Natural Resources: Ecosystem Science (M.S.)
NATURAL RESOURCES: ECOSYSTEM SCIENCE
Students in the Ecosystem Science option typically have a strong background in environmental science, earth science, ecology, or related fields. Areas of interest include the ecology, microbiology and biogeochemistry of soils, groundwaters, and surface waters, with an emphasis on how the different components of an ecosystem interact to produce system-level responses to management, global change, and other perturbations. Understanding controls on carbon storage, nutrient transformations, water quality, soil health and greenhouse gas emissions is central to much of the research conducted by students in this option.
An M.S. degree is conferred upon successful completion of a program of not less than 30 credits for natural resources and the environment options: forestry, environmental conservation and sustainability, environmental economics, ecosystem science, and wildlife and conservation biology.
Course Requirements or Equivalents
|Select one of the following: 1|
& NR 905
|Approach to Research|
and Grant Writing
|or NR 903|
& BIOL 902
| Approach to Research|
and Writing and Publishing Science
|or NR 903|
& BIOL 950
| Approach to Research|
and Scientific Communication
|NR 993||Natural and Environmental Resources Seminar||2|
|NR 996||Natural Resource Education||2|
|or LSA 900||College Teaching|
|Select one of the following Data Analysis courses: 1||3-4|
|Design, Analysis, and Interpretation of Experiments|
|Experimental Design & Analysis|
|Introduction to Applied Analytic Statistics|
|Qualitative Inquiry in Research|
|Quantitative Methods in Earth Sciences|
|Statistical Methods for Research|
|Design of Experiments I|
|Topics in Probability and Statistics I|
|Analysis of Ecological Communities and Complex Data|
|Introduction to Statistical Analysis|
|Research Methodology and Statistics I|
|Research Methods and Statistics III|
|Sociological Methods I: Intermediate Social Statistics|
|Sociological Methods III: Advanced Social Statistics|
|Sociological Methods IV: Qualitative and Historical Research Methods|
|Select one of the following:|
|NR 899||Master's Thesis (and a formal presentation of the thesis) 2||6|
|NR 998||Directed Research (and directed research results) 3||4|
Or other alternative with approval from the Graduate Coordinator.
The thesis option will provide a research-based thesis that is the foundation for a peer-reviewed publication.
The directed research option shall consist of a project, designed and conducted by the student, culminating in a scholarly paper or report that is suitable for publication in the respective field of scholarship.
An approved program of study plan is required during the first semester.
Key Learning Objectives:
- Knowledge and skills outcomes to ensure graduates of the MS program have mastered their discipline: demonstrate knowledge of theory and practice, as well as critical thinking skills and creativity, in conducting ecological, economic, and policy assessment of natural resource and environmental issues and developing solutions to environmental problems;
- successfully employ the field, laboratory, data analysis, and social science skills necessary to perform research concerning natural resources and their management;
- design, propose, and execute research addressing fundamental or critical issues in natural resources;
- contribute to scholarship through publication and presentation of research findings using diverse media.
Professional outcomes to ensure graduates of the MS program successfully compete for jobs in the public and private sectors:
- demonstrate mastery of theory and empirical knowledge in their research concentration and, more generally, in the relevant natural and/or social;
- use written and oral skills to communicate effectively with colleagues, stakeholders, and the public;
- integrate theory and practice to analyze, assess, and solve environmental and social problems and answer questions across diverse scales from local to global;
- develop and employ interdisciplinary relationships and approaches to addressing environmental issues;
- interact with professional peers honestly and ethically, and in ways that show cultural sensitivity, inquisitiveness, and propensity for teamwork.