Field Studies

Imagine yourself observing wildlife in the rain forests of Costa Rica. Or learning survival techniques in the grandeur of one of Southwestern America’s most breathtaking national parks. Those are the kinds of experiences you can expect on natural resources and environmental management (NREM) graduate field studies. 

Alaska 

Past Alaska field studies have included tours of Prince William Sound and explorations of Chugach National Forest and Denali National Park. Alaska offers opportunities for students to observe archaeological and gold mining sites, glacial and geologic processes, and participate in discussions on Alaska's energy and mining policy, park and forest management, the fishing industry, and wildlife conservation.

Costa Rica

Having led several field studies to Costa Rica, our department has studied the management of tropical rainforests, wildlife, energy, and agricultural resources across a range of sites: Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, Guanacaste National Park, the Arenal hydroelectric facility, and the Poas and Arenal volcanoes.

American Southwest

As the home of some of the United States' finest national parks, the American Southwest gives students a chance to learn wilderness survival techniques, nature center and interpretive program management, and overall visitor management on public lands. Students also gain an appreciation for natural resource management and the need for water conservation.

Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness of Minnesota

For the past four years, students have traveled to this scenic area of the country for a unique wilderness experience. While there, students have interviewed local residents about their experiences living near a sulfur mine and an international wilderness area.

Make A Difference in Local Communities

Many students choose research topics that help local or nearby communities address real-world environmental challenges. These issues can be addressed during multi-semester community research projects, which allow you to spend one or more semesters working with community partners on projects related to local environmental issues.  In these cases, students can complete semester course projects, or adapt the research into their master’s thesis or creative projects.

For example, recently students have studied the local White River watershed and tributaries to give their master’s research a local focus. Others have examined Prairie Creek Reservoir, which is locally relevant because it serves as a backup drinking water supply for the city of Muncie. Other students have focused on urban issues, such as the soil quality of city gardens.  Others have cleaned up abandoned brownfield sites, such as old car-dumping areas. Still others have addressed concerns in more rural areas, such as in southern Indiana where the risk of wildfires along the national forest and community/residential edges is present.

For more information on upcoming field study opportunities, contact us today.

Natural Resources and Environmental Management
West Quad, Room 110
Ball State University
Muncie, IN 47306

Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Phone: 765-285-5780
Fax: 765-285-2606
View E-mail Address