• Browsing the Literature

      Mosley, Jeff (Society for Range Management, 2012-06-01)
    • Building a Teaching Technology Toolbox for Rangeland Ecology

      Newingham, Beth A.; Gangull, Amy C.; Orr, Barron J. (Society for Range Management, 2012-06-01)
      The world is becoming more connected and integrated with technology by the minute, and the academic world is no exception. Students are of the Digital Age, and faculty struggle to keep up. Despite the technological literacy of students, schools and universities still provide the scientific background and applicable tools for rangeland ecology and management careers. Thus, instructors can use technology and online resources as learning tools to develop students’ understanding of scientific fundamentals, core competences, and practical skills necessary for the workplace. Here, we discuss the reasons to use technology and online resources, provide examples applicable to rangeland ecology and management, and discuss considerations when employing technology in teaching. 
    • Drivers and Outcomes of Innovations in Demand-Driven and Student-Centered Learning

      Taylor, John A.; Andrews, Trish (Society for Range Management, 2012-06-01)
      The Rangeland Management graduate coursework program at The University of Queensland is the product of a strategic response to a national need defined in a report on Education and Training to Support Sustainable Management of Australia’s Pastoral Industries. This report identified that, despite the national importance of the rangelands, there were no offerings specifically in rangeland management in Australia, and that the educational offerings available at the time were perceived by a wide range of stakeholders to be too narrow, of limited relevance, and “out of touch” with education and training needs. Typically, the focus of many such university programs in Australia has been on animal production or the environment, and on building research capacity in these fields. However, the complexity of many rangeland issues, the application of the science in management, and the growing emphasis on sustainability and interest in the “triple bottom line” of 21st century business success, warranted a more integrated approach to the interlinked economic, environmental, and social issues in our rangelands. 
    • Highlights

      Society for Range Management, 2012-06-01
    • Home on a Transitioning Range: A Ranch Simulation Game Demonstrating STMs

      Pritchett, James; Kachergis, Emily; Parsons, Jay; Fernandez-Gimenez, Maria; Ritten, John (Society for Range Management, 2012-06-01)
      State-and-transitions models (STMs) are becoming a preferred method for monitoring rangeland ecosystems and a key input in adaptive management strategies. Yet, land managers do not readily adopt these tools. In this article, we suggest a creative means for increasing awareness of STMs through active participation in a ranch management game accompanying an STM workshop. Recent evaluations indicate successful transmission of key concepts, but adoption of STMs will take time to measure. We review the impetus for developing the STM game, describe the workshop/simulation game structure, and conclude with notable limitations and next steps. 
    • Innovative Outreach Methods for Adult Education in the 21st Century: Knowing Your Audience and Moving From the Centerpiece to the Sideline

      Mealor, Rachel; Frost, Rachel (Society for Range Management, 2012-06-01)
      Outreach has taken on various forms during the past 10 years, and because technology has become such an integral part of teaching, changes continue to occur at an even greater speed. The pace of life for educators has us reaching for the newest technology and calling ourselves innovative if we embed a YouTube video or a couple of iClicker (a participant response system that allows you to poll the participants and display the results; Macmillan, New York, NY ) questions into our existing PowerPoint presentation. We plan our programs and entice participants to attend with food and Continuing Education Units (CEUs), the perpetual carrot on a string for most education programs, and hope the weather prohibits our clientele from doing something they view as more valuable. But what if our programs were viewed by people as the most valuable use of their time? How can we make that transition from a boring necessity to an investment in their future? 
    • Land Lines: Old and New Agrarians in Quivira

      Salo, Cindy (Society for Range Management, 2012-06-01)
      My first job after college in the 1970s must have horrified my parents. But I never actually heard them tell me that milking cows and driving tractors might not be the first step on a solid career path. I wanted to be a farmer. (We were in the Midwest, where livestock live on farms, not ranches.) Working on a farm was as much fun as I had known it would be. I was thin and tan and, with the help of a come-along and a nose leader, I could handle just about anything on the dairy farms where I lived and worked. One summer, in the drumlins of upstate New York, I slept on the porch each night and fell asleep to the frogs singing in the pasture pond. 
    • Learning and Teaching in College: An Ecological Perspective

      Call, Chris (Society for Range Management, 2012-06-01)
      Learning about rangeland ecology and management (and related disciplines) in college settings can be enhanced if faculty members have a better understanding both of underlying educational concepts and associated learning processes, and how students develop intellectually during their college experience. To do this, we need a framework that combines knowledge and perspectives from the disciplines of cognitive psychology, adult education, and ecology. Even though not immediately apparent, psychological, educational, and ecological literatures are linked by analogies and a common, transferable language. If this language becomes more accessible across these disciplines, bridges can be built to enhance learning and teaching. I will have to stretch some analogies; i.e., concepts and processes that apply to individual plants and plant communities will be applied to individual students and classroom communities, and strategies for improving rangeland weed management will be compared to strategies for improving student learning. My focus is on undergraduate education, and the need for educators to shift from a teacher-centered approach to a learner-centered approach. 
    • Learning in Government Agencies: The Bureau of Land Management National Training Center

      Draper, Marlo; Cooley, Phillip (Society for Range Management, 2012-06-01)
      The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) manages about 245 million acres of public lands for multiple uses throughout the western United States and Alaska. Of this total acreage, the BLM administers livestock grazing on about 157 million acres. To manage and administer the rangeland management program, the BLM employs specialists that have some combination of technical and/or administrative responsibilities. Depending on their functions and duties, some positions are classified in a professional series and require a degree in rangeland management or a closely related field, whereas other positions do not have an education requirement. Regardless of a position’s educational requirement, all BLM employees involved in the rangeland management program benefit from additional or specialized training. The BLM's National Training Center (NTC) located in Phoenix, Arizona provides this benefit. The NTC does not duplicate training that can be obtained at a college or university. Instead the NTC supplements what is taught at the university by providing training that is tailored to meet BLM’s need to have employees that are versed in BLM’s roles, responsibilities, procedures, and authorities so that they are fully capable of implementing a successful rangeland management program in concert with multiple other uses on the BLM’s vast western holdings. 
    • Listening to the Land: Education for Pioneers of the Future

      Box, Thad (Society for Range Management, 2012-06-01)
      Education for the first colonists to become Americans did not exist in Europe. New skills had to be developed for living off the land—and sharing that land with, or taking it from, a people who occupied it. Survival was the prime objective. Just staying alive depended on understanding and adapting to a new environment. Those who wrote our Constitution and installed our new Republic had few books and fewer rules. They read Greek, Roman, French, and English classics containing concepts and philosophy of democracy, freedom, and what it means to be human. Thomas Jefferson’s personal library became our national Library of Congress. 
    • Rangelands in the Classroom: Increasing Rangeland Understanding of Students and Teachers

      Launchbaugh, Karen; Bestelmeyer, Stephanie; Hyde, Gretchen (Society for Range Management, 2012-06-01)
      Rangeland professionals are passionate about rangelands, and they want people in their communities to know what rangelands are and the many resources rangelands offer. Teachers are equally passionate about helping their students become good citizens who will make productive contributions to the world in which they live. For many teachers, this endeavor includes helping their students understand the landscapes that surround them. There are many opportunities for those who care about rangelands to partner with educators to help students gain appreciation, understanding, and fascination with the wild open spaces we know as rangelands. 
    • Special Issue Acknowledgments

      Society for Range Management, 2012-06-01
    • Teaching Across Disciplines and Institutions

      Hickman, Karen R.; Murphy, Melanie (Society for Range Management, 2012-06-01)
      Several members of the Range Science Education Council (RSEC) are in rangeland programs that are being challenged by their administration to broaden the scope of courses to attract a wider audience, thus increasing enrollment, and to alter how the courses are taught (e.g., traditional face-to-face on campus, online, distance education). The challenges we face have been brought about by a couple of major issues. First, too few students are seeking degrees in rangeland science/management, resulting in a severe shortage of well-trained rangeland professionals available for current and future positions. Second, in the past decade or so, lower enrollment in many of the traditional, strictly rangeland classes put rangeland science/management programs at several universities in danger of elimination or absorption by other programs, ultimately reducing the number of graduates available to fill the growing demand. In addition, many programs no longer hire faculty with primarily teaching appointments. Because of this, our programs have fewer teaching faculty with backgrounds in rangelands, and both new and current rangeland faculty are compelled to increase class sizes, course loads, and the number of program graduates. Given these pressures, we are faced with larger classes filled with students representing a wider audience, with sometimes drastically different backgrounds and views. Although these limited resources are challenging, they also provide an opportunity to make innovative advances in curricula and produce well-rounded students that can fill rangeland employment needs. Two primary approaches to meeting the current challenges of range programs are to teach across disciplines and across institutional boundaries. 
    • Teaching to Learn and Learning to Teach: Education in Rangeland Ecology and Management

      Tanaka, John; Call, Chris; Abbott, Laurie; Hickman, Karen (Society for Range Management, 2012-06-01)
      Teaching in our rangeland ecology and management discipline is continuously evolving to address emerging issues and meet the needs of our students and their potential employers. The core curriculum in many range science education programs is strongly influenced by current accreditation standards set by the Society for Range Management (SRM). These are based upon the standards developed by the Range Science Education Council (RSEC) and federal Office of Personnel Management (OPM) for employment as rangeland management specialists with federal land management agencies (GS-0454 series). However, a recent survey of range professionals revealed some gaps between what our students are learning and what potential employers and other stakeholders need and value. These findings prompted RSEC to begin a fresh examination of the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed by modern rangeland professionals, and our educational approaches to address these needs. 
    • Tired of Teaching to the Test? Alternative Approaches to Assessing Student Learning

      Abbott, Laurie (Society for Range Management, 2012-06-01)
      If you ask teachers what they feel is most rewarding about their work, nearly all will say it’s the joy that comes when students “get it,” and when students are motivated to learn, enjoy learning, and find it a rewarding experience. When asked about which tasks are most disagreeable, grading usually ranks quite highly. Similarly, students generally rate engaging learning activities highly and, with a few exceptions, don’t relish taking exams. We typically use exams to assess student learning, and grades provide a means of recognizing specific levels of achievement or mastery. But can we effectively assess the diverse competencies and real-world skills that we want our students to develop with exams alone? 
    • Using Rangelands on the Web as a Teaching Resource

      Tanaka, John; Hutchinson, Barbara; Fraker-Marble, Merrita; Frost, Rachel; Launchbaugh, Karen; George, Mel (Society for Range Management, 2012-06-01)
      Do your students go to Wikipedia for their reference material? Do they know where the library is and how to use it? Do they do general searches of the internet and spew forth whatever they find as facts? Do you wish there were better sources of information on rangelands to which you could direct them? We might just have a solution for you!