Paul Block in a classroom, standing in front of a map, teaching Hydroclimatology for Water Resources Management


The Nelson Institute offers four interdisciplinary graduate degree programs and two graduate certificate programs for students with exceptional interest in researching and solving the most pressing environmental challenges.

Academic Degrees

Field research

Environment and Resources PhD and MS

Environment and Resources is ideal for students who wish to broaden their knowledge of natural resources or who seek special education in the technical, social or management aspects of environmental challenges. The program includes opportunities for customizable, interdisciplinary study not available in more traditional academic departments.

Fish study

Water Resources Management MS

Water Resources Management prepares students for the complexities of managing this critical natural resource through training in biological and physical sciences, engineering, law and social sciences. Students gain breadth in relevant planning and management areas while developing an in-depth knowledge of an area of specialty.

Professional MS Programs

Group of Environmental conservation students at the Aldo Leopold shack

Environmental Conservation MS

Environmental Conservation is a 15-month, 32-credit blended learning curriculum designed to train conservation leaders in practical interdisciplinary skills. The program helps early-career working professionals advance their leadership and environmental management expertise through campus learning and remote experiences.

Environmental observation and informatics students doing field work in a forest

Environmental Observation and Informatics MS

The Environmental Observation and Informatics program provides training that is in demand by industry, non-governmental organizations, government agencies, and academia. The program is rooted in the disciplines of environmental conservation, remote sensing and GIS, and informatics.


CHE student Anika Rice with a leader of Qachuu Aloom, a seed-saving organization in Rabinal, Baja Verapaz

Culture, History and Environment

Culture, History and Environment explores environmental and cultural change across the full sweep of human history from diverse perspectives in the humanities and sciences.

Four Energy Analysis and Policy students

Energy Analysis and Policy

Energy Analysis and Policy considers factors that shape energy policy and decision-making and acquaints students with important analytical and assessment techniques.

A calm, rocky stream surrounded by green space and a walking path


The sustainability graduate certificate’s interdisciplinary curriculum considers environmental, economic, and social factors of sustainability. Students deepen their understanding of the complexities and solutions involved in addressing today’s most pressing challenges.