The MS in Environmental Science and Policy is intended to be flexible to meet the needs of individual students. The degree requires a minimum of 30 total credits with six credits for a thesis and 24 course credits, or 3 credits for a research project and 27 course credits.
There are four required courses in the program – The Nature of Environmental Systems, Environmental Policy, Forest Ecosystems, and Science Colloquium Series. The objective of these core courses is to create a comprehensive foundation in environmental science common to all students. In addition, the program requires at least one of the courses listed in each of the categories of biophysical science, social science, and integrative.
As an Environmental Science and Policy graduate student, you will work with your advisor to develop a Program of Study which is approved by the Environmental Science and Policy Program Coordinator. Advisors also guide student theses and research projects which include an outreach component to provide communication experience.
You’ll be expected to develop a thesis or research project focusing on an issue important to you and the regional environment. Student research projects are varied and applied, and outreach components are encouraged to provide communication experience. Recent research projects include:
- Understanding the hydrology of a forested watershed
- Studying vegetation changes along an altitudinal transect
- Designing effective methods to influence lawn care practices that are better for the environment
- The development of outreach materials to explain recent policy changes on shorefront land use
- Exploring conflicts in managing for different land uses in the White Mountain National Forest
- Investigating the social and ecological consequences of land use and policy in Squam Lake watershed
- The relationship between water quality and impervious surfaces
- Evaluating the effectiveness of the reclamation of a New Hampshire mine
- The impacts of acid rain on New Hampshire lakes
To expand the field courses offered, Plymouth State University has a partnership agreement with the Humboldt Field Research Institute in Steuben, Maine (HFRI). HFRI offers week-long, intensive field courses which are taught by a diverse and revolving international faculty.
For a full list of courses, visit the College of Graduate Studies website.