The nation stands on the precipice of some of the greatest natural resource and environmental threats since the dawn of the modern environmental movement. These challenges range from climate change to shrinking budgets, from water quality degradation to governance debates, and from chronic environmental public health risks to policy debates. How will these problems be resolved? Who will lead the charge? Where can we find common ground?

Gregor teaching a group of students in the woods. The MENV Environmental and Natural Resources Policy (ENRP) specialization links student’s passion, values, and vision with effective solutions for today’s environmental challenges. The core curriculum provides the necessary context and skills to understand and approach issues across the spectrum of natural resources and environmental governance. Students then apply this foundation of knowledge to pursue topics and technical skills that allow them to become leaders in their chosen policy area.

ENRP courses cover the history, theory, and contemporary approaches for issues dealing with climate change, water quality management, drought resiliency, environmental justice, public lands management, and Indigenous sovereignty and co-management. Students learn to analyze environmental problems, identify key stakeholders and processes, and influence those processes through persuasive writing and presentation. ENRP instructors are policy professionals who provide practical insights to their students on key policy skills like legislative drafting, advocacy, providing public comments to agencies, engaging attorneys to pursue legal action, and working directly with and for disadvantaged communities. ENRP gives students opportunities to engage directly with public interest work and community service during their time in MENV.

ENRP prepares students to work in organizations and institutions central to current natural resource and sustainability debates. These careers could include natural resources or environmental management with a government agency, sustainability planning for a corporation, advocacy for a non-governmental organization, or direct organizing and action with disadvantaged communities.

Guiding Principles

  1. Integration of Sustainability: The specialization emphasizes integration of sustainability principles and practices throughout the curriculum, enabling students to address environmental challenges while considering long-term social, economic, and environmental impacts.
  2. Engagement in Public Service: The program encourages students to actively participate in civil service by working with government agencies and underserved communities, aiming to make a positive difference in environmental and natural resources policy fields.
  3. Advocacy and Influence: ENRP equips students with the skills and knowledge to advocate for environmental causes, influence policy processes, and effectively communicate their ideas through persuasive writing and presentations.
  4. Strong Governance: The curriculum emphasizes understanding and navigating the complexities of environmental governance systems. Students learn about the historical context, contemporary approaches, and key stakeholders involved in environmental decision-making processes.
  5. Real-World Application: ENRP offers students opportunities for hands-on engagement through public interest work and community service, allowing them to apply their knowledge and skills to real-world scenarios, fostering practical experience and meaningful contributions to environmental and sustainability issues.