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Environmental Science Masters


THE AIMS OF THE BYU environmental science program are to provide students with experiences that are spiritually strengthening, intellectually enlarging, and character building that lead to lifelong learning and service. Addressing environmental issues with sound scientific principles and reasonable solutions is at the core of our teaching and research. As LDS scientists and students we embrace the concepts that the earth and its resources are for the benefit and use of man and need to be carefully managed as part of our stewardship.

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Pursuit of the MS degree in Environmental Science provides students with research and education opportunities in environmental protection and remediation and in plant growth and physiology. Students will select graduate course work in soil science, biology, and environmentally related courses taught in departments across the campus. Those completing program requirements will be well prepared for employment in environmental science positions at the state and federal level, teaching at the junior college level, and continued graduate studies for the PhD. Their research and teaching interests include: environmental toxicology, pollination biology, improvement in teaching undergraduates in biology, plant growth under environmental stress, invasive species, plant physiology, urban landscape environments, bioremediation of contaminated soils and water, and both modern and ancient agricultural environments.

Graduation Requirements

  • 30 hours (24 coursework or seminar and 6 thesis hours, PWS 699R)
  • No more than 10 hours of senior, and transfer credit and no Independent Study (except prerequisites) can be applied toward the MS degree.
  • PWS 694 R (Seminar) 2 semesters
  • STAT 511
  • Biannual progress evaluations with Advisory Committee
  • Program of Study and selection of Advisory Committee, complete by the end of 1st semester
  • Prospectus and Oral Presentation to Committee, complete by the end of 2nd semester
  • Final oral defense of thesis
  • At least one manuscript from thesis prepared for publication
Environmental Science & Sustainability in the News
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May 18, 2020 09:58 PM
ESS professor Zach Aanderud and his team of students use cutting-edge molecular methods to track COVID-19 in municipal wastewater.
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ESS undergraduate Natasha Griffin has presented at conferences in Europe, ridden in a helicopter and visited both the North and South Poles to figure out how humans are affecting the Earth.
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April 08, 2020 10:36 AM
ESS PhD student Sara Sayedi wanted to use science to improve policy in her home country of Iran, but politics limited her work in the public arena. Now at BYU, she is influencing policy at a global scale.
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BYU team investigates ecosystem resilience to wildfire, linking plants, streams, climate, and society
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Professor Sam St. Clair from the Environmental Science & Sustainability program takes the vitals of one of North America's keystone tree species.
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January 16, 2018 10:00 PM
ESS professor Ben Abbott presents a new tool to fight nutrient pollution. Streams can be “sensors” of ecosystem health, allowing both improved water quality and food production.

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September 11, 2018 10:00 PM
Dance professor Keely Song and ESS professor Ben Abbott teamed up to promote BYU's free UTA passes to students, employees, and their families.
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July 03, 2020 03:29 PM
While at BYU, Dr. Gary Booth taught a wide range of subjects. Students and faculty alike appreciated Booth and his impact on the college.
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July 23, 2020 09:56 AM
After reading 115 studies on COVID-19, ESS faculty and students published non-technical report on the effectiveness of masks at slowing the spread.
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June 27, 2013 10:00 PM
If Utah’s quaking aspen appear to be quaking more than usual this summer, the trees have reason to tremble, says a Brigham Young University biologist. In dappled forests across the West, aspen trees are battling deadly killers from heat stroke to bud-nipping predators to tree “heart attacks.”
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March 17, 2020 11:10 AM
ESS professor Ben Abbott co-authored a study in Nature on the permafrost climate feedback. Working with an international team, he found that abrupt permafrost collapse could double carbon release.
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June 10, 2019 10:00 PM
A new study in Nature Geoscience led by ESS professor and students found that the global water cycle is incorrect even in modern papers and textbooks. 85% of diagrams show no people, despite human domination of water at a global scale.
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June 29, 2020 02:18 PM
Professors and students from Environmental Science & Sustainability lead research projects from Antarctica to Alaska.
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February 03, 2019 10:00 PM
The solution to nutrient pollution could be right below out feet. Literally. New study reveals the active and dynamic world of groundwater microbes.
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By Carlee Reber
June 05, 2019 01:06 PM
Will we show up in the geologic record in millions of years? The Anthropocene suggests the answer is yes: collective human impact on the environment will leave a definitive mark in future bedrock.
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