OSU offers online grassland management graduate certificate
More than half of the land surface area of the Great Plains, running through the heart of the country from Texas into Canada, is made up of grasslands.
While the main use of the rangelands, pasturelands and haylands is livestock grazing, this land resource also is important for providing wildlife habitat, recreation, quality water and air, and other environmental services.
“Grasslands are an important economic driver in the Great Plains for agriculture, conservation and wildlife management,” said Keith Owens, head of Oklahoma State University’s Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management. “Grasslands are highly fragmented and can be difficult to manage for multiple uses.”
To prepare graduate students and full-time rangeland managers, OSU has partnered with Kansas State University, the University of Nebraska, South Dakota State University and North Dakota State University to offer a grassland management graduate certificate.
Students can enroll at any of the participating universities to earn the 12-credit graduate certificate, which is offered completely online. Students are required to take three core courses and two elective courses.
“The three core courses provide the basis for this certificate and the two elective courses allow the student to specialize in a specific area,” Owens said. “The combination of courses provides graduate-level training in grassland ecology and management, which should really be required of all natural resource managers in the Great Plains.”
The hours earned through this course are transferable toward a master’s degree. A grassland management graduate certificate can be earned by itself, or in addition to a master’s degree.
The program provides an opportunity for students interested in becoming a grassland manager, environmental consultant or related profession. Those interested can visit the certificate website at http://nrem.okstate.edu/Grassland.