Natural Resources and Environmental Management Student Handbook

Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Management
College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources
University of Hawai`i at Mānoa, Honolulu, HI

Updated 07/17/2019


CTAHR Academic Advising 
Gilmore Hall, First Floor 
Advising Appointments: 


Dr. Travis Idol
NREM Undergraduate Chair
Sherman, room 125
Phone: (808) 956-7508
Fax: (808) 956-6539


Welcome | Admission | Degree Requirements | Registration | Choosing a Pathway and Specialization | Internship Opportunities | Beyond Graduation | Useful Websites | Student Academic Support Services | NREM Course Descriptions




Welcome – Undergraduate Studies at NREM

Welcome to the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management (NREM) at the University of Hawaiʻi, Mānoa (UHM). We are part of the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR), one of the original colleges at the university. Our department's focus is preparing students to be natural resources managers and professionals, with emphases upon:

  • Understanding the biophysical aspects of natural resources within a tropical island context
  • Using the latest information, tools, and models to effectively manage these resources
  • Discovering the real economic value of these resources and evaluating the costs and benefits of different management options
  • Working with the community and stakeholders to implement practical solutions to their resource management challenges and concerns.

Our faculty represent a diversity of interests and backgrounds covering various natural and social science disciplines. Our program uses hands-on learning to complement an emphasis on the latest theories and concepts. The topics covered in NREM courses reflect the land grant tradition of our college and our commitment to serving our stakeholders as well as the environment. Although students must choose one of two tracks focusing on either the natural or social sciences, all students are required to take courses in both fields. Our senior capstone course, NREM 494, requires students to work together in teams, bringing together concepts and skills from many disciplines to propose workable solutions to real-world natural resource problems.



New students who apply to the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa (UHM) as first-year students may apply directly to the program by specifying Natural Resources and Environmental Management (NREM) as their major on their application form.  Students transferring from another institution who have a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 or better may apply directly to the program by specifying Natural Resources and Environmental Management (NREM) as their major on their application form. Please visit the Office of Admissions website for details about applying.

Students wishing to transfer from another UHM program must submit the CTAHR College and Curriculum Transfer Request form. Acceptance into the NREM program will be based on a minimum cumulative UHM grade point average (GPA) of 2.5.

Transfer students can check the “Transfer Credit Database” created by the UH Admissions Office to see how your courses transfer to UHM.

The request form is available from CTAHR academic advisors located on the first floor of Gilmore Hall. Schedule an appointment with an academic advisor to discuss transfer into NREM and have the paperwork processed. You may schedule an appointment at the CTAHR Undergraduate Advising website. Status as a NREM major is not official until all necessary paperwork has been completed and processed. Students are encouraged to apply to the program within the first month of any given semester to allow adequate time to process their transfers prior to registration for classes.

All CTAHR students are required to meet with an academic advisor every semester to plan their curriculum and to ensure they are making satisfactory progress towards graduation. During the last two years of the NREM program, students will be assigned to a faculty advisor to assist them with specialization courses. Dr. Travis Idol (NREM Undergraduate Chair) will help assign faculty advisors to students.


Degree Requirements

The Natural Resources and Environmental Management program sheet and four year plan can be found at the Bachelor Depgree Program Sheets and Sample Four Year Academic Plans page. Please scroll down the page to the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources.

Accepted students who have set up their UH username and password may also find their requirements on their STAR GPS Registration website. Log onto your STAR Account by visiting the website.



Students register for courses online through STAR GPS Registration. STAR GPS Registration is an easy-to-navigate registration system that shows courses students need to graduate in a timely manner and allows students to personalize their academic plan to fit their unique college experience. STAR GPS Registration allows students to do the following:

  • Register for classes that count directly into their degree/credential so they don’t go off track
  • A visual calendar of the classes students are choosing and how they fit together
  • Direct integration of students’ class schedule into their Google calendar
  • Easily switch classes using the add/drop options
  • Search for classes at any UH campus
  • View transcript

For help about STAR, students can meet with an academic advisor or visit the HELP website. Registration dates and times are published on the Registration Timetable.


Choosing a Pathway and Specialization

NREM students should choose a pathway and specialization in the major by the end of their second year. NREM 251, 220, 301 and 302 will help you decide, so try to take these courses in the first 2 years.

The Natural Science pathway emphasizes natural science skills and concepts.

Natural Science pathway students generally are interested in direct assessment and evaluation of natural resources. They enjoy collecting samples, taking measurements, running analyses, developing and applying conservation techniques, or making recommendations about best management practices. The specialization topics are:

  • Forestry
  • Plant Ecology, Conservation, and Management
  • Wildlife Management
  • Soil & Water Conservation
  • Coastal Ecology and Management
  • GIS & Remote Sensing
  • Watershed Hydrology

The Social Science pathway emphasizes social science skills and concepts.

Social Science pathway students generally are interested in evaluating the costs and benefits of natural resources and management options or developing plans for improved resource management. They may enjoy crunching numbers and determining trade-offs of various management options, working with individuals and communities to develop appropriate resource management plans, helping to shape government policies, or creating and delivering educational materials and programs on the value of natural resources. The specialization topics are:

  • Natural Resource Planning
  • Cultural Resources Management
  • Environmental Policy & Development
  • Environmental Organizing & Advocacy
  • Community Resource Management
  • Green Enterprises and Sustainability
  • Pre- Law


Internship Opportunities

CTAHR Internships

Most CTAHR departments require students to undertake an internship prior to graduation to help them prepare for their career. These internships can be obtained from a variety of sources (see below). Most students find an internship with a private company, non-profit institution, or government agency. NREM maintains a list of current and recent internship opportunities as well as internship websites at our Job and Internship Opportunities Announcements web page. Your internship can count toward the requirements of NREM 492 if you meet the guidelines and complete the necessary assignments. Contact Dr. Travis Idol for more information about the internship requirements for NREM 492.


The Pacific Internship Program for Exploring Sciences (PIPES) offers several internship programs for students interested in the natural and environmental sciences, especially for Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders. Students work with researchers at various UH campuses and state or federal agencies such as the Hawaiʻi Division of Forestry and Wildlife or the US Geological Survey. Several NREM students have taken advantage of internship opportunities offered through the PIPES program.

Federal STEP and SCEP Programs

The US Office of Personnel Management offers two student internship programs: the Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP) and the Student Career Enhancement Program (SCEP). The STEP program is meant for general student employment either during the summer or throughout the year. It may not necessarily be related to your academic background. The SCEP program provides work experience directly related to your academic field of study. There are formal periods of work and study while you are attending school. It requires a commitment by you, your school, and the employing federal agency. You may be eligible for permanent employment under this component after successfully completing your education and meeting work requirements. STEP and SCEP positions are offered through individual federal agencies such as the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Bureau of Land Management, Department of Commerce, and others. To find these positions, go to the USA Jobs website: and use STEP or SCEP as the job search keyword.


Beyond Graduation

General Information:

The Center for Career Development and Student Employment office provides career counseling; help and reviews of your resume, cover letters or personal portfolio; practice job interviews; provides job skills workshops; and of course hosts job recruitment fairs and interviews with outside employers. The office also has resources to help students find jobs or post-graduate internships and to prepare for graduate school.

Graduate School:

Obtaining a BS in NREM can prepare you for a variety of graduate programs in the natural, social, and environmental sciences. Likewise, our NREM graduate students come from a variety of undergraduate programs. To learn more about graduate school in general, visit the Student Career Services website (above). To learn about graduate school at UH-Mānoa, visit the Graduate Division homepage.

Service Opportunities:

Some students may wish to supplement their NREM degree with experience in service opportunities that utilize their knowledge and skills to enhance their opportunities afterwards. Two popular options are listed below:

AmeriCorps is a network of local, state, and national service programs that connects more than 70,000 Americans each year in intensive service to meet our country's critical needs in education, public safety, health, and the environment. Full-time members who complete their service earn a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award of $4,725 to pay for college, graduate school, or to pay back qualified student loans. Members who serve part-time receive a partial Award. Some AmeriCorps members may also receive a modest living allowance during their term of service.

The Peace Corps is a government-sponsored program to place individuals in foreign countries to provide services to local communities. Volunteers work in education, youth outreach, and community development; business development; agriculture and environment; health and HIV/AIDS; and information technology. Volunteers have the chance to learn a new language, live in another culture, and develop career and leadership skills. The Peace Corps experience can enhance long-term career prospects whether you want to work for a corporation, a nonprofit organization, or a government agency. The Peace Corps can even open doors to graduate school. Financial benefits include a deferment of student loans during service, a modest living allowance during service, and $6000 after service to support the transition back to life in the US.


Useful WEB Sites for Students Entering into the University of Hawai'i

All information for students covering how to apply, academic calendar, financial aid, catalog, transfer credit search, new database, on-campus activities, housing (dorms), parking, etc..

MyUH Services is a mobile-optimized, one stop shop for UH business tasks, form, apps and more. It includes one-click access to services customized for students, faculty and staff across our 10-campus system.

STAR for students is the online degree tracking system for UH. You can view your degree requirements, register for classes, search for scholarships, and view your transcripts through STAR.

Select “Academic and Student Affairs” will open all the programs up for students interested in all that CTAHR has to offer for Undergrad and Graduate Programs, financial aid/scholarship information, course requirements and information on who we are, Department, Faculty and Staff as well as publications and research projects.

Use this website to make an appointment with our academic advisors. Advisors can assist you with developing a degree plan and making sure you’re taking the appropriate classes for graduation. Meeting with an academic advisor is mandatory every semester.

This web site provides information on the NREM program.

UH Core requirements and class listings.

This web site shows information on residency requirements and how your credits transfer into UH Mānoa.


Student Academic Support Services

Access to student academic support services is important to ensure your success while a student at the University of Hawaiʻi. Below is a listing of some of these services that can also be found in the University of Hawaiʻi catalog.

  • Office of Civic and Community Engagement offers UH Manoa students and community agencies the opportunity to participate in a partnership of volunteer service.
  • First Year Programs familiarize students with the array of resources, programs and faculty available at UH providing opportunities to develop personal relationships and enhancing active involvement in the educational process.
  • International Student Services provides assistance to international students who come from more than countries to study at UH. Students are advised and helped to adjust to the local and U.S. cultures.
  • Kokua Program (Disability Access Services) provides disability access services to students with documented physical and/or mental disabilities. Services include alternative media production, counseling, early registration, note-taking, sign language interpreting, technology access, testing accommodations and campus transportation.
  • Learning Assistance Center provides academic counseling and assists students in developing learning skills to increase academic success. Assessment, counseling and support services are also available for students with learning disabilities.
  • Mānoa Advising Center serves as a first point of contact for advising and appropriate referrals for incoming students.
  • Student Success Center at Sinclair Library offers students a place to study and provides information and skills and a place for students to work with librarians, mentors, tutors and counselors to meet individual needs.
  • Student Support Services provides academic advising and planning, tutoring and mentoring to increase college retention, academic success and graduation rates.
  • Mānoa Writing Center provide free services to equip students with appropriate writing skills so they can become better and more confident writers.

Do not hesitate to discuss your needs with your academic degree advisor who can help refer you to the appropriate resource. 


NREM Course Descriptions

Viewable online at the UH Manoa Catalog.