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School of the Environment

Ph.D. Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences

Program Description

Environmental and natural resource sciences comprise an association of several areas of study at WSU.  These sciences focus on factors related to the understanding and management of the environment and therefore have a commonality of interest.
The Ph.D. program provides opportunities for doctoral study that involve integration and interaction among these various fields of science.  The cooperation of WSU’s faculties in environmental and natural resource sciences in this program fosters important exchanges of knowledge that greatly enhance interdisciplinary education. The Ph.D. dissertation should be a significant contribution to the Environmental & Natural Resource Sciences, worthy of publication in referred international journals.

Objectives

The objectives of the Ph.D. program in Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences are:

  • To provide an atmosphere of scholarship coupled with research opportunities that will produce people capable of responding to the complicated issues of use, management and protection of the environment and its natural resources.
  • To foster the pursuit of interdisciplinary research in the environmental and natural resource sciences and to facilitate a better understanding of the ecological, social and economic relationships inherent in environmental and natural resource issues.
  • To produce scientists who will assume leadership roles in the research and management of natural resources and the environment.
  • To prepare students for working with, and within, public and private agencies responsible for the management or protection of natural resources and the environment.

Curriculum

Each student will develop a program of study in cooperation with a Supervisory Committee that includes his/her faculty advisor as chair. As preparation for a preliminary examination, a core curriculum must be completed through preceding and/or new course work that will yield competencies in five broad areas list below:

  • Advanced knowledge of ecosystems, including both biophysical structure and function, and roles of humans.
  • Advanced knowledge in research methods.
  • Advanced knowledge in environmental and natural resource issues and ethics. To be met by completion of NATRS 594.
  • Advanced interdisciplinary cognizance/appreciation.
  • A specialized subject area to be defined by the student and the student’s Supervisory Committee.

Developing a Program of Study

Each student will develop a program of study in cooperation with a Supervisory Committee that includes his/her Faculty Advisor as Chair. As preparation for a Preliminary Examination, a core curriculum must be completed through preceding and/or new coursework that will yield competencies in five broad areas:

  • Advanced knowledge of ecosystems, including both biophysical structure and function, and roles of humans. This competency may be met by the equivalent of at least 6 semester hours of graded coursework.
  • Advanced knowledge in research methods; This competency may be met by the equivalent of 3 semester hours of graded coursework in each of the following two areas, Statistics and Modeling as applicable to dissertation research.
  • Advanced knowledge in environmental and natural resource issues and ethics
  • Advanced interdisciplinary cognizance/appreciation
  • A specialized subject area to be defined by the student and the studentâs Supervisory Committee

Both preliminary and final exams will be required to test the candidate’s knowledge of Environmental & Natural Resource Sciences with emphasis on the work presented in the dissertation and general fields of knowledge pertinent to the degree.