Jul 19, 2024  
2014-2015 Catalog 
2014-2015 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Environmental Science, Marine and Estuarine Science (MES), Thesis, MS

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs of Study

Huxley College of the Environment

Graduate Faculty

Abel, Troy D., PhD, environmental policy, conservation politics, civic environmentalism, policy analysis, globalization and environment.
Bach, Andrew J., PhD, physical geography, geomorphology, soils and weathering, geoarcheology.
Berardi, Gigi, PhD, resources management, agroecology, international community development, food security, all-hazards planning.
Bingham, Brian L., PhD, invertebrate biology, marine ecology, experimental design.
Bodensteiner, Leo R., PhD, fish ecology.
Buckley, Patrick H., PhD, economic and development geography, quantitative methods, GIS, environmental issues in Japan and China, quality of life, transborder environmental issues.
Bunn, Andrew G., PhD, climate change, paleoecology, energy, ecological models.
Bunn, Rebecca, PhD, belowground ecology, toxicology, restoration, energy, the application of statistics.
Helfield, James M., PhD, ecology of rivers and riparian forests, terrestrialaquatic ecosystem linkages, watershed management and restoration.
Hollenhorst, Steven, PhD, social dimensions of natural resources, wilderness and protected area policy and management.
Homann, Peter S., PhD, biogeochemistry, soil sciences, forest ecology.
Landis, Wayne G., PhD, environmental toxicology, population biology, risk assessment.
Love, Brooke, PhD, geochemistry, ocean acidification, hydrothermal systems, chemistry of volatiles in the marine environment.
Matthews, Robin A., PhD, freshwater ecology, aquatic toxicology, statistical ecology.
McLaughlin, John F., PhD, terrestrial ecology, population biology, conservation biology.
Medler, Michael J., PhD, biogeography, GIS, remote sensing, forest fire and wilderness management.
Melious, Jean O., JD, environmental and land use law and policy, international environmental policy.
Miles, John C., PhD, environmental education and history, public lands management.
Miles, Scott B., PhD, sustainable development for risk reduction, social vulnerability, community disaster recovery, local self-reliance.
Mookherjee, Debnath, PhD, comparative urbanization, regional development and planning, developing countries.
Myers, O. Eugene, PhD, environmental education, conservation psychology, human ecology, environmental history and ethics.
Rossiter, David A., PhD, Canada, cultural-historical geographies, political ecologies.
Rybczyk, John M., PhD, wetland ecology and management, ecosystem modeling, global climate change.
Shull, David H., PhD, structure and function of marine benthic communities, pollution and marine ecosystems.
Sofield, Ruth M., PhD, aquatic toxicology, biochemical and genetic toxicology, environmental chemistry.
Stangl, Paul A., PhD, pedestrian planning, new urbanism, urban landscapes, memory and meaning; Europe and Berlin.
Sulkin, Stephen D., PhD, invertebrate biology, larval ecology.
Wallin, David O., PhD, terrestrial ecology, forest ecosystems.
Wang, Grace A., PhD, natural resource policy, cultural resources management, community-based forestry.
Zaferatos, Nicholas C., PhD, community and environmental planning, sustainable development, European environmental policy, Native American political development.

Program Advisor: Dr. Ruth Sofield, Environmental Studies 440

Program Description

The MS in environmental science is a two-year curriculum which draws upon course work from Huxley College and the other colleges of WWU. It is directed toward the development and integration of scientific information in order to describe, predict and/or manage natural systems, and to assess human impacts on those systems. The Marine and Estuarine Science (MES) option is offered through Huxley College of the Environment, the Department of Biology, and Shannon Point Marine Center. Students graduating from the program will have an understanding of biota and topical management issues, and fundamental biological and chemical oceanographic processes. Curriculum Coordinator: Dr. Brian L. Bingham


The program prepares students to describe, predict and/or manage natural systems and to assess human impacts on those systems.


A bachelor’s degree and college-level course work including a minimum of one year of general chemistry plus one quarter or semester of organic chemistry, one year of general biology, one course each in ecology, calculus and statistics.

Application Information

Admit Quarter: Students will be admitted into the MS in environmental science program fall quarter only.

Deadlines: Because maximum student enrollment is limited, all applicants are strongly encouraged to submit application materials by February 1. Review of materials will begin after that date and will continue until the enrollment limit is reached or on June 1, whichever comes first.

TA Deadline: To be considered for a graduate teaching assistantship, applicants should submit their application materials by February 1 and indicate in the statement of purpose how the prerequisites listed above have or will be met before starting the program.

Specific Test Requirements: For all options: Graduate Record Exam, General Test. Applicants with advanced degrees are not required to submit GRE scores.

Supporting Materials:

  • An application for admission into the MS program in environmental science must include a one- to two-page statement of purpose indicating which specialization the applicant is most interested in, explaining why the applicant wishes to pursue graduate studies in environmental science, and what future expectations he or she has for the MS degree.
  • The statement may indicate a preferred faculty advisor; students are encouraged to review faculty research interests as described on the Huxley website, http://www.wwu.edu/huxley/facstaff/facstaffdirectories/hux_deptenvscience.shtml, prior to contacting potential faculty advisors; students are admitted into the program only upon agreement of potential faculty advisors.

Program Requirements (45 to 69 credits)

a minimum of 45 credits are required, including:

  • ESCI 501 (3);
  • 30 credits of course work, including three courses from the area of specialization, or course substitutions, under advisement;
  • 12 credits of ESCI 690 (thesis).

Ten credits or less of approved 400-level course work may be included in the program. No more than four elective credits of ESCI 595 (Teaching Practicum) may be used toward the MS degree in environmental science. Each candidate should note that the department has an annual review of student progress that affects retention, in addition to the other program requirements listed here. The student will make a public presentation of the thesis research either on campus at Western Washington University or Shannon Point and will participate in an oral exam given by the thesis committee.

For further information, write or consult the Huxley College Graduate Program Coordinator, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9079, 360-650-3646.

Additional requirement in MES option:

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs of Study