The Master of Science (MS) program in Natural Resources Management (NRM) at North Dakota State University was initiated in 1974. Through the program, students gain breadth in relevant planning, analysis, communication, and management areas while developing depth in one of several disciplines. This interdisciplinary approach makes NRM unique among master's degree programs. While traditional structuring of curricula is highly specialized and focuses on disciplinary compartmentalization, the NRM MS degree garners a broad, systems-based perspective.
NRM MS graduates are prepared to compete for and be productive in jobs where issues reach beyond a single discipline or subject area. They have the skills necessary to address problems from holistic-ecological and global-social perspectives. The NRM interdisciplinary approach prepares students for the current and impending natural environmental challenges of the 21st century.
Natural Resources Management draws upon the courses and resources of four north Dakota State University colleges:
Agriculture, Food Systems, and Natural Resources
Science and Mathematics
Engineering and Architecture
Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Agribusiness and Applied Economics
Engineering and Landscape Architecture
The goal of the NRM MS degree program is to produce graduates who:
Have a strong background in research in conjunction with one or more available areas of expertise in the affiliated disciplines comprising the program. Graduates garner an extensive portfolio of coursework relating to areas that are highly relevant to understanding the complexity of ecosystem processes, ecosystem management, applied natural resources economics, social aspects, communication impacts, and future research on natural resources management.
Are able to work on problems that require assimilation of data, methods, and strategies from many supporting disciplines. Problem recognition, definition, analysis, and resolution are the ultimate objectives.
Are willing and able to engage in compromise solutions to interdisciplinary environmental problems; professionals who can engage with and be respected by decision-makers at all levels of private, public and civil society.
Have a broad based and well rounded education that will enhance their employment opportunities in a marketplace where the need for the ecologically feasible, economically sound, and ethical resolution of natural resources management problems is steadily increasing.
Biotic Resources Science - deals with basic scientific principles that govern the interrelationship between biotic (e.g., plants, animals) and abiotic factors (e.g., climate, soils) in major ecosystems and the use of these principles for environmentally sound management of both natural and agro-ecosystems.
Environmental Communication - is designed for environmentally oriented students preparing for careers in communications fields such as journalism, public relations, broadcast media and the internet.
Natural Resources Economics - prepares students for management, administrative, regulatory, and policy positions that require a broad understanding of natural resources management and allocation.
Physical/Earth Resources Science - leads to an understanding of the physical and chemical aspects of ecosystems. Topics of study include hydrology, water management and quality, waste management, soil properties, energy resources and land-use management.
Pollution Control - focuses on the principles and practices of managing natural resources for pollution control. Topics include the technical aspects of pollution as they relate to water, air, soils, and the impact of environmental pollution on biotic and abiotic factors.
Social Sciences - concentrates on human factors (social, anthropological, political) in environmental management and environmental disaster management, while recognizing constraints and opportunities presented by physical and biological factors.
Careers in natural resources management vary widely and may include settings as diverse as urban landscapes and wilderness areas, university and corporate laboratories, and non-profit boardrooms. An advanced degree in natural resources management is a well-recognized qualification for these and many other employment opportunities.
Students graduating with advanced degrees in natural resources management are in demand in several areas including, but not limited to: ecosystem restoration, planning and management; landscape, water and waste management; pollution prevention and control; environmental testing, analysis and research; environmental communications and public relations; environmental and conservation education; urban planning and sustainable development; environmental economics, consulting, compliance, policy, advocacy, and administration.
Individuals trained in natural resources are employed by government agencies such as the U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, U.S. National Park Service, U.S. Geological Survey, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service; as well as health, recreation, urban planning and natural resource agencies at the state, county and city level. Private, public and non-profit organizations that hire natural resources professionals include engineering and consulting firms, foundations, conservancies, universities, museums, parks, and public interest organizations focused on environmental issues and initiatives.
For more information on Natural Resources Management