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In the holistic view, rangelands, are the most prominent and important worldwide terrestrial resource existing on earth. Using the ecological context of describing rangelands as grasslands, desert lands, shrub lands, and a sizeable portion of forestlands (open canopy communities and transitory communities); rangelands cover about 80% of the land area of the earth. Now that is a lot of land!
Rangelands supply food, fiber, fuel, shelter, minerals, energy, aesthetics, recreation, and water to support the human society. Many modern features of society such as cities, freeways and highways, canals, airports, shopping centers and malls, etc. exist on what was once rangeland. Rangelands are the home to a vast array of plant and animal forms. Food, water, and habitat are supplied to this diverse assemblage of life forms. One of the chief products from rangelands is the forage supplied and habitat provided for domestic livestock and wildlife creatures. Many of these animals are herbivores that feed on the rangeland plant tissue to produce meat, milk, fur, and hide. Many others give enjoyment to humans by their presence on the world's vast area of rangelands. Many are the food sources for omnivore and carnivore animals. All are important parts of the rangeland ecosystem. Rangelands also represent the largest watersheds on the earth, many in the arid landscapes found across the earth.
So RANGELANDS are important, as they are THE major land base of the world!
Students in our program receive a rigorous education with emphases in resource conservation, management, wildland soil and rangeland ecology, rangeland inventory, and the restoration of wildland ecosystems. You focus your education taking advanced coursework in either rangeland resources or wildland soils.
We are located in the perfect place to gain hands-on experience managing both rangelands and wildland soils. Private ranches and state and federal lands, just minutes from campus, provide you with countless opportunities to gain the kind of experience employers are looking for.
Our students are in high demand, right from day one. Our graduates qualify for several federal job series (Rangeland Management Specialist and Soil Conservationist or Scientist for example) and have a wide range of jobs to choose from - both in the public and private sectors. Over the next ten year careers in soil and plant sciences are estimated to increase 35% in California.
The following presentation titled Status and Demand for Soil Science Undergraduate Programs (PDF) was prepared by Department faculty.
Download "A Career in Rangeland Management" brochure
Learn more about rangelands by visiting rangelands.org