Message from the Department Head

If you love the outdoors and want to learn how best to conserve and manage our natural resources, then please check us out!  Our areas of scientific expertise enable us to train a diverse array of disciplines at the undergraduate and graduate level utilizing interdisciplinary approaches while preparing them for a multitude of career options. South Dakota's natural resources are a key factor in maintaining a high-quality workforce throughout our state. Moreover, the quality of life for many people is intimately tied to their enjoyment of natural areas.  

Conservation and management of natural resources implies a considerate use of these resources in a multifaceted way. This approach includes the development of novel management practices that ensure both the preservation of habitat for rare plants and animals as well as sustainable agriculture and grazing practices, which conserve the quality of our soil, waterways, lakes and streams. Rangelands are the foundation of livestock production operations, wildlife habitat, watershed management and outdoor recreational opportunities within the state and region. We strive to work together in an interdisciplinary way to preserve the integrity of our natural resources.  

Natural resources provide (1) non-consumptive economic benefit through the conservation of terrestrial and aquatic habitat that supports plant and animal species biodiversity as well as (2) consumptive economic benefit through the annual harvest of surpluses from renewable natural resources such as waterfowl, pheasants and fish. Rare organisms, such as the western fringed prairie orchid, swift foxes or pallid sturgeon, often are best managed through conservation management plans.

Our department's field-based instructional approaches complemented by lab and experiential learning opportunities increases our fundamental knowledge of the ecology and biology of factors impacting both threatened species, populations, and ecosystems, and non-threatened and game species.

NRM’s Undergraduate Programs:

  • Conservation Planning and Park Management
  • Ecology and Environmental Science
  • Natural Resource Law Enforcement
  • Rangeland Ecology and Management
  • Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences

All NRM faculty are happy to enter into Honors’ contracts to assist our students in participating in the Fishback Honors College on campus.

We also offer various Undergraduate Minors within our college and across campus.

NRM Graduate Degrees:

  • M.S. - Biological Sciences with Specialization in Natural Resource Management
  • M.S. - Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences
  • Ph.D. - Biological Sciences with Specialization in Natural Resource Management
  • Ph.D. - Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences

Please explore our web site and do not hesitate to contact any of us with questions.

All the Best,

Michele R. Dudash, Department Head