Grassland Ecology & Management

Applied Ecology Track Grassland Ecology & Management

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thunderclouds over grasslands

This major focuses on the management of rangeland, the world's most abundant type of land. About 45 percent of the world's land area and half of Nebraska's is classified as rangeland. These are ecosystems made up primarily of grassland that involve complex relationships among plants, animals, microorganisms, and nonliving factors such as soil, water and climate.

The program is offered through the Center for Grassland Studies, where you will study basic sciences, natural resources and range science. Specialized courses may include forage crop and range management, range management and improvement, wildlife biology and conservation, range ecosystems, integrated resource management, range plants and rangeland analysis.

Rangelands have many uses, most commonly as a forage base for the large livestock industry. Proper range management is essential for sustaining livestock systems, biodiversity, wildlife habitat, quality recreation areas and watershed integrity. Effective range management conserves renewable resources and is a promising career dedicated to the sustenance of a crucial ecological system.

student inspecting grasses in field

Meet the Grassland Ecology & Management Team

Tala Awada

Tala Awada Professor, Plant Ecophysiology

Dr. Awada teaches in the areas of forest and grassland ecology and plant ecophysiology. She is particularly interested in studying the responses of plants and ecosystems to environmental stresses and climate change.

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Walt Schacht

Walter Schacht Professor, Agronomy

Dr. Schacht's principal area of research emphasizes ecosystem response to grazing and associated management practices in the Nebraska Sandhills and cool-season grass pasture.

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Dave Wedin

Dave Wedin Professor, Plant & Ecosystem Ecology

Dr. Wedin's research interests include grassland and savanna ecology, carbon and nitrogen cycling in terrestrial ecosystems, biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, landscape ecology and fire ecology.

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Dirac Twidwell

Dirac Twidwell Associate Professor and Rangeland Ecologist

Dr. Twidwell's research interests include applied ecology with an emphasis on how fire, climatic variability, and anthropogenic change drive state transitions in rangelands.

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John Guretzky

John Guretzky Associate Professor, Agronomy and Horticulture

Dr. Guretzky's research interests include nitrogen cycling and use efficiency in range and pasturelands, biodiversity in grasslands and integration of forages in crop-livestock systems.

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