The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Science has a mission to provide
and apply scientific knowledge and understanding of inter-relationships among people,
living organisms and environments through outreach in teaching, research and community
service. Faculty and students address how human communities and individuals interact
with their environments and how collectively we can best manage the resources and
ecological services provided by our shared environment for a sustainable future.
Our research is explicitly interdisciplinary as we investigate multiple human values,
resource needs and impacts on the environment, and how to achieve an optimum tradeoff
in a changing world. Our teaching is also interdisciplinary and integrative, exploring
the nexus of fundamental scientific knowledge and management applications through
three undergraduate majors and active participation in four interdepartmental graduate
Being part of a land-grant university in northern Nevada, our immediate focus is
on the ecology, resources and environment of the Intermountain West or Great Basin,
from the peaks and forests of the Sierra Nevada and Lake Tahoe in the west, to the
Rocky Mountains in the east, and encompassing the vast complex of playa, salt desert,
sagebrush and pinyon-juniper woodlands that typifies the Great Basin. This region
has long traditions of ranching and mining in its rural areas that are key foci
of our work.
However, there is also rapid urban development around Las Vegas and Reno that presents
new and increasing demands for land, water and power, new and increasing problems
with waste disposal and pollutants, new environment values and needs from city people
with a passion to get out into wilderness on the weekend, and thus new challenges
in management of the wildland-urban interface. In response to this social revolution,
we also examine the impacts of Nevada 's growing cities on their hinterlands.
In addition to our local work, our department is increasingly aware of the global
connectedness of environments, such as through global climate change, intercontinental
movements of pollutants by air and water, long-distance seasonal migrations of birds
and mammals, and the intense international network of human travel, trade and cultural
exchange. Thus our research and teaching interests reach out of the West to locations
as far-flung as Alaska , Mexico , Brazil , Mongolia , Uzbekistan and Antarctica
Details of our faculty and lab groups, research projects, collaboration with Federal
and State government agencies and industry partners, curricula and courses, and
outreach programs are available from the links on the left side of this page. Browse
them and if you have further questions, feel free to contact the main office of
the department or any individual faculty professor (see
the Directory link).
We hope that you use our site to learn more about the unique, dynamic field of Natural
Resource and Environmental Science and some of the high-quality contributions to
scientific community and professional education that have earned the UNR Department
of Natural Resources and Environmental Science recognition throughout the world.
Page last updated: 7/15/2011