Advancing Knowledge of Natural Resources and Ecosystems
The Department of Natural Resource Sciences is fully committed to advancing scientific knowledge of natural resources and ecosystems, including their ecological attributes and functions and their future management in an ecologically, socially and economically sound, sustainable manner. Departmental research efforts are defined by the diverse interests and expertise of our faculty in combination with societal and scientific needs, and reflect the breadth and integration of scientific disciplines represented in the department. Our fundamental research goals are:
- Attain and maintain selective excellence in areas of priority societal/scientific need and significance that correspond to areas of faculty/departmental strength.
- Sustain appropriately broad and inclusive scholarship among all research areas and disciplines necessary for comprehensively addressing knowledge needs in natural resource sciences.
- Effectively disseminate research findings both to the scientific community for the advancement of science, and to our various constituencies for application to benefit natural resources and the larger society dependent upon those resources.
Fourteen of the department's 16 permanent faculty have explicit responsibilities in research. Research is supported both through base funding from the Agricultural Research Center of the College of Agriculture and Home Economics, external grants, and contracts. The department's research program is closely interfaced with its graduate education program, with scholarship of graduate students comprising a significant contributor to overall efforts.
Research capabilities are significantly enhanced by collaboration and cooperation with 22 adjunct NRS faculty members, scientists in other departments at WSU, and an extensive network at other universities and with state/federal agencies. External collaboration is also facilitated through our department's partnership in the following research-oriented consortia:
- Washington Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit
- Rocky Mountain Cooperative Ecosystems Studies Unit
- Pacific Northwest Cooperative Ecosystems Studies Unit
- Alliance for Natural Resource Research, Education and Management in the Northern Rocky Mountains
Research capabilities are also enhanced by an array of faculty research laboratories on the Pullman campus dedicated to: aquatic ecology, endangered species, wildlife foraging ecology, wildlife nutritional ecology, avian ecology, habitat/population ecology, range plant ecology and natural resource social science; and an intensive culture forestry laboratory and field testing facilities at the WSU-Puyallup Research and Extension Center. These facilities are augmented at or in the vicinity of the Pullman campus by the department's E.H. Steffen Center, the Endangered Species Lab, the Bear Research / Education / Conservation Center, the Small Mammal Research Facility, the Kramer Prairie Ecological Reserve, the Magpie Forest Ecological Reserve, and the Wildlife Habitat Nutrition Laboratory.