Natural Resource Sciences

Graduate Degree Program Summary

Graduate degrees offered


  • M.S.; Ph.D.


A specialization is a well-defined area of study that will appear on your transcript with your degree and major. Specializations are optional in most UNL programs.

  • Adaptive Management (M.S., Ph.D.)
  • Agroforestry (Ph.D.)
  • Applied Ecology (M.S., Ph.D.)
  • Bio-Atmospheric Interactions (M.S., Ph.D)
  • Climate Assessment and Impacts (M.S., Ph.D.)
  • Environmental Studies (M.S., Ph.D.)
  • Geographic Information Systems (M.S.)
  • Great Plains Studies (M.S.)
  • Human Dimensions (M.S., Ph.D)
  • Remote Sensing (M.S.)
  • Soil Sciences (M.S., Ph.D.)
  • Water Resources Planning and Management (M.S.)
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Contacts for Natural Resource Sciences

Graduate Chair

Dr. Elizabeth Walter-Shea


Graduate Admissions Coordinator

Ms. Patty Swanson


Campus Address

102 Hardin Hall

3310 Holdrege Street

Lincoln NE 68583-0921

Application checklist and deadlines

Required by the Office of Graduate Studies

See also: steps to admission.

Required by Natural Resource Sciences in GAMES

After you apply, allow one business day for us to establish your access to GAMES, where you'll complete these departmental requirements:

  • Entrance exam(s): GRE. See also: department score requirements.
  • Minimum English proficiency: Paper TOEFL 600, Internet TOEFL 79, IELTS 6.5
  • Three recommendation letters
  • Statement of purpose
  • CV or Resume
  • Letter of Support from your potential advisor

When sending GRE or TOEFL scores, UNL's institution code is 6877 and a department code is not needed.

Application Deadlines for Natural Resource Sciences
Rolling admissions; for more information contact the department or refer to the SNR Application Procedure and Deadlines page for details.


The School of Natural Resources offers graduate programs leading to a Master of Science or Doctor of Philosophy in natural resource sciences. The broad diversity of climate, habitat, hydrology, soils, and near-surface and subsurface geology across Nebraska provides a multitude of opportunities for field studies in each of these areas. Faculty also conduct research in other states and countries.

Excellent laboratory, computer, and field facilities are available for performing up-to-date analyses in all resource areas, as well as water chemistry, GIS, geophysics, computer modeling, remote sensing, and geospatial image analysis. State, federal, and private natural resource organizations provide unique opportunities for cooperative research and degree-related work.

Additional areas of study include: agroecosystems; carbon sequestration; conservation biology; cycling of natural and human-made chemicals; drought mitigation; environmental biophysics; environmental microbiology; environmental soil microbiology, chemistry and physics; fisheries management and ecology; geology; geomorphology and soils; geospatial analysis; global climatic change; global positioning systems; grassland ecology and management; ground water; high plains climate; human-wildlife conflicts; hydrologic modeling; isotope hydrology; lake ecology; landscape ecology; micrometeorology; natural resources economics; natural resource planning and management; natural resources law; riparian systems; rural sustainability; severe weather; simulation modeling; soil moisture; soil restoration; stewardship; surface water systems; urban habitats; water quality and chemistry; wetlands; and woodland habitats.

Courses and More

Students in Natural Resource Sciences are most likely to take courses in: See also: Course Catalog in the Graduate Bulletin.

Students will work with an advisor to create a Program of Studies or Memorandum of Courses during the first half of their coursework.

Faculty and research

Craig Allen
Fish and Wildlife; Biological Invasions; Spatial Ecology
Douglas Amedeo
Spatial Theory; Quantitative Analysis; Environment and Behavior
J. Clark Archer
Political; Settlement; Computer Cartography; Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
Tala Awada
Plant Physiology; Leaf Gas Exchange; Plant Ecology
Guillermo Baigorria
To help agricultural related decision makers increase the efficiency of using climate information through the development and/or improvement of user-friendly, scientifically robust decision support tools.
Ann Bleed
Environmental Law; Water Resource Managemen
Mary Bomberger Brown
Biodiversity in Wildlife; Human Behavior toward Conservation; Wildlife Community Ecology; Natural Ecosystems; Humans and the Environment Conservation, Wildlife Conservation
James Brandle
Agroforestry; Shelterbelts; Ecology; Crop Response to Shelter; Sustainable Agriculture and Societies
Mark Burbach
Groundwater-Level Monitoring; Natural Resources Policy
Amy Burgin
Aquatic Ecology; Limnology; Water Quality
Marvin Carlson
Stratigraphy (layers of rock or sediment), tectonics (the structure of the Earth's crust), mineral resources, the developmental stresses on resources and geologic history
Xun-Hong Chen
Aquifer Tests; Riparian Zone Hydrogeology; Contaminants Transport Modeling
Christopher Chizinski
Steven Comfort
Soil and Water Chemistry; Environmental Soil Analysis; Organic Chemicals
Jenny Dauer
Science Literacy, systems thinking, student learning about matter and energy, learning progression research, climate change education, teaching and curriculum development, biogeochemistry, ecosystem ecology, nutrient cycling
Joseph Dauer
Science Literacy, Undergraduate Learning in Biology, Visualizations, Cognition, Pedagogy, Plant Ecology, Population Dynamics
Kenneth Dewey
Climate Variations; Severe Weather Safety; Climate Assessment and Impacts
Bob Diffendal
Geology of western and north-central Nebraska; Upper Paleozoic, Mesozoic and Cenozoic geology, mostly in Nebraska, and invertebrate fossils
Joseph Fontaine
Adaptive Management; Avian Migration; Avian Nesting Biology; Human Impact Biology; K-12 Natural Resource Education
Cory Forbes
Science literacy
Patricia Freeman
Mammalian Biology; Morphology; Zoology
Brian Fuchs
Drought Early Warning; Drought Assessment; Applied Climatology; Agricultural Drought
Anatoly Gitelson
Remote Sensing of Aquatic and Terrestrial Ecosystems
David Gosselin
Groundwater Chemistry; Environmental Isotopes; Water Relationships; Hydrology
Martin Hamel
Large River Ecology Specialist
Paul Hanson
Geomorphology and Landforms; Climate Change; Physical Geography of Nebraska and Great Plains
Mark Harrell
Michael Hayes
Precipitation Indexes; Drought Mitigation; Risk Analyses
Leon Higley
Physiological Responses of Plants to Insect Injury; Tiger Beetles; Pest Management; Forensic Entomology
Kyle Hoagland
Aquatic Ecology; Water Quality; Pesticides; Limnology
Q. Steve Hu
Precipitation Variations; Climatology
Kenneth Hubbard
Weather Monitoring; Climate Modeling; Evapotranspiration
Scott Hygnstrom
Technology Transfer; Wildlife Control and Damage; Wildlife Ecology
R. Matt Joeckel
Sedimentology and stratigraphy
Scott Josiah
Ayse Kilic
Crop Modeling; GIS; Precision Agriculture
Johannes Knops
Plant and Ecosystem Ecology
Cody Knutson
Physical and Human Aspects of Water Management; Drought Risk Management; Environmental Perceptions and Justice
Mark Kuzila
Nebraska Soils and Clays; Environmental Soil Analysis; Paleosols; Waste Management
Terry Loecke
Soil heterogeneity, carbon and nitrogen biogeochemistry, terrestrial and isotope biogeochemistry, agroecology, urban ecology, ecosystem modeling, and ecosystem ecology
Russanne (Rusty) Low
Developing Online Earth Systems Sciences Courses
Sunil Narumalani
Remote Sensing; GIS; Environmental Studies
Robert Oglesby
Climate Modeling; Climate Change and Variability; Paleoclimatology; Land-Atmosphere Interactions; Climate Diagnostics
Mark Pegg
Fishery Ecology and Management; River Ecology; Aquatic Nuisance Species; River Restoration
Lisa Pennisi
Ecotourism; Human Dimensions in Natural Resources
Kevin Pope
Fishery Ecology and Management
Larkin Powell
Wildlife Population Ecology; Avian Ecology; Conservation Biology
Karl Reinhard
Pathoecology; Palynology; Archaeoparasitology; Human Dimensions
Donald Rundquist
Remote sensing
Karina Schoengold
Environmental and Natural Resource Economics; Irrigation Technology Choice
Patrick Shea
Xenobiotics; Environmental Chemistry; Environmental Soil Analysis
Martha Shulski
Climate Variability and Change; Redox Chemistry and Microbial Chemicals
Joseph Skopp
The transport and reaction of solutes in soils; methods to rapidly measure soil hydraulic properties; analysis of carbon tetrachloride hydraulic properties
Dan Snow
Environmental Analytical Chemistry; Redox Chemistry and Microbial Respiration
Mary Spalding
Water Quality; Non-Point Source Contamination; Volatile Organic Chemicals
Andrew Suyker
Climate Change; Carbon Flux
Jim Swinehart
Sedimentology; Stratigraphy; Petrology
Jozsef Szilagyi
Watershed Hydrology; Watershed Modeling; Water Development
Tsegaye Tadesse
Drought Monitoring; Data Mining Techniques
Steven Thomas
Stream Ecology; Ecosystem Ecology; Biogeochemistry
Drew Tyre
Statistical Ecology; Simulation Modeling; Population Dynamics and Ecology
Shashi Verma
Atmospheric trace gas dynamics, carbon sequestration (storage in plants, soil or other places) and micrometeorology
Mark Vrtiska
Waterfowl ecology and management and aspects of human dimensions and waterfowl hunting
Elizabeth Walter-Shea
Field-Based Remote Sensing; Bioatmospheric Interactions
Brian Wardlow
Land Use and Cover; Drought; Biogeography; Climate-Vegetation Interactions; Remote Sensing; GIS
David Watkins
Micropaleontology; Marine Geology; Stratigraphy; Paleoclimatology
David Wedin
Ecosystem Science; Forest and Grassland Ecology; Ecoydrology
Donald Wilhite
Drought; Climate Assessment and Impacts; Human Dimensions
David Wishart
Dispossession of Indigenous Peoples; Great Plains; Geographical and Historical Epistemology
Jinsheng You
Climatology; Hydrometeorology; GIS; Remote Sensing
Arthur Zygielbaum
Remote Sensing; Geographic Information Science

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