PhD in Natural Resources with Emphasis in Human Dimensions of Natural Resources

The Human Dimensions of Natural Resources Emphasis Area (HDNR) addresses research and management questions including peoples' attitudes, knowledge, values, perceptions, and behaviors associated with natural resources. As an interdisciplinary emphasis area, HDNR considers applicants with backgrounds in social sciences, environmental education, natural resources management and conservation, or related disciplines. The Ph.D. degree in HDNR is designed to prepare students for careers in academic research and teaching, or advanced scientific professions.

Degree Requirements

All students in the HDNR Emphasis Area are required to participate in the HDNR seminar course, and to take at least one course from each of three core areas: human dimensions methods, quantitative and/or qualitative data analysis, and social science theory. Courses not on the list for a core area may be taken to meet this requirement with permission of the student's graduate committee. A minimum of 9 credit hours (not including Problems, Readings & Research Hours) must be taken from the following course designators: ENV_SC, FOREST, FW, NAT_R, PRST.

1. Human Dimensions Methods (one course from the following)
NAT_R 7024Foundations of Environmental Education 3
F_W 7220Human Dimensions of Fish and Wildlife Conservation3
PRST 8430Social and Behavioral Research Methods 3
2. Quantitative and/or Qualitative Data Analaysis (one course from the following)
NAT_R 8024Program Development and Evaluation in Informal Settings3
ENV_SC 7560Observing the Earth from Space3
NAT_R 8500Qualitative Analysis for Environment-Society Inquiry3
3. Social Science Theory (one course from the following)
PRST 7250Parks, Health and Wellness3
NAT_R 7353Natural Resource Policy/Administration3
PRST 7340Recreation Land Management3
PRST 8400Constructs of Leisure3
PRST 8436Visitor Behavior and Policy3
F_W 8510Ecology, Conservation, and Environmental Justice2

The HDNR doctoral program of study requires a minimum of 72 hours of graduate credit from courses taken at MU, transfer credit from a Masters or equivalent degree, and research hours. Doctoral students will be expected to follow a timeline toward completion of their degree:

  1. Within one year of initial enrollment in the emphasis area, doctoral students must pass a qualifying examination.  The qualifying exam will include a presentation by the student of their course of study. The course of study shall be approved by the student's graduate committee. The graduate committee may also request a demonstration of the student's research aptitude, competencies in subject matter, and communication skills.
  2. Within two years of initial enrollment in the emphasis area, doctoral students must present a written proposal of their research and an oral defense of that proposal to be reviewed and approved by members of the students' doctoral committee.
  3. Within three years of initial enrollment in the emphasis area, doctoral students must pass a comprehensive examination. The PhD comprehensive exam will be a written examination with questions from each of the graduate committee members followed by an oral examination.  Questions in the exam will cover human dimensions research methods, quantitative and/or qualitative data analysis, social science theory, and fundamental / applied concepts related to the candidates research. The format of each set of questions will be determined by the graduate committee members.  The oral portion of the comprehensive examination may be combined with the research proposal oral defense.
  4. Doctoral students will submit a written dissertation following the guidelines specified by the Graduate School. All doctoral students must present a public seminar announced at least two weeks prior to  the seminar date, and an oral defense of their dissertation. 

Application and Admission Information
Dr. Shuangyu Xu
302 Anheuser-Busch Natural Resources Building
Columbia, MO 65211; (573) 884-8014

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