Online Master's in Sustainable Natural Resource Management

A degree with a business focus

Get started now!

Apply Online

Cost per Credit Hour

$850

Total Tuition Cost

$25,500

Next Start Date

June 5, 2017

Download the Program Sheet

Master's in Professional Science : Sustainable Natural Resource Management Brochure

Download the Brochure

Download

Ask a Question

Heather Stetkis
Online Graduate Concierge
hstetkis@unity.edu
207-509-7155

Ask Now

M.S. in Professional Science : Sustainable Natural Resource Management

Combining science with organizational and communication skills, the Unity College Master’s in Professional Science (M.S.) will give you the training and credentials you need to advance in your career path.

  • A concentration in Sustainable Natural Resource Management
  • 100% online. Sustainable Natural Resource Management students who take a full course load can complete the degree requirements in as few as 12 months!
  • World-class faculty experienced in online teaching.
  • Small class sizes allow for personalized attention. That’s something you won’t find at larger, online universities!
  • Affordable and flexible. Take the classes whenever works for you. We offer five start dates per year!
  • Unlike similar programs, no GRE is required.

This online master’s degree in Sustainable Natural Resource Management uses a transdisciplinary process for understanding and managing the natural world. Important factors impacting natural communities include climate change and habitat disruption. Understanding the management of the changing environment will be crucial to adaptation and creating sustainable management practices over the coming century.

The central distinguishing feature of the Master’s in Sustainable Natural Resource Management is its focus on understanding the environment in the context of sustainability science. Students will be expected to be highly inquisitive about the ramifications, motivations, and cost of global responses to environmental issues while exploring their own individual ideas.

Who should pursue an M.S. in Professional Science, Sustainable Natural Resource Management track?

The M.S. in Professional Science: Sustainable Natural Resource Management track, is aimed at:

  • state and federal biologists
  • recent graduates who want a career in natural resource management
  • environmental scientists who want to expand their management knowledge
  • land trust or non-profit land managers
  • professional ecologists who want an advanced degree
  • environmental science teachers who want more experience
  • environmental advocates
  • …and anyone who is interested in pursuing a career in wildlife biology or management of natural resources.

Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the Master’s in Professional Science with a Sustainable Natural Resource Management concentration will be able to:

  • Understand the strategies in effectively managing species and social-ecological systems by fully considering the role that humans play in every stage of the process.
  • Analyze case studies with regard to the management and handling of wildlife/human conflicts and resolutions.
  • Learn to use economics and ethics for wildlife conservation driven by systems thinking decision making.
  • Learn to work with social scientists and to generate citizen input for decision matrices.
  • Understand the psychological and philosophical underpinnings of wildlife management.

Job Outcomes

Graduates of the Master’s in Professional Science: Sustainable Natural Resource Management track, can become:

  • state biologists
  • federal biologists
  • teachers
  • biologists
  • environmental policymakers
  • environmental advocates
  • land trust workers
  • …and more.

Degree requirements:

30 credits earned
3.00 minimum cumulative graduate-level grade-point average

Professional Skills Core:

MPS 5023 Strategic Management of Innovation

Course Description:

The course is designed to help students understand the strategic, organizational, and human issues that can either help or hinder you (and the organizations, both private and public, you work for) in efforts to develop and implement science-based solutions to environmental and natural resource challenges. It combines the study of those principles needed to manage scientific innovation with an emphasis on how environmental innovation fits within an organization’s strategy and business model, and why they matter, and how one creates an innovative learning organization, drives change within an organization, and drives the adoption of the innovations the organization creates.

Student Outcomes:

  • Understand the critical components of an organization’s business model, key strategies, and commercialization of new products.
  • Critically analyze and assess how organizational culture, structure, and customers contribute to an effective learning organization.
  • Understand the role of the leader/manager and the application of personal strengths in leading change and/or innovation within an organization.
  • Develop effective strategies to integrate employees, suppliers, customers, and collaborators into an organization’s innovation efforts and processes.
MPS 6013 Communication for Science Professionals

Course Description: 

This course will provide students the opportunity to develop vital professional skills in oral and written communication while preparing them to communicate clearly about science, policy, and technology issues with demographically diverse and geographically dispersed audiences. Content will address mass media and public understanding of science; organizational communication issues such as structure and communication networks; rhetoric, advocacy, and strategic message development; the role of public opinion and public policy; innovation and decision making; crisis communication and conflict management; emerging communication technologies; and inter-organizational and cross-disciplinary communication.

Student Outcomes:

  • Understand core communication concepts so as to effectively communicate science, technology, and policy messages to demographically diverse and geographically dispersed audiences in a variety of contexts.
  • Produce a professional-quality portfolio that effectively demonstrates facility in producing written materials for internal and external media audiences.
  • Develop a deeper understanding of self, professional relationships, and diverse global perspectives by critically analyzing materials in scientific and popular science texts, and by considering the significance of audience analysis in science and business communication contexts.
  • Practice using effective communication techniques and civility to strike a balance between freedom of expression and tolerance of dissent, an appreciation for diverse perspectives, and expression of personal and professional convictions.

Instructor: Dr. James Spartz

MPS 6023 Ethical Practice and Policy

Course Description: 

This course will investigate some of the ethical dimensions of a life in professional science, examining dimensions of environmental and natural resource science and policy in the context of globalization, global change, and climate change. The course builds on the communications skill set of the science communication course by including a module on the role of science in society. Students critically evaluate the ethical dimensions of common scientific practice and policy issues related to sustainability and natural resources.

Student Outcomes:

  • Understand their role as a citizen scientist, with an emphasis on contributing to their communities.
  • Appreciate and develop a distinctly ethical perception through analysis of ethically salient aspects of the events and scenarios one encounters.
  • Examine the idea that developing these skills of ethical self-reflection and perception can help one be a better scientist, and challenge the thought that the ethical dimension of the life of a professional scientist is extrinsic and optional to her or his work.

Environmental Science and Sustainability Core:

MPS 5123 Climate Dynamics

Course Description:

Climate change is the defining environmental issue of the 21 st century. Sustainability scientists and natural resource managers should be able to follow the emerging science and communicate it to a wide variety of audiences. This course begins with the science of climate and climate change and the anthropogenic contributions to that change. The course then examines the technical and economic challenges society faces with regard to climate change mitigation and adaptation, and strategies to increase the resilience of natural and human communities. Throughout the course, we will examine the historical and emerging responses to aspects of climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Student Outcomes:

  • Explain the history of earth’s climate, internal and external climate forcing, general circulation models, anthropogenic greenhouse gases and forcing factors, and biological consequences of climate change.
  • Evaluate the efficacy of mitigation strategies such as sequestration, energy efficiency, carbon taxation, transportation and building energy policies, lifecycle analysis, and related policy initiatives.
  • Analyze case studies in climate change adaptation with regard to various anticipated consequences of climate change, such as increased sea level rise, violent weather, changes in agricultural conditions, and emergency preparedness. Consider management applications to these consequences.
MPS 5213 Human Dimensions of Natural Resource Management

Course Description:

This course considers the human dimensions aspects of natural resource management.  Topics include approaches to stakeholder involvement in management, conflict resolution, and decision-making approaches through case studies and human-dimensions research. Students learn principles that are needed to find science-based and socially acceptable solutions to natural resource management problems.

Student Outcomes:

  • Understand the strategies in effectively managing species and social-ecological systems by fully considering the role that humans play in every stage of the process.
  • Analyze case studies with regard to the management and handling of wildlife/human conflicts and resolutions.
  • Learn to use economics and ethics for wildlife conservation driven by systems thinking decision making.
  • Learn to work with social scientists and to generate citizen input for decision matrices.
  • Understand the psychological and philosophical underpinnings of wildlife management.
MPS 5223 Landscape Ecology

Course Description:

Landscape ecology focuses on the relationships between scale, spatial pattern, and ecological processes. Emphasis will be placed on landscape perspectives and practices as they relate to the management and conservation of populations and communities. This course will explore the importance of scale in assessing pattern and process and how landscape structure is characterized. We will examine the abiotic and biotic drivers of landscape patterns including land-use legacies and disturbance regimes. Other topics to be addressed include how populations and communities are structured across the landscape and respond to landscape change.

Student Outcomes: 

  • Understand the concepts and consequences of scale, scaling techniques, and spatial pattern.
  • Explain how ecological systems are dynamic in space and time based on knowledge of process systems, and assess the challenges of maintaining them in the face of ecological change.
  • Review the theory, methodology, and application of landscape ecology to contemporary issues in conservation biology and resource management.
  • Work within organizations to increase resiliency and manage adaptive change.

 

MPS 5233 Conservation Ecology

Course Description:

This course presents concepts from multiple biological disciplines, including population ecology, evolutionary biology, genetics, behavioral ecology, sociology, as well as sociology and policy. Discussion illustrates the value of transdisciplinary thinking in solving conservation challenges. Students practice management and conservation problemsolving by integration and application of course concepts to real-world case studies with an ecological focus.

Student Outcomes:

  • Gain a conceptual foundation of the theory and principles of conservation ecology.
  • Apply methods and practices commonly employed by conservation ecology practitioners.
  • Recognize local/regional environmental solutions and how they scale up to address continental/global problems.
  • Contextualize their own conservation work and/or interests in a regional or global conservation ecology framework.
MPS 5243 Quantitative Methods

Course Description:

This course provides managers with a basic quantitative literacy to enhance their ability to evaluate and interpret current ecological literature, and to implement management procedures that help advance understanding of the systems they manage. Topics include ecological study design, use of models in ecology, and advanced statistical approaches such as information-theoretic and Bayesian methods.

Student Outcomes:

  • Apply technical skills and a variety of disciplinary tools in teams working to solve environmental problems.
  • Use technical tools and apply theoretical concepts to analyze complex, multiple-use natural resources.

Additional requirements:

MPS 5993 Capstone I

Course Description:

This course guides students through the creation of a capstone project. Students from all degree tracks solve real-world problems through application of the variety of skills and knowledge acquired during their master’s experience. Students work to develop projects that demonstrate transdisciplinary thinking, analyze complex systems, and develop and communicate solutions to posed problems.

Student Outcomes:

  • Work closely with instructor to develop skills needed to create, implement, and conduct a transdisciplinary project.
  • Research and propose methodology for conducting project.
  • Generate relationships with partners or field sites for project implementation.
  • Review appropriate literature and materials needed to develop project.
  • Produce a clear proposal with literature review, proposed project goals and objectives, methodology, and evidence of transdisciplinary application.
MPS 6453 Capstone II

Course Description:

This course is the culminating experience of obtaining the M.S. of Professional Science degree at Unity College. Students will work to solve real-world problems through application of the variety of skills and knowledge acquired during their master’s experience. Collaborators work to demonstrate transdisciplinary thinking, analyze complex systems, and develop and communicate solutions to posed problems. Students will work with mentors to conduct research projects in their fields of interest.

Student Outcomes:

  • Work with faculty mentors to conduct research or work on a project in a field of interest.
  • Apply transdisciplinary approaches to solving problems.
  • Apply quantitative skills and approaches to analyzing project data, if applicable.
  • Communicate outcomes to campus and to an audience in their career fields.
  • Produce a product appropriate for the communication of project, such as a paper and/or presentation.

Request More Information