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Graduate Programs

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Graduate study in natural resources and environmental sciences is challenging and innovative, offering versatility and depth.

In NRES, graduate students develop both depth and breadth in their expertise. They work with expert faculty and researchers who train them in the specialized knowledge and skills needed for their research areas, while also participating in NRES seminar and activities that help them see their work within the bigger picture and learn to communicate their expertise to others effectively.

Because of its interdisciplinary nature, NRES research and educational programs are tailored to suit your interests, and each student, with their advisor, develops their own plan of study. Our faculty and graduate students are active in interdisciplinary programs and activities on a variety of subjects. For example:

  • NRES houses the Agroecology and Sustainable Agriculture Program (ASAP) which offers research support to graduate students through ASAP scholars.  The scholars effort seeks to enhance the quality of agricultural and environmental education at the University of Illinois by supporting students studying critical issues in agriculture, food systems and their interactions with the environment and society.  The intent of this program is to recruit and support exceptional graduate students interested in topics of great societal import (eg: climate change, food security, environmental degradation, biodiversity, land stewardship, resource conservation and social equity).  Priority is given to topics that have obvious societal benefit that do not have well established sources of funding. Research must be interdisciplinary and address the needs of producers, resource managers or consumers.  In addition, proposals must include outreach to undergraduate students at the University of Illinois.  Special consideration is given to projects developed with input from partner organizations.
  • Many NRES students participate in the Graduates in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology student organization and attend seminars  of the Program in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology.
  • The Human Dimensions of Environmental Systems (HDES) is comprised of faculty, scholars and students united in the study of connections between humans and the environment.