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.

    GradSlideSho 02
  • 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.

    GRADslidesho 03
  • 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

MEM admission only in FALL

Ph.D. and MS Plan A and MS Plan C admission in both FALL and SPRING

Application Deadlines

  • Fall: December 1 

  • Spring: September 1

To apply:

1) Submit the required documentation to the Graduate Division Student Services office. 

Applicants submit the following to the Graduate Division Student Services:

In addition, certain applicants may be required to submit the following:

  • standardized exam scores guidelines
    • You need to take the GREs for NREM, have the scores sent to  the UH Manoa Graduate Division Student Services office, and then also indicate your GRE scores on the required NREM cover sheet 
  • Residency Declaration Form
  • 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 (b 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.)

2) Submit NREM required documents to the Office of Graduate Education Supplemental Materials website as listed below.



In addition to the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Graduate Division Student Service office documentation requirements,


NREM requires applicants to submit the following materials to the Office of Graduate Education Supplemental Materials website. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

The documents to be uploaded to the Office of Graduate Education Supplemental Materials website include:

  1. Cover Sheet - Please fill out the cover sheet, including information about your GRE scores, 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 203NREM 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. 
  2. 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 (Ph.D., MEM, M.S. Plan A, or M.S. Plan C); (b) if you are applying for a Ph.D. or M.S. 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. 
  3. Recommendation Letters – Have three (3) reference writers submit recommendation letters directly to or to the Graduate Division Supplemental Document Website.
  4. Copy of the email from potential advisor (MS-A, MS-C, and Ph.D.) indicating explicit support of the applicant’s application and commitment to advise if the student is admitted to NREM.



Master's program applicants(MEM, M.S. Plans A & C) must possess a Bachelor's degree. Ph.D. applicants must possess a Master's degree. M.S. Plan C students must have 5 years of relevant NREM experience. Please contact the Graduate Chair to discuss a Plan C application. 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;

  • 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; GRE scores; and email from potential advisor (MS Plan A, MS Plan C, & Ph.D.) 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) hosts graduate student and faculty pau hana (happy hour) in the Sherman Courtyard every last Friday of the month. They also facilitate events such as beach cleanups for NREM graduate students and provide access to research funding.

Current NREM GSO Members include:

President: Elaine Vizka

Vice President: Emily Thyroff

Secretary: Melissa Kunz

GSO Representatives: Kristy Lam and Chrislyn DeMattos

Communications Officer: Cameron Ogden-Fung

Treasurer: Jessica Idle

Activities Coordinator: Lansing Perng

Please contact Elaine Vizka at with any questions or comments.

For more information please visit the Graduate Student Organization page.

Graduate Chair

Dr. Kirsten Oleson 
Office: Sherman 109
Phone: (808) 956-8864
Fax: (808) 956-6539

Graduate Committee

Dr. Kirsten Oleson
Dr. Catherine Chan
Dr. Kimberly Carlson

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.