Ph.D. in Environmental & Conservation Science North Dakota State University - Graduate School
The graduate program leading to an M.S. or a Ph.D. in Environmental and Conservation Sciences (ECS) integrates multiple disciplines and perspectives. The program offers three tracks:
- The Environmental Science track focuses on abiotic environmental issues, such as water, air, and land pollution.
- The Conservation Biology track focuses on biotic issues, such as the preservation of biodiversity and ecosystem function.
- The Environmental Social Sciences track emphasizes environmental economics and policy.
The interdisciplinary nature of this program is reflected by the participation of faculty from across the campus, including the Colleges of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Natural Resources; Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences; Engineering; and Science and Mathematics.
Track 1: Conservation Biology
Conservation Biology offers a new philosophy of looking at complex problems. This discipline focuses on the loss of regional and global biodiversity, but considers the human element, as well, in its approach to conservation. As an example, conservation biologists integrate a variety of sub-disciplines such as molecular ecology, landscape ecology, and conflict resolution to conserve biodiversity.
Track 2: Environmental Science
Areas of Environmental Science, such as climate change, groundwater, hazardous waste, and water chemistry require broad training across discipline lines for a successful application. To better predict anthropogenic environmental impacts, engineering, earth material, chemical, and biological data have to be considered in an integrated manner.
Track 3: Environmental Social Science
The environmental Social Sciences discipline looks at interactions between humans and the environment which tend to be complex and often require interdisciplinary efforts to understand and manage. Environmental policy, environmental economics, environmental history, environmental communication, environmental sociology, and human ecology are examples of the fields of study.
One cornerstone of the ECS curriculum is a weekly Greenbag Seminar series that provides an opportunity for students to interact with professionals "in the trenches." Local professionals, as well as nationally recognized experts, provide seminars, workshops, and mini-courses to ECS students.
Scholarships and Funding
The applicant should contact a prospective mentor to identify sources of financial aid. Teaching and research assistantships may be available through funded research or participating departments.
Applicants are considered on the basis of research and the potential to undertake advanced study and research.