ESRC faculty are affiliated with the UNH departments of Earth Sciences, Natural Resources and the Environment. The Ph.D. program in Natural Resources and Earth System Science offers a multidisciplinary approach to earth system dynamics and natural resources management.

ESRC graduate students are enrolled in M.S. and Ph.D. programs in these departments, offering a unique program of coursework and a cross-disciplnary network. Graduate students receive financial support through grants and university teaching assistantships. More information is available at the UNH Graduate School.

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Graduate and Undergraduate classes
taught by ESRC faculty are in partnership with the Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space (EOS), the Dept. of Earth Sciences (ESCI) and the Dept. of Natural Resources and the Environment (NRE).

NRE 405
Global Environmental Change
Instructor: Cameron Wake, Matt Huber

Human activity rivals nature as an agent of change in the global environment. Explores evidence of environmental degradation in Earth's crust, hydrosphere, and atmosphere; considers prospects for future sustainable human health, diversity, and economic development. Problem solving through critical analysis of environmental variables. Special fee. Lab.

NRE 502
Forest Ecosystems and Environmental Change
Instructor: Scott Ollinger

Introductory course in forest ecosystem ecology. Students learn about forest ecosystems around the world, how they function and how they are changing. The course is broadly divided into two principal themes; (1) ecological and ecosystem processes, including succession, element cycling and forest-atmosphere interactions, and (2) effects of human activities including air pollution, climate change and deforestation.

NREN 707/807
Environmental Modeling (4 credits)
Instructor: Wil Wollheim

Course focuses on techniques for ecosystem, biogeochemical and hydrological modeling. Readings from the current literature; review of existing models and of methods of model evaluation. Course goals include understanding key principles, types, and techniques of environmental modeling; improving quantitative skills and their application to scientific issues; building simple models, and applying these models to address environmental questions; critical analysis of environmental models (analysis); reading, discussing, and evaluating the use and results of models in scientific applications.

NRE 730/830
Terrestrial Ecosystems
Instructor: Scott Ollinger

Processes controlling the energy, water, and nutrient dynamics of terrestrial ecosystems; concepts of study at the ecosystem level, controls on primary production, transpiration, decomposition, herbivory; links to earth-system science, acid deposition, agriculture. Prereq: NR 527and PBIO 412 or BIOL 411, or permission.

NRE 744/844; EOS 844
Biogeochemistry (Formerly EOS 813; Biogeochemical Dynamics)
Instructors: Steve Frolking and Scott Ollinger (offered every other year)

Examines the influence of biological and physical processes on elemental cycling and geochemical transformations from the molecular to the global scale, involving microorganisms, higher plants and animals and whole ecosystems; factors that regulate element cycles including soils, climate, disturbance and human activities; interactions among the biosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, and atmosphere; transformations of C, N, S, and trace elements. Prereq: one semester each biology and chemistry.

ESCI 764/864; EOS 864
Data Analysis for Earth System Science
Instructors: Mary Martin and Cameron Wake

Analytical and numerical methods used to understand geospatial and time series data sets encountered in Earth system science research. Students develop skills in data analysis, primarily through writing and modifying their own computer programs, focused on particular aspects of real data sets. Understanding various data types, formats, and projections, and how to handle them, are also covered. Prereq: one year calculus, one year chemistry, basic statistics, or permission.

ESCI 795/895; NRE 795/895; EOS 895
Earth System Science
Instructors: Cameron Wake

This course provides an introduction to the study of Earth as an integrated system. We will introduce the major components, interactions, and concepts for characterizing the contemporary Earth System (e.g. spheres, cycles, energy balance, equilibrium, feedbacks, linear and non-linear dynamics). Each lecture will build on background information to address advanced themes from recent scientific literature (e.g. multiple dynamic interactions, the 'Butterfly Effect', thresholds in metastable systems), and will include opportunities for class participation through group problem solving exercises and discussions. Research scientists from NASA who work in the field of Earth System Science will present guest lectures. Labs will focus on building computer models of key Earth System interactions discussed in the lectures. During the second part of the course, students will develop their own computer models to explore a specific question in Earth System Science.

NRE 797/897
Monitoring Forest Health
Instructor: Barry Rock

This course is designed to provide the field and remote sensing tools and experience needed by students to assess forest conditions at the individual tree and stand levels, as well as to conduct independent research projects on specific topics of interest. Such topics may include assessing change-over-time, landscape-level impacts of urban development, severe weather events, and other natural and anthropogenic perturbations affecting the health of forests. Forest damage due to insects, air pollution (primarily ground-level ozone), drought, the 1998 ice storm and others will be investigated.

GSS 800
Elements of Geospatial Science (4 credits)
Instructor: Michael Routhier

This on-line course provides students with a strong foundation of modern Geospatial Science theory and an assessment of the Geospatial Science industry including regularly used definitions, methods, tools, data, analysis, products, and professional resources. This course also explores the multiple ways in which the Geospatial Sciences are used across disciplines thus aligning students well for future classes, project work, and professional endeavors within the Geospatial Science field. Includes: Instructor lead and guest lecture lead on-line lectures, discussion board forums, assignments, and a final project report. For more information about this class please visit the University of New Hampshire Geospatial Science Program webpage at

GSS 805
Applied GIS for Research (4 credits)
Instructor: Michael Routhier

This class is a condensed intensive learning class that meets daily for two week. The goal of the course is to provide students with a solid foundation in the the concepts and applied techniques of a Geographic Information System (GIS) as a tool to solve real world problems across multiple disciplines. Technical topics covered range from spatial data quality, date conversion, database design, data management, analysis, and visualization. Special emphasis is placed on student hands-on lab exercises and the development of an independent GIS project using ESRI's ArcGIS software. Examples of the use of GIS in varied disciplines such as Geography, Business, Planning, Transportation, Natural Resources, Water Resources, Sociology, and Ecology will be discussed. For more information about this class please visit the University of New Hampshire Geospatial Science Program webpage at

Macro-scale Hydrology I
Instructors: Wil Wollheim

The objective of this course is to introduce students to the study and application of hydrology at regional to global scales, and how it supports the management of sustainable water resources in a changing global environment.  Key topics include elements of the global water cycle, representation of hydrological processes at coarse scales, examples of macro-scale hydrology models and analysis, hydrologic coupling with biogeochemical cycles, and assessment of human impacts. Applications that stress water resource sustainability at regional to global scales will be emphasized.

Macro-scale Hydrology II
Instructors: Wil Wollheim

Students and instructors jointly select a research topic in macro-scale hydrology to be analyzed in depth during the course of the semester. A primary goal is the preparation of a manuscript for publication in a refereed scientific journal. Extensive library research, reading of recent and relevant scientific literature, technical analysis, writing. Course designed to be taken two consecutive semesters (fall and spring). Prereq: Macro-scale hydrology I.

EOS 895/ESCI 895
Advanced Remote Sensing Methods for Earth System Research
Instructors: Mary Martin, Michael Palace and Jingfeng Xiao (offered every other year)

This course focuses on learning analytical methods for using regional-to-global scale remote sensing data to study the Earth System. The tools and techniques of remote sensing will be discussed with the aim of developing the skills required for future research on a variety of topics - such as the structure and function of the terrestrial biosphere, the cryosphere, and aquatic systems. Emphasis will be on developing a physically based understanding of global remote sensing data (e.g. from NASA's Earth Observing Systems, ESA platforms, aircraft platforms if appropriate), and on gaining experience using these data together with models and other observations to form and test hypotheses about Earth system processes. To be offered every other year.

Advanced Remote Sensing II
Instructors: Mary Martin, Michael Palace and Jingfeng Xiao

This is 1-semester group project course will focus on doing original research. The class participants will work together as a team, with the instructors, to design and carry out a remote sensing related project. The ultimate objective will be to write a manuscript for submission to a peer- reviewed journal. The class format will be weekly group discussions with meeting times to be determined by the participants. Prerequisites: EOS/ESCI 895, or permission of instructors.