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 out as holistic problem-solvers. Over 90 percent of alumni have careers in the environmental field, and nearly half go on to direct programs for The Nature Conservancy, federal and state agencies, and other such leading organizations.

  • students sitting in a circle in an autumn forest

    Prospective Students Day 2021

    Interested in becoming a Field Naturalist in 2022? Join us on November 19, 2021, for Prospective Students Day—in person! Visit the UVM campus, meet the faculty, take a field walk with current students, and get a feel for the program.

    You can register and/or ask questions here. We look forward to seeing you! (Masks are required indoors, and visitors to UVM are expected to be vaccinated. Should UVM prohibit in-person events due to changing covid conditions, we will go virtual.)

"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 emerita at Oregon State University