Skip to main content

Natural resource management is a multi-disciplinary effort.

NREM 691 Collaborative Care and Management of Natural Resources (M. Vaughan)

NREM grad student Lauren Deem extracts biochar-amended soils for analysis

in Dr. Susan Crow's Soil Ecology and Biogeochemistry lab.

NREM Graduate Endri Martini (May 2011) does agricultural-forestry extension

with the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) in Sulawesi, Indonesia.

Economic Values of Dolphin Excursions in Hawaii: A Stated Choice Analysis

W. Hu, K. Boehl (NREM MS student), L. Cox (NREM), M. Pan (Marine Res. Economics)

NREM graduate students use GPS to inventory native koa forest.

NREM grads obtain training and experience for international employment opportunities.

NREM student operates LiCor-8100 to measure the flux of CO2 out of soils.

Climate change research at NREM helps us to understand carbon sequestration processes.

Napier grass measures up within sustainable production systems

in a trial at the Waimanalo Station led by Lauren Deem, NREM graduate student.  

Graduate Studies at NREM

Aloha! E Komo Mai!

NREM offers both M.S. (Plans A, B, and C) and Ph.D. degrees.

The NREM graduate program brings together natural and social scientists to offer an integrative and inter-disciplinary program that uses a system approach to understand and manage tropical and sub-tropical terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Emphasis is placed on island settings and their relevance to managing land and seascapes. Studies in NREM incorporate the various components and scales (spatial and temporal) that determine ecosystem structure and function, and that bear upon the social and economic welfare of residents in diverse communities and environmental settings. Curricula and courses emphasize the application of physical, biological, and social sciences to the sustainable management and conservation of natural, environmental, and economic resources. The program also provides a science-based foundation to assess the processes that control the structure and function of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, and the human behaviors and policies that impact those processes.

Students are expected to acquire quantitative reasoning, critical thinking, and other advanced skills that enable them to solve contemporary resource use and environmental problems and to assist in sound policy development and implementation. NREM graduates are skilled in addressing natural resources and environmental policy and management issues of the competing needs of diverse clientele and communities. Students are trained in the application of quantitative models to optimize the use and management of natural resources.

Natural resource and environmental management issues are attracting considerable national and global attention, as well as growing donor interest, especially in the Asia/Pacific and tropical and subtropical regions. Graduate training, therefore, features collaboration with national and international institutions to foster programs that provide students with opportunities to learn about the ways in which people from other countries and cultures manage their natural resources and interact with their environments. NREM has a diverse mix of domestic and international graduate students.

Graduating students are expected to serve as leaders and professionals in natural resources and environmental management and policy, academic teaching and research, and applied research and extension in educational and governmental institutions, international, national and state technical assistance and policy agencies, agricultural and forestry industries, consulting firms, and private nonprofit and non-governmental organizations.

To underscore its integrative and global nature, the NREM Graduate Program features strong collaboration with other academic departments within and outside of the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR), as well as selected collaborating institutions in and outside of Hawai‘i such as transitional economies in eastern Europe and the Middle East. In addition, Cooperating and Affiliate Graduate Faculty in NREM complement and supplement the Department’s expertise.

NREM is also an active partner in offering the multidisciplinary campus-wide Graduate Resource Management Certificate.

Specialization Areas and Their Requirements

NREM is a multidisciplinary department that is uniquely positioned to offer the integrative graduate curricula that are necessary for informed decision-making and action-oriented natural resource and environmental management. As a foundation in graduate training, all NREM students are expected to acquire a common base of knowledge embodied in a core set of courses. Beyond that, students are expected to develop knowledge and skills within a chosen area of specialization. This will ensure students have the real-world skills needed to perform specific tasks, analyze resource management and policy issues, and carry out original and meaningful research.

Examples of specialization areas include but are not limited to: land resource inventory and interpretation; tropical forestry and agro-forestry; land, soil and water conservation; ecological and environmental economics; community economic development; forest ecosystem management; human dimensions of natural resource management; landscape ecology; and land and water use policy. The student’s advisor and thesis/dissertation committee will assist in choosing appropriate coursework and research or other activities to develop a specialization area.

For a list of NREM graduate courses, refer to our course offerings. For courses offered by other departments, refer to the UH Manoa catalogue.

Admission Requirements

Applicants for graduate standing in NREM come from a diversity of academic, cultural, and professional backgrounds. However, minimum qualifications include a B.A./B.S. (or M.S. degree for Ph.D. applicants) with the qualifications necessary to gain admission to the UH Manoa Graduate Division. Those cleared through the Graduate Division will then be evaluated by the department based on their previous academic record and specific departmental criteria that include (see below for more detail on each section): (i) general graduation requirements for a B.S. degree in NREM and/or undergraduate coursework documenting adequate preparation in the natural, social, and quantitative sciences (students will be required to make up any recognized deficiencies through appropriate coursework); (ii) expected minimum GRE score of 302-308 combined Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning (equivalent to 1,100-1,200 on the prior scale); (iii) a well-written objective statement for pursuing a degree in NREM; (iv) recommendation letters; and (v) expected minimum TOEFL score (for international applicants only) of: (a) M.S. student: 550, 213, or 80 for paper-based, computer-based, or internet-based examinations, respectively; and (b) Ph.D. student: 600, 250, or 100 for paper-based, computer-based, or internet-based examinations, respectively.

In addition to University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Graduate Division documentation requirements, NREM requires applicants submit all of the following materials in order for their application to be reviewed. Applications that are incomplete at the application deadline will not be considered.

  1. Objective Statement – Describe in ~1,000-1,500 typed words what your objectives are for pursuing a graduate degree in NREM.  You should include information on: (i) the degree you are applying for (Ph.D., M.S. Plan A, M.S. Plan B, or M.S. Plan C); if you are applying for a Ph.D. or M.S. Plan A, indicate who your advisor will be (this must be based on correspondence with that person); and if applying for a M.S. Plan A degree, indicate if you would be interested in the M.S. Plan B program if not accepted into the M.S. Plan A program; (ii) your long-term career goals; (iii) how a degree in NREM will help you attain those goals; (iv) a description of research, educational, and/or professional experiences that make you a strong candidate for the NREM Graduate Program; and (v) any other information that you feel is pertinent and will aid the selection committee when reviewing your application.  Note that you do not have to use the objective statement form available through the Graduate Admissions Office. Submit directly to NREM.

  2. Recommendation Letters – Have 3 references submit recommendation letters directly to NREM.

  3. Documentation of Prior Coursework – In addition to submitting official transcripts to the Graduate Admissions Office, NREM requires documentation of coursework in the following five areas:  Statistics, Economics, Calculus, Chemistry, and Biology.  Please list completed coursework (name, number, and institution) that is equivalent to or higher than NREM 310, NREM 220 (or ECON 130), NREM 203, CHEM 151, and BIOL 171 (See UHM Course Descriptions at  Students who do not have coursework in one or more of these areas may be accepted into the program, but will be required to make up course deficiencies within their first 1-2 semesters on campus. Submit directly to NREM.

  4. TOEFL English Proficiency Scores (international students only) – Submit directly to the Graduate Admissions Office.

  5. GRE Scores (no subject test required) – Submit directly to the Graduate Admissions Office.

Addresses for Submission of Application Materials:

Graduate student conducting vegetation survey on Molokai.

NREM Graduate Program

c/o Jeffery Chow Hoy

Sherman 101

1910 East-West Rd.

Honolulu, HI 96822

Tel: (808) 956-7530



Graduate Admissions Office

Spalding 354

2540 Maile Way

Honolulu, HI 96822

Tel: (808) 956-8544



Apply on-line

Application Deadlines

  • FALL: February 1
  • SPRING: September 1 (new deadline)


Admitted students will check in with NREM staff (Deborah Wong), her/his Advisor, or the Graduate Chair as soon as possible. The primary responsibilities of the advisor during your first semester on campus are to verify entrance and background deficiencies, prescribe remedial courses as early as possible in the student’s program, and provide guidance in course selection. All of these items should be completed by the end of the student’s first year.

During the second year, MS degree students should form their thesis committee. PhD degree students should form their dissertation committee by their third year. The thesis or dissertation committee will guide the student’s program and assist with the development of a thesis/dissertation research topic that is appropriate for the chosen area of specialization, administer the required Comprehensive and Defense examinations, and oversee the completion of degree requirement.

For additional information, refer to the Graduate Student Guide.

Degree Offerings and Requirements