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NR 201: Managing Natural Resources for the Future

Library guide for research in natural resource management.

Course Instructor

Mark Reed

273 Peavy Hall

Library related assignments

Issue paper 1:

Aldo Leopold said: "All ethics rest on a single premise, that the individual is a member of a community of interdependent parts. The land ethic simply enlarges the boundaries of the community to include soils, water, plants, and animals, or collectively, the land."

Leopold went on to say that "we can be ethical only in relation to something we can see, feel, understand, and love."

Describe a landscape that has personal meaning for you. This should be a biotic community, rather than an urban or human-built environment. Examples: a favorite place for hiking, fishing camping, or other recreation; some place that has inspired you, even if you have never been there, such as a distant national park; your family farm or ranch. Try to be as specific as possible, e.g. instead of "Oregon Coast" narrow it down to a favorite beach or park.

Your completed assignment must meet the following criteria:

  • Describe the location of your landscape as accurately as possible: country (if outside USA), state/province, county, latitude/longitude (5 points)
  • Provide a map of your location, in the form of a URL for a Google map or equivalent (5 points)
  • Identify your ecoregion as accurately as possible, using the CEC's ecoregion maps: or, if your location is outside North America, (you should be able to narrow it down to level 3 within North America) (5 points)
  • Identify your watershed as accurately as possible, using the USGS "Science in Your Watershed" website: You should be able to narrow it down to the "cataloging unit" (8 digits). Once you have identified it, click on the "additional information for your watershed" button to find the name of your watershed. Submit watershed name and cataloging unit number in your report. (5 points)
  • Describe distinctive geology, climate, flora, and fauna (10 points)
  • Describe what this place means to you, in a minimum of 250 words (15 points)
  • Post completed assignment, on time, in the relevant discussion forum (5 points)

Issue paper 2:

For the landscape that you identified in your first issue paper, explore some of the issues relating to management of its natural resources.

Develop a full report (minimum 1500 words), meeting the following criteria:

  1. Determine what other members of society may be stakeholders in your landscape and discuss the following (20 points):
  2. Who owns your landscape? Identify the owner(s) as specifically as possible. You can often identify owners from public records (check to see if your county tax assessor has a web search). Is it in public or private ownership, or both? If it is a mix, what percentage for each?
  3. Describe residents, including threatened & endangered (T&E) species, and/or endemic species (you can search for more information about T&E species on
  4. What natural resources and ecosystem services do human residents expect to receive from this landscape?
  5. What kinds of issues, including real or potential conflicts, exist over natural resources in this landscape? Think of the different examples we have discussed so far in class. Include conflicts between different user groups and between humans and T&E species. Include a summary of water resource conditions (using the EPA's "Surf your Watershed" database: (20 points)
  6. What is the most important natural resource issue for this landscape, in your opinion (something that will need to be addressed in the next 10-20 years)? What is the current management plan regarding this issue? How would you improve the management of this landscape regarding this issue? Try to be realistic: consider all 3 aspects of the sustainability triangle in your proposed solution, and take into account relevant government regulations and stakeholder attitudes. 40 points)
  7. Include at least one graph of relevant data, and a list of references. (10 points)
  8. Post your report, on time, as an attachment to a post in the relevant discussion forum. Please try to post either in .doc or .pdf format. If you are using Works, Word Perfect or the newest version of MSWord, you should be able to do this by choosing "Save as" and scrolling through the choices. (10 points)

Career Exploration: Report on what you learn about career opportunities. Minimum length of report: 500 words.

Library Tutorial assignment

Complete the Library Research Tutorial. 

This will help you learn about how to approach your issue paper topic.  There are three parts to the tutorial and three quizzes.  You can read over the material as much as you like before taking each quiz,  but you are graded on your first attempt at taking the quiz so be sure you feel prepared.   When you  take the quiz, use your instructors email address. Click here to begin the Library Research Tutorial.   Read over the information on this page before beginning research on the following assignments:

Library Workshops and Webinars

E-Campus Webinar schedule 

Undergraduate Workshop Recordings: and Graduate & Faculty Workshop Schedule Offered on-campus, registration required (though anyone welcome).  Sessions are offered multiple times during the term. 


OSU Libraries on the Web

Be sure you can locate the the OSU Libraries Home Page and from there use the "FIND IT" tab to access these links:

Other useful links in the "FIND IT" menu:


What's where in the library

If you are an extended campus student be sure to read the information linked from the Ecampus View on  accessing articles and books.

If you are on camous, you may need to be familiar with where things are on the first and second floors -- to do this, use this link to Floor maps 

A word to the wise:, the first floor, which houses most forestry material, seems complicated at first. On this floor we house older volumes of journals in "compact shelving" on the North side. Journals volumes from 1990 through last year are shelved with the books on the South side. The current year of print journals are unbound in display shelving in the Southeast corner.  

It is *always* okay to ask questions - here are some options to try before you get frustrated:

  • Look for the in-library phone on each floor -- use it to call the Reference Desk (7-7295).
  • Come to the Reference Desk on the 2nd floor.
  • Try the *ASK A LIBRARIAN!* chat service on the right of most library pages.