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The School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences will offer five new 3-credit hour courses for the spring 2017 semester that will be of interest to students who wish to explore concepts and decision making strategies for natural resources management and economics, land-use planning and sustainability. Prerequisites are not required or are waived for the elective classes which are open to all Auburn University students.

Two of the classes offered are part of the school’s proposed new degree program, Geospatial and Environmental Informatics, which is anticipated to launch in the fall of 2017 pending approval by the Alabama Commission on Higher Education. Course credit for Digital Earth and Introduction to Environmental Informatics will apply toward completion of the degree for students who later declare this major.

Digital Earth (GSEI 1200) will be taught by assistant professor Susan Pan and is scheduled Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 1-1:50 p.m. The course is designed to introduce students from all disciplines to geospatial technologies, spatial thinking and evolving job markets in this area. Students will explore how innovative geospatial technologies are changing the world around us, including how we interact with the environment and each other.

Introduction to Environmental Informatics (GSEI 2070) will be taught by assistant professor Sanjiv Kumar. The lecture and lab are offered Tuesday from 9:30 a.m.-10: 45 a.m. and Thursday from 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m. The course will introduce students to the environment as a system of linked, interactive components where geographic information science, mathematical and statistical modeling, remote sensing, database management, knowledge integration and science informs environmental decision-making.

Natural Resource Finance and Investment (FOWS 5620/6620), will be held Monday evenings from 5-8 p.m. and is taught by adjunct professor Richard Hall. This course aims to provide students with an opportunity to gain a better understanding of corporate, real estate and project finance principles and how these principles can be applied to various types of natural resources.

Frontiers for Sustainable Biomaterials (BIOP 2120) will be taught by assistant professor Maria Soledad Peresin on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 1-1:50 p.m. This course will introduce students to the concepts of sustainability, biomaterials and resource efficiency in the context of bio-economy. The definition of a bio economy is based on the implementation of sustainable resources to produce materials, food, energy and services, decreasing the dependency on traditionally petroleum based/derived products, while promoting economic development.

Conflict and Collaboration in Natural Resources (FOWS 5456) is offered as an online course that will be taught by adjunct professor Miriam Wyman. This senior level undergraduate/graduate level course will provide an overview of major issues, theories and approaches related to conflict management and collaboration in natural resources.

The School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences offers courses and undergraduate and graduate degrees in forestry, wildlife ecology and management, wildlife sciences pre-vet and natural resources management. For more information about the new electives, download the course syllabi or email workingwithnature@auburn.edu