of the United States from pre-Colonial times to the end of the Civil War, including early settlement, the Revolution, the implementation of the Constitution, the War of 1812, the Jacksonian era, and the causes and course of the Civil War.
Environmental history examines how humans and nature have interacted through time and with what results. The natural environment (water, land, climate, geological changes, disease, plant and animal ecology, etc.) and human factors (population, capitalism, technology, social relations, cultural attitudes, etc.) from an interrelated system. However, the environmental history of a period and place is a matter of interpretation, and this course actively explores the many facets of this new field of study. As an introduction to interpreting America's environmental past, students will explore such themes as Native American ecology, hunting, the impact of agriculture, mining, industrialization, as well as the emergence of ecology and the modern environmental movement. Prerequisite: Eligibility for English 101
Students will learn how to improve their ability to think and reason, to better understand the basis for their opinions, and to build convincing arguments in discussions and debates. By discussing controversial moral and political topics and examining scientific studies, opinion polls, and newspaper editorials students will learn ways one should not argue (by using what philosophers call fallacious reasoning) and then learn how to make more effective arguments.
A college-level course including more advanced topics in algebra, functions, graphs, and problem solving. Prerequisite: MTH 095 or MTH 099 with a grade of C- or better; or completion Module 18 in the self-paced MTH 02X sequence, or adequate score on the Mathematics Placement Examination.

Program Requirements

Learn the identities and life histories of New England plants through study in field, lab, and lecture settings. Gain proficiency in the use of botanical keys and field guides to identify plants in the field. Become familiar with major plant families. Investigate the relationships between plant communities and land use history. Field trips are frequent and require moderate walking over uneven terrain. Prerequisite: A semester course in college biology or environmental science
The exploration of environmental geology, an applied science, will include the fundamentals of geologic processes and the Earth's natural resources, with an emphasis on the human interaction within the geologic environment. Lecture topics included in this course: general overview of rocks and minerals, geologic hazards (e.g., earthquakes, volcanoes, mass wasting, flooding), soil formation and documentation, geological landscapes (e.g., glacial deposits, lava flows, and floodplains), groundwater, waste management, land-use planning and current events in geology. Laboratory exercises, which are intended to reinforce the lecture topics, will include: field visits to local geologic points of interest, computer simulations, and hands-on investigations.
This course is an overview of the major principles and techniques required for the detailed investigation and documentation of soil conditions. Consideration is given to the physical and chemical properties of soil development. Topics to be covered include soil forming factors, soil profile genesis, layer and horizon nomenclature, soil texture and the applications of soil science to scientific studies. Lecture and field/laboratory exercises are designed to introduce the student to the qualitative and quantitative methods of the soil assessment process. A major component of this course will be a student project that emphasizes field investigation integrated with internet research.
This is an introductory course in Geographic Information Science (GIS). Geographic information systems are computer technologies for producing maps and discovering possible correlation between spatial data (e.g., natural resource data, census information, land use data, city planning records, epidemiological information, water quality figures, air quality figures, marketing statistics, etc.). Individuals from diverse disciplines are encouraged to enroll in this course which focuses on obtaining and creating digital data, performing elementary spatial analysis and producing graphical representations though the use of computer mapping software.
A scientific examination of human social phenomena. Major topics include interaction, statuses and roles, groups, social institutions, culture, socialization, social control, conforming and deviant behavior, collective behavior, social inequality, demography, social change, urbanism, industrialism and globalization.Prerequisite: Eligibility for ENG 101
A study of the fundamental chemical laws and theories, including stoichiometry, the gaseous and liquid states, periodic law, atomic and molecular structures, and energy. Descriptive material supporting the discussion is from the field of inorganic and organic chemistry. Qualitative and quantitative laboratory work supports the lecture discussion. Prerequisite: MTH 08 with a grade of C- or higher, or an equivalent self-paced level (SM12), or algebra placement test score of 50 or higher.
Graphical description of data, measures of central tendency and variability, probability and probability distributions, central limit theorem, estimation of parameters, testing hypotheses, regression and correlation, analysis of variance, and other topics in statistical inference. Prerequisite: MTH 085 or MTH 099 with a grade of C- or better; or SM12, or adequate score on the Mathematics Placement Examination.

This program qualifies for MassTransfer, which guarantees credit transfer to Massachusetts state colleges universities. MassTransfer also will grant students automatic acceptance to certain state colleges and universities by achieving the minimum grade point average and the HCC degree.