Studies & Degrees in Natural Resources
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Studies in natural resources – otherwise known as natural resource management – were developed to research, manage, and solve several problems pertaining to the harvesting, use, distribution and sustainability of natural resources. It ties in closely with environmental and scientific studies, and typically more courses are available in any country where land preservation and environmental protection are either national and/or corporate concerns.
Studies in this field are mainly offered in higher education institutions such as colleges and universities (including online courses), while some colleges even specialize in natural resource and environmental studies. A natural resource management degree is available as a bachelor’s and as a master’s.
Some environmental and resource management companies offer certification courses for future employees at a certain cost. Students may also receive training from specifically educated consultants, though this training will usually not provide any certifications.
Skills, Qualifications and Prerequisites for Studies in Natural Resources
Since most programs for natural resource management can be found in higher education institutions, an applicant must adhere to the qualifications for admission to such an institution. This may include the country’s version of secondary school certificate, or the passing of an examination. If applying for a master’s degree in natural resource management, a bachelor’s in the same or related field is required. Online courses and resource company programs will have their own application process, usually requiring some official educational or other documentation.
It is preferred that students of natural resource studies enjoy the outdoors, harbor an eco-friendly attitude, communicate effectively and display excellent problem-solving skills. Since much of natural resource management involves addressing complex issues of human versus environmental needs, students should have a high ability to understand and interpret a multitude of complex factors.
Skills and Qualifications Acquired from Studies in Natural Resources
Since natural resource studies cover a broad range of skills, it is possible to specialize in certain areas, such as forestry or wildlife, which requires further credits pertaining to the specific area of study. Basic natural resource courses, however, will usually cover nearly all of the following topics:
- Methods of environmental conservation, preservation and restoration.
- Types of environmental management (water, forest, etc.)
- Laws, policies and regulations relating to natural resources.
- Management and resource inventory.
- Energy management and conservation.
- Surveyi ng.
- Basic chemistry.
- Basic biology.
- Statistics and economics.
Natural resource managers can work for a variety of employers. Various companies that harvest natural resources require the expertise of managers. Government organizations also need such experts on local, state and federal levels to address environmental issues. Non-profit organizations, educational institutions and nature centers also provide careers.