Curriculum

Graduate Certificate

Core Courses

The course is designed to describe the ecological effects of fire on grassland ecosystems. It also provides insight into the history of fires, the people who use them and why, the parts of a fire, how fires behave in relation to fuel and weather, and the conducting and safety of prescribed burns.
Study of forage and wildland plants that are important to grassland management and production. Focus of the course is the distribution, utilization, classification, and identification (including identification by vegetative and reproductive parts) of 150 key grassland species of the Great Plains. The environmental characteristics, uses, and plant communities of the major grassland types of the Great Plains are presented.
Ecological principles and their application to invasive species. Discussion of population, community and ecosystem level characteristics affecting a wide variety of invasive plant and animal species. Discussions will include current global consequences and governmental policies/programs designed to limit the spread of invasives.
Study of the management of physical/biological settings and processes along with human activities on water and watersheds considering preventative and restorative strategies in a natural resource rangeland setting.
A course emphasizing the quantitative measures used in vegetation analysis, root growth, and utilization. Vegetation sampling theory and plot selection will be covered. Use of similarity index, health, and trend for grassland monitoring and assessment will be explained. Basic statistics and the microcomputer will be used to analyze biomass, basal cover, frequency, and density data.
This course discusses the ecological principles of domesticated livestock grazing and their application to manage grazing lands. Theoretical and applied models of plant/animal interactions will be presented. Grazing systems and their management of ecosystem services will be presented as balance between production and conservation outcomes.
The course provides an in depth study of the chemical characteristics of forage components and the interactions with ruminant physiology and digestion that influence forage feeding value and the laboratory procedures used to evaluate forages for grazing livestock. Students should have knowledge of the basic principles of chemistry, ruminant nutrition, and plant physiology so that they can develop an understanding of the chemical characteristics of forages and how they affect the value of forages to grazing livestock.
Program Summary
Cost per credit hour:

2020-2021: $590
2021-2022: $590

12 Hours

University Contact
These campus coordinators can help you navigate Great Plains IDEA. Click on the university name to learn more about how Great Plains IDEA works at that campus. Ashley Schultz
Melissa Selders-Ortez
Megan Janus
Aimee Maher
Melissa Sailors
University Members
Members of the Great Plains IDEA are universities accredited by a regional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Member universities recruit, admit and graduate students, teach in an academic program and contribute to the leadership and maintenance of the alliance. Membership in the alliance is a selective process that engages institutional leadership at all levels.

Emily Buster Student Excellence Award Recipient.jpgI have loved every minute of this program! The teachers are wonderful, the coursework is challenging and engaging, and I have been able to do it while also working full time and taking care of my three children. During the day, I run a home daycare and I am able to use the techniques and ideas that I have learned in my classes to enhance the learning experience in my home. This degree program has given me the opportunity to learn and grow as an individual, as a mom, and as a teacher.

– – Emily Buster, Early Care & Education for a Mobile Society Student
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