Ecosystem Science and Restoration - Aquatic

This is an archived copy of the 2018-2019 catalog. To access the most recent version of the catalog, please visit

The major in Ecosystem Science and Restoration prepares students to understand how ecosystems work to solve pressing environmental problems or help restore degraded ecosystems. Students can select one of two options:

  • the terrestrial concentration, which focuses on the understanding and repair of terrestrial ecosystems; and
  • the aquatic concentration, which focuses on aquatic ecosystem function and watershed restoration.

Students engage in field-based learning, contribute to cutting-edge restoration or ecosystem science projects, and are challenged to apply ecological theory to research and restoration practice. The major requires completion of a nine-credit restoration capstone, during which students gain hands-on real-world experience planning and implementing research or restoration projects in partnership with natural resource management agencies and organizations in western Montana.

A degree in Ecosystem Science and Restoration prepares students for careers as ecologists or restoration practitioners with non-profit, private, or governmental agencies and for graduate school in ecology or natural resource management. Students who graduate with this major may qualify for the following federal civil service jobs:

  • biological technician (Series 0404),
  • ecologist (Series GS-408),
  • forester (Series G-460),
  • hydrologist (Series GS-1315) and
  • soil conservationist (Series GS-457).

More information on federal civil service requirements can be found at:

Bachelor of Science - Ecosystem Science & Restoration; Aquatic Concentration

W.A Franke College of Forestry & Conservation

Degree Specific Credits: 93-94

Required Cumulative GPA: 2.0

Catalog Year: 2018-2019

General Education Requirements 

Information regarding these requirements can be found in the General Education Section of the catalog. 


Lower-Division Major Required Courses6
Lower-Division Outside Major Required Courses25-26
Upper-Division Major Required Courses21
Upper-Division Outside Major Required Courses3
Aquatic Restoration Concentration Required Courses17
Aquatic Restoration Concentration Electives9
Social Science Elective Courses3
Upper-Division Writing Requirement9
Total Hours93-94

Lower-Division Major Required Courses

Complete all of the following courses:
NRSM 121SNature of Montana3
or NRSM 170 International Envir. Change
NRSM 265Elements of Ecological Restoration3
Total Hours6

Minimum Required Grade: C- 

Lower-Division Outside Major Required Courses

Complete all of the following courses:
BIOB 160NPrinciples of Living Systems3
BIOB 161NPrncpls of Living Systems Lab1
BIOB 260Cellular and Molecular Biology4
BIOB 272Genetics and Evolution4
CHMY 121NIntroduction to General Chemistry3
CHMY 123Introduction to Organic and Biochemistry4
COMX 111AIntroduction to Public Speaking3
or THTR 120A Introduction to Acting I
Complete one of the following courses:3-4
Introduction to Statistics
Forest Biometrics
Intro to Biostatistics
Total Hours25-26

Minimum Required Grade: C- 

Upper-Division Major Required Courses

Complete all of the following courses:
NRSM 344Ecosystem Science and Restoration Capstone5
NRSM 385Watershed Hydrology3
NRSM 422Nat Res Policy/Administration3
NRSM 465Foundations of Restoration Ecology3
or BIOE 447 Ecosystem Ecology
NRSM 389EEthics Forestry & Conservation3
or NRSM 349E Climate Change Ethics/Policy
NRSM 494Ecosystem Science and Restoration Seminar1
Complete one of the following courses:3
Ecosystem Science and Restoration Practicum
Internship (ESR Capstone Internship Experience)
Senior Thesis
Total Hours21

Minimum Required Grade: C- 

Upper-Division Outside Major Required Courses

Complete the following course:
BIOE 370General Ecology3
Total Hours3

Minimum Required Grade: C- 

Aquatic Restoration Concentration Required Courses

Complete all of the following courses:
BIOE 428Freshwater Ecology5
GEO 101NIntroduction to Physical Geology3
GEO 102NIntroduction to Physical Geology Lab1
M 171Calculus I4
M 172Calculus II4
Total Hours17

Minimum Required Grade: C-  

Aquatic Restoration Concentration Electives

Note: No double-dipping with core courses is allowed.

Complete 9 credits from the following courses:9
Field Ecology
Stream Ecology
Ecosystem Ecology
Landscape Ecology
Ecology of Small & Large Lakes
Biology and Mgmnt of Fishes
Intro to GIS for Forest Mgt
Climate System Dynamics
Process Geomorphology
Intro to GIS and Cartography
Soils, Water and Climate
Global Cycles and Climate
Ecosystem Climatology
Foundations of Restoration Ecology
Aquatic Invertebrate Ecology
Total Hours9

Minimum Required Grade: C- 

Social Science Elective Courses

Complete one of the following courses:3
Economics of the Environment
Forest Environmental Economics
Water Policy
Collab in Nat Res Decisions
Climate and Society
Advanced Water Policy
Environment & Development
Total Hours3

Minimum Required Grade: C- 

Upper Division Writing Requirement

Complete three of the following courses:9
Freshwater Ecology
Forest Ecology
Ecosystem Science and Restoration Capstone
Collab in Nat Res Decisions
Foundations of Restoration Ecology
Ecosystem Science and Restoration Practicum
Senior Thesis
Total Hours9

 Minimum Required Grade: C-