Our department has a very productive research program, funded mostly by outside grants awarded to our faculty. In addition, the Oklahoma Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit is an important part of the NREM department, adding to our research expertise and graduate student mentoring. Our research focus is on understanding how different ecosystems function, developing management strategies for sustainable use (livestock grazing, forestry, hunting, and fishing), conservation of endangered species or ecosystems, and restoration of damaged ecosystems. The natural resources we study in NREM are renewable (living things, nutrients, water, soils, etc.) and must be properly managed for sustained use. We have learned in the past 150 years that increasing human populations can have a major impact on these systems and we must therefore work to better understand, monitor and manage them. There are many examples in human history, including the Dust Bowl in the 1930’s, that show how an unknowing overuse of natural resources can be disastrous.
Our department emphasizes publishing research findings in peer-reviewed journals and our research programs continue to gain national and international recognition. We also strive to extend that research knowledge to the public and students in our Extension and teaching programs. Our faculty show many examples of their own research in courses they teach.
Featured Research - Black Bears in Oklahoma
Department Refereed Journal Articles
Since its inception, the Natural Resource Ecology & Management department has published on average about 60 refereed journal articles per year. The number has increased in recent years as a result of increased grant awards and the addition of more graduate students and post-docs.