Earth & Environment starts new PhD major in Natural Resource Science and Management!

Earth & Environment starts new PhD major in Natural Resource Science and Management!

Effective in May 2014, the Department of Earth and Environment is changing the name of its doctoral degree program from Geosciences to the PhD in Earth Systems Science. The purpose of this revision is to expand the doctoral degree to include more environmentally oriented students in the new PhD major of Natural Resource Science and Management, also effective in May 2014. The NRSM major will include areas in conservation and environmental science, economics, policy and management. A new PhD major in Geosciences will continue the essential elements of the current PhD in Geosciences. Students admitted under the current PhD in Geosciences will graduate with that degree. Beginning in May 2014, newly admittted PhD students will choose to enter the Geosciences or Natural Resource Science and Management major. This choice will not be available in the University Graduate School's application for admittance in time to formally choose the major on the form; however, the applicant will choose the major in consultation with his chosen advisor and state this choice in the application statement.

Students applying to the Earth Systems Science doctoral program must comply with all requirements of the department, College of Arts and Sciences, and University Graduate School. As is the current policy for Geoscience Ph.D. applicants, students must choose a faculty mentor at the time of application who will serve as the major advisor. A student will be placed in one of the two majors depending upon the anticipated research area of the student. Major advisors will confirm to the Graduate Office by email their willingness to sponsor the doctoral students.

All doctoral students earning the Ph.D. in Earth Systems Science will share the common curriculum shown below. The ISC prefix (signifying an Interdisciplinary Science Course) is used for courses that combine elements of geosciences with environmental science and policy. The GLY prefix is used for the geoscience-oriented course, and EVR is for the environmental course. Thus, all doctoral students will take courses and seminars that include elements of both earth and environmental sciences, giving them a common basis for this degree; in addition, the Geoscience majors will also learn about natural resources and Natural Resource Majors will also learn about the geosciences. Incoming students will complete all 13 credits of the required coursework in their first year, including six credits in the fall semester and seven credits in the spring semester. The total number of credits (13) for the common curriculum satisfies the state-required 15% (= 12 of 75 total credits) commonality in coursework for all students within a degree program.

ISC 5XXX Introduction to Research in Earth and Environmental Sciences, 2 cr, each fall

ISC 6XXX Earth and Environment Graduate Seminar, 1 cr, each fall and spring

ISC 6XXX Earth and Environment Advanced Graduate Seminar, 1 cr, every fall & spring

ISC 6XXX Environments of a Changing Planet, 3 cr, each spring

GLY 6XXX Geoscience Systems, 3 cr, each fall

EVR 6XXX Natural Resource Conservation and Policy, 3 cr, each spring

Total Common Curriculum: 13 credits

The remaining 62 credits of the 75-credit required total must be graduate-level courses, including at least 12 credits of non-research, formal coursework and 24 dissertation credits, with the remaining minimum of 26 credits for electives. The electives, which can include formal courses, research credits and seminars, are tailored to individual needs for students in their declared majors. Students majoring in Natural Resource Science and Management should complete at least 18 graduate credit hours in formal environmental coursework, so that upon their graduation, they can be certified as faculty members qualified to teach in that field.

All of these changes will be described in the 2014-2015 Graduate Catalog, available in August 2014.