University of Northern Colorado – Environmental Geosciences Professional Science Master’s (PSM)


My name is Bill Hoyt, I am the chair of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences here at UNC We have a new and innovative Master’s Degree Program: Professional Science Masters and Environmental Geo-Science. The reason it’s different is that it has still the majority of science and technology content courses. But the balance of the course program is in things like communications, business, organizational management, leadership. We are very interested in field skills. We wanted the work that a student did to have contextual meaning in real scientific questions. This program isn’t just a regular master’s program. It’s not just thesis based, which is what I really like about it But it also gives you communication skills and statistical skills in order to go into a company I think that’s going to be a lot more beneficial than just having an M.A. or an M.S. with a thesis. We’re looking for students who are interested in leadership and management positions Working between say, resource extractive industries, regulatory… They know both sides of the business. They know both sides of the cultures that are often- Students can become experts at one culture but don’t know anything about the other culture But there are very few degrees that really take that to heart in a professional science masters We’re very attractive to those for that reason. I haven’t had a class here that I haven’t liked um, which is a great thing. I’ve had, I feel like a lot of hands on learning opportunities. We go out into the field a lot here at UNC. We uh, we do a lot of field trips. Last semester I think the total count was seven. Two of those were overnighters. So we spent two nights traveling around southern Colorado in Colorado Geology. And we spent five nights out in Utah with um, Sedimentology and Stragigraphy with Dr. Evanoff. And then last summer in uh, Wyoming we did an entire mapping project which had, I think ten of us and that was a lot of fun. Um just, ten days of camping out in Wyoming and dealing with the elements and learning how to map, and what geologists actually go through and do. And I think being able to be outside, handling the rocks, seeing what it actually looks like and not just from the textbook is awesome. The thing that’s really hopeful about this is we are hiring folks from industry really, for the first time. Maybe to teach a course in patrollium and energy or to teach a course in soils So they really know what they’re doing. They’re also often the connection to an agency or a company internship. A variety of career paths are open to students who have graduated with this degree. Everything in the natural resource industries from mining, to water, to water distribution systems oil and gas industry, energy generation: wind, solar, and everything in between. I love the department here. They make you feel so welcome to be here and it’s kind of like our own little family in the third floor, Ross. UNC in general is a much smaller school and I think the benefit of that is you get to know people a lot better. We have a lot smaller class sizes, we get a lot more attention from the professors, especially in the grad programs we only have several grad students so I know that they get really close to their adviser. And I think the benefit of that is you get a better education. You don’t- you’re not a number and uh, you’re your own person and you’re treated with respect here.

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