Human Dimensions of Natural Resources - MS
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, Colorado
Department of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources
- Conservation Leadership Specialization
The Department of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources (HDNR) offers a research-based graduate program that is designed to educate and develop professionals in social science aspects of natural resources issues. The program develops professionals who will work and become leaders in the field both through research and practice. The Master of Science degree generally takes two years to complete.
We conduct research in the area of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources (HDNR) and prepare students for careers in conservation leadership and tourism. This area of study focuses on understanding and attending to the needs and values of humans, human society, and culture as they relate to the natural environment. HDNR has more than 90 years of collaborative research in parks and protected areas and contributes to informed decision making while conveying a broad based understanding of the way humans value, use and depend on the natural environment. HDNR is one of the few programs in the United States that offers a comprehensive bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral program.
Overall I had a very good experience at Colorado State University. I received my MS from this program in 2004 when the department was called Natural Resources Recreation and Tourism. They have since changed their name to Human Dimensions of Natural Resources. When I attended, the department was heavily focused on natural resource recreation and protected area management. I think... Overall I had a very good experience at Colorado State University. I received my MS from this program in 2004 when the department was called Natural Resources Recreation and Tourism. They have since changed their name to Human Dimensions of Natural Resources. When I attended, the department was heavily focused on natural resource recreation and protected area management. I think the department has further diversified since it changed names but my understanding is that it’s still very strong in these areas.
This department is housed within CSU’s College of Natural Resources which is great because it also includes very strong departments in forestry, wildlife biology, and other fields. So as a grad student, I got access to a wide range of high quality courses and faculty across the fields of natural resources. For me, this was helpful because I had no background at all in ecology or natural resources before starting the program. And I was able to get broad exposure to a variety of topics both within the department and outside. It helped me figure out what I was interested in and prepared me for multiple job pathways which my career ultimately took.
I completed my Masters in 2 years but I combined my schooling with 2 years in the Peace Corps as part of the Masters International program. This was an option of the program and Peace Corps at the time - I’m not sure if it’s still available. There wasn’t much practical benefit of combining my Master’s and the Peace Corps other than the timing worked better for me.
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