Peter Moore, Natural Resource Ecology and Management has received a Miller grant to complete an open textbook to support quantitative reasoning courses for students in natural resource programs, specifically NREM 240, a course which Moore designed in 2014 to help our students become more confident and proficient users of quantitative and computational techniques.
While the course includes review or in some cases an introduction to useful mathematical formulas and algorithms (largely at the pre-calculus level), a key goal of the course is to develop strategies for using math as a tool for addressing real problems in natural resources. The book, Quantitative Problem Solving in Natural Resources, is a collection of strategies and heuristics and a guide for using them in realistic problems like estimating fish and wildlife populations, characterizing habitat, and optimizing timber management in fire-prone forests.
Over the past two years, NREM 240 students have used parts of the text to supplement their classroom instruction, but Moore expects to have the book complete and peer reviewed by the start of the next offering this spring. Moore hopes that instructors elsewhere can find all or parts of the book and its philosophy useful in teaching or developing their own courses.