Program Objectives and Outcomes – Master of Science in Natural Resources Degree

The mission of the Natural Resources Masters Program is to prepare students for management positions in public and private agencies and contribute to improving resolution of increasingly complex resource management problems through education, research, and applied projects. Toward that mission, we have outlined specific program objectives and outcomes by degree type to help align our students’ and faculty’s expectations. Below, is listed the program objectives with detailed expected outcomes for the Master of Science in Natural Resources degree.

Program Objectives and Outcomes for Master Science in Natural Resources:

1. To guide the graduate education of students preparing for professional careers, the program aims to provide a variety of experiences that help students to:

  1. develop expertise in appropriate concepts, theories, and emerging methodologies from fundamental disciplines within natural resource fields of study
  2. attain fundamental experience in applying their knowledge to ongoing, real-world issues in natural resource management and policy
  3. present their research to local, regional, national, and international audiences through a variety of venues including departmental seminars and publication of research results in a peer reviewed journal or, where appropriate, in conference papers given at professional meetings
  4. broaden their professional backgrounds through participation in activities such as teaching, developing grant applications, joining professional organizations, and participating in outreach and service.

2. To prepare students to be effective researchers and to contribute to improving the effective stewardship of natural resources at local, regional, national or international scales, the program aims to provide a variety of experiences that help students to:

  1. become independent, self-motivated researchers with the ability to recognize problems in their technical field of expertise and formulate solutions to the problems
  2. develop a comprehensive knowledge of previous and current research in their field of expertise and be able to demonstrate that knowledge capably in a review of the literature
  3. generate viable questions within their field of expertise and pose reasonable hypotheses related to those questions
  4. apply sound research methods and scientific ethics to test hypotheses and describe the methods effectively
  5. perform statistical analyses of research data and present the results clearly
  6. discuss the solution to the research problem or the support or lack of support for hypotheses in a way that effectively communicates the contribution of the research to the area of study.

3. To maintain and improve the program’s leadership position nationally and internationally, the program aims to:

  1. continue to attract and retain high-quality students
  2. provide effective mentoring that encourages students to graduate in a timely manner
  3. place graduates in positions in industry, government, or academics
  4. maintain a nationally recognized faculty that is large enough and appropriately distributed across natural resource disciplines to offer students a wide range of technical fields of expertise.

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