Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

Course Descriptions

Course Descriptions for courses offered by the Natural Resource Sciences Department. Descriptions for required courses that are offered through other departments (e.g. English, Chemistry, Biology, Economics etc.) can be found in the TRU Calendar.

NRSC 1120
NRSC 1120
Dendrology 1 (3,0,2)(L)
Credits: 3
Campus
SC
NRSC
Dendrology is a survey of the structure, function, ecology, and identification of trees. A lecture component in this course includes two major topics: 1) the structure and function of trees, such as reproduction, development, anatomy, morphology, and physiology; 2) the ecology and evolution of trees. Through the laboratory component, students survey a selection of Canadian, North American, and introduced tree species. Deciduous species are emphasized; coniferous species are studied in NRSC 1220. Field trips are an integral part of the course.
Prerequisite: BIOL 0600
Corequisite: BIOL 1110 Required Lab: NRSC 1120L
NRSC 1220
NRSC 1220
Dendrology 2 (3,0,2)(L)
Credits: 3
Campus
SC
NRSC
This course is a continuation of NRSC 1120: Dendrology 1. Students survey a selection of British Columbian, Canadian, North American, and introduced coniferous tree species.
Prerequisite: NRSC 1120
Corequisite: BIOL 1210 Required Lab: NRSC 1220L
NRSC 2000
NRSC 2000
Introduction to the Study of Soils (3,0,2)(L)
Credits: 3
Campus
SC
NRSC
Students investigate the physical, chemical, and biological properties of soils. Topics include soil formation, classification, use, and conservation. Students focus on forest soils for this course. Required Lab: NRSC 2000L
NRSC 2100
NRSC 2100
Forest Ecology and Silvics 1 (3,0,2)(L)
Credits: 3
Campus
SC
NRSC
The main objectives of this course are to facilitate students' learning of the complexities and interactions that make up forest ecosystems, and how this knowledge can be used in predicting forest ecosystem responses to both natural and human-induced disturbances. Upon completion, students have an appreciation of forest ecosystem structures and functions, and how these components interact; how forest ecosystems change over time, and the ecological effects of various forest management practices. Additional topics include the spatial variation in forest ecosystems, methods of describing these variations, the characteristics of biogeoclimatic zones in British Columbia, and the identification and interpretive use of indicator plant species in the description of forest ecosystems.
Prerequisite: NRSC 1120/1220 or completion of 1st year general science Required Lab: NRSC 2100L
NRSC 2110
NRSC 2110
Forest Mensuration (3,0,2)(L)
Credits: 3
Campus
SC
NRSC
This course teaches the student techniques used in basic photogrammetry, photo mapping and photo-based inventory systems. Use of maps and mapping systems will be implemented. Techniques for the measurement of tree stand variables, calculating tree volumes, estimating form and taper, as well as timber scaling and grading will be taught. Regression techniques will be used in the analysis of data collected by students. Some weekend fieldwork may be required.
Prerequisite: COMP 1350
Corequisite: STAT 2000 or BIOL 3000 Required Lab: NRSC 2110L
NRSC 2200
NRSC 2200
Forest Ecology and Silvics 2 (3,0,2)(L)
Credits: 3
Campus
SC
NRSC
Students examine the ecological and silvical characteristics of forest trees of Western Canada, with emphasis on ecological site assessment and applications of silvics in silviculture. This course also explores the identification and interpretive use of indicator plant species in the description of forest ecosystems, the soil and site features used in determining site quality, and the diagnostic procedures used in determining site quality.
Prerequisite: NRSC 2000 and 2100 or permission of the instructor Required Lab: NRSC 2200L
AGSC 2200
AGSC 2200
Food Systems at a Local Level and Beyond (4,0,0)
Credits: 3
Campus
SC
NRSC
Students are introduced to agriculture and food systems, focusing on the local level but including information on global systems. Topics of discussion include agriculture, local food production, food security and food policy, sustainability, commercialization, and globalization. Case studies and projects are used to help students apply concepts learned during lecture, and to develop critical thinking, problem solving, communication, and conflict resolution skills.
Note: Students cannot receive credit for both AGSC 2100 and AGSC 2200
NRSC 1110
NRSC 1110
The Science and Management of Natural Resources (2,0,2)(L)
Credits: 3
Campus
SC
NRSC
Students are provided with an overview of current issues in the management of natural resources. This serves as an introductory core course in the Bachelor of Natural Resource Science program, however, it is tailored for all students with a general interest in natural resources. In addition to lectures and laboratory exercises, students consider how scientific inquiry and knowledge can be integrated with social, economic, and cultural values to develop management strategies. Topics of discussion include a diversity of resource issues, such as forestry, soils, rangeland, water, fisheries, wildlife, and entomology. Required Lab: NRSC 1110L
NRSC 2230
NRSC 2230
Geographic Information Systems (3,0,2)(L)
Credits: 3
Campus
SC
NRSC
This course introduces students to geodesy and geoinformatics, topics of study commonly referred to collectively as geomatics. Course topics include: common geographic coordinate systems; common map projections; geospatial data models; setting coordinate systems; loading geospatial data; visualization of geospatial data; manipulating feature and coverage values; and basic geoprocessing procedures. Labs will provide hands-on experience with ArcGIS, the leading GIS software in the industry, towards the goal of developing marketable skills geographic information management. Required Lab: GEOG 2230L
Note: This course is identical to GEOG 2750
NRSC 3000
NRSC 3000
Diversity and Ecology of the Vertebrates (3,0,3)(L)
Credits: 3
Campus
SC
NRSC
Students in the natural resource field are introduced to vertebrate biology. The three main themes are animal ecology, comparative anatomy, and the systematics and identification of amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. Students address the evolutionary ecology of these groups, including the adaptive significance of morphological, physiological and behavioural traits. Key concepts of vertebrate ecology, such as evolution and the theory of natural selection, are introduced in addition to basic vertebrate anatomy and functional morphology. Laboratory work involves anatomical dissections and the taxonomic identification of terrestrial vertebrates, particularly those species found in British Columbia.
Prerequisite: An introductory course in ecology or evolution is recommended. Students who have taken BIOL 2250 or its equivalent need to contact the instructor prior to registering in the course.
Note: Students who have taken BIOL 4270 cannot receive credit for this course
NRSC 3110
NRSC 3110
Grassland Ecology (3,0,2)(L)
Credits: 3
Campus
SC
NRSC
This course provides an introduction to grassland ecology principles with the focus on BC grassland systems. Lectures will cover the difference between grasslands and rangelands, grassland physical characteristics, grassland ecosystems with a focus on BC grassland plant communities, plant physiology, succession, assessment theories, and monitoring of grassland, shrubland and savanna ecosystems. Labs will focus on grassland plant identification and characteristics of BC grassland plant communities.
Prerequisite: NRSC 2100 or permission of the instructor Required Lab: NRSC 3110L
NRSC 3170
NRSC 3170
Ichthyology (3,0,3)(L)
Credits: 3
Campus
SC
NRSC
This course educates students in the systematics, anatomy, physiology, life history, and ecology of freshwater and marine fishes. Students learn to identify local freshwater fishes, and salmon species.
Prerequisite: NRSC 2100 or equivalent
Note: This course is cross-listed as BIOL 3290 Required Lab: NRSC 3170L
NRSC 3200
NRSC 3200
Silviculture (3,0,2)(L)
Credits: 3
Campus
SC
NRSC
This course emphasizes silvicultural concepts and principles as they apply to forest stand and landscape level management. Specific topics include principles of forest tree improvement; seed handling; nursery practices and artificial regeneration; natural regeneration and stand tending practices (thinning, pruning, vegetation management, fertilization and site preparation). A variety of silviculture systems are discussed in relation to economics, wildlife, biodiversity, and sustainability. The laboratories are designed as both field exercises and indoor laboratory sections (including computer modeling). Several field trips offer students an opportunity to observe forest nursery operations, woodlot management, and forest operations.
Prerequisite: NRSC 2000, 2100, 2110, 2200 or permission of the instructor Required Lab: NRSC 3200L
NRSC 3210
NRSC 3210
Range Management (3,2,0)
Credits: 3
Campus
SC
NRSC
Students explore applied range ecology and range management planning. Lecture topics include range history; range inventory and monitoring; animal management; stocking rates; animal distribution; grazing systems; cultivated forages; range improvements and developments; integrated use; legislation; and current grassland issues. Course material is used to develop a range management plan.
Prerequisite: NRSC 3110 or permission of the instructor Required Seminar: NRSC 3210S
NRSC 3250
NRSC 3250
Natural Resource Field Studies (0,1,8)(0,1,0)(L)
Credits: 3
Campus
SC
NRSC
Students in the Bachelor of Natural Resource Sciences program gain hands-on experience in the field, on topics pertinent to natural resource management. Under the rotating supervision of different faculty members, students conduct field surveys or visit sites where management activities are underway. The exercises include GIS and vegetation mapping, soil analyses, range management, and fisheries and wildlife work. Field exercises may require data analysis and written reports. Participation and completion of all field trips and subsequent reports are required. This course also serves the purpose of providing field trips for other concurrent 4th year courses in the Bachelor of Natural Resource Science program. Weekend field work is required.
Prerequisite: NRSC 2230, NRSC 4130, BIOL 3000 and 4th year standing in the Bachelor of Natural Resource Science program
Corequisite: NRSC 3210/3220 Required Seminar: NRSC 3250S
NRSC 3260
NRSC 3260
Limnology (3,0,3)(L)
Credits: 3
Campus
SC
NRSC
This course offers theoretical and applied aspects of limnology. Students consider the ecology of inland water organisms in relation to the physical, chemical, and biological factors that affect their interactions and production.
Prerequisite: NRSC 2100 or equivalent, BIOL 3000 or equivalent
Note: This course is cross-listed as BIOL 4020 Required Lab: NRSC 3260L
NRSC 4020
NRSC 4020
Natural Resource Entomology (2,0,2)(L)
Credits: 3
Campus
SC
NRSC
Students are familiarized with significant entomology topics including the environmental and economic role of insects in forest ecosystems; the identification and basic biology of major groups of forest insects; behavioural ecology and population dynamics of major insect pests; an introduction to chemical ecology of insects; forest health and beneficial or pest insect balance; an introduction to management strategies for major forest insect pests; and the implications in context of the Forest Practices Code.
Prerequisite: BIOL 3030, NRSC 2100/2200
Corequisite: NRSC 3200 Required Lab: NRSC 4020L
NRSC 4030
NRSC 4030
Natural Resource Pathology (2,0,2)(L)
Credits: 3
Campus
SC
NRSC
Pathology deals with the biology (anatomy, morphology, physiology, life cycles), ecology, identification, and management of tree diseases. This course emphasizes the common tree diseases of western North American forests, and of British Columbia in particular. The course also includes information on the significant tree diseases of Eastern North America.
Prerequisite: NRSC 2100 and NRSC 2200 Required Lab: NRSC 4030L
NRSC 4100
NRSC 4100
Fisheries Management (3,2,0)
Credits: 3
Campus
SC
NRSC
This course is a study of fisheries management topics, including methods of quantitative stock assessment, fisheries regulations and policy, habitat restoration, and fish stocking. Students collect and measure fish in a local lake, and produce a quantitative stock assessment report for that fishery.
Prerequisite: NRSC 3170 and NRSC 3260 Required Seminar: NRSC 4100S
NRSC 4110
NRSC 4110
Watershed Management (3,2,0)
Credits: 3
Campus
SC
NRSC
Students are introduced to the basic principles of wildland hydrology and watershed management, including the role of climate, physiography, and vegetation in watershed function; the effects of land use on streamflow quantity, timing and water quality; and the techniques used in monitoring and assessing the impacts of land management on the water resource.
Prerequisite: FRST 2000/2100/2200 Required Seminar: NRSC 4110S
NRSC 4130
NRSC 4130
Fire Ecology and Management (3,2,0)
Credits: 3
Campus
SC
NRSC
Students develop a solid understanding of the importance of fire to ecosystems, communities, species, and human society. The first part of the course is devoted to understanding fire and how it interacts with the abiotic and biotic environment. Next, the focus shifts to the importance of fire from a historical, social, and political context. Students explore the theory, principles, tools, and organization of fire management, particularly as it applies to British Columbia and other regions of Canada. The main goal of this course is to increase awareness of the role of fire in ecosystems.
Prerequisite: NRSC 2100 or permission of the instructor Required Seminar: NRSC 4130S
NRSC 4140
NRSC 4140
Natural Resource Policy and Planning (3,2,0)
Credits: 3
Campus
SC
NRSC
Students focus on land and resource use policies and laws, and their development and administration in British Columbia, particularly as affected by aboriginal rights and title. The course provides an overview of specific land and resource policies in British Columbia, illustrates the policy cycle through teaching the fundamentals of strategic land and resource use planning, and introduces the practice of policy analysis.
Prerequisite: 3rd year standing in the Bachelor of Natural Resource Science program, or permission of the instructor Required Seminar: NRSC 4140S
NRSC 4210
NRSC 4210
Conflict Resolution in the Natural Resources (2,2,0)
Credits: 3
Campus
SC
NRSC
This course is an exploration of the principles of conflict and conflict resolution as they are used and applied in natural resource management. Topics include a definition of conflict, how conflict arises, and how consensus is achieved by facilitation, interest-based negotiation, and mediation. Emphasis is placed on moving beyond simple problem-solving to the actual resolution of underlying conflicts and issues, such as shifting from positional to interest-based arguments. Reviews of past, current, and emerging conflicts in the natural resource sector are also incorporated. Students participate in role-playing exercises, and learn from one another as they enact mock conflict situations.
Prerequisite: 4th year standing in the Bachelor or Natural Resource Science program or permission of the instructor Required Seminar: NRSC 4210S
NRSC 4230
NRSC 4230
Graduating Essay (3,0,0)
Credits: 3
Campus
SC
NRSC
Students complete an essay or technical report under the direction of a faculty member. The essay can take the form of a scientific paper or a detailed literature review of a selected subject area appropriate for the Bachelor of Natural Resource Science degree program. With permission of the Department one year prior to enrolling in the course, students may use data from personal research. Students are required to make an oral presentation summarizing the project.
Prerequisite: Final year in the BNRS program
NRSC 4250
NRSC 4250
Tropical Field Studies in Natural Resources (3,3,30)(L)
Credits: 3 or 6
Campus
SC
NRSC
Students are introduced to the issues, approaches, and people involved with natural resource management in a tropical country. The topics in the course depend on the specific destination, but generally include an examination of the ecological, social, economic and cultural aspects of natural resource management in the tropics. The scheduling and duration (and hence credit allotment) also varies with destination. Enrollment in this course is not restricted to students in the Natural Resource Science department; rather, a diverse study body is desirable, and students from a variety of programs and disciplines are admissible. The size of the class is limited; potential students must submit an application in which they explain the relevance of the course to their own studies and interests. It is the responsibility of all students to consult with their program advisor(s) to determine whether they may receive credit for this course. For details on the current offering of the course, including current destination, content, cost, and application procedure, students should contact the instructor by going through the Department of Natural Resource Sciences at TRU.
Prerequisite: Preferably 3rd or 4th year standing in a relevant degree program at TRU or elsewhere; other students may be admitted depending upon qualifications and demand
NRSC 4980
NRSC 4980
Honours Seminar (0,2*,0)(0,2*,0)
Credits: 2
Campus
SC
NRSC
Honours students are provided with constructive criticism of their thesis research project, in addition to an opportunity to explore and discuss topics of relevance to the field of natural resource science. The seminars consist of readings, group discussions, and alternating seminar presentations by students and interested faculty. Students register in this course in both the Fall and Winter terms of their last academic year of study.
Prerequisite: 4th year standing in the Bachelor of Natural Resource Science (BNRS) Honours degree program
Corequisite: NRSC 4990 *Denotes seminars run alternate weeks
NRSC 4990
NRSC 4990
Honours Thesis
Credits: 6
Campus
SC
NRSC
This course requires an original research project conducted by students in the Honours Program of the Bachelor of Natural Resource Science (BNRS) degree. It is completed under the direction of a faculty member in the Department of Natural Resource Sciences, or a scientist from outside the department. Students accepted into the BNRS Honours Program register in this course in both the Fall and Winter semesters of their final academic year.
Prerequisite: 4th year standing in the BNRS Honours program
Corequisite: NRSC 4980