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Rangeland Ecology and Watershed Management – Bachelor of Science (BS)

We’ve all heard “Home on the Range,” the unofficial anthem of the American West, but what exactly is “the range?”

The range or rangelands are the unfarmed, wide open spaces that account for more than 40 percent of the earth’s land—and 70 percent of Wyoming’s. These sparsely treed ecosystems provide habitat for wildlife, food for livestock, natural beauty for our souls along with oil, natural gas, timber—and jobs.

To understand and sustainability manage these complex ecosystems, which run the gamut from wetlands to deserts, is at the heart of what you’ll learn as a rangeland ecology and watershed management major.

What is Rangeland Ecology and Watershed Management?

Crossing several academic disciplines, rangeland ecology and watershed management is a rich amalgam of ecology, hydrology, rangeland management, soil science and reclamation with a little politics added to keep things real.

As a rangeland ecology and watershed management student you will learn to understand, manage and help restore the complex ecosystems that make up the world’s rangelands. Through fieldwork, research, study abroad and internships, you will also get direct hands-on experience with how to use science to balance multiple concerns that include livestock grazing, wildlife habitat, recreation and wildland beauty.

Use this degree program as a springboard to graduate school, or head directly into the wild, helping producers, government agencies and other stakeholders make the best decisions for these important resources.

Quick Facts

Degree Type: Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


Resident Tuition: $154/credit hour

Non-resident Tuition: $639/credit hour

Department of Ecosystem Science and Management

College of Agriculture and Natural Resources

UW is the largest accredited program from the Society for Range Management in the United States.

Rangeland Ecology and Watershed Management Bachelor’s Degree Program Highlights

The University of Wyoming’s rangeland ecology and watershed management program is the largest accredited program in the country. This part-environmental, part-agricultural major offers a unique blend of subjects and experiential learning to prepare you to pursue an advanced degree or become a rangeland and watershed specialist.

See what kinds of opportunities you’ll have as a rangeland ecology and watershed management student:

Accreditation. UW’s rangeland ecology and watershed management program is accredited by the Society for Range Management and fulfills the U.S. Office of Personnel Management’s requirements for rangeland management specialist.

Five Minors. Augment your rangeland program with a minor in:

  • Forest Resources
  • Reclamation and Restoration Ecology
  • Soil Science
  • Insect Biology
  • Agroecology

Internships. Acquire hands-on experience and develop your professional skills by completing an internship working for government agencies, ranches or environmental consulting companies.

Study Abroad. Expand your view of yourself, the world and your ideas about nature by visiting different ecosystems around the globe.

Wyoming Reclamation and Restoration Center. Receive potential funding for research and develop reclamation and restoration skills through this UW center dedicated to protecting Wyoming’s land, air, water and wildlife.

Student clubs, organizations and teams. Develop skills and learn about potential careers in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources’ more than 30 student groups such as Range Club, Reclamation Outreach and Research (ROaR), Entomology Club, the Soil and Water Conservation Student Chapter and many others.

Undergraduate research. Collaborate with faculty conducting research in areas such as topsoil management and revegetation, seed quality and availability, the use of livestock to enhance reclamation, impacts of resource development on wildlife, the economics of reclamation and other subjects.

What Can You Do With a Rangeland Ecology and Watershed Management Bachelor’s Degree?

The University of Wyoming rangeland ecology and watershed management degree program offers preparation for graduate school and a range of jobs such as:  

  • Environmental Consultant
  • Forestry
  • Mine Rehabilitation Specialist
  • Natural Resources Recreation and Tourism
  • Ranch or Range Livestock Manager
  • Real Estate/Land Manager
  • Restoration Ecologist
  • Range or Soil Conservationist
  • Soil Scientist
  • Watershed Ecologist
  • Wildland Fire Manager

Here are some places where UW rangeland ecology and watershed management alumni have made contributions:

  • U.S. Bureau of Land Management
  • U.S. Forest Service
  • The Nature Conservancy
  • Two Dot Environmental Consulting
  • State of Wyoming
  • Wyoming Game and Fish
  • Trihydro Corporation
  • University of Wyoming
  • City of Fort Collins

Amazing Stories from Rangeland Ecology Majors

Barbara Jean Bender, B.S. in Rangeland Ecology and Watershed Management and Environment and Natural Resources ’16, spent three weeks in India and two weeks in Chile on separate study abroad trips at the University of Wyoming.

“One thing that most folks don’t expect to hear about UW is the study-abroad opportunities. Both of these trips changed my life, because they gave me a chance to see the natural resource management issues I had learned about in Wyoming in a global context, all the while earning credits for both of my majors.”

Today Bender is a range conservationist at the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Buffalo, Wyoming.

Example of Rangeland Ecology and Watershed Management Courses

These are just a sampling of classes you might take as a UW rangeland ecology and watershed management student:

  • Principles of Rangeland Management
  • Principles of Wildland Water Quality
  • Rangeland Restoration Ecology
  • Wildland Watershed Management
  • Applied Fire Ecology
  • Rangeland Management Planning

Check out the Bachelor of Science in Rangeland Ecology and Watershed Management degree program curriculum.

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Kristy DeGering | Recruitment Coordinator & Office Associate, Sr.
Department 3354, 1000 E. University Avenue
Laramie, WY 82071
Phone: (307) 766-4135

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