Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources Grassland Ecology & Management

Quick points
Attribute Value
College: Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources
Degree Offered: Bachelor of Science in Grassland Ecology & Management
Hours Required: 120
Minimum Cumulative GPA: 2.0 for graduation
Minor Available: Yes
Advisor: Walter Schacht
  1. Intro

Grassland Ecology & Management

COLLEGE: Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources

MAJOR: Grassland Ecology & Management

DEGREE OFFERED: Bachelor of Science in Grassland Ecology & Management


MINIMUM CUMULATIVE GPA: 2.0 for graduation


ADVISOR: Walter Schacht


Coordinator: Walter H. Schacht, Department of Agronomy and Horticulture, 312 Keim Hall

Curriculum Committee: Guretzky, Twidwell, Wedin


Grassland Ecology and Management

  • An integration of disciplines involved in the study, conservation, and utilization of grasslands.
  • Provides a strong background in the plant and physical sciences in preparation for studying the ecology and management of grasslands in upper level course work.
  • Foundation of the degree program is multiple use, emphasizing integrated grassland management for water, wildlife, forage, recreation, and aesthetics.
  • Students learn through course work, seminars, capstone experiences, and optional internships with state and federal agencies, research organizations, and private industry.
  • Careers include managers of grassland resources on private and public lands with specialization in habitat management, grassland restoration/monitoring, or grassland management, positions with environmental consulting firms, natural resources districts, public land management agencies, land use planning agencies, and federal and state wildlife divisions.
  • Curriculum meets the civil service requirements of the federal government for rangeland management specialist positions in such agencies as the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Forest Service.
  • Breadth of the curriculum prepares students for postgraduate education in most disciplines related to natural resource sciences.


Core Requirements

College Integrative Courses6

SCIL 101 Science and Decision-Making for a Complex World3

NRES 438 Grassland Conservation: Planning & Management (Capstone ACE 10)3

Mathematics and Statistics5-8

STAT 218 Introduction to Statistics (ACE 3)3

Select one course beyond college algebra2-5

MATH 102 Trigonometry (2 cr)

MATH 103 College Algebra & Trigonometry (5 cr) Only 2 hrs of MATH 103 will count toward this requirement.

MATH 104 Applied Calculus (ACE 3) (3 cr)

MATH 106 Calculus I (ACE 3) (5 cr)


Written Communication (ACE 1)3

Select from: ENGL 150, ENGL 151, ENGL 254, JGEN 120, JGEN 200, JGEN 300

Oral Communication (ACE 2)3

Select from: ALEC 102, COMM 101, COMM 209, COMM 210, COMM 215, COMM 283, COMM 286, MRKT 257, NRES 260, TMFD 121

Communication and Interpersonal Skills Electives3

Select from: ENGL 150, ENGL 151, ENGL 252, ENGL 253, ENGL 254, ALEC 102, JGEN 120, JGEN 200, JGEN 300, COMM 101, COMM 209, COMM 210, COMM 212, COMM 215, COMM 286, MRKT 257, NRES 260, TMFD 121

Natural Resources13-14

NRES 220 Principles of Ecology (BIOS 220)3

SOIL 153 Soil Resources (AGRO 153/HORT 153)4

AECN 265 Resource & Environmental Economics I (NREE 265)3

GEOG 412 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (NRES 412) (4 cr) or NRES 312 Introduction to Geospatial Information Sciences (GEOG 312) (3 cr)3-4

Natural and Physical Sciences20

CASNR Approved Life Sciences8

LIFE 120 & LIFE 120L Fundamentals of Biology I & Lab4

LIFE 121 & LIFE 121L Fundamentals of Biology II & Lab4

CHEM 105 & CHEM 106 Chemistry in Context I & II (8 cr) or CHEM 109 & CHEM 110 General Chemistry I & II (8 cr) (ACE 4)8

MSYM 109 Physical Principles in Agriculture & Life Sciences (ACE 4)4

Economics, Humanities and Social Sciences15

AECN 141 Introduction to the Economics of Agriculture or ECON 200 Economic Essentials & Issues or ECON 211 Principles of Macroeconomics or ECON 212 Principles of Microeconomics (ACE 6)3

Select one course each from ACE outcomes 5, 7, 8, and 912

Specific Major Requirements

Grassland Resources12

NRES 245 Introduction to Grassland Ecology & Management (AGRO 245)3

NRES 440 Great Plains Ecosystem (AGRO 440/RNGE 440)3

NRES 442 Wildland Plants (AGRO 442/RNGE 442)3

RNGE 340 Range Management & Improvement (AGRO 340)3

Natural Resources and Sciences18

NRES 211 Introduction to Conservation Biology or NRES 311 Wildlife Ecology & Management3

NRES 281 Introduction to Water Science (GEOG 281/WATS 281)3

AGRO 315 Genetics4

AGRO 325 Introductory Plant Physiology4

SOIL 477 Great Plains Field Pedology (AGRO 477/GEOG 467/NRES 477)4

Inventory and Policy9

AECN 388 Ethics in Agriculture & Natural Resources (ALEC 388) or PHIL 225 Environmental Ethics3

NRES 323 Natural Resources Policy or AECN 357 Natural Resource & Environmental Law (NREE 357)3

RNGE 444 Ecosystem Monitoring & Assessment (AGRO 444/NRES 444)3

Free Electives9-13

Total Credit Hours for Graduation120


Grassland Ecology & Management Minor18

NRES 245 Introduction to Grassland Ecology & Management (AGRO 245)3

RNGE 340 Range Management & Improvement (AGRO 340)3

NRES 440 Great Plains Ecosystem (AGRO 440/RNGE 440)3

SOIL 153 Soil Resources (AGRO 153/HORT 153)4

Select two of the following: (5 cr minimum)5

AGRO 242 North American Wildland Plants (HORT 242/RNGE 242) (1-3 cr)

NRES 442 Wildland Plants (AGRO 442/RNGE 442) (3 cr)

NRES 444 Ecosystem Monitoring & Assessment (AGRO 444/RNGE 444) (3 cr)

NRES 438 Grassland Conservation: Planning & Management (3 cr)

NRES 496 Independent Study (1-6 cr)


Scholarships and Financial Aid

In addition to other scholarships a student might receive, the grassland ecology and management program awards scholarships annually to qualifying new and current GECM students, based primarily on academic performance. For more information on these scholarships, contact Dr. Walter Schacht, 402-472-0205,

Academic Advising

Students are assigned a faculty advisor after admission into their program. The advisor serves as a resource regarding the degree, academic plans and progress, and career options. Students are encouraged to regularly consult with their advisor, especially before registering for classes.


College Admission

Requirements for admission into the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources (CASNR) are consistent with general University admission requirements (one unit equals one high school year): 4 units of English, 4 units of mathematics, 3 units of natural sciences, 3 units of social studies, and 2 units of foreign language. Students must also meet performance requirements (ACT composite of 20 or higher OR combined SAT score of 950 or higher OR rank in the top one-half of graduating class; transfer students must have a 2.0 (on a 4.0 scale) cumulative grade point average and 2.0 on most recent term of attendance. For students entering the PGA Golf Management degree program, a certified golf handicap of 12 or better (e.g., USGA handicap card) or written ability (MS Word file) equivalent to a 12 or better handicap by a PGA professional or high school golf coach is required. For more information, please visit:

Admission Deficiencies/Removal of Deficiencies

Students who are admitted to CASNR with core course deficiencies must remove these deficiencies within the first 30 credit hours at UNL, or within the first calendar year at UNL, whichever takes longer, excluding foreign languages. Students have up to 60 credit hours to remove foreign language deficiencies. College-level course work taken to remove deficiencies may be used to meet degree requirements in CASNR.

Deficiencies in the required entrance subjects can be removed by completion of specified courses in the University or by correspondence.

The Office of Admissions, Alexander Building (south entrance), City Campus, provides information to new students on how deficiencies can be removed.

College Degree Requirements

Curriculum Requirements

The curriculum requirements of the College consist of three areas: ACE (Achievement-Centered Education); College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources Core; and Degree Program requirements and electives. All three areas of the College Curriculum Requirements are incorporated within the description of the Major/Degree Program sections of the bulletin. The individual major/degree program listings of classes insures that a student will meet the minimum curriculum requirements of the College.

Foreign Languages/Language Requirement

Two units of a foreign language are required. This requirement is usually met with two years of high school language.

Minimum Hours Required for Graduation

The College grants the bachelors degree in programs associated with agricultural sciences, natural resources and related programs. Students working toward a degree must earn at least 120 semester hours of credit. A minimum cumulative grade point average of C (2.0 on a 4.0 scale) must be maintained throughout the course of studies and is required for graduation.

Grade Rules

Removal of C-, D and F Grades

Only the most recent letter grade received in a given course will be used in computing a student’s cumulative grade point average if the student has completed the course more than once and previously received a grade or grades below C in that course.

The previous grade (or grades) will not be used in computation of the cumulative grade point average, but it will remain a part of the academic record and will appear on any transcript.

A student can remove from his/her cumulative average a course grade of C-, D+, D, D- or F if the student repeats the same course at the University of Nebraska and receives a grade other than P (pass), I (incomplete), N (no pass), W (withdrew), or NR (no report). If a course is no longer being offered, it is not eligible for the revised grade point average computation process.

For complete procedures and regulations, see the Office of the University Registrar website at

Pass/No Pass Limits

Students in CASNR may take any course offered on a Pass/No Pass basis within the 24-hour limitation established by the Faculty Senate. However, a department may specify that the Pass/No Pass status of its courses be limited to non-majors, or may choose to offer some courses for letter grades only.

GPA Requirements

A minimum cumulative grade point average of C (2.0 on a 4.0 scale) must be maintained throughout the course of studies and is required for graduation.

Transfer Credit Rules

To be considered for admission, a transfer student, Nebraska resident or nonresident, must have an accumulated average of C (2.0 on a 4.0 scale) and a minimum C average in the last semester of attendance at another college. Transfer students who have completed less than 12 credit hours of college study must submit either ACT or SAT scores.

Ordinarily, credits earned at an accredited college are accepted by the University. The College, however, will evaluate all hours submitted on an application for transfer and reserves the right to accept or reject any of them. Sixty is the maximum number of hours UNL will accept on transfer from a two-year college. Ninety is the maximum number of hours UNL will accept from a four-year college. Transfer credit in the degree program must be approved by the degree program advisor on a Request for Substitution Form to meet specific course requirements, group requirements, or course level requirements in the major. At least 9 hours in the major field, including the capstone course, must be completed at UNL regardless of the number of hours transferred.

The College will accept no more than 10 semester hours of C-, D+, D and D- grades from other schools. The C-, D+, D and D- grades can only be applied to free electives. This policy does not apply to the transfer of grades from UNO or UNK to UNL.

Joint Academic Transfer Programs

The College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources has agreements with many institutions to support joint academic programs. The transfer programs include dual degree programs and cooperative degree programs. Dual degree programs offer students the opportunity to receive a degree from a participating institution and also to complete requirements for a bachelor of science degree in CASNR. Cooperative programs result in a single degree from either UNL or the cooperating institution.

Dual Degree Programs

A to B Programs

The A to B Program, a joint academic program offered by the CASNR and participating community colleges, allows students to complete the first two years of a degree program at the participating community college and continue their education and study in a degree program leading toward a bachelor of science degree.

The A to B Program provides a basic knowledge plus specialized course work. Students transfer into CASNR with junior standing.

Depending on the community college, students enrolled in the A to B Program may complete the requirements for an associate of science at the community college, transfer to UNL, and work toward a bachelor of science degree.

Participating community colleges include:

  • Central Community College
  • Metropolitan Community College
  • Mid-Plains Community College
  • Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture
  • Northeast Community College
  • Southeast Community College
  • Western Nebraska Community College

3+2 Programs

Two specialized degree programs in animal science and veterinary science are offered jointly with an accredited college or school of veterinary medicine. These two programs permit CASNR animal science or veterinary science students to receive a bachelor of science degree from UNL with a degree in animal science or veterinary science after successfully completing two years of the professional curriculum in veterinary medicine at an accredited veterinary school. Students who successfully complete the 3+2 Program, must complete the “Application for Degree” form and provide transcripts to the Credentials Clerk, Office of the University Registrar, 107 Canfield Administration Building, UNL. Students should discuss these degree programs with their academic advisor.

Cooperative Degree Programs

Academic credit from UNL and a cooperating institution is applied towards a four-year degree from either UNL (UNL degree-granting program) or the cooperating institution (non UNL degree-granting program). All have approved programs of study.

UNL Degree-Granting Programs

A UNL degree-granting program is designed to provide students the opportunity to complete a two-year program of study at one of the four-year institutions listed below, transfer to CASNR and complete the requirements for a bachelor of science degree.

Chadron State College. Chadron State College offers a 2+2 program leading to a grassland ecology and management degree program.

University of Nebraska at Kearney. Transfer programs are available for students pursuing degree programs leading to a bachelor of science degree.

University of Nebraska at Omaha. The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) cooperates with CASNR in providing four-semester pre-agricultural sciences, pre-natural resources, pre-food science and technology, pre-horticulture and pre-turfgrass and landscape management transfer programs.

A student enrolled in these programs may transfer all satisfactorily completed academic credits identified in the suggested program of study, and enter CASNR to study toward a degree program leading to a bachelor of science degree. The total program would require a minimum of four years or eight semesters (16 credit hours/semester or 120 credit hours).

UNL CASNR faculty teach horticulture and food science and technology courses at UNO to assist an urban population in better understanding the food processing, horticulture, and landscape horticulture industries.

For more information, contact Megan Lane, University of Nebraska at Omaha, 402-554-3624; and/or the CASNR Dean’s Office, 800-472-8800, ext. 2541.

Non UNL Degree-Granting Programs

The CASNR cooperates with other institutions to provide course work that is applied towards a degree at the cooperating institution. Pre-professional programs offered by CASNR allow students to complete the first two or three years of a degree program at UNL prior to transferring and completing a degree at the cooperating institution.

Chadron State College–Range Science. The 3+1 Program in range science allows Chadron State College students to pursue a range science degree through Chadron State College. Students complete three years of course work at Chadron State College and one year of specialized range science course work (32 credit hours) at CASNR.

Dordt College (Iowa) – Agricultural Education: Teaching Option. This program allows students to pursue an Agricultural Education Teaching Option degree leading toward a bachelor of science in agricultural education. Students at Dordt College will complete 90 credit hours in the Agricultural Education: Teaching Option Transfer Program.


Students must complete at least 30 of the total hours for their degree using UNL credits. At least 18 of the 30 credit hours must be in courses offered through CASNR1 (>299) including the appropriate ACE 10 degree requirement or an approved ACE 10 substitution offered through another UNL college and excluding independent study regardless of number of hours transferred. Credit earned during education abroad may be used toward the residency requirement if students register through UNL and participate in prior-approved education abroad programs. UNL open enrollment and summer independent study courses count toward residence.

1 Includes courses taught by CASNR faculty through interdisciplinary prefixes (e.g., LIFE, MBIO, ENVR, SCIL, EAEP, HRTM, ENSC) and CASNR crosslisted courses taught by non-CASNR faculty.

Online and Distance Education

There are many opportunities to earn college credit through the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Office of Online and Distance Education. Some of these credits may be applicable not only as elective credits, but also toward the fulfillment of the College’s education requirements. Credits earned through the UNL Online and Distance Education program may count toward residency. However, certain offerings may not be counted toward scholarship requirements or academic recognition criteria.

For further information, contact:

Office of Online and Distance Education

University of Nebraska–Lincoln

2100 Vine Street

Lincoln, NE 68588-8307


Independent Study Rules

Students wishing to take part in independent studies must obtain permission; complete and sign a contract form; and furnish copies of the contract to the instructor, advisor, departmental office, and the Dean’s Office. The contract should be completed before registration. Forms are available in 103 Agricultural Hall or online at the CASNR website.

Independent study projects include research, literature review or extension of course work under supervision and evaluation of a departmental faculty member.

Students may only count 12 hours of independent study toward their degrees and no more than 6 hours can be counted during their last 36 hours earned, excluding senior thesis, internships, and courses taught under an independent study number.

Other College Degree Requirements

Capstone Course Requirement

A capstone course is required for each CASNR degree program. A capstone course is defined as a course in which students are required to integrate diverse bodies of knowledge to solve a problem or formulate a policy of societal importance.

ACE Requirements

All students must fulfill the Achievement Centered Education (ACE) requirements. Information about the ACE program may be viewed at www.ace.unl.

The minimum requirements of CASNR reflect the common core of courses that apply to students pursuing degrees in the college. Students should work with an advisor to satisfy ACE outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 and 10 with the college requirements.

Bulletin Rule

Students must fulfill the requirements stated in the bulletin for the academic year in which they are first admitted to UNL or when they were first admitted to a Joint Academic Transfer Program. In consultation with advisors, a student may choose to follow a subsequent bulletin for any academic year in which they are admitted to and enrolled as a degree-seeking student at UNL in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. Students must complete all degree requirements from a single bulletin year. The bulletin which a student follows for degree requirements may not be more than 10 years old at the time of graduation.


This is the site for old bulletin data. Please head to UNL's Course Catalog for updated course and program information.