May 21, 2024  
2019-2020 Catalog 
2019-2020 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Environmental Studies, MA

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Department of Environmental Studies, 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 developments, landscape change.
Berardi, Gigi, PhD, resources management, agroecology, international community development, food security, all-hazards planning.
Buckley, Patrick H., PhD, economic and development geography, quantitative methods, GIS, environmental issues in Japan and China, quality of life, transborder environmental issues.
Darby, Kate J., PhD, Social and environmental justice, environmental justice pedagogy in higher education, sustainable food systems and urban socio-ecological systems.
Flower, Aquila, PhD, environmental change from a geographic perspective using a suite of methodological approaches drawn from the fields of dendrochronology, ecology, statistics, and geospatial analysis.
Hayes, Nini, Ed.S, Ed.D, outdoor education and interpretation, elementary education K-8, social justice education, teacher education and school improvement.
Hollenhorst, Steven, PhD, social dimensions of natural resources, wilderness and protected area policy and management.
Kamel, Nabil, PhD., social and environmental justice, post-disaster recovery, political economy of urbanization, sustainable development, critical urban theory, housing and poverty, physical planning, urban design, regional and international development.
Laninga, Tamara (Tammi), PhD, federal land use policy and planning, collaborative planning, community economic development, and the social components of bioenergy development.
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.
Myers, O. Eugene, PhD, environmental education, conservation psychology, human ecology, environmental history and ethics.
Neff, Mark W., PhD, environmental governance and policy, environmental studies, sustainability
Paci-Green, Rebekah, PhD, human ecology, the Disaster Risk Reduction minor, and advises The Planet publication.
Rossiter, David A., PhD, Canada, cultural-historical geographies, political ecologies.
Stanger, Nicholas R., PhD, environmental education and exploration of the emotional, ecological, educational, indigenous, and complexity systems
Stangl, Paul A., PhD, pedestrian planning, new urbanism, urban landscapes, memory and meaning; Europe and Berlin.
Trautman, Laurie D., PhD, human geography, transboundary resource management, energy transport, borderlands, Canada-U.S. relations, international trade
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.


The MA degree in Environmental Studies prepares students to address complex environmental problems using a highly interdisciplinary approach and significant student-faculty design of the course of study. Students gain proficiency in critical analysis, development, conservation, and management frameworks of environmental studies for careers in business, government, planning, consulting, teaching, and research.

Program specializations

Environmental Policy

Emphasizes environmental policy and especially the ecological, economic, political, and social factors that affect environmental governance processes.

Faculty advisors include Troy D. Abel, Kate Darby, Jean Melious, Mark Neff, and Grace Wang.


Focuses on the science of place and space and links the social and natural sciences together, studying the relationships between human activity and natural systems.

Faculty advisors include Andy Bach, Gigi Berardi, Patrick Buckley, Aquila Flower, Michael Medler, and David Rossiter.

Urban Planning

Concentrates studies in processes of urban planning and decision making with a combination of sustainable design, law, and policy.

Faculty advisors include Nabil Kamel, Tammi Laninga, Jean Melious, Rebekah Paci-Green, Paul Stangl, and Nicholas Zaferatos.

Energy Policy

Emphasizes coursework in energy system transitions, stakeholder engagement, advanced energy policy, and environmental politics/policy.

Faculty advisors include Tammi Laninga, Imran Sheikh, Charles Barnhart, and Joel Swisher.

Application Information

Deadline: Students generally will be admitted into the MA in Environmental Studies fall quarter only. The Graduate Program Committee will begin reviewing application materials until the enrollment limit is reached or on June 1, whichever comes first. Because maximum student enrollment is limited, all applicants are strongly encouraged to submit application materials by February 1.

TA Deadline: To be considered for a graduate teaching assistantship, applicants must submit their application materials by February 1.

Specific Test Requirements: Graduate Record Exam, General Test; applicants with advanced degrees are not required to submit GRE scores.

Supporting Materials: An application for admission into the MA program in Environmental Studies must include a one- to two-page statement of purpose addressing the following questions:

  1. Which specialization (Geography, Environmental Policy, Urban Planning and Sustainable Development, or General Environmental Studies) you are interested in pursuing and why. How has your prior experience prepared you to work in that area?
  2. Why do you wish to pursue a graduate degree in Environmental Studies at Huxley College?
  3. What coursework are you interested in taking (See University Catalog) towards your specialization?
  4. What is your research topic idea (thesis or project) and who are potential faculty advisors?


Students with a 4-year degree in Environmental Studies or related fields, who meet the requirements of the Graduate School and who show evidence of superior scholarship, are encouraged to apply.

Thesis/Field Project

The thesis option requires satisfactory completion of a research project emphasizing original theoretical or applied research and resulting in a comprehensive written thesis, grounded in the appropriate literature. The candidate will provide a public seminar based on the thesis, after an oral defense and acceptance of the thesis by the candidate’s thesis committee.

The scale and scope of work for the field project option will be commensurate with the scale and scope of work for the thesis option. The field project option requires satisfactory completion of an applied project emphasizing a tangible product and a comprehensive individual written report on the project. Each candidate will also provide an individual public seminar based on the project, after an oral defense and acceptance of the project by the candidate’s project committee.

Committee Makeup

The thesis committee will have a minimum of two graduate faculty members from Environmental Studies Graduate faculty; one will serve as chair. The third member, with approval of the graduate advisor and Graduate School, can come from elsewhere on campus or, another university or can be a professional in the field. Your committee must be formed by the third quarter of residency (Thesis Topic Approval esign form).

The field project committee will have a minimum of one graduate faculty member from Environmental Studies Graduate faculty who will serve as chair. The additional member, with approval of the ENVS graduate advisor, can come from elsewhere on campus or, another university, or can be a professional in the field. Your committee must be formed by the third quarter of residency (Field Project Approval esign form).

Students must meet monthly with the committee chair to report progress on their thesis/project, and with the entire committee as needed. Failure to make satisfactory progress on the thesis/project over an extended time period may result in the student’s termination from the program.

Thesis/Field Project Proposal Presentation

The student is to make a public presentation of the proposed thesis/field project, followed by questions and discussion. The purpose of this presentation is to allow the student to share the proposed thesis/field project with a broader audience than the committee to facilitate further refinement of the work. The presentation will be made as soon as the student and the committee have agreed upon a topic, typically in the third quarter of residency. Major changes to the thesis/project topic will require a new presentation at the discretion of the thesis committee.

Program Requirements (minimum 45 credits)

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