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.

  • Lillian "Porky" Reade

    Our beloved Porky passed away on January 27, 2022, after a struggle with pancreatic cancer. Essential staff member, compassionate friend, and "mother duck" of the FN Program, she worked at UVM for almost 30 years until her retirement in 2019. She was a warm welcome personified, and her office was a cherished refuge from the demands of graduate school. She treasured her friendships with Field Naturalists as we treasured her. We miss her very much.

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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