Environmental Policy & Natural Resource Management

Be a skilled steward of the earth

Though the earth may seem limitless, we’re reminded nearly every day that it is fragile and finite. By recognizing the planet’s marvels while respecting its limits, our concentration in Environmental Policy and Natural Resource Management will prepare you to better understand and manage environmental problems. In fact, U.S. News & World Report ranks us #1 in this area. 

How to apply

Your studies in this concentration will combine skill-based courses in public policy, management, and environmental affairs with select training in the environmental sciences. You will also develop a core area of knowledge in a sub-discipline such as lake and watershed management, forest ecology, environmental chemistry, or hazardous materials.

30EPNRM MPA STUDENTS (Spring 2021)



A broad base, plus depth and detail

You’ll begin by mastering the fundamentals reflected in the MPA program’s core competencies. These five courses (15 credit hours) will give you well-developed analytical skills and a broad understanding of policy issues and government processes. In addition to these highly transferable core skills, the Environmental Policy and Natural Resource Management concentration includes electives and required courses in five areas.

  • Economics and Policy
  • Environmental Law
  • Analysis and Skills
  • Context
  • Natural or Physical Sciences

Working with your advisor, you will select from the following course options. This is not an exhaustive list. To see all options, go to course descriptions, below.

  • Environmental Law
    • Environmental Law (R 645)
  • Economics and Policy
    • Environmental Economics and Policy (R 625)
    • Sustainable Development (S 596)
  • Analysis and Skills
    • Application of Geographic Information Systems (E 529)
    • Environmental Risk Analysis (E 560)
    • Negotiation and Dispute Resolution for Public Affairs (M 547)
    • Data Analysis and Modeling for Public Affairs (P 507)
    • Benefit-Cost Analysis (P 541)
    • Public Program Evaluation (P 562)
  • Context Courses
    • International Environmental Policy (E 535)
    • Environmental Management (E 543)
    • Domestic Environmental Policy (E 555 / V 550)
    • Environmental and Natural Resource Policy Design and Implementation (V 550)
    • Water Policy and Economics (V550)
    • Natural Resource Management and Policy (R 643)
You'll also select two science courses from one of the following groups:
  • Physical Sciences
    • Fundamentals of Air Pollution (E 515)
    • Environmental Chemistry (E 536)
    • Aquatic Chemistry (E 539)
    • Hazardous Materials (E 542)
    • Subsurface Microbiology & Remediation (E 544)
    • Environmental Engineering (E 552)
    • Groundwater Flow Modeling (E 554)
    • Toxicology in the 21st Century (E 555)
    • Solid and Hazardous Waste Management (E 562)
    • Organize Pollutants: Environmental Chemistry and Fate (E 654)
    • Environmental Soil Science (E 570)
    • Energy Systems (E 574)
  • Natural Sciences
    • Urban Forest Management (E 522)
    • Applied Ecology (E 527)
    • Forest Ecology and Management (E 528)
    • Wetland Ecology and Management (E 540)
    • Lake and Watershed Management (E 545)
    • Stream Ecology (E 546)
    • Urban Ecology (E 555)
    • BMP Design for Healthy Urban Watersheds (E 555)
    • Limnology (E 556)
    • Conservation Biology (E 557)
    • Climate-Change Impacts on Natural Resources (E 591 / R 591)

Combining your Environmental Policy and Natural Resource Management concentration with another MPA concentration—such as Policy Analysis or Sustainability & Sustainable Development—can offer you unique advantages in pursuing your specific career goals. As they help you design your program, our faculty will work to accommodate your specialized professional interests.

How to apply

The above are examples of your course options. For a complete listing, see the official Indiana University Graduate Bulletin and work with your advisor as you make your schedule.

See course descriptions in the Graduate Bulletin

Experiential learning

The O’Neill MPA program offers far more than traditional lectures and lessons. You'll benefit from experiential learning, typically through an approved internship. What's more, your concentration's course work will culminate in a project-oriented course—a O’Neill capstone—that lets you apply the knowledge you gained throughout the program, gaining practical career experience before you graduate.

  • Cummins Inc.
  • DC Department of Energy & Environment
  • EnviroForensics
  • Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
  • Indiana Department of Environmental Management
  • Maryland Dept. of the Environment
  • Mundell & Associates
  • The Clinton Foundation
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • U.S. Governmental Accountability Office
  • USDA Forest Service

EMSDA logoYou can join the O’Neill Environmental Management & Sustainable Development Association, one of many professional student organizations that offer networking and current information on events in the industry.

Get involved

Learn from faculty with expertise and experience in environmental policy and natural resource management

A. James Barnes

(812) 856-2188

  • Environmental Law
  • Domestic and International Environmental Policy
  • Ethics and the Public Official
  • Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Law and Public Policy

David Konisky

(812) 855-6990

  • Environmental politics and policy
  • Regulation and compliance
  • Public opinion on energy and climate change
  • State politics and policy

Antung Anthony Liu
Associate Professor

(812) 856-4647

  • Climate change policy
  • Environment in developing countries
  • Pollution issues and the interactions between the environment and the economy in China

Vicky J. Meretsky

(812) 855-4944

  • Landscape-level conservation
  • Conservation under climate change
  • Ecology and management of rare species
  • Integrating ecosystem research and endangered species management within adaptive management

Matthew Bono, MPA/MSES’11


“From courses in environmental law and policy to finance and management, my experience at the O’Neill School provided me with a strong foundation for a successful career as an environmental consultant.”


Jennifer R. Geisenhaver, MPA’12


“The EPNRM concentration gave me essential background knowledge on various environmental laws and regulations and it also helped me hone my critical thinking skills when it comes to implementing environmental policy.”


Nick R. Hart, MPA/MSES’08


“O’Neill’s environmental policy program provided a jump start to my career in the D.C. policy scene, and was particularly valuable in offering a strong foundation in policy analysis, risk assessment, cost-benefit analysis, and evaluation.”