Natural Resources: Ecosystem Science (M.S.)

Natural Resources: Ecosystem Science (M.S.)

Natural Resources: Soil and Water Resource Management

Why get a master’s degree in natural resources with an ecosystem science option?

Ecosystem science is crucial to maintaining sustainable agriculture, the environment, and the health of people, animal and plant life. In this program, you’ll study the ecology, microbiology and biogeochemistry of soil, groundwater and surface water, with an emphasis on how the different components of an ecosystem interact. Our M.S. in ecosystem science will prepare you for careers in environmental consulting, regulatory oversight, environmental protection and land management, and for research in the academic or private sectors.

Why choose UNH for your degree? 

You’ll be supported by a productive and internationally recognized faculty at UNH, as well as outstanding laboratory facilities, including the New Hampshire Agricultural Experiment Station. Our main campus is located near the White Mountains and the Atlantic Ocean with access to a diverse array of terrestrial, marine and freshwater field sites. UNH is ranked among the nation’s highest-performing research universities, having earned a Carnegie Classification R1. The university’s research portfolio brings in more than $110 million in competitive external funding each year. 

Potential career areas 

  • Conservation stewardship
  • Education
  • Environmental consulting 
  • Environmental regulation  
  • Land-use planning
  • Research 
  • Resource management  
  • Sustainable agriculture 
  • Water conflict management

Contact

Rebecca Rowe

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR
Phone: (603) 862-2810
Office: Natural Resources & the Environment, James Hall Rm 136, Durham, NH 03824

Wendy Rose

Pronouns: No pronouns/use my name only
BUSINESS MANAGER II
Phone: (603) 862-3933
Office: Natural Resources & the Environment, James Hall Rm 114, Durham, NH 03824

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  • An Opportunity to Conduct International Research
    Allison Herreid '19G is about to embark on a collaborative international research program with 27 graduate students from 24 U.S. institutions.
    An Opportunity to Conduct International Research
    Allison Herreid '19G is about to embark on a collaborative international research program with 27 graduate students from 24 U.S. institutions.

Curriculum & Requirements

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.

Degree Requirements

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 903
NR 905
Approach to Research
and Grant Writing
4
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 993Natural and Environmental Resources Seminar2
NR 996Natural Resource Education2
or LSA 900 College Teaching
Select one of the following Data Analysis courses: 13-4
ANFS 933
Design, Analysis, and Interpretation of Experiments
BIOL 811
Experimental Design & Analysis
DATA 800
Introduction to Applied Analytic Statistics
ECON 926
Econometrics I
EDUC 904
Qualitative Inquiry in Research
ESCI 801
Quantitative Methods in Earth Sciences
MATH 835
Statistical Methods for Research
MATH 840
Design of Experiments I
MATH #969
Topics in Probability and Statistics I
NR 909
Analysis of Ecological Communities and Complex Data
POLT #905
Introduction to Statistical Analysis
PSYC 805
Research Methodology and Statistics I
PSYC 907
Research Methods and Statistics III
SOC 901
Sociological Methods I: Intermediate Social Statistics
SOC 903
Sociological Methods III: Advanced Social Statistics
SOC 904
Sociological Methods IV: Qualitative and Historical Research Methods
Select one of the following:
NR 899Master's Thesis (and a formal presentation of the thesis) 26
NR 998Directed Research (and directed research results) 34

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.

Deadline

Applications must be completed by the following deadlines in order to be reviewed for admission:

  • Fall: February 1
  • Spring: December 1
  • Summer: N/A
  • Special: N/A

Application fee: $65

Campus: Durham

New England Regional: No

Accelerated Masters: Yes (for more details see the accelerated masters information page)

New Hampshire Residents

Students claiming in-state residency must also submit a Proof of Residence form. This form is not required to complete your application, but you will need to submit it after you are offered admission or you will not be able to register for classes.

Transcripts

If you attended UNH after September 1, 1991, and have indicated so on your online application, we will retrieve your transcript internally; this includes UNH-Durham, UNH-Manchester and UNH Non-Degree work. 

If you did not attend UNH, or attended prior to September 1, 1991, then you must request one official transcript be sent directly to our office from the Registrar's Office of each college/university attended. International transcripts must be translated into English. We accept transcripts both electronically and in hard copy:

  • Electronic Transcripts: Please have your institution send the transcript directly to grad.school@unh.edu. Please note that we can only accept copies sent directly from the institution.
  • Paper Transcripts: Please send hard copies of transcripts to: UNH Graduate School, Thompson Hall- 105 Main Street, Durham, NH 03824. You may request transcripts be sent to us directly from the institution or you may send them yourself as long as they remain sealed in the original university envelope.

Transcripts are required for any school you earned a degree from, attended for at least one year, or attended for 2 or more semesters. Exceptions to this rule may be approved at the discretion of the program you are applying to and the UNH Graduate School Admission’s office.

Letters of recommendation: 3 required

Recommendation letters submitted by relatives or friends, as well as letters older than one year, will not be accepted.

Personal Statement/Essay Questions

Prepare a brief but careful statement regarding:

  1. Reasons you wish to do graduate work in this field, including your immediate and long-range objectives.
  2. Your specific research or professional interest and experiences in this field.

Important Notes

All applicants are encouraged to contact programs directly to discuss program specific application questions.

Applicants should visit the Natural Resources program website and review the list of faculty in their area of interest. The applicant should contact potential faculty advisors to discuss their interests and determine whether the faculty member(s) may be willing and able to serve as the student’s advisor before applying to the program. See the Natural Resources Faculty List for a current list of faculty.

GRE Optional

The GRE scores are optional, if you wish to provide scores please email the scores directly to the department once you have submitted your application online.

International Applicants

The University of New Hampshire recommends that international applicants who are living outside of the United States, and are planning on pursuing a research based degree, submit a preapplication form before submitting a full application. Your preapplication request will be carefully reviewed and a decision usually provided within 3 weeks. If your preapplication is approved then it is recommended you then submit a full application. If you are currently living in the United States (on a H1B visa, etc.), or you plan on pursuing a professional master’s degree, then you do not need to submit a preapplication.

Prospective international students are required to submit TOEFL, IELTS, or equivalent examination scores. English Language Exams may be waived if English is your first language. If you wish to request a waiver, then please visit our Test Scores webpage for more information.

Explore Program Details

Our graduate advising faculty and their research interests are listed here.

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