Why Natural Resources and the Environment?
We all rely on connections and dependencies with the environment every day. Natural Resources are those aspects of the environment from which humans gain benefit. These benefits can be consumptive, such as wood to build with and clean water to drink, or non-consumptive including places to hike, study nature, and be inspired by. We often characterize these benefits as ecosystem services. The Natural Resources major is all about the conservation and sustainability of ecosystem services into the future. Through experiential learning (much of it outside) we train the scientists that become the stewards of our natural resources.
The Natural Resources major is organized into four tracks called concentrations, each connected to a career and associated family of jobs.
- Environmental Sustainability and Conservation
- Fisheries and Wildlife Conservation
- Sustainable Forest Resources
- Water Resources and Climates
Join us and make your passion for nature a career.
Message from the Department Head, Dr. Jason Vokoun
Welcome to NRE! We are a community of scientists, staff, students, and alums spread around the globe working collectively toward a sustainable and equitable future across the many natural resources that constitute our one environment. Our department prepares leaders to steward landscapes, urban to rural, toward a more resilient and adaptable state through the application of natural resource management, conservation, and associated environmental sciences. Our scholars and students are passionate about woods, water, and wildlife- and so much more! We collect data and environmental information in-person out in nature, using low-altitude drones, satellites in orbit, and from interviewing and surveying human beings too!
The multi-disciplinary training we provide has proven highly effective in advancing the careers of our graduates. With degree offerings including the 2-yr Associates of Applied Science (AAS) degree in Urban Forestry and Arboriculture, the 4-yr Bachelors of Science (BS) Natural Resources major (with concentrations in Environmental Sustainability and Conservation, Fisheries and Wildlife Conservation, Forest Resources, and Water Resources and Climate) at the undergraduate level, there is even the option to advance from the AAS to the BS. We are also key partners in the 4-yr BS cross-college Environmental Sciences major. At the graduate level, NRE offers two online graduate certificates; Sustainable Environmental Planning and Management, and Remote Sensing and Geospatial Data Analytics. We also offer a traditional thesis and dissertation-based research Natural Resources MS and PhD degrees in person. Finally, we are partners in a course-based online MS in Energy and Environmental Management. Whatever your educational journey needs may be, check out NRE!
Our research program is vibrant, multi-disciplinary, and clustered around water resources and wetlands, forestry and forested landscapes, fisheries and wildlife conservation, and remote sensing of the environment. We maintain a lot of environmental field sampling and laboratory equipment: from boats to telemetry receivers to gas chromatographs and discrete wet analyzers, NRE is equipped to get the job done. The Department places distinct emphasis on the challenges associated with expanding exurban landscapes and the associated interfaces between rural and urban environments. But we don’t stop there as our research increasingly spans the globe and presents our brand of conservation for co-existence as a guiding force to steer our planet towards our much needed sustainable future.
The Department of Natural Resources and the Environment partners with many other centers and institutes within UConn to fulfill our teaching, research, and extension missions. A few of our affiliations are highlighted below.