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NREM Master of Science Degree Program

It is expected that the academic preparation for students admitted into the MS program in NREM will be the same, be equivalent to, or exceed the core requirements for the BS degree offered in NREM.

NREM offers three options for MS degrees.

NREM offers three options for MS degrees:

Plan A – is a thesis-driven, research degree and a student will only be accepted into this plan if a faculty sponsor has agreed to advise the student.

Plan B– is a course driven, professional degree that also requires an integrating capstone experience.

Plan C– is only for students with exceptional prior work experience which requires a minimum of two semesters of full time resident study at UHM and a final written and oral comprehensive examination.

Once admitted, MS students must select a specialization (Plan A) or concentration (Plan B) area with the approval of their advisor. To meet the integrative, interdisciplinary intent of the NREM program, a set of graduate level courses (the Primary MS Core) will be required of every student, regardless of his/her selected Plan option or specialization area.

Requirements of MS Degree

Plan A

Ohia at Kokee. Photo: JB Friday

In addition to the Primary MS Core, a set of electives and thesis credits are required for a total of 30 credits. Electives provide background in research methods and depth in the student’s area of specialization. The remaining credit requirements will be met with thesis credits (NREM 700) for conducting the research project. Once the thesis topic is finalized, a research proposal must be approved by the committee. An oral defense of the proposal in front of the thesis committee is also required for final approval of the thesis topic. A public thesis defense is also required, and an announcement with thesis abstract, defense date, and location must be sent to the graduate program chair, departmental secretary, and Graduate Division at least 2 weeks in advance.

Primary MS Core (9 Cr)

  • NREM 600 Evaluation of Natural Resources Management (3)
  • NREM 601 Economic Analysis of Natural Resource Management (3)
  • NREM 605 Research Skills (2)
  • NREM 701 Research Seminar in NREM (1)

Electives (15 Cr)

  • Course in research methods (3); 400-level or above
  • NREM graduate courses (6); 500-level or above
  • Other graduate courses for specialization from within or outside of NREM (6); all 6 credits can be satisfied by 400-level course credits – however, this reduces to 3 credits if a 400-level course(s) is taken to fulfill the research methods requirement.

Thesis Option (6 Cr)

  • NREM 700 Thesis (6)

* For additional course applicability criteria, refer to:
http://manoa.hawaii.edu/graduate/content/course-applicability.

Plan B

Green sea turtle. Photo: C. Lepczyk

Plan B is a course-driven professional degree that requires a total of 36 credits. Students are required to declare a concentration from one of four possible concentration areas (see below). Courses include the Primary MS Core (9 credits), research methods (3 credits), a minimum of 9 elective credits from the chosen concentration area, a minimum of 3 elective credits from each of the other three concentration areas, and a 6 credit capstone experience.

Primary MS Core (9 credits)

  • NREM 600 Evaluation of Natural Resources Management (3)
  • NREM 601 Economic Analysis of Natural Resource Management (3)
  • NREM 605 Research Skills (2)
  • NREM 701 Research Seminar in NREM (1)

Research Methods (3 credits)

  • Course in research methods (3); 400-level or above

Plan B Concentration Areas (total 18 credits)

Plan B students will select a concentration area from one of four options: (a) Geospatial Analysis & Modeling, (b) Environmental Policy & Economics, (c) Applied Terrestrial Ecology, and (d) Land & Water Resource Management. They are required to take a minimum of 9 credits from their concentration area and 3 credits from each of the other areas. Of the 18 elective credits required: (i) at least 12 credits must be NREM courses; and (ii) a maximum of 12 credits of upper-division undergraduate course credits (400-level) are allowed – however, this reduces to 9 credits if a 400-level course(s) is taken to fulfill the research methods requirement. Course substitutions will be considered via a petition by a faculty advisor to the curriculum committee.

Below is a list of courses that are approved for the four M.S. Plan B Concentration areas (as of August 17, 2016).

For additional course applicability criteria, refer to:
http://manoa.hawaii.edu/graduate/content/course-applicability.

(a) Applied Terrestrial Ecology(** = Currently not being offered)

  • BOT 444 Ethnoecology and Conservation (BOT 440, and 350 or 453 or GEOG 330; or consent)
  • BOT 454 Plant Community Ecology; Prereqs: BOT 202 or Consent
  • BOT 456 Plant-Animal Interactions (BOT 201/201L or BIOL 265/265L)
  • BOT 651 Invasion Biology (One of BOT 453, 456, MICR 485 OR ZOOL 439; and BOT 462 or BIOL 375; or consent)
  • BOT 661 Hawaiian Vascular Plants (BOT 461 or consent)
  • NREM 450 Wildlife Ecology & Management (BIOL 172 or consent)
  • NREM 480 Applied Forest Ecology (NREM 301 and 380 or consent)
  • NREM 680 Ecosystem Ecology (Advanced undergraduate coursework in ecology and soil science and graduate standing; or consent)
  • NREM 682 Restoration Ecology (Advanced undergraduate ecology course and graduate standing, or consent)
  • NREM/BOT/ZOOL 690 Conservation Biology (BIOL 375 and either ZOOL 480 or BOT 462; and either ZOOL 410, 439, 620, 623, BOT 453, 454, 456, or 492)
  • NREM 691 Advanced Topics in NREM: Forest Nutrition and Biogeochemistry (Graduate standing or consent)
  • NREM 691 Advanced Topics in NREM: Research Methods for Population Management and Conservation (Graduate standing or consent)
  • ZOO 439 Animal Ecology (BIOL 265 and MATH 205 or MATH 215 or MATH 241; or consent)
  • **NREM 685 Landscape Ecology (Graduate standing or consent)
  • **TPSS 481 Weed Science (TPSS 200 and CHEM 152, or consent)
  • **TPSS 604 Advanced Soil Microbiology (TPSS 304 and MICR 351, or consent)

(b) Environmental Policy & Economics (** = Currently not being offered)

  • GEOG 413 Resource Management (Junior standing or higher)
  • GEOG 621 Coastal Management and Planning (None)
  • GEOG 622/PLAN 622 Environmental Impact Assessment (Graduate standing)
  • GEOG/PLAN 637 Environment and Development (None)
  • NREM 420 Community and Natural Resource Management  (2 social science courses or consent)
  • NREM/ECON/TPSS 429 Spreadsheet Modeling for Business and Economic Analysis (NREM 220 or ECON 130, and NREM 310 or ECON 321; or consent)
  • NREM 491/HWST 458/BOT 458 Natural Resource Issues and Ethics in Hawaiʻi (HWST 457/ BOT 457, HWST 107 and Junior standing; OR instructor consent)
  • NREM 611 Resource and Environmental Policy (ECON 300 or ECON 301, or consent)
  • NREM 637 Resource Economics (ECON 608 and ECON 629)
  • NREM 658   Advanced  Environmental  Benefit-Cost Analysis (None)
  • NREM 671 International Agricultural Systems (Consent)
  • NREM 691 Advanced Topics in NREM: Collaborative Natural Resource Management (Graduate standing or consent)
  • NREM 691 Advanced Topics in NREM: Environmental Benefit-Cost Analysis (Summer; Graduate standing or consent)
  • NREM 691 Valuing Nature (Graduate standing or consent) (not offered until Spring 2018)
  • PLAN 620 Environmental Policies and Programs (PLAN 600 or concurrent or consent)
  • PLAN 625 Climate, Energy & Food (PLAN 620 or concurrent or consent)
  • PLAN 628 Urban Environmental Problems (PLAN 600 or consent)
  • PLAN 640 Land Use Policies and Programs (PLAN 600 and 601 or consent)
  • PLAN 671 Disaster Management: Understanding the Nature of Hazards (PLAN 670 or consent)
  • ** NREM 627 Applied Microeconomic Analysis (AREC 626 and ECON 627, or consent)

(c) Geospatial Analysis & Modeling (** = Currently not being Offered)

  • GEOG 470 Remote Sensing (GEOG 370 or consent)
  • GEOG 472 Field Mapping (Junior standing or higher, or consent)
  • NREM 477 GIS for Resource Managers (Either NREM 310 or MATH 140 or MATH 373, and NREM 301; or consent)
  • NREM 664 Small Watershed Modeling (CEE 424 or concurrent or GG 425 or concurrent or BS degree from NREM, or consent)
  • NREM 677 Remote Sensing of the Environment  (1 Physics course (e.g. PHYS 151), 1 calculus course (e.g. NREM 203), and 1 statistics course (e.g. NREM 310), or consent)
  • NREM 691 Advanced Topics in NREM: Agricultural Land Use (Graduate standing or consent)
  • PLAN 673 Info Systems for Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance (PLAN 670 or consent)
  • PLAN 473 GIS for Community Planning (Junior standing or higher)
  • TPSS/GEOG 680 Geospatial Analysis of Natural Resource Data (GEOG 388 or ZOOL 631; or consent)

(d) Land & Water Resource Management (** = Currently not being Offered)

  • BOT/ZOOL 450 Natural History of Hawaiian Islands (1 semester of biological sciences)
  • GEOG 405 Water and the Environment (Pre: 101 or 300 or 400 or 401 or 402 or MET 101 or MET 200 or MET 302 or MET 303 or MET 310, or consent. DP)
  • GEOG 423 Human Dimensions of the Coastal Ocean (Junior standing or consent)
  • GEOG 618 Human Environment Systems (Graduate standing or consent)
  • HWST 457/BOT 457 ʻĀina Mauliola: Hawaiian Ecosystems (HWST 107, BOT 105, and Junior standing; or consent)
  • HWST 459/BOT 459 Strategies in Hawaiian Resource Use (HWST 457 or BOT 457 (or concurrent), or consent)
  • HWST 650 Hawaiian Geography and Resource Management (HWST 107, 270, 341 (or concurrent), 342 (or concurrent), and one of the following: 343 (or concurrent) or 390 (or concurrent) or 490 (or concurrent))
  • LWEV 588 Legal Aspects of Water Resources and Control (None)
  • NREM 612 Predicting  & Controlling Degradation in Human-Dominated Ecosystems (NREM 301 and 304 (or equivalent) and 600)
  • NREM 631 Sustainable Agriculture Seminar (none)
  • NREM 662 Watershed Hydrology (NREM 203 or equivalent and 304 or equivalent; or consent)
  • OCN 457 Coastal Ecosystem Ecology (OCN 201, 201 Lab, and OCN 310)
  • TPSS 450 Nutrient Management of Soils and Plants (to be cross-listed with NREM in Spring 2017) (4 credits) (NREM 304 and CHEM 161 or consent)
  • ZOOL 410 Corals and Coral Reefs (BIOL 265)
  • **NREM 463 Irrigation and Water Management (NREM 203 (or equivalent) and NREM 304 (or equivalent), or consent)
  • **NREM 660 Hydrologic Processes in Soils (None)
  • **NREM 461 Soil and Water Conservation (NREM 301 or 304)
  • **NREM 665 Coastal and Wetland Ecology and Management (None)
  • **NREM 467 Natural Resource Conservation Planning (None)

Plan B Capstone Experience (6 credits)

A capstone experience is required for all Plan B students. The capstone experience consists of: (i) NREM 695 (1 cr), to be taken when the student is preparing their proposal; and (ii) NREM 696 (3 cr) and NREM 699 (2 cr; register with faculty advisor), to be taken when the student has completed their capstone experience and is writing up their final document.  All capstone experiences require approval from the Plan B Capstone Panel, which consists of the faculty advisor, the NREM 695 course instructor, and an at-large Panel member.

The Capstone Experience requirement may be fulfilled in a number of ways, based on each individual student’s interests. In as much, it will vary from student to student, but typical capstone experiences will involve: (i) an internship/ coop/ special field experience; (ii) an investigation of a special topic; and/or (iii) development of a project, directed readings/study, or a research project. Each student is expected to take the primary role in identifying and organizing their capstone experience. In meeting this requirement, it will be important for students to demonstrate that they are getting an “integrative” experience in natural resources and environmental management. Each student will be required to give a public proposal and defense presentation, and provide a written proposal and final document on their capstone experience, both of which will be evaluated by the Plan B Capstone Panel.  

Plan C

Aalii, Dodonaea viscosa. Photo: JB Friday

Plan C is for students with exceptional prior work experience. Requirements include residence for two semesters of full-time study, a minimum of 18 graduate credit hours, and a final examination (written and oral). This option is only available to students who are mid-career professionals, having at least 5 years of relevant work experience in natural resources and environmental management.

Primary MS Core (9 credits)

  • NREM 600 Evaluation of Natural Resources Management (3)
  • NREM 601 Economic Analysis of Natural Resource Management (3)
  • NREM 605 Research Skills (2)
  • NREM 701 Research Seminar in NREM (1)

Electives (9 Cr)
NREM graduate courses (9 credits of 500-level or above, and no more than 3 credits of NREM 699)

* For additional course applicability criteria, refer to:
http://manoa.hawaii.edu/graduate/content/course-applicability.

For additional information, refer to the Graduate Student Guide.