Natural Resource Management 140

Spring 2011

Stillwell 425

Tues-Thurs 8:00-9:15


Instructor:                         Dr. Ron Davis   

Office:                              Stillwell 318

Phone:                              x2726

Office Hours:                    M TU WED: 10:30-12:00




NOTE:  I have an open door policy and am frequently in my office when not teaching.  Please feel free to stop by my office.


I. Purpose


Students will develop a basic understanding of natural resource conservation, and will investigate relationships between those resources and society and issues related to their management.


II. Course Objectives: 


In addition to increased knowledge of natural resource management concepts students will be able to apply critical thinking skills to the understanding of ecologic, economic, and ethical aspects of natural resource management and conservation.  


As with any science or general topics course there are a number of topics and concepts to cover.  However, please note that the emphasis in this class is not on simple ‘knowledge’ based learning or memorization but on the higher level ‘synthesis’ and ‘application’ of scientific concepts toward NRCM. 


This course is a Liberal Studies course.  The learning goals of the Liberal Studies Program are for students to:



This course partially satisfies the C5 science requirement of the WCU liberal studies program and contains a laboratory component.  In the physical sciences, students will

III. Course Materials

  IV. Expectations of Students/Course Policies (Amendments will be announced in class)                   

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY: Students, faculty, staff, and administrators of Western Carolina University (WCU) strive to achieve the highest standards of scholarship and integrity. Any violation of the Academic Integrity Policy is a serious offense because it threatens the quality of scholarship and undermines the integrity of the community. While academic in scope, any violation of this policy is by nature, a violation of the Code of Student Conduct and will follow the same conduct process (see ArticleVII.B.1.a.). If the charge occurs close to the end of an academic semester or term or in the event of the reasonable need of either party for additional time to gather information timelines may be extended at the discretion of the Department of Student Community Ethics (DSCE).

Violations of the Academic Integrity Policy include:

Cheating - Using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, or study aids in any academic exercise.

Fabrication – Creating and/or falsifying information or citation in any academ­ic exercise.

Plagiarism - Representing the words or ideas of someone else as one’s own in any academic exercise.

Facilitation - Helping or attempting to help someone to commit a violation of the Academic Integrity Policy in any academic exercise (e.g. allowing another to copy information during an examination)

According to WCU regulations:  “Faculty members have the right to determine the appropriate sanction(s) for violations of the Academic Integrity Policy within their courses, up to and including a final grade of “F” in the course.” 

My general policy is that a score of zero be assigned for the work in question although I consider each case and sanction individually.  Depending on the severity of the offence and the impact on student grades these incidents are to be reported in each case. 

I sincerely hope this will not be an issue but unfortunately it does occur.  Generally some in class activities and projects might have a group-work component (i.e. data collection) but I very seldom use a group grade for any major assignments, tests, quizzes or written reports.  It is MUCH easier just to avoid these things in the first place.  If you have questions regarding my policy for any given assignment (group vs. individual work) please ask. 


What you should expect from me:




Class Environment:  It is likely some issues we cover in this class will be controversial.  I encourage respectful disagreement and debate.  Keep an open mind and resist the urge to immediately dismiss a view with which you disagree.  This class is a forum where we can have open discussion and where everyone has the opportunity to participate and feels comfortable participating.  Everyone should be polite and tolerant of divergent viewpoints.  Please listen and do not talk when others are talking.  Be respectful of your fellow students and me. 

Writing Assistance: The Writing Center which is located on the first floor of Hunter Library assists students with papers and written assignments.  See their website for additional information at

Accommodations for Students with Disabilities: Western Carolina University is committed to providing equal educational opportunities for students with documented disabilities.  Students who require disability services or reasonable accommodations must identify themselves as having a disability and provide current diagnostic documentation to Disability Services.  All information is confidential.  Please contact Disability Services for more information at (828) 227-2716, or 144 Killian Annex.


V. Grading Procedures:  The bulk of the grade for this class will come from the exams though we will have numerous small in-class exercises used to illustrate concepts.  We will also have 1 field project and write up.


Scores for the various assignments will averaged and multiplied by the percentages shown below to calculate your final grade.




Percentage of Grade

Hourly Exams (4): Open ended, critical thinking, performance based.


Assignments/quizzes:  Most of these are in-class effort based and designed to reinforce course concepts.


Field Project/Write-up: Data collection, analysis and interpretation using a portion of the WCU campus as a study site


NOTE: There will be an optional multiple choice cumulative exam you can use to replace your lowest test grade.  If you miss a test with an unexcused absence this won’t be optional.  It WON’T count against you if you take it.



NOTE: Unless otherwise stated assignments are to be turned in during class.  Electronic submissions are NOT considered turned in until I have confirmed with you that I received the files.   


Grading Scale:  Grades will be assigned according to the scale shown below. 


Percentage Grade

Letter grade



90 – 92


87 – 89


83 – 86


80 – 82


77 – 79


73 – 76


70 – 72








Below 60





VI. Tentative Course Schedule

(Updates will be posted online at_____________________________________________)




Reading Assignment




Tues, Aug 23

Introduction to Conservation, Management, and Natural Resources


Thurs, Aug 25

Views of NRCM

Chapter 1


Tues, Aug 30

Land Use and Natural Resources

Chapter 3

Thurs, Sep 1

Land Use and Natural Resources

Chapter 3

 Tues, Sep 6

Ecology and Land Use

Chapter 5

Thurs, Sep 8

Ecology and Land Use

Chapter 5

Tues, Sep 13

 Wrap up and Review


Thurs, Sep 15






Tues, Sep 20

Sources and Analysis of NRCM Data.

Chapter 11 and supplemental (Meet in Stillwell 354??)

Thurs, Sep 22

Sources and Analysis of NRCM Data

Chapter 11 and supplemental

(Meet in Stillwell 354??)

Tues, Sep 27

Soil conservation and management

Chapter 12

Thurs, Sep 29

Water Conservation: Streams and Groundwater

Chapter 13-15

Tues, Oct 4

Water Conservation: Streams and Groundwater

Chapter 13-15

Thurs, Oct 6

Water Conservation: Watershed Management

Chapter 10

Tues, Oct 11

Stream Evaluation Criteria


Thurs, Oct 13

Mid-Term Break – No Classes


Tues, Oct 18

Mid-Term Break – No Classes


Thurs, Oct 20

Stream Evaluation--Field Sampling

Cullowhee Creek-Depends on Weather--check your email

Tues, Oct 25

Test 2: Soil and Water

Thurs, Oct 27

Part III  Living Resources

Tues, Nov 1

Landscape Ecology: Forests, Wildlife and Biodiversity

Chapter 15-17 and supplements

Thurs, Nov 3

Landscape Ecology: Forests, Wildlife and Biodiversity

Chapter 15-17 and supplements

Tues, Nov 8

Landscape Ecology: Forests, Wildlife and Biodiversity

Chapter 15-17 and supplements

Thurs, Nov 10

Landscape Ecology: Forests, Wildlife and Biodiversity

Chapter 15-17 and supplements

Tues, Nov 15

Integration Methods for Land Analysis

Chapter 18

Thurs, Nov 17



PART IV: Management and Conservation Practices, Policies and Future Directions


Tues, Nov 22

Wildlife and Habitats


Thurs, Nov 24

Thanksgiving – No Classes


Tues, Nov 29

Habitat Suitability Indices

Projects Assigned 


PROJECT Aerial Photo


Thurs, Dec 1

Managing forests and wildlife habitat

Ch 6-7

Tues, Dec 6

Managing forests and wildlife habitat

Ch 6-7  

Thurs, Dec 8