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Ecological Restoration

Administered by the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources

This option prepares students to assist in the recovery of ecosystems that have been degraded, damaged, or destroyed. This requires extensive knowledge of the abiotic environments that sustain the biota of ecosystems, community structure, sustainable cultural practices, and performance monitoring, among other skills. Emphasis is on the actual craft of restoring natural ecosystems, and the social and philosophical elements that mandate restoration.

Faculty Contacts



A Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts degree is required. Students without a background in natural resources or a related field may be required to take up to 12 credit hours of undergraduate course work. Students without a background in ecology may need to take additional undergraduate courses in ecology and soil science as a prerequisite for courses listed in the technical option core curriculum.

Master of Natural Resources Core Curriculum (required)

CourseDescriptionCredit Hours
NR 500Natural Resource Management3
NR 571Current Issues in Natural Resource Policy3
ST 5**A graduate level statistics course3
FOR 801FER Graduate Seminar (or equivalent seminar course)1
FOR 803Research Methods (FER graduate students only)1
 Total Credit Hours11

Technical Option Core Curriculum

Students are required to take the four courses below. Elective courses can be taken from the elective list below, or others may be substituted with approval of the advising committee.

CourseDescriptionCredit Hours
PB 403Systematic Botany4
FOR 565Plant Community Ecology4
FOR 750Ecological Restoration3
SSC 452Soil Classification4


FOR 501Dendrology3
GIS 512Intro to Environmental Remote Sensing3
GIS 520Spatial Problem Solving3
GIS 510Introduction to GIS3
NR 595Landscape Ecology3
SSC 570Wetland Soils3
SSC 511Soil Physics4
ST 512Exp. Statistics Biological Sciences II3
ZO 592Conservation Ecology3
NR 693/695Supervised Research / Thesis ResearchVariable

Total credits required:  30-36.


Links to previous projects:

Assessing Aboveground Biomass Productivity of American Sycamore Grown as a Short Rotation Coppice Culture for Bioenergy.

Early growth and community development of vegetation in North Carolina riparian and wetland mitigation sites

An Analysis of the North Carolina Wetland Assessment Method (NCWAM) Using Quantitative Metrics

Accuracy Assessments for Headwater Stream Maps in Western North Carolina

Effect of invasive species removal on the understory of an urban forest

Chimney Swift Program Evaluation: A Swift Recovery Stalled by Unchanged Human Attitudes and Behavior.