Natural Resources and Environmental Studies (MA Program)

Chair of the Natural Resources and Environmental Studies Graduate Program:  Dr. Annie Booth
Geography
Gail Fondahl, Professor (Geography)
Greg Halseth, Professor, and Canada Research Chair, Rural and Small Town Studies (Geography)
Neil Hanlon, Professor (Geography)
Jueyi Sui, Professor (Environmental Engineering)
Sarah de Leeuw, Associate Professor (Northern Medical Program)
Zoe Meletis, Associate Professor (Geography)
Catherine Nolin, Associate Professor (Geography)
Roger Wheate, Associate Professor (Geography)
John Rex, Adjunct Professor (Geography)

Environmental Studies
Annie Booth, Professor (Ecosystem Science and Management)
Gail Fondahl, Professor (Geography)
Andrew D. Seidel, Professor (Environmental Planning)
Jueyi Sui, Professor (Environmental Engineering)
David Connell, Associate Professor (Environmental Planning)
John Curry, Associate Professor (Environmental Planning)
Balbinder Deo, Associate Professor (Business Management)
Fredj Karima, Associate Professor (Economics)
Zoe Meletis, Associate Professor (Geography)
Michael Murphy, Associate Professor (Political Science) and Canada Research Chair, Comparative Indigenous-State Relations
Tracey Summerville, Associate Professor (Political Science)
Ken Wilkening, Associate Professor (International Studies)
Loraine Lavallee, Assistant Professor (Psychology)
Philip Mullins, Assistant Professor (Outdoor Recreation and Tourism Management)

Outdoor Recreation, Conservation, and Tourism
John Shultis, Associate Professor (Outdoor Recreation and Tourism Management)
Pamela Wright, Associate Professor (Outdoor Recreation and Tourism Management)
Philip Mullins, Assistant Professor (Outdoor Recreation and Tourism Management)

Website: http://www.unbc.ca/nres

The Master of Arts in Natural Resources and Environmental Studies [MA(NRES)] offers students the opportunity to pursue studies of the social dimensions of human-environment interactions from a community-based or regional perspective. The degree is distinguished by its focus on human perspectives on historical and contemporary resource and environmental issues. It encourages the study of the social, cultural, ethical, economic and political dynamics of resource and land use, and environmental change in northern ecosystems.

Students must choose from the following areas of study:
  • Environmental Studies
  • Geography
  • Outdoor Recreation, Conservation and Tourism
All students must participate in Graduate Colloquia (NRES 701-1) during their course of studies, complete NRES 700-3 and complete a research methods course approved by their supervisor and the Chair of the NRES Graduate Program.These required courses will provide students with an informed, integrated base for understanding multi-faceted resource and environmental issues. Elective courses will provide students with the option to pursue their specialized interests.

Candidates must complete a minimum of 6 elective credit hours at the graduate level (I.e., at or above the 600 level) that emphasize the human dimensions of resource or environmental issues. A maximum of 3 credit hours from independent studies can be counted towards the elective requirement. Specific details of course work are determined by the research area chosen by each student. The supervisory committee will ensure the appropriate selection of elective courses, and may require a student to complete more than 6 credit hours if weaknesses in the student's background exist (including undergraduate prerequisites for graduate courses) or if additional courses are required for professional accreditation.

The MA (NRES) degree also requires the writing and defense of an independent research thesis (NRES 794-12).

Summary:

Core Courses4 credit hours
Methods Course3 credit hours
Elective Courses6 credit hours
MA Thesis12 credit hours
Total Required25 credit hours
Students must meet UNBC's residency requirements.

Recommended Progression

The normal time for completion of the MA (NRES) is two academic years. While this is the recommended timeline, it may be adjusted at the discretion of the supervisory committee to suit a particular student's research and program needs.

Research in Natural Resources and Environmental Studies (NRES 700-3) is offered annually in the September Semester. Students normally enrol in this course in Year I of their program. This timing allows students to pursue their area of specialization with a methods course or elective courses during the September Semester in order to develop an interest-specific framework within which to pose methodological questions for the thesis proposal.

The Graduate Colloquia (NRES 701-1) is offered during the September and January Semesters. Students are required to enrol in this course, which lasts two semesters, once during their degree program.

Electives and the required methods course may be taken at any time during Years I and II. The sequencing of electives is determined by the student in discussion with the supervisory committee. Over the September and January Semesters of Year I, the student, under the direction of the supervisory committee, develops a thesis proposal. By the end of the second semester, the student should have successfully defended the thesis proposal to the supervisory committee, allowing the student to undertake the collection of data during the summer of Year I. The student is expected to have successfully defended the thesis by the end of Year II.

Admission, Regulations and Committee Structures

Admission Requirements

In addition to the admission application requirements outlined in Section 1.0 of the Graduate Academic Calendar, acceptance to the MA program will be contingent upon the prospective student finding a member of the faculty to serve as her/his supervisor. Applicants must also provide a completed Teaching Assistantship Application and a completed Funding Worksheet. Both forms are included with the application material for this program. Normally, at least two of the three letters of recommendation, exclusive of any letter provided by an intended supervisor, must be from individuals who are able to comment on the applicant's academic and research potential.

Application deadlines are found in this calendar under "Semester Dates" or online at: www.unbc.ca/calendar/graduate, also under "Semester Dates." The Natural Resources and Environmental Studies MA Program accepts students for the September, January, and May Semesters.

For additional information about graduate admissions or to download application materials, go to the Graduate Programs website at www.unbc.ca/graduateprograms.
Transfer Students

On the recommendation of the program concerned, the Associate Dean of Graduate Programs may accept courses taken at other institutions for credit toward a UNBC graduate program.

Normal Time Required for Completion

Normally, the degree should be completed in two years. Part-time students would usually take longer to complete the degree depending on their personal circumstances, and the nature of their research involvement.

Committee Structure

Students will be advised by a supervisory committee consisting of at least three members, including the academic supervisor who will serve as the chair of the committee. At least one of the committee members must be from outside of the student’s program. The committee will be struck during the student's first term of study.  Students must choose from the following areas of study:
  • Environmental Studies
  • Geography
  • Outdoor Recreation and Tourism Management