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 seated on the forest floor with notebooks

    Cohort AK (Class of 2022): Welcome!

    The next cohort of Field Naturalists, to begin in August 2020, has been admitted. Thank you to all who applied!

    Interested in becoming a Field Naturalist in 2021? We encourage you to visit us in Burlington in the fall. You'll have the chance to meet with faculty and current students, sit in on a class, and get a feel for the program. Contact us to arrange a visit or with any questions.

"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