Natural Resources: Ecosystem Science (M.S.)
Natural Resources: Ecosystem Science (M.S.)
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
- Environmental consulting
- Environmental regulation
- Land-use planning
- Resource management
- Sustainable agriculture
- Water conflict management
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.
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
|NR 903||Approach to Research||2|
|Choose one of the following additional research methods classes:||2|
|Writing and Publishing Science|
Or an alternative with approval from the Graduate Coordinator
|NR 993||Natural and Environmental Resources Seminar||2|
|NR 996||Natural Resource Education (or Teaching Assistantship) 1||2|
|Select one of the following Data Analysis courses: 2||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|
|Applied Regression Analysis|
|Design of Experiments I|
|Analysis of Ecological Communities and Complex Data|
|Hierarchical Modeling in Ecology|
|Introduction to Statistical Analysis|
|Quantitative Methods for Policy Research|
|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 3||6|
|NR 998||Directed Research 4||4|
If you are on a Teaching Assistantship, you are not required to take NR 996, Natural Resource Education.
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.
Applications must be completed by the following deadlines in order to be reviewed for admission:
- Fall: February 15
- Spring: December 1
- Summer: N/A
- Special: N/A
Application fee: $65
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.
If you attended UNH or Granite State College (GSC) after September 1, 1991, and have indicated so on your online application, we will retrieve your transcript internally; this includes UNH-Durham, UNH-Manchester, UNH Non-Degree work and GSC.
If you did not attend UNH, or attended prior to September 1, 1991, then you must upload a copy (PDF) of your transcript in the application form. International transcripts must be translated into English.
If admitted, you must then request an official transcript be sent directly to our office from the Registrar's Office of each college/university attended. We accept transcripts both electronically and in hard copy:
- Electronic Transcripts: Please have your institution send the transcript directly to email@example.com. 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 from all previous post-secondary institutions must be submitted and applicants must disclose any previous academic or disciplinary sanctions that resulted in their temporary or permanent separation from a previous post-secondary institution. If it is found that previous academic or disciplinary separations were not disclosed, applicants may face denial and admitted students may face dismissal from their academic program.
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:
- Reasons you wish to do graduate work in this field, including your immediate and long-range objectives.
- Your specific research or professional interest and experiences in this field.
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.
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.
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.