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New Department Name Reflects Growth in Academic Programs


The Department of Sustainable Resources Management is the new name for an academic department that has been central to the College since its founding in 1911.

The name change for what had been called the Department of Forest and Natural Resources Management (FNRM) better reflects the scope of the department's offerings, said Dr. Christopher Nowak, department chair.

"The department is much more diverse in terms of professional disciplines," Nowak wrote in a report regarding the name change. "We are not just 'forestry' anymore and have not been for 20 years. The department covers resources from the 'classic renewables,' such as wood, water, recreation, wildlife, and ranges, to 'classic economics,' including land, labor and capital; energy as a resource; and labor, money, materials and machinery."

The decision to change the name was made after more than a year of meetings, surveys and discussions with stakeholders and constituents, according to Nowak.

With sustainability at the forefront in discussions about the environment and climate change, students looking for a program that addresses those needs will be able to find ESF more easily in their searches. "The word 'sustainable' is still popular for attracting attention," said Nowak. "It's one of the most common search words used by high school students looking for environmental programs and environmental careers."

"While we are no longer just the Forestry Department, and have not been for decades, we still have forestry through SAF-accredited B.S. and M.F. degree programs," Nowak wrote. "We still have forestry," he emphasized, "and it is readily findable by potential students via our programs."