ESPM 186:  Management of Rangeland Ecosystems


Welcome to ESPM 186

Woodlands, grasslands, and shrublands provide biodiversity, wildlife habitat, watershed, recreation, open space, and forage.  Human practices and ecosystem dynamics meet in rangeland management.

This course begins with the ecology of rangelands and how they work, and then progresses through the evolution and domestication of grazing animals, incredibly talented  plant consumers that have partnered with humans for thousands of years.  We continue with an overview of pastoralists and the ecological and social forces that have shaped pastoral systems around the world, including today’s beleaguered ranchers and the art and science of taking care of grasslands, woodlands, and shrublands.  What do we do about fire, invasive species, poor managers, and development? Can we restore damaged ecosystems?  Is there a future for products that are argued to promote sustainable management, like organic beef or goat-based vegetation management?  What are the costs and benefits of using domestic animals to manage?  We combine hands-on experience with an exploration of new institutional arrangements for conservation and restoration.  Along the way we learn methods for changing, predicting, or assessing the results.

Please don’t hesitate to contact Lynn Huntsinger at, or Jim Bartolome at, or Peter Hopkinson at, if you have any questions about this course.


MWF 9-10 

306 Wellman Hall

4 units. 


Lynn Huntsinger

Jim Bartolome