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Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

NRSC 4031: Natural Resource Pathology

Students explore the common tree diseases of western and eastern North American forests, with a focus on British Columbian forests. Topics include the biology, ecology, identification, and management of tree diseases.

Learning outcomes

  • Analyze the forest health concept and its relationship to management of diseases common to British Columbian forests.
  • Describe the classification, structure, growth, and reproduction of selected disease organisms.
  • Identify and describe the signs and symptoms of selected forest pathogens.
  • Complete a pathogen specimen collection using appropriate specimen sampling and preservation methodologies. Specimens collected will require accurate identification of pathogen species collected and scientific presentation of results, which include pathogen species collected, host species, and pathogen biology and ecology.
  • Apply knowledge gained from this course to forest management plans.

Course topics

  • Module 1: Introduction to Forest Pathology and Forest Health
  • Module 2: Causal Agents and the Disease Triangle
  • Module 3: Plant-Pathogen Interactions
  • Module 4: Fungi
  • Module 5: Dwarf Mistletoes
  • Module 6: Root Diseases and Vascular Wilts
  • Module 7: Foliar Diseases
  • Module 8: Decays
  • Module 9: Rust Diseases
  • Module 10: Canker Diseases

Required text and materials

There is no textbook required for this course.


Please be aware that should your course have a final exam, you are responsible for the fee to the online proctoring service, ProctorU, or to the in-person approved Testing Centre. Please contact with any questions about this.

To successfully complete this course, students must achieve a passing grade of 50% or higher on the overall course, and 50% or higher on the final mandatory exam.

Assignment 1: Specimen Collection or Field Guide 25%
Quiz 1: Modules 1–3 15%
Quiz 2: Module 4 Fungi 15%
Quiz 3: Module 5 Dwarf Mistletoes 5%
Quiz 4: Module 6 Root Diseases and Vascular Wilts 5%
Quiz 5: Module 7 Foliar Diseases 5%
Quiz 6: Module 9 Rust Diseases 5%
Quiz 7: Module 10 Canker Diseases 5%
Final Exam (mandatory) 20%
Total: 100%

Open Learning Faculty Member Information

An Open Learning Faculty Member is available to assist students. Students will receive the necessary contact information at the start of the course.

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