Contact: Yari Johnson
Program Office: 316 Pioneer Tower
Phone: 608.342.7332

Program Description

Reclamation, environment and conservation (REC) is an applied environmental science, which addresses the restoration and management of natural resources by the practical application of science, design and technology. Its basis lies in both ethics and sound management of the planet. REC is a natural adjunct to land use activities such as mining, timber management and grazing; construction, development and agriculture; and includes the preservation, conservation and restoration of our natural and cultural heritage.

Program Mission

The mission of the REC program is to promote environmental awareness and actions through interdisciplinary instruction and outreach. Its goal is to help protect, restore and conserve the environment for future generations.

Program Objectives and Student Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the REC program will:

  • Describe land management and reclamation/restoration activities and outcomes and explain their importance to a wide range of audiences
  • Characterize and apply interdisciplinary knowledge, skills and ethics necessary to restore and manage cultural and natural landscapes
  • Apply site analyses techniques to predict and assess difficulties and challenges unique to a given reclamation/restoration site
  • Compare and evaluate the roles and responsibilities of stake holders such as agencies, groups and organizations engaged in land management and reclamation/restoration
  • Apply the skills to plan, design and construct a reclamation/restoration project
  • Analyze and evaluate the reclamation/restoration results and the efficacy of methods and materials used in reclamation project management
  • Demonstrate knowledge and perform administrative and technical tasks of reclamation project management

The interdisciplinary courses in the REC program are established and coordinated by the director and a council comprised of faculty across the university. Within the REC major, a student may elect to focus upon a physical, biological or chemistry emphasis. This division arises from the general division of emphases at the professional level. The physical emphasis is closely allied with geology and civil engineering, whereas the biological emphasis is closely allied with ecology, soils, agriculture and natural sciences. It is possible to obtain a double major in one of the closely related fields while completing requirements for the REC major. Students who elect a major in REC should have an aptitude for science, engineering, technology and design, and a strong commitment to the environment.


RECLAM 1010 Introduction to Reclamation & Restoration 3 Credits

The basis for reclamation and restoration in ethics and practice. Applications of science, agriculture, engineering and law in reclamation and restoration problems answered through lecture and field presentations made by the major faculty members of the reclamation, environment and conservation program and guest speakers from the profession.
Components: Laboratory, Class
Typically Offered: Fall

RECLAM 3010 Current Topics in Reclamation and Restoration 1-3 Credits

Selected topics from current land reclamation restoration ecology problems examined in a seminar setting with some field presentations.
Components: Class
Prereqs/Coreqs: P: BIOLOGY 3450 or RECLAM 1010 or consent of instructor
Typically Offered: Occasional

RECLAM 3020 Reclamation Revegetation 3 Credits

Selection and identification of adapted herbaceous and woody species for reclamation, site revegetation, and planting methods. Restoration techniques for design, construction and maintenance of wetlands, prairie, woodland, and riparian habitat.
Components: Laboratory, Class
Prereqs/Coreqs: P: BIOLOGY 3450 or RECLAM 1010 or consent of instructor
Typically Offered: Spring

RECLAM 3410 Wetland Ecology, Restoration and Management 3 Credits

In-depth study of wetland communities, including composition, distribution, function, ecology and hydrology. Wetland delineation, regulation, mitigation and restoration. Techniques to improve restoration success and long-term management. Analysis of hydrology within the context of wetland restoration and management.
Components: Field Studies, Class, Laboratory
Prereqs/Coreqs: P: SCSCI 2230 or consent of instructor
Typically Offered: Fall-ALT

RECLAM 3750 Reclamation Internship 3-6 Credits

Supervised experiential learning opportunities in collaboration with businesses and public agencies related to reclamation, environment and conservation.
Components: Field Studies
Prereqs/Coreqs: P: 45 credits completed or IP and 12 credits of RECLAM completed or IP and good standing, and approval of internship coordinator.
Typically Offered: Fall/Spring/Summer

RECLAM 3880 Environmental Law 3 Credits

A study of historical concepts and common law rules and their effect on the development of environmental law; examination of state and federal statutes, regulations and case law relating to land use, pollution control and preservation of natural resources; exploration of the legal frontiers of environmental protection and restoration.
Components: Class
Prereqs/Coreqs: C: four credits of lab science and junior standing
Typically Offered: Occasional

RECLAM 3900 Reclamation & Restoration Field Trip 3 Credits

A field trip of approximately two-week duration taken during summer or spring interim to major land reclamation and restoration ecology projects and research centers. The trip is run in successive years to different regions of the United States. The role of local, state, and federal governments and private industry in reclamation and restoration is studied through numerous site visits. The keeping of a photographic log and journal is required. One trip is required of all Reclamation, Environment and Conservation majors.
Components: Field Studies
Prereqs/Coreqs: P: sophomore standing or consent of instructor
Typically Offered: Summer

RECLAM 3940 GIS / GPS and Mapping 3 Credits

Geospatial concepts integrating digital orthophotography, global positioning systems, and geographic information systems for natural resource and conservation-related applications. Use of technology in conjunction with a field component.
Components: Laboratory, Class
Prereqs/Coreqs: P: COMPUTER 1830 or consent of instructor
Typically Offered: Fall

RECLAM 4920 Independent Study 1-3 Credits

Independent research project with a written report or paper required. Done under supervision of a faculty member.
Components: Independent Study
Typically Offered: Fall/Spring/Summer

RECLAM 4940 Project Management in Reclamation and Restoration 3 Credits

Project management concepts are applied to environmental and conservation-related issues and activities. Concepts include definitions, role of project manager, project life cycle, project control cycles, project management tools, project team and organizational factors, and plan implementation. Leadership, team building and communication skills are emphasized through service learning projects, written reports, and presentations.
Components: Class
Prereqs/Coreqs: P: Junior standing or consent of instructor
Typically Offered: Spring