Graduate Studies at NREM Aloha! E Komo Mai!

  • Daniel Richardson presenting his thesis work at the Soil Science Society of America Annual Conference in Minneapolis, MN.

    Crow Grad
  • Oleson lab working with USGS, West Maui watershed coordinator, and other natural resource management professionals to calibrate rain gauges.

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  • NREM graduate students staff an informational table during Earth Day celebrations.

    Earth Day
  • Assessing vegetation photosynthesis using satellite imagery.

    Miura grads
  • Oleson Lab post-doctoral fellow Megan Barnes working with a USGS colleague, West Maui Ridge to Reef Initiative watershed coordinator, and community member to set up rain gauges.

    GradSlideSho 01
  • Cory Yap and Yu-Fen Huang from Tsang Lab install the stream gauge and water quality probes at Aihualama stream.

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  • Program Description
  • Apply
  • General Requirements
  • Advising
  • Graduate Student Organization
  • Contacts
  • Graduate Student Guide/Forms
  • NREM Graduate Student Funding/Financial Aid
  • Graduate Student Housing

The NREM graduate program brings together natural and social scientists to offer an integrative and inter-disciplinary program to understand and manage tropical and sub-tropical terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Emphasis is placed on island settings and their relevance to managing land- and sea-scapes. The NREM curriculum emphasizes the application of physical, biological, and social sciences to the conservation and sustainable management of natural, environmental, and economic resources.

Students are expected to acquire quantitative reasoning, critical thinking, and advanced skills that enable them to solve contemporary resource use and environmental problems and to assist in sound policy development and implementation. NREM graduates are expected to serve as professional leaders in natural resources and environmental management and policy, academic teaching and research, and applied research and extension in educational and governmental institutions, international, national and state technical assistance and policy agencies, agricultural and forestry industries, consulting firms, and private nonprofit and non-governmental organizations.

NREM issues are attracting considerable attention, as well as growing donor interest, especially in the Asia/Pacific and tropical and subtropical regions. Graduate training, therefore, features collaboration with national and international institutions to foster programs that provide students with opportunities to learn about the ways in which people from other countries and cultures manage their natural resources and interact with their environments.

To underscore its integrative and global nature, the NREM Graduate Program features strong collaboration with other academic departments within and outside of the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR), as well as collaborating institutions in and outside of Hawai‘i. In addition, Cooperating and Affiliate Graduate Faculty complement and supplement NREM’s expertise.

NREM Graduate Student Learning Outcomes (SLO's): 

1. Students demonstrate knowledge of social and ecological principles, and interdisciplinary aspects of natural resource and environmental management issues
2. Students can analyze and address natural resource and environmental management problems by using appropriate methods from social and/or natural science disciplines

3. Students communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, to diverse audiences including professionals, resource managers, local communities and policy makers
4. Students can:

a. Conduct scientific research of professional quality in their specialization area (M.S. Plan A)

b. Conduct a capstone project of professional quality to acquire practical experience by applying NREM knowledge (M.S. Plan B, M.S. Plan C, MEM)
5. Students can function as professionals in their specialization area by demonstrating responsible and ethical conduct, effective collaboration, informed decision making, and life-long learning

Application Deadlines

  • Fall: January 1 (MEM, MS, PhD)

  • Spring: September 1 (MS, PhD only)

Submitting Your Application

Submit all application materials as an online application package through Graduate Division.


To Apply

Prospective NREM students must (1.) submit an online application to the Graduate Division, and (2.) use the Graduate Application Supplemental Documents Upload Website to submit required supporting application materials and make requests for letters of recommendation or support documents from a third-party.


1. The online application includes:

  • Completed Graduate Admissions Application

  • Application fee

  • One transcript for each post-secondary institution attended

  • International students only

    • Official TOEFL or IELTS exam scores (See International Students > English Proficiency.)

    • TOEFL: MS student: 550, 213, or 80 for paper-based, computer-based, or internet-based examinations, respectively; and PhD student: 600, 250, or 100 for paper-based, computer-based, or internet-based examinations
      ILTS: Minimum score is 6.00 for the overall band test results. For teaching assistantship applicants,minimum score is 7.00

    • Proof of sufficient funding (See International Students > Financial Statement.)

  • As of now, the requirement to submit GRE scores is waived.


2. The required NREM application materials include:

Submitted through the Graduate Application Supplemental Documents Upload Website includes

  • Cover SheetPlease fill out the cover sheet including potential advisor, letter of recommendation writers, and prior coursework. NREM requires documentation of coursework in the following five areas: Statistics, Economics, Calculus, Chemistry, and Biology.  Please list completed coursework (name, number, and institution) that is equivalent to or higher than NREM 203, NREM 310, NREM 220, (or ECON 130), CHEM 161, and BIOL 171. Students who do not have coursework in one or more of these areas may be accepted into the program, but will be required to make up course deficiencies within their first two semesters on campus. The UH System Course Transfer Database can be accessed here and helps you search for course equivalencies that meet our prerequisites. Blank cells will be considered incomplete, if you are not claiming a course, then enter N/A.

  • Objective Statement – Describe in less than 1,500 typed words your objectives for pursuing a graduate degree in NREM.  You should include information on: (a) the degree you are applying for (PhD, MEM, or MS Plan A); (b) if you are applying for a PhD or MS Plan A, indicate who your advisor will be (this must be based on correspondence with that person and said correspondence should be appended to the application); (c) your long-term career goals; (d) how a degree in NREM will help you attain those goals; (e) a description of research, educational, and/or professional experiences that make you a strong candidate for the NREM Graduate Program; and (f) any other information that you feel is pertinent and will aid the selection committee when reviewing your application. Note that you do not have to use the objective statement form available through the Graduate Admissions Office. 

  • Recommendation Letters – Have three (3) reference writers submit recommendation letters through the Graduate Division Supplemental Document Website.

  • Copy of the email from potential advisor (MS Plan A and PhD students ONLY) indicating explicit support of the applicant’s application and commitment to advise if the student is admitted to NREM.

  • As of now, the requirement to submit GRE scores is waived.


Incomplete Applications

Incomplete applications missing any of the above required materials described in 1. and 2. will not be reviewed.

Master's program applicants(MEM, M.S. Plan A) must possess a Bachelor's degree. Ph.D. applicants must possess a Master's degree. In addition, individuals should meet the minimum requirements necessary to gain admission to the UH Manoa Office of Graduate Education

  • Applicants must have satisfactorily completed, or plan to complete, coursework equivalent to NREM 203, NREM 310, NREM 220, CHEM 161, and BIOL 171. Applicants deficient in these areas will be required to make up appropriate coursework following admittance to UH;

  • As of now,  the requirement to submit GRE scores are waived.

    • Expected minimum GRE score of 302-308 combined Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning (equivalent to 1,100-1,200 on the prior scale);

  • A complete application package submitted to NREM (included in the apply tab), including: NREM coversheet ; well-written objective statement for pursuing a degree in NREM; three (3) strong recommendation letters; documentation of prior coursework; and email from potential advisor (MS Plan A & Ph.D. students ONLY) indicating support of the application

Applicants should reach out to NREM faculty members with whom they would like to work prior to applying. For MS-A, MS-C, and Ph.D., students should have written agreement from a faculty member to advise the applicant upon admission. This communication should be sent as part of the application package. Note that this invitation to apply does not imply acceptance into the program.

For MEM students an advisor will be been identified by the NREM Graduate Committee for every incoming student based on the student’s stated interests and consent of the advisor. Students may indicate preferences on their application.


All admitted students will check in with their Advisor as soon as possible upon arriving on campus. If you do not know who your advisor is, check with the NREM office staff or the Graduate Chair immediately. The primary responsibilities of the advisor during your first semester on campus are to verify entrance and background deficiencies, prescribe remedial courses as early as possible in the student’s program, and provide guidance in course selection. All of these items should be completed by the end of the student’s first year.

Submit Form I to Graduate Chair upon fulfilling all deficiencies.  If you have no deficiencies, Form I should be submitted at the beginning of your first semester on campus.

Submit Form I to Graduate Chair upon fulfilling all deficiencies.  If you have no deficiencies, Form I should be submitted at the beginning of your first semester on campus.

The NREM Graduate Student Organization (GSO) serves graduate students within our department by providing opportunities to make social and professional connections, representing graduate student interests, and facilitating access to funding. The GSO hosts a monthly pau hana (happy hour) for graduate students, faculty, and staff.


Current NREM GSO Members include:

President: Leigh Engel

Vice President: Louis Chua

Secretary and Communication Officer: Tanner Beckstrom

Treasurer: Pandu Wirabuana

Activities Coordinator: ​Olivia Carbi

UH GSO Representatives: Tatum Kauka and Aaron Teper


Please contact GSO at with any questions or comments.

For more information please visit the Graduate Student Organization page.

Graduate Chair

Dr. Susan Crow
Office: Sherman 132
Phone: (808) 956-8149
Fax: (808) 956-6539

Graduate Committee

Dr. Susan Crow
Dr. Catherine Chan
Dr. Yin-Phan Tsang

Current graduate students in NREM should refer to the Graduate Student Guide for any questions that they may have regarding program requirements and policies.

Graduate Student Guide F2023

Graduate Style and Policy Guidelines

MEM updated list of concentration area courses


Graduate Student Forms:

Graduate Division moved most MS and PhD forms for tracking progress online in Fall 2020. Other forms, for example Form IIA for MS and PhD committee approvals and all MEM forms may be found below.


PhD Form IIA


MEM Form I




M.S. Plan C Forms (*degree currently inactive)

To learn more about financial aid and graduate student funding click here


Funding opportunity for MEM applicants who attended a Hawaii High School:

Click here to learn more about student housing.