The Department of Natural Resource Sciences (NRS) is an academic unit within the College of Agriculture, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences (CAHNRS) at WSU, and as such fully embraces the tripartite land grant university mission of teaching, research, and extension/outreach programs designed to meet the needs of our state's and nation's citizens. NRS offers programs not only in the traditional fields of natural resource science/management, wildlife biology/management but in several other related fields both of long-standing and emerging importance (e.g., conservation biology, ecological restoration, watershed management, aquatic ecosystem management).
NRS is a moderate-sized department at WSU. Our permanent faculty is disciplinarily diverse and includes individuals with primary expertise in natural resource/forest sciences, wildlife sciences, range management sciences, watershed/aquatic ecology, natural resource economics and social science. Over the past five years, student enrollment have averaged approximately 200 undergraduates and 25 graduate students, respectively. While the department is based at WSU's main campus, Pullman, we are also represented via adjunct faculty and/or courses/curricula at each of WSU's three branch campuses (including availability of a NRS undergraduate major at the Vancouver branch campus). NRS has research/extension faculty stationed at an additional three off-campus sites which are: the WSU Puyallup Research and Extension Center, College of Forest Resources at the University of Washington, and the Colockum Multiple Use Unit. We also have a faculty member on an international assignment in Africa. The faculty is augmented by seven statewide natural resource faculties within the WSU Cooperative Extension system.
Through its adjunct faculty and other cooperative agreements, our program maintains an outstanding network of collaborations in teaching, research and extension/outreach programs with a wide array of other regional universities, several state and federal agencies, and private/public sector organizations. Particularly important formal cooperative agreements have been forged with:
- College of Natural Resources at University of Idaho
- College of Forest Resources at University of Washington
- U.S. Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station
- U.S. Natural Resource Conservation Service
- Washington Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit
- Pacific Northwest and Rocky Mountain Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Units
These and other modes of inter-institutional collaboration have proved crucial in the pursuit and enrichment of our tripartite programs of mutual interest.
The NRS Mission is to advance the fields of natural resource science and conservation of biodiversity by developing fundamental knowledge about ecosystems and natural resources, including their diverse ecological and social values. We also promote the long-term management and conservation of biological diversity and natural resources in an ecologically, socially, and economically sound, sustainable manner.
We pursue this important mission through several interdisciplinary programs in undergraduate and graduate education, basic and applied ecological research, and extension and continuing professional education. Our programs:
- Promote stewardship of natural and productive landscapes, natural resource, and ecological systems
- Contribute to maintaining sustainable ecosystems for biological diversity, food, fiber and other valuable natural resources
- Promote the well-being and quality of life of communities in the Pacific Northwest and throughout the world
Our professional programs benefit greatly by strong collaborative agreements with public and private landowners and state, regional, national and international organizations concerned with natural resource and environmental issues. We also demonstrate our strong dedication to supportive and positive working and learning environments that reflect and foster respect of human diversity in the broadest sense.
Washington State University is unique as the designated Land Grant institution for Washington State. As such, we have three important mandates to our mission: Teaching, Research, and Extension. Our commitment to all three endeavors is strongly represented in our department as we work to:
- Provide a thorough and challenging education to our undergraduate and graduate students
- Continuously develop diverse research programs in the ecological, environmental, and natural resource sciences
- Transfer our technical knowledge in many different ways for use by the people of Washington, the United States, and the World
Our faculty, staff, students, and alumni are firmly committed to offering one of the best programs in natural resource ecology, management, and conservation in the United States. We invite you to explore Washington State University and our department on this website and then to come to our campus for a tour to meet our students and faculty first hand. We would welcome the chance to meet you and show you around campus.