Since 1983, the Cultural and Environmental Resource Management (CERM) Master's Program has offered students an interdisciplinary, resource management curriculum drawing from Geography and Anthropology, as well as Biology, Economics, History, Philosophy, and Political Science. Natural and cultural resources intertwine in several ways. Understanding the multiplicity of resource issues is critically important to making defensible decisions at all levels.
Please note that the program name has recently changed from Resource Management (REM) but the old acronym is still in use for course numbers.
Central Washington University's interdisciplinary program leading to a Master of Science degree in Cultural and Environmental Resource Management offers two emphases: Cultural Resource Management and Natural Resource Management. Natural and cultural resources intertwine in several ways. First, natural resource exploitation triggers much of the human activity that creates cultural resources and current perceptions of cultural resources are modifying management of natural resources. Second, both areas are affected by a common framework of legislation, policy formulation, fiscal management and national and international systems. Understanding the multiplicity of resource issues is critically important to making defensible decisions at all levels.
In recognition of these interconnections, all students in the program take a common core of coursework, linking cultural and natural resources, as they pursue their more specialized interests. We believe that well prepared resource managers must be capable of understanding problems and opportunities associated with both cultural and natural resources. Program objectives include further qualifying students for management positions in resource fields and promoting wiser and more effective management of resources in the future.
Overarching program goals include qualifying students for positions in resource fields, and promoting wiser and more effective management of resources in the future. Specifically, these include the following:
1) introduce students to a suite of resource management issues in natural, cultural, and economic contexts, and the role of a resource manager as an analyst and administrator;
2) examine the current status and perceptions of resource management, including the definitions of natural and cultural resources as well as resource management, systems, and conservation;
3) familiarize students with the historical background of resource management issues and conflicts, including related laws and policies;
4) expose students to various concepts, methods, and techniques commonly used in resource management to analyze and formulate policy choices from natural, cultural, and economic perspectives;
5) introduce students to integrated resource management with an interdisciplinary and holistic focus;
6) raise awareness of Native American and other cultural perspectives of resource management issues;
7) develop critical thinking, research, writing, and presentation skills in a resource management context.
The program is truly interdisciplinary, with roughly 60% of current incoming students interested in natural resource management (e.g., fisheries, river systems, wetlands, wildlife), 30% interested in CRM (e.g., CRM archaeology, historic preservation, museums), and 10% interested in some combination of these two (e.g., GIS and CRM, tribal sovereignty and reservation resources). A good way to understand the composition of our program is to look at the graduate student roster that indicates each student's research interests, and the list of completedthesis titles. For more information on the principal host departments, see geography at http://www.cwu.edu/geography/ and anthropology at http://www.cwu.edu/anthropology
Students in the program are expected take a common interdisciplinary core of coursework that explicitly links cultural and natural resources; as a result, they become capable of understanding problems and opportunities associated with cultural and natural resource integration. Students interested primarily in either natural or cultural resource management enroll together in the seven required core classes, most of which are co-taught by faculty representing both natural and cultural resource interests, primarily from the geography and anthropology departments. As a result, all students are exposed to resource management issues, concepts, policies, and techniques from a truly interdisciplinary perspective. In addition, students and faculty alike benefit from the ongoing synthesis and juxtaposition of their various perspectives and backgrounds, whether through lectures, class discussions, or student presentations. We believe this truly holistic, integrated and applied focus promotes wiser and more effective management of resources; it is also the hallmark which makes our program unique.
At least six academic quarters of continuous full-time study will be required for completion of course work, field experience and research, and thesis writing. Core courses examine natural and cultural resource issues and how they are affected by ecological systems, management practices, political change and economic development. Required economics coursework reviews the advantages and disadvantages of market, command, and mixed economies in terms of human welfare and impacts on environmental equality. Elective courses in several fields can be chosen to explore important concepts or to fill knowledge gaps.
Graduate credit is given for courses numbered 500 and above; courses numbered at the 400 level may be accepted for credit toward a graduate degree provided that they are approved as part of the student's course of study. Courses numbered at the 300 level (or lower) will not be accepted for credit toward a graduate degree.
A maximum of nine (9) quarter hours of credit may be applied to the master's degree from other accredited institutions which offer graduate degrees, provided that the credits are approved as part of the official course of study and did not apply to another degree.
Note: Minimum of 60 credits, by advisement, in the following categories.
Core Courses: 27 credits
Seminars/Electives in Cultural or Natural Resource Management, and other supporting courses: 22-28 credits
Internship or Field Experience: 6-12 credits are available, but this is not required
Thesis (REM 700): 6 credits
Other courses available as electives at the graduate level may include the following:
Facilities for the REM program are housed in the departments of Anthropology and Geography. Our well-appointed laboratories include:
The REM program has 11 offices that each has space and a desktop computer for 3 students. In addition, the GIS Laboratory includes office space and a computer for one REM student. We provide office space to all funded graduate students. We also try to provide space for non-funded students on a space available basis.
The REM program is a cooperating member of the CWU Center for Spatial Information, the Central Washington Archaeological Survey, and other related programs and research projects that are headquartered at the University.
The Cultural and Environmental Resource Management Program admits a select group of students on a competitive basis each Fall quarter. Minimum entrance requirements are an earned Bachelor's degree and minimum 3.0 GPA for the past 90 quarter credits or 60 semester credits. Additionally, you must be able to meet the guidelines for undergraduate degree preparation outlined on the web page, including basic statistics, knowledge of microeconomic principles, and proficiency with computers. Students lacking undergraduate coursework in statistics or economics may be accepted, but will be required to take remedial courses in the first year. Letters of reference are very important, as is your own letter of application and GRE scores. We make our decisions based on GPA, letters of recommendation, GRE scores, statement of purpose (clarity of purpose and quality of writing), appropriateness of undergraduate degree and/or past experience, personal contacts (if the student calls or visits), and match of student interests to the interests and expertise of the Cultural and Environmental Resource Management faculty. Naturally, all of these criteria are judged in the context of the total applicant pool for the upcoming year.
The admission packet consists of 2 forms you can download at http://www.cwu.edu/masters/forms-and-documents: (1) Application for Graduate Admission; and (2) Recommendation for Graduate Studies (one for each of 3 references). We also recommend you submit the third form on that page (3) Assistantship Application Form. In addition to these forms, you will need to submit: (4) application fee; (5) a statement of objectives or purpose of up to 500 words (detail goals and specific academic interests, and how you plan to reach those goals); (6) official transcripts; and (7) GRE scores.
For priority consideration (including assistantships), apply by February 1st, but applications are accepted through April 1. Applications received after April 1 are considered on a space-available basis.
We render decisions on admission usually by mid-March. There are a number (16) of graduate assistantships available each year, including tuition waivers. You may apply for an assistantship as part of your Graduate School application process. Graduate assistants may be assigned to assist with teaching (e.g., GEOG 107 laboratory), lab supervision (e.g. GIS lab), or collaborative research with faculty. There may be research assistantships available funded by external grants available each year as well. Additionally, residents of 14 western states participating in the Western Regional Graduate Program are automatically eligible for a waiver of out-of-state tuition funded by the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education. (Participating states are AK, AZ, CA, CO, HI, ID, MT, NV, NM, ND, OR, SD, UT, WA, and WY. Please note that you are applying as a WRGP scholar if you are a resident of one of these states)