The School’s mandate is to teach natural resource management and environmental studies and to conduct interdisciplinary research on problems of significance in Canada and abroad. The School now offers two graduate programs: The Master of Environmental Studies (MES) and the Master of Resource and Environmental Management (MREM). The graduate programs emphasize interactions between social and natural sciences necessary for resolving complex environmental and resource management problems.
All students are given opportunities to understand and analyze environmental and resource management problems of current concern as they prepare themselves for problems they are likely to face later in their professional lives. The goals of the two programs are to provide advanced training in resource and environmental problem-solving and to enhance environmental literacy and responsibility. Many different perspectives on environmental studies and resource issues are explored, ranging from the ecocentric view which gives priority to preserving natural processes, systems and species to the anthropocentric view which is human-centred, focusing on improving environmental quality for the benefit of individuals and communities.
Students are expected to achieve a working knowledge of concepts and methods from different disciplines, including the natural and social sciences, law, policy and public administration. Throughout the studies, in formal classes and seminars, international links and comparisons are made -- problems are set in a wider context and commonalities are explored. In addition, all students are encouraged to participate in some form of community service activity which matches individual interests and skills with organizational requirements.
Much of the School's strength lies in the quality and diversity of its students who come from different parts of the country and the world bringing a wealth and variety of experience to the academic programs. The School serves students who need to gain a breadth of knowledge as well as those who use their time at SRES to explore more specific interests while on leave from employment.