Grassland Fire Ecology -GRThe 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.
Grassland Plant IdentificationStudy 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.
Ecology of Invasive SpeciesEcological 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.
Rangeland Resources Watershed ManagementStudy 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.
Monitoring and AssessingA 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.
Grazing Ecology and ManagementThis 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.
Principles of Forage Quality and Evaluation for Grazing LivestockThe 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.