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The Department of Natural Resources Conservation changes its name and revises its Graduate Program

Posted: July 27th, 2010

Its official! The Department of Natural Resources Conservation is now the Department of Environmental Conservation and has a single Graduate Degree Program. The Graduate Program, also called Environmental Conservation, provides students with a choice of 5 available concentrations.

Starting in September of 2010, graduate students entering the Department of Environmental Conservation (ECO) will enroll in the Environmental Conservation Graduate Degree Program and choose from one of five focus areas of study:

  • Building Systems
  • Environmental Policy and Human Dimensions
  • Forest Resources and Arboriculture
  • Water, Wetlands and Watersheds
  • Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology

What’s changed?

  • The department has changed its name to Environmental Conservation
  • The degrees in Forest Resources and Wildlife & Fisheries Conservation are no longer offered. New students enrolling in graduate studies in the department will now enroll in and earn a graduate degree in Environmental Conservation.

How does the transition affect current and incoming students?

  • Currently Enrolled Graduate Students will continue in their existing program, either Forest Resources or Wildlife and Fisheries Conservation with the requirements that were in place when they enrolled. However, currently enrolled graduate students will have the option to convert to the new graduate degree if they choose. The process for conversion should be discussed with the Graduate Program Director and Concentration Coordinators.
  • Incoming Students who enter the department’s graduate program after August 1, 2010 will earn a degree in Environmental Conservation, and choose from one of the five concentrations.

Environmental Conservation: a new name – a new degree

The name Environmental Conservation accurately represents the fact that our programs, students, and faculty are focused on the unifying goal of conserving our environment – extending from the natural to the built environment. This name-change reflects what we all do.

The capacity of the programs, interest of our students, and expertise of the department faculty is diverse. The range of expertise covers the continuum extending from the Built through the Natural Environment. The department is interdisciplinary and recognizes that it will become more integrated through the execution of this revision, which complements the Undergraduate Revision that was approved in June, 2009. As a result of the undergraduate revision, the Department of ECO has 3 undergraduate programs that form the basis for integrated undergraduate education in the area of environmental conservation.

Until now, the Department has supported two separate graduate degree programs, Wildlife and Fisheries Conservation (WFCON) and Forest Resources (FR), each of which offers a PhD degree, an MS thesis degree option and a variety of MS professional degree (non-thesis) options. In response to the growing complexity of environmental conservation and the need to integrate the study of environmental issues, the graduate program has naturally evolved into a new broad, multi-faceted degree program with diverse opportunities for specialized training in: 1) wildlife, fish and conservation biology, 2) forest resources and arboriculture, 3) water, wetlands and watersheds, 4) environmental policy and human dimensions, and 5) building systems. Each concentration offers thesis and professional degree options.