Environmental Resource Management Degree Program Information

Oct 14, 2019

Environmental resource management is an interdisciplinary field that covers geology, ecology, hydrology and forest management. Programs include the study of concepts in environmental monitoring, as well as pollution prevention and control.

Essential Information

Emphasizing course topics such as soil science, statistics, hazardous waste management and public policy, degree programs in environmental resource management can result in careers in environmental planning, forestry, policy analysis, teaching and research.


Bachelor's Degree in Environmental Resource Management

An undergraduate degree program in environmental resource management is an interdisciplinary program that covers the care and protection of Earth's renewable and finite resources, as well as the legal implications for their use and ownership. A high school diploma is typically required. Students learn about biodiversity, ecosystem stability and land use issues. Undergraduate degree programs teach mathematical modeling, conservation biology and animal behavior. Commonly offered courses include:

  • Ethics
  • Geographic information systems
  • Pollution control
  • Soil science
  • Statistics
  • Wildlife ecology

Master's Degree in Environmental Resources Management

Students in graduate-level environmental resource management programs learn about the interplay between man and the natural elements of a given ecosystem. Applicants need a bachelor's degree in a related field with relevant coursework. Environmental policy, soil science and environmental sampling are taught at this level. Graduate students learn ecology, economics and statistics to project potential environmental outcomes and act as consultants to environmental policy makers. Typical coursework includes:

  • Resource economics
  • Environmental sampling
  • Ethics
  • Hazardous waste management
  • Hydrology
  • Ecosystem and restoration ecology

Doctoral Degree in Natural Resources and Environment Management

Ph.D. programs allow students to focus studies on a specific area of interest, like forest or watershed management, environmental policy or education and wildlife monitoring. A master's degree may be required. Students learn about biodiversity, tree physiology, ecological restoration as well as indicators of environmental health. Doctoral programs offer courses in subjects related to agroforestry, biometrics, materials science and resource-based tourism. Dissertations are typically required. Coursework includes:

  • Environmental economics
  • Ecophysiology
  • Geospatial analysis
  • Public policy
  • Landscape ecology
  • Watershed management

Popular Career Options

Jobs within the environmental resources management field are found at educational institutions, not-for-profit organizations and governmental agencies, such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Forest Service. Job titles available to master's degree program graduates include:

  • Environmental policy consultant
  • Forester
  • Geographic information systems analyst
  • Urban and environmental planner

Jobs available to graduates with a Ph.D. in Environmental Resource Management are policy and research based. Jobs for Ph.D. holders include:

  • Environmental policy analyst
  • Professor of environmental studies
  • Sustainable development manager or researcher

Employment Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were 23,800 conservation scientists employed across various fields as of 2018 (www.bls.gov). The BLS also reports that conservation scientists earned a median annual wage of $61,310 as of May 2018; foresters earned $61,410 as of the same time.

Bachelor's degree programs in environmental resource management typically cover how to care for and protect Earth's resources, while master's degree programs focus on the relationship between humans and the environment and doctoral programs allow students to focus on specific areas of interest. Jobs in the field of environmental resource management may include foresters, urban planners, and conservation scientists.

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