Natural Resources and Environmental Management

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
  • Application Requirements
  • Advising
  • Graduate Student Organization
  • Contacts
  • Graduate Student Guide
  • 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.

MEM admission only in FALL

PhD and MS Plan A and MS Plan C admission in both FALL and SPRING

To apply:

1) Submit online application, necessary documents, and payment to the Graduate Division office. 

2) Submit GRE scores to UH Manoa

3) Submit NREM required documents to 

The documents include:

  1. Cover Sheet
  2. Objective Statement 
  3. Recommendation Letters (3)
  4. Documentation of Prior Coursework
  5. Unofficial copy of GRE Scores (Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytical)

Application Deadlines

  • Fall: December 1 
  • Spring: September 1

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. In addition, individuals should meet 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 well-written objective statement for pursuing a degree in NREM;

  • Three (3) strong recommendation letters

In addition to University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Office of Graduate Education documentation requirements, NREM requires applicants submit the following materials. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

  1. 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); (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. Submit directly to NREM. 
  2. Recommendation Letters – Have three (3) reference writers submit recommendation letters directly to NREM
  3. Documentation of 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. Submit directly to NREM. 
  4. GRE Scores – Provide unofficial scores directly to NREM

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. 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.

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: Rodrigo Rivero Castro

Vice President: Cole Hendrickson

Secretary: Travis Usinger

GSO Representatives: Brooke Friswold & Hannah Hubanks

Communications Officer: Tanya Harrison

Treasurer: Pia Ruisi-Besares​

Activities Coordinator: Katia Chikasuye

Please contact Rodrigo Rivero Castro 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

Click here to learn more about student housing.