These four universities are spearheading sustainability in natural resource management
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If you’re wondering how you can take action to contribute towards achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals outlined by the United Nations, why not start with a university degree? Studying the natural environment requires a solid theoretical foundation of natural systems and an astute understanding of how to effectively apply them towards sustainable management.

Regardless of where your interests lie in environmental sustainability, deepening your understanding of the field will be helpful in tackling complex environment-related issues. Here are four universities offering master’s degrees in the management of environment and natural resources that you should consider:

Virginia Tech Center for Leadership in Global Sustainability

Virginia Tech Center for Leadership in Global Sustainability

Source: Virginia Tech Center for Leadership in Global Sustainability

The Master of Natural Resources (Online) degree at Virginia Tech is designed for working professionals and adult learners worldwide—people with jobs, families, and other commitments that make a flexible format a top priority when choosing a graduate degree.

The MNR has been helping environmental and sustainability professionals to advance their careers or progress into leadership roles for nearly twenty years—and is continuously innovating to meet the needs of our students. The low student-to-instructor ratio ensures that students receive focused instruction from experts who are practitioners in their fields. All courses are designed by the MNR faculty specifically for our diverse student population.

The MNR (Online) at Virginia Tech is a non-thesis professional graduate degree comprising 10 courses (30 credits) that are completed virtually. It’s asynchronous, meaning that you can study when and where it’s convenient for you. As an MNR student, you are required to take five core courses that provide strong foundational knowledge to build sustainability competencies in a global context. Students also have five additional elective courses to choose from, with guidance from a Graduate Advisor.

The MNR combines online coursework and participation in an in-person, 10-day Global Study in lieu of a standard capstone project, to let students engage with real-world sustainability challenges. Seven focus areas allow students to dive deeper into a topic of their interest—from climate change to sustainable business to biodiversity and ecosystems.

If you want to succeed on a truly global stage as a natural resources, environmental, and sustainability professional, click here to know more about applying to Virginia Tech.

University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, College of Natural Resources

University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, College of Natural Resources  

Source: University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, College of Natural Resources

Where better to study about the natural world than a 200-acre forest? At the College of Natural Resources in the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, the lush acreage of the Central Wisconsin Environmental Station (CWES), located 17 miles east of Stevens Point on glacial Sunset Lake, is one of the university’s three designated field stations involved in outreach and educational needs of the college and the greater community. 

Six distinct disciplines are rooted in the college, and at the master’s level, you can obtain a higher qualification in environmental management through the on-campus Master of Science in Natural Resources Programme, or the online, non-thesis Master of Natural Resources degree to make further headway in your career. 

The online Master of Natural Resources degree consists of 31 credits with core courses and elective courses related to effective environmental management. Apart from academic research skills, you will be well-equipped to take on administrative and leadership roles without having to leave home. 

The 100% online degree gives you the flexibility to enrol in one or more classes per term to fit your schedule as you balance other responsibilities. You can complete the degree in as short as 18 months, or take several years depending on your capabilities. 

University of New Brunswick, Forestry and Environmental Management

University of New Brunswick, Forestry and Environmental Management

Source: University of New Brunswick, Forestry and Environmental Management

A research powerhouse, the University of New Brunswick in Canada has one of the oldest graduate schools in the country since its establishment in 1785. The Faculty of Forestry and Environmental Management (ForEM) provides a broad range of study programmes in natural resource science and management. 

It is home to several state-of-the-art research facilities, such as the Forest Wildlife Ecology and Behaviour Lab, the Canadian Rivers Institute, and the Atlantic Forest Research Collaborative

The 16-month Master of Environmental Management (MEM) programme empowers you with the practical skills needed as an environmental or natural resource manager. MEM features coursework, a major project, and a practicum to ground you with analytical tools and biophysical and social sciences management. 

Other professional-oriented degrees such as the one-year Master of Forestry and Master of Forest Engineering programmes will expand your expertise in aspects of forest management that are crucial to bolster sustainability in the sector. 

Colorado State University, Warner College of Natural Resources

Colorado State University, Warner College of Natural Resources

Source: Colorado State University, Warner College of Natural Resources

Whether you harbor long-term goals of becoming a researcher or concentrating on a professional degree programme, Warner College of Natural Resources at Colorado State University has the answer. The college offers master’s and PhD degrees, with on-campus instruction or distance learning options. 

The college has five faculties dedicated to natural and environmental studies centred around a holistic, protectionist approach that seeks to understand the human-natural system interactions. Three master’s degrees are available online under the college: Natural Resources Stewardship, Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Biology, and Tourism Management

The Natural Resources Stewardship follows a broad curriculum, but students can further specialise in one of three areas: Ecological Restoration, Forest Sciences, or Rangeland Ecology and Management. Tourism Management students obtain the tools to lead a financially sound business; develop strong management skills; and use data to gain insight to guide decisions.

The online courses offer greater flexibility for working professionals while learning from the same faculty and earning the same regionally accredited degree as students on campus. 

As many as 93% of the university’s online graduates have stated that they will choose to do their courses again — which is just the encouragement you need to begin your career in sustainable environmental and natural resources management on your terms. 

*Some of the institutions listed are commercial partners of Study International