RENR345 (3 credits): Park Ecology & Management (Syllabus)

This is a 3-credit course culminating in a week-long field experience held in conjunction with five other universities in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  The purpose of the consortium is to provide students with hands-on exposure to natural resources management in a major U.S. protected area facing complex challenges.  It is designed to increase students' understanding and appreciation of natural resources, the agencies managing those resources, the management strategies used, and the factors affecting management including issues related to the nearby “gateway communities” and the park’s broader environment.  The course format is one which focuses on problem solving, encourages a high level of interaction among participating students, faculty, and managers, and gives participants an opportunity to connect with nature. 

RENR400 (6 credits): Study Abroad in Natural Resources – Australia (Summer I)

This Australia study abroad program will examine the natural (and related social) history and environmental conservation of Queensland, Australia. Queensland has a wonderful year-round tropical climate and boasts some of the most diverse and remarkable natural resources in the southern hemisphere. An initial stay at James Cook University (Cairns) will be followed by an exploration of the network of national parks, reserves, offshore islands, and coastal areas of norththeast Queensland, before returning back to Cairns for a couple of days to complete the program. In the field, we will snorkel (scuba diving is optional) and explore the marine wildlife and coral of the Great Barrier Reef, learn about Aboriginal culture and history, investigate costal management practices of the offshore islands, and explore the rainforest of Daintree National Park to study the diverse flora and fauna of northeastern Australia. Our program will focus on topics related to sustainable development (sustaining human societies and the natural environment) through educational travel, field trips, active participation, lecture presentations and seminars, and coursework exercises.

RENR400 (8 credits): Study Abroad in Natural Resources – Fiji/Australia (Summer I)

The Australia portion of the study abroad program will examine the natural (and related social) history and environmental conservation of Queensland, Australia. Queensland has a wonderful year-round tropical climate and boasts some of the most diverse and remarkable natural resources in the southern hemisphere. An initial stay at James Cook University (Cairns) will be followed by an exploration of the network of national parks, reserves, offshore islands, and coastal areas of norththeast Queensland, before returning back to Cairns for a couple of days to complete the program. In the field, we will snorkel (scuba diving is optional) and explore the marine wildlife and coral of the Great Barrier Reef, learn about Aboriginal culture and history, investigate costal management practices of the offshore islands, and explore the rainforest of Daintree National Park to study the diverse flora and fauna of northeastern Australia. Our program will focus on topics related to sustainable development (sustaining human societies and the natural environment) through educational travel, field trips, active participation, lecture presentations and seminars, and coursework exercises.

The Fiji program will examine human and cultural aspects of Fijian ecology and the conservation, preservation, and management of Fiji’s unique system of marine, coastal, and mountain/rainforest natural resources. Students will use applications in cross-cultural analysis and techniques to explore the management and conservation of natural resources with a focus on issues related to human use of plant, forestry, wildlife, ecology, recreation and tourism, and/or costal/water resources. The impact of humans on these resources will also be emphasized, including a long term historical perspective. Like the Australian program, The Fijian program will also focus on topics related to sustainable development (sustaining human societies and the natural environment) through educational travel, field trips, active participation, lecture presentations and seminars, and coursework exercises. The goal of this course is using the Fijian case to integrate the different perspectives of diverse natural, biological, and social science disciplines to improve understanding of relationships between human societies and the natural environment. The impact of humans on natural resources and their sustainable use and conservation will be emphasized.

RENR400 (6 Credits): Study Abroad in Natural Resources – New Zealand (Summer I)

This 4-week study abroad program will examine the natural (and related social) history and resource conservation of New Zealand’s South Island. New Zealand’s isolation, after its separation from the ancient Gondwanaland millions of years ago, has left this island nation with a unique natural heritage. The plants and animals that have evolved here are unknown elsewhere in the world. Our program will focus on topics related to sustainable development (sustaining human societies and the natural environment) through educational travel, field trips, active participation, lecture presentations and seminars, and coursework exercises. The goal of this course is using the New Zealand case to integrate the different perspectives of diverse natural, biological, and social science disciplines to improve understanding of relationships between human societies and the natural environment. The impact of humans on natural resources and their sustainable use and conservation will be emphasized.