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Career Information

Continuing Education for Natural Resource Professionals

Landscape Ecology (LE)
Landscape Ecology in Theory and Practice: Application to Land Management

Photograph: silver meadow landscape on the Uinta National Forest, Utah.  Photographer: Teresa Prendusi
Photographer: T.Prendusi, USFS
Hosted in coordination with the
Silviculture Certification Program
US Forest Service
Photograph: red salamander on yellow rock.  Cave Salamander.  Ozark-St. Francis National Forest.  Photographer Rhea Rylee.
Photographer: Rhea Rylee, USFS

Objectives & Description:

Upon completion of this course, you will...

  • Define the landscape. Examining landscape ecological relationships by defining the spatial scale (grain and extent), thematic content and resolution of the landscape in the context of specific objectives.

  • Determine landscape patterns causes. How patterns develop on landscapes, including the three major agents of pattern formation: the physical template of environmental constraints, biotic processes and disturbances.

  • Characterize landscape patterns. Detecting and quantifying landscape pattern for studying pattern-process relationships. Quantify landscape pattern composition and spatial configuration in categorical landscape mosaics.

  • Quantify landscape dynamics. Detecting, analyzing, or simulating landscape change; Explain how landscape patterns and processes change through time; Modeling populations or communities in landscape mosaics (including spatially implemented metapopulation models).

  • Explain the ecological implications of landscape pattern. This is the central set of questions in landscape ecology. Specifically, processes at four levels of organization: genes, populations and metapopulations, communities, and ecosystem processes.

  • Manage landscapes. Explain how humans manage complex landscapes to achieve management objectives, including two themes central to ecology today: Conservation biology and ecosystem management.

This course focuses on the interplay between spatial pattern and process; specifically, how to characterize spatial pattern, where it comes from, why it matters, how it changes through time, and how we manage it. Project-based and place-based learning techniques focusing on applying to management situations. The course is structured into lecture and computer lab exercise. Participants will use various computer models to demonstrate landscape ecology concepts and quantify landscape characteristics. Basic knowledge of ARC MAP is useful but not required as students will work in small groups during the daily computer exercises.

Target Audience:
Resource management professionals, such as wildlife, fisheries, ecology, silviculture, recreation and scenery management, geology and soil, fire and fuels management.

"Landscape Ecology" is a graduate level course. Participants need a BS in a resource management field.
A course similar to this one, provides academic instruction supporting the U.S. Forest Service silviculture certification program. It is one of four (4) courses offered in the national silviculture certification program curriculum.
Individuals registered for the national silviculture certification program are automatically registered for another Landscape Ecology workshop; no need to register for this workshop individually.

Tuition: $1,250 (does NOT include travel, lodging and meals) + textbook


  • Instruction
  • Materials
    (Does NOT include text book - see vendor website)
  • Take home tools
    • 1. Learning landscape ecology student guidebook – comprehensive student guidebook containing the complete set of lecture notes and slides and detailed instructions for completing the lab exercises. This book serves as a companion to the lectures and lab exercises and largely eliminates the need for student note-taking.
    • 2. Application of landscape ecology to the study and management of the case study landscape – technical document containing a summary of the principal concepts underpinning the application of landscape ecology to the study and management of the case study landscape as well as a synthesis of the findings from the lab exercises. This report will serve to garner grass-roots interest and support for the application of landscape ecology to national forest management issues.

    NOTE: Register in AGLEARN, prepare SF-182. As well, register and make payment through the vendors website: Select links for "open course'" at vendor's website.

    AgLearn Keywords: Use one or two of the following key words when searching AgLearn. We recommend using the Advanced Search option.
    2470, 2600, landscape, ecology wildlife, silviculture, fire management, watershed, forestry

    Finding in AgLearn :: USFS participants can self register in AgLearn. If you have any problems, contact Shelly Witt for assistance.

    Dropping from the Workshop: Tuition is low for this workshop consequently there is not much leeway on letting people drop. If you are registered, check with us first, just in case we have a waiting list. If there is not a waiting list, you will need to find a substitute or pay fixed costs. The budget has been set and spent based on current confirmation. Thank you for your understanding and consideration.

LandEco | Agenda & Workshop Info | SF182 Information |

Registration - Shelly Witt 435-881-4203


  • Dr. Kevin McGarigal is the principal course coordinator and Proprietor of LandEco Consulting.
    LandEco Consulting, 379 Leverett Road, Shutesbury, MA 01072
    mcgarigalk'at'; 413-577-0655
    Professor of Landscape Ecology in the Department of Environmental Conservation at University of Massachusetts (UMass), Amherst, MA.

Disclaimers | Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) | Privacy Notice

Forest Service Continuing Education for Natural Resource Professionals
Author: Shelly Witt, National Continuing Education Coordinator,
WFW staff
Phone: 435-881-4203
Expires: none

Photo Credits

USDA Forest Service
1400 Independence Ave., SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-0003
(202) 205-8333

 Last Modified: June 2013