students at a pond edge in autumn with trees and mountains in the background

Since 1983, the Field Naturalist Program has recruited field scientists, ecologists, naturalists, planners, lawyers, educators, engineers and others who have the moxie to break new environmental ground.

Hallmarks of the Master of Science program are cross-disciplinary science in the field, problem-solving, and effective communication. Instruction is more apprenticeship than conventional schooling. Students complete a master's project in service to a sponsoring environmental organization—they leave the program with on-the-ground conservation experience.

Our graduates are sought-after leaders in stewardship, conservation, policy, ecological planning, and place-based education. Whether they work in boardrooms, backyards, or bogs, Field Naturalists stand alone as holistic problem-solvers. Over 90 percent of alumni have careers in the environmental field, and more than half go on to direct programs for The Nature Conservancy, federal and state agencies, and other such leading organizations.

Field Naturalist Program logo - graphic of layered landscape

"When I returned to the West Coast after finishing the program, I 'saw' my home for the first time. It was as if I had been blind."

— Carol Savonen '85 (Cohort A), science writer, naturalist, professor emeritus at Oregon State