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Students take courses in social, integrative, and ecological dimensions of the environment, with a concentration on the social dimensions. Each student also works with their academic advisor and committee to design and complete a capstone experience of between 3 and 6 credits. This provides students with an opportunity to work in depth on a project relevant to a current environmental issue. Specific requirements are:
a. RSENR requirement of NR 378 Integrated Analyses of Natural Resource Issues. Each year different versions of NR 378 are offered on a variety of topics. Previous examples of the course include Sustainable Food Production; Forest Carbon & Communities; Advanced Ecological Design Studio; Modeling Pollination as an Ecosystem Service; Ecology, Management, and Policy of the Everglades; Ecosystem Management in Macedonia; Tourism Issues in the Northern Forest; and Restoring the Louisiana Coast.
b. Three courses in content related subject matter from list below or comparable courses, from other department, by approval of the student’s studies committee. At least two of these courses should be offerings from RSENR (includes NR, ENVS, and RM). Those with course numbers of 385, 285, or 295 are special topics courses lacking a permanent course number, some of which may not be offered every year. Other units from which students in this program take graduate courses include Community Development and Applied Economics, Public Administration, the School of Education and Social Services, Sociology, Political Science, the School of Business Administration, Historic Preservation, and Geography.
NR 235 Legal Aspects of Planning
NR 262 International Problems in Natural Resource Management
NR 275 Natural Resource Planning
NR 285 Community Based Participatory Research
NR 285 Economic Development and the Environment
NR 285 Human Behavior/Environmental Management
NR 285 Sustainable Business
NR 285 Contemporary Issues in Environmental Policy
NR 285 Rural and Resource Dependent Community in Transition
NR 354 Seminar in Environmental Policy
NR 360 Environmental Sociology
NR 361 Politics of Landscape, Place, and Nature
NR 377 Land Use Policy and Economics
NR 385 Ecological Economic Theory
NR 385 Community Based Forestry
NR 385 Public Involvement in Environmental Affairs
NR 385 Land Conservation: Theory and Practice
NR 385 Dilemmas of Public Involvement in Environmental Policy and Management
ENVS 293 Environmental Law
ENVS 295 Environmental Conflict Resolution
RM 235 Outdoor Recreational Planning
RM 240 Park and Wilderness Management
c. A course in methods/ tools, chosen in consultation and with approval from the student's advisor and studies committee. This includes statistics (e.g. STAT 201, STAT 211, STAT 221, CDAE 351, SOC 275), qualitative research methods (e.g. EDFS 347, 348), survey research methods (e.g. STAT 233, EDLP 200), Geographic Information Systems (NR 343), remote sensing (NR 346), or spatial analysis (e.g. NR 243, NR 245, GEOG 204). For those with no previous methods or tools courses it is recommended that two courses from this category are taken.
d. Course in natural or physical science relating to the student’s program of study (may be waived for students who have a science-related undergrad degree).
e. Thesis or Project credits (6 credits for thesis; 3-6 credits for project).
f. Additional courses to meet 30 credits for degree.
Admission requirements: Undergraduate degree in a discipline related to the intended specific field of study. Satisfactory scores on the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination.
General requirements can be found within the University Catalogue.
The Capstone Thesis or Project
Through a capstone thesis or project, students contribute to understanding of and action in response to interactions between society and the environment. Students work with their advisor and a committee to write a proposal by the end of the first year of studies. Upon approval of the proposal, students work on either a thesis in conjunction with their advisor's research activities or a project that is connected to the conservation mission or objectives of an organization.
Student work might involve social survey techniques to determine values people attach to the environment, assessment of tourism and its implication for rural communities, analysis of public policy responses to specific environmental issues, GIS analyses and dynamic simulation modeling of land use patterns and development, multi-criteria assessment for environmental decisions, institutional assessments of strategies for land conservation such as community forestry and watershed planning, investigation and assessment of conflict resolution processes.