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Natural Sciences Education Abstract - Undergraduate Education

Redesigning Natural Resources Curricula: A Redesign Process Model at Texas A&M University


This article in NSE

  1. Vol. 45 No. 1
    Received: Sept 14, 2015
    Accepted: Feb 17, 2016
    Published: December 20, 2016

    * Corresponding author(s): chelseaaharris@exchange.tamu.edu
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  1. Debra A. Fowlera,
  2. Chelsea A. H. Bakenhus *a,
  3. Merwyn M. Kothmannb,
  4. Maria L. Macika,
  5. Nate Polinga and
  6. Sherri MacWilliea
  1. a Texas A&M Univ., Center for Teaching Excellence, 4246 TAMU, College Station, TX 77843
    b Texas A&M Univ., Dep. of Ecosystem Science and Management, 2138 TAMU, College Station, TX 77843
Core Ideas:
  • An undergraduate natural resources education is improved at a major research university.
  • The article describes a systematic curriculum redesign process in a university program.
  • The program is improved by using data-driven program design and assessment.
  • The undergraduate curriculum is focused to ensure program and graduate quality based on industry/academic needs and trends.


To remain current, departments and programs offering curricula in natural resource science aim to ensure that students develop the knowledge and skills identified as being crucial by experts in the field. Texas A&M University’s Ecosystem Science and Management (ESSM) Department recently completed a large-scale curricular update assisted by academic developers at the Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) within the university. Using the comprehensive Program (Re)Design (PRD) model created by the CTE academic developers, the ESSM Department began by forming a PRD team identified from the department’s faculty. This article details the process that the ESSM department utilized during their curriculum update, and provides a general overview of the PRD model. Examples of lessons learned (issues, solutions, and so forth) are also examined.

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