Natural Resources Management Bachelor's Degree

A Bachelor of Science in Natural Resource Management at Michigan Tech prepares you to use knowledge-based leadership to solve real-world environmental problems.

Other schools own forests—but ours is right out the back door at the Ford Center and Forest. There isn't a better place to study natural resources than the wild Keweenaw Peninsula, bordered by Lake Superior, blanketed with forests and wetlands (and 218+ inches of snow each winter). First-year students have two outdoor field labs and are all eligible to participate and be paid as Earn and Learn students, acquiring the hands-on knowledge and experience to land a summer job or internship after their first year.

Upon graduation, students will have obtained hundreds of hours in the field, from classroom labs, to research. This experience puts our students a step above the rest when it comes to working for government agencies, non-profits, consulting firms, and others.

What is Natural Resource Management?

Natural resource management is the way in which people and natural landscapes interact. The management of our natural resources directly affects the quality of life for current and future generations.

At the core, natural resources management is about using knowledge-based leadership to solve or prevent environmental problems. Environmental challenges are diverse and complex, and require a firm foundation in natural resources science and ecosystem management. You will learn to understand interdependent ecological and sociopolitical systems—the balance between human interests and environmental health. Planning. Environmental energy. Tribal lands. Public recreation. Private industry. Natural Resource Management is about working together to protect the environment for generations to come.

What Will I Study?

If you feel a connection with the outdoors and are willing to dig deep into a broad base of sciences and disciplines—including social, ethical, and business—you will feel at home in our natural resources management program.

Study landscape ecology and planning, forest ecology, natural resource conservation, and ethics of conservation. We emphasize professional development, fieldwork, teamwork, leadership, and communication, preparing you to meet contemporary environmental problems and debates—from wetland preservation to forest conservation—head-on. You build strong working relationships with professors and peers that will help you find and focus on your niche, developing the skills and training to solve 21st-century natural resource challenges.

A degree in natural resources management equips you with the knowledge, expertise, ethics, and perspective to address complex environmental problems that relate to renewable natural resources. What makes this program different from the rest?

  • a social/human dimensions sequence, based in the department of social sciences.
  • an economics/business component taught by faculty with primary appointments in the Michigan Tech College of Business.
  • a unique capstone class and requires biogeochemistry, natural resources ethics and the environment, and a natural resource conservation seminar.

arial image of the ford center in the fall

"Camp" at the Ford Center and Forest

Spend a semester outdoors at our 3,500 acre forest just 40 miles away from main campus in Alberta, MI. During student's third year, they will live, eat, sleep, and study with peers while living in dorms located right on the property. Get out in the field Monday through Friday for classes such as survey of silviculture, forest health, and wildlife habitat to collect samples, study natural ecosystems, and learn the necessities that will help you attain your natural resource career. Learn more about "camp" - or integrated field practicum - here. 

Be Career Ready

As the climate continues to change, it is increasingly important to understand and manage the ecosystems that are affected by human dimensions in a way that is ethical and sustainable.

Each year, the College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science hosts its own Natural Resource Career Fair. ~20 companies from across the US travel to the college in late fall to educate and recruit employees.

Career Opportunities for Natural Resource Management

  • Conservation Scientist
  • GIS Specialist
  • Environmental Consultant
  • Environmental Lawyer
  • Restoration Specialist
  • Natural Resource Communications Specialist
  • Environmental Policy Analyst

Michigan Tech Natural Resource Management Majors Have Been Hired By

  • National Park Service
  • Department of Natural Resources
  • Tribal Natural Resource departments
  • Bureau of Land Management
  • The Nature Conservancy

Ready to take the next step?

Learn more about studying natural resources management at Michigan's flagship technological university.

  • 8:1
    student-to-faculty ratio
  • 25
    typical lab size
  • 3.5K
    acres to explore at our residential field camp

Huskies Go To The Woods

Study how the changing climate will affect our future forests at the Ford Forestry Center—our 5,000-acre classroom.

Student Learning Goals

Students in the College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science can expect to achieve the following learning goals—which also align with the University's Undergraduate Student Learning Goals:

  1. Develop an in depth knowledge of the field of natural resources management.

  2. Develop a strong set of field skills related to the management of natural resources.

  3. Effectively identify and evaluate sources of information relating to natural resources management.

  4. Provide alternative solutions to situations or problems in natural resources management.

  5. Develop skills that ensure they behave with a high level of professionalism.

  6. Develop the ability to work effectively in teams.

Why Research Matters

Researcher holding a fish in a lab.

Our strong passion for research creates professionals who have the hands-on experience needed to sustainably manage our ecosystems. From Tribal land agreements to environmental policies, to recreation and human activities—there is a research topic that is sure to help you find your passions.

Diverse Ecosystem of Environmental Stewardship

If you have a love for the woods, and a desire to sustain resources for the future, you will feel at home in the College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science (CFRES). Our College is a community on a first-name basis, connected by a shared passion for study, research, and work centered on forest health and ecosystem integrity. Similar to Keweenaw’s biodiverse ecosystems, CFRES is a community of undergraduates, graduates, faculty, staff, and alumni who learn, lead, and thrive in the unique environment the college has to offer. You’ll notice flags from countries around the world when you step into the door of our atrium. We are a safe space for all who love natural resources, with a commitment to a sense of belonging

3,650 Acres of Research Forest

Michigan Tech’s Ford Center is home to our 3,650-acre forest. Located just over 40 miles from campus, students in their third year get to live, learn, and play in the woods for a whole semester. Learn how to navigate among the trees, count board feet, identify forest pests and diseases, and explore ways to mitigate them. Take a swim in the Sturgeon River while taking water samples, quantify woody and herbaceous plants, design maps, and learn to mark timber.  Spend a couple of hours in the classroom, and the rest of the day outdoors. Work closely with your peers and professors to create management plans that best suit the environment for the changing climate.

Integrated Field Practicum at the Ford Center

The Integrated Field Practicum (IFP) is the cornerstone of natural resource management at Michigan Tech, and stands out among the rest as the only off-campus, semester-long field practicum in the United States. Offered in the Fall and Summer.

Master of Science in Forest Ecology and Management

Earn a master's degree and build upon research from your undergrad. The Master of Science in Forest Ecology and Management provides greater opportunity for career advancement and a higher starting salary. Study ecological services in managed landscapes - from nutrient cycling to bird habitat, and the impact management has on wildlife functions.

Tomorrow Needs Sustainable Management

Join a community that believes in renewable resources, protecting wildlife, and multiple use forests in a sustainably-driven society at a flagship public research university powered by science, technology, sustainability, and passion. Graduate with a foundation of knowledge and real-world experience in natural resource management.

Undergraduate Majors

Analyze accessibility of recreation areas. Restore trails. Protect wildlife. Build upon climate action policies. As a research institution, we offer far reaching natural resource programs with a global impact (like studying diverse human groups in the field).

Or, start with our General Forestry option and give yourself time to decide.

"The forests we have now are only getting smaller due to the negative impacts of human interaction and I personally believe that protecting and managing these forests and the species that rely on them will allow future generations to enjoy the beauty we all enjoy currently."Kendra Podgregar, Wildlife Ecology and Conservation