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University of Rhode Island — Environmental & Natural Resource Economics
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Get Prepared
How do I prepare for a career in Environmental and Natural Resource Economics?

High School

Undoubtedly, knowledge of math, chemistry and biology is an important foundation to build upon in college. And having a genuine interest for addressing environmental challenges and finding ways to promote a green economy is a key prerequisite to become a successful student and professional in this field.

College

The environmental and natural resource economics curriculum equips students with analytical tools crucial in addressing many of the contemporary environmental challenges. Students learn how to use these tools to evaluate the likely success of proposed solutions to environmental problems about which they are passionate, supporting their “lifelong learning” and increasing their professional effectiveness.


The curriculum shifts as the level of complexity progresses. At the freshman level, students are introduced to what economics is, and how it applies to policy, markets, and most importantly to the environment and natural resources. At the same time they are presented with concepts of biology, soil science, chemistry and ecology to add to their knowledge of the world around us. Sophomores focus on furthering their understanding with more advanced concepts of environmental economics such as pollution, public policies, and cool tools to measure people’s value of environmental goods and services. Juniors study modeling solutions to environmental problems and applications to a variety of resources such as energy, water, air, and marine. Toward the end of their studies, students are introduced to the more complex concepts and methods to address global climate change, sustainable energy, clean water, green technologies, pollution, biodiversity and their link to our economy and ultimately our well being. Real world environmental issues such as the recent BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico provides the base for applications of the tools and skills acquired as well as classroom debates and projects.

For more detailed information about the courses available in this field, go to the Curriculum Tab

For more detailed information about experiential learning in this field, go to the Experiential Learning Tab

Minors

Students from other majors can minor in environmental economics. Or students who major in environmental economics can minor in other fields. The minors that our students have done are varied, but include business administration, natural resource science, leadership, marine affairs, political science, geological sciences, languages, international relations. For a full description of all available minors at URI, read Minor Fields of Study.

Graduate School

Graduate education, at the masters or doctoral level, builds on the competencies of college education and focuses on complex environmental and natural resource economics roles in education, research, and administration. An environmental economist interested in teaching, consulting or researching to develop solutions to real environmental problems at the national and international levels might choose to get a degree as a PhD or a Master’s degree.

For more information about graduate schools in this program, go to the Graduate Studies Tab