All students submit a written thesis based on an independent research project, with oral thesis defense before the student’s academic advising committee and presentation in a public seminar. The thesis requires 11-12 credits of commitment from the student, as the primary goal of the program is to train students who can design and implement research projects, including collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data, and who can use newfound knowledge to address environmental and natural resource management challenges.
The student is expected to begin planning the thesis, under the guidance of his/her major advisor, during the first semester of enrollment in the MMES program. The student will be guided in conducting a literature review and designing a thesis proposal in Professional Development I and II seminars. The final literature review and thesis proposal will be reviewed by the student’s major advisor and other committee members. Research will normally be conducted during the second year of enrollment, but other arrangements are possible with approval of the student’s committee and the MMES Director.