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

Since 1983, the Field Naturalist Program has recruited field scientists, naturalists, ecologists, planners, environmentalists, 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 our graduates currently work 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.

  • students seated on the forest floor with notebooks

    Now Recruiting a New Cohort for Fall 2020!

    If you are interested in becoming a Field Naturalist, join us for Prospective Students Day on November 15, 2019, when you can meet with faculty, take a field walk with current students, ask alumni about their careers, and get a feel for the program. Contact us to register or with questions.

    Applications due February 15, 2020

"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 (A Team), science writer, naturalist, professor emeritus at Oregon State