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)

Course Description Credit Hours
NR 500 Natural Resource Management 3
NR 571 Current Issues in Natural Resource Policy 3
ST 5** A graduate level statistics course 3
NR 601 NR Graduate Seminar (or equivalent seminar course) 1
FOR 603 Research Methods (FER graduate students only) 1
Total Credit Hours 11


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.


Course Description Credit Hours
PB 403 Systematic Botany 4
PB 565 Plant Community Ecology 4
FOR 750 Ecological Restoration 3
SSC 452 Soil Classification 4



FOR 501 Dendrology 3
GIS 512 Intro to Environmental Remote Sensing 3
GIS 520 Spatial Problem Solving 3
GIS 510 Introduction to GIS 3
NR 595 Landscape Ecology 3
SSC 570 Wetland Soils 3
SSC 511 Soil Physics 4
ST 512 Exp. Statistics Biological Sciences II 3
ZO 592 Conservation Ecology 3
NR 693/695 Supervised Research / Thesis Research Variable


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.