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.

  • a young woman with a clipboard looking up at trees in a forest

    Put a Field Naturalist to Work!

    Our graduate students can help your organization accomplish its mission—in the field, in the office, in our communities. We are now accepting proposals for Field Naturalist partnerships during the 2023-2024 academic year.

    A statement of interest is requested by Nov. 1 and a full proposal by Nov. 15. Learn more details about sponsoring a student here.

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"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