Entomology & Wildlife Ecology
All Things Are Connected
This we know. The earth does not belong to man; man belongs to the earth...all things are connected. Man does not weave the web of life; he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself. Chief Seattle, 1854
All things are connected. Environment and policy, laws and science. But this connection is sometimes overlooked as rapid development, population growth and increasing pressure on resources create numerous land use conflicts. How should the land be used? For a shopping mall or as a state park? Which use has a greater economic value—a farm or a forest? Issues like these are hot topics in today’s world. And while everyone—from politician to scientist, environmentalist to economist--has a position to take, agreeable solutions can be hard to find.
Can we do good science without considering policy? Should we promote policies that are written without attention to science? And where do economics fit in? How much are we willing to pay--financially and ecologically--to implement our choices about land use? These are the kinds of questions we try to answer in Natural Resource Management. As Chief Seattle said, everything is connected...in our case, science, policy, ethics, and economics. We believe it’s important for all disciplines work together to solve the issues of managing the earth’s environmental resources.
A Combination of Courses
The strength of the NRM curriculum lies in the interdisciplinary nature of the program. Drawing on the expertise of a wide variety of faculty, you will learn about biodiversity one day and discover how to do GIS mapping the next. You’ll learn to solve “real world” problems using your solid understanding of the natural sciences, mathematics and statistics, economics, and public policy. You will learn about ethical issues in natural resource use and management, and you’ll get practice writing and speaking effectively through class projects and presentations.
The NRM program is a core of required courses, supplemented by eight menus of courses that allow you to pick what interests you most. The groups focus on communications, chemistry and physics, statistics, ecosystems, plants and animals, land and water management, natural resource policy, and ethics. In your first year as an NRM major, you will take a freshman seminar, chemistry, data analysis, math, English, and resource economics. After that, you will work with your advisor to choose the way you want your program to go. An Honors Degree is available for students wishing to add academic rigor to their program.
A Place To Learn
The College of Agriculture and Natural Resources provides an outstanding environment for studies in natural resource management. Located right on campus, we are a 350-acre complex surrounded by suburbia. Our facilities include a working farm, a 35-acre woodlot, a habitat trail, a greenhouse laboratory and expansive botanical gardens. Many of our class field trips occur right here in our own backyard, as well as in places such as White Clay Creek Preserve, Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge, and Washington, D.C. We are fortunate to be in the heart of the northeast corridor, close to many natural areas, farms and inland bays that are bordered by cities and suburbs. This geography provides an ideal venue for seeing the challenges of managing our natural resources.
Our on-campus facilities include Townsend and Worrilow halls, which contain our faculty offices, classrooms, student Commons, laboratories, library branch, and extensive computing lab, with state-of-the-art software like geographic information systems and computer-aided design packages.
Enriching the Experience
For many students, interactions with faculty are the first step to creating a meaningful college experience. For NRM majors, this relationship begins early in the first year, when students meet their faculty advisors. These professors work directly with each NRM major to assist with course selection, internship advice and career planning. This unique relationship not only enriches the undergraduate experience, but pays off greatly when it comes time for recommendation letters, graduate-school references, and the job search.
Students may also enhance their experience here by doing undergraduate research - working with a faculty mentor to explore a topic at a greater depth than is normally covered in the classroom. Some carry this experience all the way to writing a thesis and earning a Degree with Distinction, sometimes resulting in publication in a professional journal.
All NRM majors are encouraged to experience the “real world” by pursuing an internship, where they earn a stipend or academic credit for their work at a local agency, state park, or consulting firm. Many UD alumni work in the local area and maintain excellent ties to our program, providing great contacts for our undergraduates.
To supplement classroom learning, NRM majors often join UD student groups. The Wildlife Conservation Club, the Student Environmental Action Coalition, the Young Republicans, College Democrats, and the Outing Club offer unique opportunities to make friends, take a stand, develop leadership skills and have fun at the same time.
Because of the global impact of natural resource management, many of our majors spend time abroad. A semester in Peru, Antarctica, Tanzania, New Zealand, Morocco or Ecuador—or in any of UD’s many programs—contributes greatly to students’ global perspectives and ultimately enriches their undergraduate experience.
Life After College
Career opportunities for Natural Resource Management majors lie in a variety of areas. Recent graduates have taken positions with environmental consulting firms, engineering companies, and state- and county-level government agencies, and some have been admitted to law school. Graduates of the NRM program may be qualified to pursue graduate work in areas like conservation biology, urban planning, public policy administration and resource economics.
Many career-preparation programs are held throughout the year, and cover topics such as resume writing, interviewing, networking, and graduate school. Career Fairs are held each year, allowing students to mingle with prospective employers. We encourage all students to participate in these events; to seek related experience through internships; to develop their communication skills; and to learn to network with prospective employers. This, in addition to doing well academically, greatly enhances post-graduate opportunities.