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Natural ResourcesYou like the outdoors, right? Then you’re going to love this place. Northland College has a location like nowhere else on Earth. We are surrounded by a million acres of forest and the largest freshwater lake in the world. These amazing natural resources are right outside our doors and serve as living laboratories and natural playgrounds.
Expect to get out often as part of your classwork in Natural Resources. You will be working closely with faculty who will immerse you in the wildlife, fisheries, forests, wetlands, streams, and lakes of this northern ecosystem. You will have experiences tracking wolves, monitoring streams, tagging fish, and researching plants and climate change in the Apostle Islands—and then teach you how to analyze the data back at the lab.
You will acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to communicate effectively, manage resources, and solve problems. Classes are small enough for in-depth field activities, data analysis, and group projects such as developing a management plan.
You will get the ecological, economic, policy, and management foundations necessary to use, protect, and enhance natural resources, preparing you for careers in government, tribal agencies, not-for-profit organizations, or the private sector and for graduate school.
Our graduates go on to do the coolest stuff—from mitigating ecological impacts of climate change in Antarctica to managing fires out west to studying sharks in South Africa, and everything in between.
- Natural Resources Major (B.S.) Requirements
Areas of study as an emphasis:
With ecological restoration you get a rock-solid foundation in the synthesis of geology and biology and the importance of understanding the natural history of ecosystems. We will teach you the practical nuts-and-bolts of designing and implementing restoration plans—and give you a client to work with. This project integrates theory and practice in plant communities, design concepts, assessment techniques, and prescribed fire. You will graduate ready to apply your education to real-world challenges and to make a difference by working to restore the habitat, species diversity, and ecological integrity to degraded ecosystems.
- Ecological Restoration Emphasis Requirements
Fisheries & Wildlife Ecology
Fisheries and wildlife ecology will prepare you for a career studying and managing wild populations of animals for multiple uses. At Northland, you will learn the basics while studying populations of wolves, flying squirrels, sharp-tailed grouse, trout, and sturgeon, to name a few. Our courses and lab work cover anatomy, physiology, genetics, and ecology, so you’ll know your animals inside and out. Our intensive Field Techniques class provides a month of hands-on, outdoor learning and collaboration with local wildlife and fisheries professionals. We also emphasize the human dimensions of managing animal populations and the interests of different stakeholder groups.
- Fisheries & Wildlife Ecology Emphasis Requirements
Forestry is more than trees. Way more. A Northland College forestry degree will take you beyond conventional forestry to becoming a skilled leader and thinker in this field. The modern forester needs to be fluent in the biological, ecological, social, and economic worlds, to understand how trees and forested ecosystems work, and how forests interact with other Earth systems. You will learn about the interconnectedness of forests, human society, and culture from a historic to modern land ethic viewpoint while exploring the past, present, and future role of forests as a commodity that can provide potentially renewable and sustainable raw materials, fuels, sources for recreation, clean water, diverse habitat, carbon sequestration, and more. In four years, you’ll be ready for a future in ecological restoration, scientific monitoring, wildland fire, private or governmental land management, environmental policy and law, traditional and alternative timber products, or preparation for postgraduate degrees.
- Forestry Emphasis Requirements
Title: Assistant Professor of Natural Resources
Office Location: CSE 108
- Ph.D. University of Wisconsin-Madison
- M.S. East Carolina University
- B.S. Northland College
I am thrilled to re-join the Northland College community as an Assistant Professor of Natural Resources and Biology starting Fall 2011. It is exciting to be able to teach field botany and ecology courses at a small liberal arts college that places a strong emphasis on natural history knowledge and application. While I enjoy Northland’s small campus, I enjoy even more the seemingly endless number of classrooms within the surrounding landscape. I am eager to spend time with students in hardwood swamps, pine barrens, bogs, mesic forests, sedge meadows, beaches, and other Northwoods gems.
My research interests largely focus on long-term dynamics and patterns of diversity and composition in plant communities of the Great Lakes region. To interpret these patterns, I consider the roles of multiple interacting drivers of ecosystem changes at local and landscape scales including succession, habitat fragmentation, herbivory, pest invasions, changes in natural disturbance regimes, and climate change. To provide a richer baseline for tracking future changes in Great Lakes ecosystems, I have worked closely with the Great Lakes Inventory and Monitoring Network and colleagues from the University of Wisconsin-Madison to assist in the development of protocols for monitoring terrestrial vegetation in nine National Parks throughout the Great Lakes region. I look forward to working with Northland students and faculty to pursue other meaningful collaborations on projects with the extensive network of natural resource agencies and organizations in the region.
You can view my website here.
- Johnson, S.E., K.L. Amatangelo, P. Townsend, and D.M. Waller. The relationship of local environment and landscape configuration with current patterns and 55-year changes in plant species diversity and composition in floodplain forests. Ecography, in prep.
- Johnson, S.E., E.M. Mudrak, and D.M. Waller. Long term shifts in diversity and community homogenization in the riparian forests of southern Wisconsin. American Midland Naturalist, in prep.
- Johnson, S.E., and D.M. Waller. 55-year changes in lowland forest tree communities in central and southern Wisconsin. Canadian Journal of Forest Research, in prep.
- Waller, D.M., K.L. Amatangelo, S.E. Johnson, and D.A. Rogers. Plant community survey and resurvey data from the Wisconsin Plant Ecology Laboratory. Biodiversity and Ecology, in review.
- Mudrak, E.L., S.E. Johnson, & D.M. Waller. 2009. Forty-seven year changes in vegetation at the Apostle Islands: Effects of deer on forest understory. Natural Areas Journal 29: 167-176.
- Johnson, S.E., E.L. Mudrak, E.A. Beever, S. Sanders, & D.M. Waller. 2008. Comparing power among three sampling methods for monitoring vegetation. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 38: 143-156.
- Sanders, S., S.E. Johnson, & D.M. Waller. 2007. General Vegetation monitoring protocol for the Great Lakes Network, Version 1.0. National Park Service, Great Lakes Network, Ashland, Wisconsin.
- Johnson, S.E., D.M. Waller, S. Sanders, & E.A. Beever. 2007. Standard operating procedure #14 data summary and analysis. In general vegetation monitoring protocol for the Great Lakes Network, Version 1.0. National Park Service, Great Lakes Network, Ashland, Wisconsin.
- Johnson, S.E., E.L. Mudrak, & D.M. Waller. 2006. A comparison of sampling methodologies for long-term forest vegetation monitoring in the Great Lakes Network National Parks. National Park Service, Great Lakes Inventory and Monitoring Network, Ashland, WI. Technical Report: GLKN/2006/03. 140 pp.
- Waller, D.M., S.E. Johnson, R.J. Collins, & E.W. Williams. 2009. Threats posed by ungulate herbivory to forest structure and plant diversity in the Upper Great Lakes Region and a review of methods to assess those threats. National Park Service, Great Lakes Inventory and Monitoring Network, Ashland, WI. Technical Report: GLKN/2009/01. 53 p.
- Jolls, C.L., J.D. Sellars, S.E. Johnson, & C.A. Wigent. 2004. Restore seabeach amaranth: A federally threatened species habitat assessment and restoration of Amaranthus pumilus (Amaranthaceae) using remote sensing data. National Park Service Final Report. NRPP CAHA-N-018.000. Outer Banks Group, Manteo, North Carolina, unpubl. report. 112 pp.
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