Create new solutions for human-driven Earth system and sustainability challenges by
mastering advanced technology, environmental policy, and resource economics while
simultaneously developing advanced quantitative skills and transferable professional
This program is geared toward those with a strong background in environmental and
sustainability science, and environmental policy by providing advanced quantitative
and analytical knowledge, integrated geospatial technology skills, and a breath of
professional component that includes business, economics and communication.
On Campus or Online
Est. time to complete:
Why study earth system science and policy at UND?
The many systems that make up Earth are experiencing extraordinary changes. The program
offer an interdisciplinary-oriented education required by professionals who are working
towards a sustainable management of Earth's systems and resources. It prepares you
to be a part of the next generation of leaders that will help society navigate through
this change and solve pressing sustainability problems.
With this UND graduate program, you'll have opportunities to:
Implement your knowledge for practical applications, especially through a successful
internship/applied project experience.
Prepare, or progress in your career path with a broad set of skills and strong knowledge
of environmental policy and environmental and resource economics, combined with a
professional component that includes quantitative reasoning and analytics, project
management, business, and communication.
Master cutting edge technology to help address changes occurring in areas such as
land and water resources, environmental and natural economics, environmental science
and policy, and more.
Earth System Science and Policy at UND
The M.E.M is a Professional Master's Degree Program (PSM) designed for those seeking
a workplace-oriented non-thesis master's degree, and is particularly suited for those
who are working professionals interested in expanding their knowledge based, critical
thinking ability, and technical skill.
Through a successful internship/applied project, gain the knowledge and skills to
prepare for, or expand on, a career in Earth system and sustainability science.
Have a direct influence in driving concepts for major international scientific and
environmental policy efforts.
The curriculum bridges theory with practice, global and local perspectives, and scientific,
social and professional disciplines.
Earth System Science and Policy Careers
Median salary range for an environmental scientist and specialist
Environmental experts will be at the forefront of today's biggest climate change and
sustainability issues. The technical expertise will continue to be in high demand
in a broad range of industries and professions.
UND graduates can expect exciting opportunities to do field studies, research, policy
setting, and other important work for top companies in a wide variety of industries
and fields, including:
Human interactions with the Earth system are often managed through policy and science. This course will introduce students to concepts, ideas, practices, and challenges at the nexus of policy, science, and the environment. Students will examine the human dimensions of environmental problems and the different roles of policy and science in helping us address them. F.
ESSP 504. The Biosphere. 3 Credits.
The Biosphere (ESSP 504) introduces students to the concept of the biosphere as articulated by Vladimir Vernadsky in the 1920s and 1930s, and examines the concepts and roles of nutrient cycling, biodiversity, evolution, ecology, and ecosystem productivity on Earth. The overall course is framed around the Drake equation and walks students through critical steps in the formation of the solar system, habitable zones around stars, evolution and proliferation of life on Earth, the interconnected nature of inorganic nutrient cycling and ecosystem function, and human's impact on all these systems, culminating with the final variable of the Drake equation--the longevity of civilizations--and humanity's active role in the Anthropocene. F.
ESSP 505. Energy Issues and Earth Systems. 3 Credits.
This course is about contemporary complex energy issues. It gives an overview of energy history, the last century trends and the achievement in energy production. It also discusses energy systems and energy "linkages" with society. It then examines the pros and the cons of both fossil fuels and alternative fuels. Finally it considers the future of energy in low-carbon energy systems. F.
ESSP 506. Ecosystem Services: Valuing Nature in a Market Society. 3 Credits.
Analyzes the services and goods provided by natural and human-made ecosystems with a primary focus on the agroecosystems and grasslands of the northern Great Plains. Explores the scientific framework of ecosystem services, their disruption or disturbance, economic and ecological values, methods of analyzing these values, and policy implications. S.
ESSP 507. Earth Systems Processes and Vulnerability Analysis. 3 Credits.
Earth Systems Processes and Vulnerability Analysis (ESSP 507) will explore how humans exist on an active landscape. The course focuses on an understanding of the integration of the processes of physical Earth systems and the human vulnerability to hazards and Earth system syndromes related to these processes. The course also explores human vulnerability by analyzing spatial, numerical, and historical data, through spatial and statistical techniques. S.
ESSP 508. Hydrological Cycle in Earth Systems. 3 Credits.
Hydrological Cycle in Earth Systems (ESSP 508) will introduce the processes of the hydrological cycle in the Earth system. The course focuses on an understanding of fundamental chemical and physical properties of water and processes of water movement within the Earth system through physical, biological and human controls. The course also aims to help students develop an understanding of how the hydrological cycle interacts and affects the energy balance and biogeochemical cycle in the Earth system. S.
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