New doctoral program launches in natural resources & environmental science

University responds to growing need for more advanced science and skills to manage natural resources and environmental challenges

A meadow in the Sierra Nevada mountains.

The new Doctoral Program in Natural Resources & Environmental Science will prepare graduates to help inform management of valuable natural resources, such as this Sierra Nevada meadow. Photo by C.C. Reed.

New doctoral program launches in natural resources & environmental science

University responds to growing need for more advanced science and skills to manage natural resources and environmental challenges

The new Doctoral Program in Natural Resources & Environmental Science will prepare graduates to help inform management of valuable natural resources, such as this Sierra Nevada meadow. Photo by C.C. Reed.

A meadow in the Sierra Nevada mountains.

The new Doctoral Program in Natural Resources & Environmental Science will prepare graduates to help inform management of valuable natural resources, such as this Sierra Nevada meadow. Photo by C.C. Reed.

Natural resource management and environmental science are fundamental to the production of food, fuel and fiber, as well as guaranteeing water and air quality, and for the sustainability of ecosystems. Yet, in Nevada, there has been no doctoral degree program to provide the state with the type of advanced knowledge, research and skills needed to help address the complex challenges the state faces in balancing uses of and managing important resources such as water, forests, wildlife, and other Great Basin ecosystems. Until now. The University has launched its new Doctoral Program in Natural Resources & Environmental Science.

This program, launched by the University’s College of Agriculture, Biotechnology & Natural Resources, is designed to train experts in “translational science,” which moves beyond interdisciplinary, cross-cutting research to include stakeholders and land managers throughout the entire research process – from project initiation, through publication of the research, and into the communication of findings to the nonacademic community to have immediate and lasting impact in the real world.  

“We developed the Ph.D. program with the goal of preparing students to address critical regional and global needs in applied natural resource ecology and management, as well as more broadly in the field of environmental science,” said Jonathan Greenberg, associate professor in the department, and the program’s director. “We also wanted to develop a program that represents the full diversity and cross-cutting nature of the research being performed by faculty within the department.”

While in the program, students will tackle cutting-edge academic questions with their research, but their work will have an applied focus that connects them to stakeholders, management and policy decisions. They will be expected to write a professional, publishable dissertation on their research, contributing to the overall body of knowledge in the field.

“This degree program is inherently multidisciplinary and capitalizes upon the broad spectrum of expertise offered by our nationally recognized faculty in natural resources and environmental science,” said Bill Payne, dean of the College. “There is no question in my mind that this program will have meaningful impact not only in Nevada, but in other places in the country, and across the globe.”

Payne said the program was approved by the Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents in December. And, it has already been accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, which is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council on Higher Education Accreditation to accredit postsecondary institutions and programs, based on performance, integrity and quality.

The program will officially launch this fall, with five students enrolled in the program. Applications for this fall semester enrollment will be taken until April 15. However, students can apply for fall 2022 enrollment from now up until Dec. 1 this year. Students interested in applying for admission to the program must hold a bachelor’s degree in an appropriate area of science from an accredited institution of higher education with a 3.0 or higher grade point average. For additional application and program requirements, go to the program's website, or email the program's main email address. Apply for the program at the University's Graduate School webpage.

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