Environmental and Conservation Sciences

By the end of the second semester, the student and academic adviser will arrange for the appointment of a Graduate Supervisory Committee. For Ph.D. study, the Graduate Supervisory Committee will consist of at least four members of the NDSU graduate faculty. The committee must include the student's adviser, two additional ECS faculty members, and a Graduate School representative. One committee member must be from outside the student's home college.

For M.S. study, the Graduate Supervisory Committee will consist of at least three members of the NDSU graduate faculty and will include the student's adviser, an ECS faculty member and a faculty from outside the student's home college. The plan of study will be prepared by the student, in consultation with the major adviser, by the end of the first year in residence.

Master of Science in Environmental and Conservation Sciences

The total credits will be not less than 30 graduate credits, with at least 16 credits of graduate courses numbered 601-689, 691; 700-789, 791 or 800-889, 891 plus the ECS graduate seminar for 1 credit, and research credits (798) not fewer than 6 nor more than 10 thesis credits. The didactic credits must include at least 1 ECS cross-disciplinary course; 1 ECS track course and UNIV 720 Scientific Integrity. All M.S. students must complete a thesis and pass a final examination as described in The Graduate School Policies section of the Graduate Bulletin. An overall GPA of 3.0 or better must be maintained.

Doctor of Philosophy in Environmental and Conservation Sciences

Each Ph.D. student will complete at least 27 credits of didactic courses plus the ECS graduate seminar for 1 credit. The didactic courses will include: 3 core courses (9 credits), UNIV 720 Scientific Integrity, a minimum of 14-15 credits from a chosen track, and 2-3 credits of electives from another track or other NDSU courses numbered 601-689, 691; 700-789, 791 or 800-889, 891. The 15 track credits must be from at least 2 course categories. Two of the three courses must come from outside of the student's chosen track. Of the 27 didactic course credits, a total of 15 must be at the 700-800 level. A total of 90 credits are required.

For students entering the program with a Master’s Degree or previous graduate coursework, up to 12 credits of previous graduate work can transfer and be counted toward the 27 credits. Such transferred credits must be approved by the student’s supervisory committee, the program director and the Graduate Dean. The student must earn no fewer than 60 graduate credits at NDSU. Of these, no fewer than 15 credits must be at the 700 or 800 level (700-789, 791; 800-889 and 891).

Program Requirements 

Environmental Social Sciences Track
ECON 681Natural Resource Economics3
ECS 770Environmental Law and Policy3
HIST 634Environmental History3
or HIST 710 Research Seminar in North American History
or HIST 780 Readings in World History
NRM 631National Environmental Policy Act & Environental Impact Assessment3
NRM 702Natural Resources Management Planning3
SOC 631Environmental Sociology3
Environmental Sciences Track
CE 770Hazardous Waste Site Remediation3
GEOL 614Hydrogeology3
MICR 652Microbial Ecology3
PH 720Environmental Health3
Conservation Biology Track
BOT 8623
BOT 8643
ZOO 6753
ZOO 850


Select 3-9 credits of the following:
Wetland Science
Aquatic Vascular Plants
Systematic Entomology
ZOO 650
ZOO 652
ZOO 654
ZOO 658
Ecology and Evolution
Select 3-9 credits of the following:
Advanced Ecology
BOT 660
BOT 862
BOT 864
Biological Control of Insects and Weeds
Writing a Scientific Literature Review
Quaternary Biology
Microbial Ecology
Intermediate Genetics
Advanced Plant Genetics
Quantitative Genetics
Analysis Of Ecosystems
Soils and Land Use
ZOO 662
ZOO 850
ZOO 860
Aquatic Community Ecology
Human Dimensions and Management
Select 3-9 credits of the following:
Anthropology and the Environment
Advanced Organizational Communication I
Water Quality Management
Environmental Economics
Global Policy Issues
Politics of the Developing Countries
Ecological Restoration
ZOO 675
ZOO 676
ZOO 677
ZOO 850
Research Tools
Select 3-9 credits of the following:
Applied Hydrology
Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
Advanced Geographic Information Systems
Advanced Biogeochemistry
Field Design I
Experimental Methods
Range Plants
Quantitative Methods
Advanced Soil Genesis, Morphology and Classification
Applied Regression Models
Introduction to Experimental Design
Nonparametric Statistics
Meta-Analysis Methods
Statistical SAS Programming
Advanced Regression
Survival Analysis


Water Sciences
Select 3-9 credits of the following:
Resource Conservation and Irrigation Engineering
Small Watershed Hydrology and Modeling
Water & Wastewater Engineering
Applied Hydrology
Watershed Modeling
Water Quality Management
Advanced Water and Wastewater Treatment
Ground Water and Seepage
Watershed Water Quality Modeling
Special Topics
Quaternary Biology
Soil and Solid Waste
Select 3-9 credits of the following:
Special Topics
Solid and Hazardous Waste Management
Hazardous Waste Site Remediation
Soils and Land Use
Soil Ecohydrology and Physics
Advanced Soil Nutrient Cycling
Environmental Management
Select 3-9 credits of the following:
Solid and Hazardous Waste Management
Water Quality Management
Advanced Organizational Communication I
Ecological Restoration
ZOO 675
ZOO 676
ZOO 677
Research Tools
Select 3-9 credits of the following:
Instrumentation & Measurements
Special Topics
Applied Hydrology
Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
Advanced Geographic Information Systems
Advanced Biogeochemistry
Evaluation of Engineering Data
Range Plants
Introduction to Experimental Design
Applied Statistics
Advanced Regression


Social Science Theory
Select 3-9 credits of the following:
Advanced Microeconomics
Development of Anthropological Theory
Communication Theory
Game Theory and Strategy
Theoretical Perspectives to the Study of Political Science
Development Of Social Theory
Social Theory
Cultural and Behavioral Aspects
Select 3-9 credits of the following:
Applied Risk Analysis I
Anthropology and the Environment
Disaster and Culture
History of Economic Thought
Natural Resource Economics
Environmental Economics
Environmental History
Global Policy Issues
Environmental Policy and Politics
Environmental Sociology
Social Change
International Disasters
Management Techniques
Select 3-9 credits of the following:
Advanced Organizational Communication I
National Environmental Policy Act & Environental Impact Assessment
Environmental Impact Statement
Rangeland Resources Watershed Management
Terrestrial Resources Management
Natural Resources Management Planning
Wetland Resources Management
Ecological Restoration
Community Assessment
City Logistics
ZOO 675
ZOO 676
ZOO 850
Research Tools
Select 3-9 credits of the following:
Research Philosophy
Analytical Methods for Applied Economics
Advanced Ecology
Research Methods in Communication
Advanced Research Methods in Communication I
Qualitative Research Methods in Communication
Quantitative Research Methods in Communication
Advanced Econometrics
Spatial Analysis in Emergency Management
Literacy, Culture and Identity
Topics in Rhetoric, Writing, and Culture
Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
Advanced Geographic Information Systems
Experimental Methods
Managing Natural and Rangeland Resources using GIS
Analysis Of Ecosystems
Qualitative Methods
Quantitative Methods
Applied Survey Sampling
Applied Regression Models
Introduction to Experimental Design
Nonparametric Statistics
Meta-Analysis Methods
Statistical SAS Programming
Applied Statistics
Applied Regression and Analysis of Variance
Advanced Regression
Survival Analysis

Preliminary Examinations for Doctoral Students

The written preliminary examination will cover the core areas for ECS and each of the core topic areas for the appropriate track. The preliminary examination will typically be taken in the middle of the third year. The written exam must be passed before the comprehensive oral examination can be scheduled.

The comprehensive oral examination will be taken no later than the end of the third year in residence. The examination will cover the topic areas for the appropriate track.

Dissertation Research

A proposal describing research suitable for preparation of a dissertation in Environmental and Conservation Sciences will be prepared in the format of a NSF Dissertation Improvement Grant. Alternative formats must be agreed to by the Graduate Supervisory Committee. The proposal will be submitted to the student's Graduate Supervisory Committee for review and approval. The dissertation must show originality and demonstrate the student's capacity for independent research.

Bakr Aly Ahmed, Ph.D.
Virginia Tech, 2001
Research Interests:  Built Environment; Sustainable Architecture; Construction Technology; Urban Sustainability

Laura Aldrich-Wolfe, Ph.D.
Cornell University, 2006
Research Interests: Restoration Ecology; Conservation Biology; Fungal Community Ecology 

F. Adnan Akyuz, Ph.D. 
University of Missouri-Columbia, 1994
Research Interests: Applied Climatology and Microclimatology/Climate Based Agriculture

Allan C. Ashworth, Ph.D.
University of Birmingham, 1969
Research Interests: Quaternary Paleoecology, Paleoclimatology

Achintya Bezbaruah, Ph.D. 
University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2002
Research Interests: Nanomaterials for Pollution Control, Recalcitrant and Micro Pollutants, Contaminant Fate and Transport, Small Community Water and Wastewater Treatment, Environmental Sensors, Environmental Management

Julia Bowsher, Ph.D.
Duke University, 2007
Research Interests: Evolutionary and Developmental Biology

Igathinathane Cannayen, Ph.D.
Indian Institute of Technology, 1997
Research Interests: Biomass Harvest, Storage, Collection and Pre-Processing

Frank X.M. Casey, Ph.D.
Iowa State University, 2000
Research Interests: Field and Laboratory Studies of Water Flow and Chemical Transport Processes

Amitava Chatterjee, Ph.D.
University of Wyoming, 2007
Research Area/Activity: Soil Fertility Management, Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Xuefeng (Michael) Chu, Ph. D.
University of California, Davis, 2002
Research Interests:  Watershed Hydrologic and Environmental Modeling, Overland Flow and Infiltration,  Integrated Modeling of Flow and Contaminant Transport

Larry Cihacek, Ph.D.
Iowa State University, 1979
Research Interests: Carbon Sequestration in Soils, Soil Physical Properties, Soil Management for Waste Disposal

Dennis Cooley, Ph.D.
University of Rochester, 1995
Research Interests: Ethics of Science

Aaron Daigh, Ph.D.
Iowa State University, 2013
Research Interests: Soil Physics, Transport in Soils, Soil Residue and Water Management, Crop Rotations, and Nutrient/Agrochemical/Industrial Byproduct Soil Amendment Impacts on Soil Physical Properties

Stephanie Day, Ph.D.
University of Minnesota, 2012
Research Interests: Fluvial Geomorphology, Slope Stability, Geospatial Sciences

Edward (Shawn) DeKeyser, Ph.D.
North Dakota State University, 2000
Research Interests: Wetland Ecology, Wetland Assessment and Monitoring, Invasive Species Ecology and Management, Native Prairie Restoration

Anne Denton, Ph.D.
University of Mainz, 1996
Research Interests: Data Mining, Bioinformatics, Scientific Informatics, Educational Technology, Model Building, Databases

Thomas M. DeSutter, Ph.D.
Kansas State University, 2004
Research Interest: Trace Gas Fluxes, Inorganic Soil Chemistry, Soil Environmental Conditions

Ned Dochtermann, Ph.D.
University of Nevada, Reno, 2009
Research Interests: Ecological and Evolutionary Causes and Consequences of Phenotypic Variation

Paulo Flores, Ph.D.
Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, 2008
Research Interests: Precision Agriculture, Unmanned Aerial Systems; Imagery analyses

Caley Gasch, Ph.D.
University of Wyoming, 2013
Research Interests: Soil ecology; Restoration; Conservation

Erin Gillam, Ph.D.
University of Tennessee, 2007
Research Interests: Behavioral ecology of bats, ecological and evolutionary basis of behavior in all animal groups, behavioral, ecological, and evolutionary factors influence the structure of animal communication signals and wildlife ecology and conservation.

Kendra Greenlee, Ph.D.
Arizona State University-Tempe, 2004
Research interests: Environmental and respiratory physiology of insects; insect immunology.

Timothy Greives, Ph.D.
Indiana University, 2009
Research Interests: Physiology and Behavior of Animals in Response to Environmental Signals

Ademola (Demmy) Hammed, Ph.D.
International Islamic University, 2014
Research Interests: Biotechnology Engineering; Agricultural Bioproducts

Jason Harmon, Ph.D. 
University of Minnesota, 2003
Research Interests: Environmental change; ecosystem services; population and community ecology

Mark Harvey, Ph.D. 
University of Wyoming, 1986
Research Interests: American West, Environmental History, Public History

Harlene Hatterman-Valenti, Ph.D.
Iowa state University, 1993
Research Interests: High-Value Crop Production

Robert R. Hearne, Ph.D.
University of Minnesota, 1995
Research Interests: Economic Analysis of Emerging Environmental and Resource Issues in the Northern Great Plains

Britt Heidinger, Ph.D.
Indiana University, 2007
Research Interests: Physiological Ecology, Senescence, Stress Physiology

David Hopkins, Ph.D.
North Dakota State University, 1997
Research Interests: Soil Formation and Chemistry

Tom Isern, Ph.D.
Oklahoma State University, 1977
Research Interests: History of Agriculture, History of Great Plains

Sivaguru Jayaraman, Ph.D.
Tulane University, 2003
Research Interests:  Photocatalysis, Photochemistry, Green Chemistry

Xinhua Jia, Ph.D.
University of Arizona, 2004
Research Interests: Evapotranspiration, Subsurface drainage and Water quality

Dinesh Katti, Ph.D.
University of Arizona, 1991
Research Interests: Geotechnical Engineering, Constitutive Modeling of Geologic Materials, Expansive Soils, Multiscale Modeling, Steered Molecular Dynamics, Computational Mechanics, Nanocomposite, and Bio-nanocomposites. Computational Biophysics

Page Klug, Ph.D.
Kansas State University, 2009
Research Interests:Human-wildlife Interactions; Ecology; Birds; Snakes

Ben Laabs, Ph.D.
University of Wisconsin, 1999
Research Interests: Quaternary Geology; Glacial Geology; Cosmogenic Nuclides; Paleoclimate; Surface Processes

Trung Le, Ph.D.
University of Minnesota, 2011
Research Interests: Hydraulics; Fluid Mechanics; Numerical Methods For Fluid-Structure Interaction

Kenneth E. Lepper, Ph.D. 
Oklahoma State University, 2001
Research Interests: Quaternary Geology and Age Dating

Wei Lin, Ph.D.
State University of New York at Buffalo, 1992
Research Interests: Water and Wastewater Treatment, Hazardous Waste Management

Zhulu Lin, Ph.D.
University of Georgia, 2003
Research Interests: Surface and Subsurface Hydrology and Modeling, Soil and Water Resources Management, Environmental Systems Analysis, Risk Identifications and Assessment, Geostatistics and Spatial Statistics

Guodong Liu, Ph.D.
Hunan University, 2001
Research Interests: Synthesis of Novel Nanomaterials, Biosensors, Bioassays

John McEvoy, Ph.D.
University of Ulster Northern Ireland, 2002
Research Interests: Cryptosporidium Virulence Factors and Mechanisms of Pathogenesis

Jennifer Momsen, Ph.D.
Rutgers University, 2007
Research Interests: Biology Education, Systems Thinking in Introductory Biology, Visualization, Assessing the Cognitive Level of STEM Courses

Bakr Mourad Aly Ahmed, Ph.D. 
Virginia Tech., 2001
Research Interests: Sustainability Indicators and Implementation, Carrying Capacity Measurements, Coastal Development, Built Environment and Natural Resources Conservation

Jack Norland, Ph.D.
North Dakota State University, 2008
Research Interests: Restoration Ecology, Application of Remote Sensing to Natural Resource Management, Study of Natural Resources Management Problems in a Socio-ecological Setting

Nurun Nahar, Ph.D.
North Dakota State University, 2017
Research Interests: Biomass Conversion; Bioprocess Engineering; Biofuels

Peter Oduor, Ph.D.
University of Missouri - Rolla, 2004
Research Interests: Geographic Information Systems, Groundwater Flow Modeling, Groundwater Contamination

Marinus Otte, Ph.D. 
Vrije Universiteit, 1991
Research Interests: Wetland ecology, Biogeochemistry, Ecophysiology and Ecotoxicology

Birgit Pruess, Ph.D.
Ruhr- Universitat Bochum, 1991
Research Interest: Microbial Physiology and Gene Regulation

Scott Pryor, Ph.D.
Cornell University, 2005
Research Interests: Biofuel Production from Cellulosic Feedstocks, Biobased Chemicals and Materials, Bioprocess Engineering, Process Optimization, Solid State and Liquid Fermentation Systems

Shafiqur Rahman, Ph.D.
University of Manitoba, 2004
Research Interests: Animal Waste Management, Biosolids Management, Air Quality, Water Quality, Composting

David A. Rider, Ph.D. 
Louisiana State University, 1988
Research Interests: Insect Systematics, Biodiversity

David Ripplinger, Ph.D.
North Dakota State University, 2012
Research Interests: Energy Transport; Agricultural Economics

David C. Roberts, Ph.D.
Oklahoma State University, 2009
Research Interests: Evaluation and Design of Economically Efficient Tools and Policies for Pollution Control, Economic Valuation of Environmental and Ecological Attributes Through Revealed and Stated Preference Methods, Valuation of Environmental Risk, and Low-Impact and Precision Agriculture 

Bernhardt Saini-Eidukat, Ph.D.
University of Minnesota, 1991
Research Interests: Environmental Geochemistry, Igneous Petrology, Economic Geology

Kalidas Shetty, Ph.D.
University of Idaho, 1989

Research Interests: Plant Science; Agriculture; Food Science; Human Nutrition; Public Health

Halis Simsek, Ph.D.
North Dakota State University, 2012
Research Interests: Bioenvironmental Engineering

Senay Simsek, Ph.D.
North Dakota State University, 2012
Research Interests: Bioenvironmental Engineering; Carbohydrate Chemistry; Cereal Science; Food Science And Technology

Todd Sirotiak, Ph.D.
Iowa State University
Research Interests: Construction Process Improvement; Sustainability

Matt Smith, Ph.D.
University Of Arkansas, 2012
Research Interests: Morphology; Physiological Ecology

Dean D. Steele, Ph.D.
University of Minnesota, 1991
Research Interests: Irrigation and Environmental Engineering

Craig A. Stockwell, Ph.D. 
University of Nevada, 1995
Research Interests: Conservation Biology, Evolutionary Ecology of Native Fishes, Human-Wildlife Interactions

Linda Tackett, Ph.D.
University of Southern California, 2014
Research Interests: Norian (and Mesozoic, generally) Paleoecological, Taxonomic, and Environmental Dynamics

Steve E. Travers, Ph.D.
University of California, 1998
Research Interests: Plant Evolutionary Ecology

Cheryl Wachenheim, Ph.D.
Michigan State University, 1994
Research Interests: Eliciting Perceptions and Valuations from Consumers, Firms, Students and Other Stakeholders and Decision Makers

Alexander Wagner, Ph.D.
Oxford University, 1997
Research Interests: Lattice Boltzmann, Spinodal Decomposition, Viscoelasticity, Drop Deformation and Break-up in a Shear Flow, Wetting, Non-equilibrium Thermodynamics, Complex systems

Scott Wood, Ph.D.
Princeton University, 1985
Research Interests: Environmental Geochemistry, Radioactive Waste Disposal

Brian D. Wisenden, Ph.D. 
University of Western Ontario, 1993
Research interests: Behavioral Ecology of Fishes, Chemical Ecology of Predator-Prey Interactions, Parental Care and Mating Systems