Guide to Graduate Education in Science, Engineering and Public Policy
Guide to Graduate Education in Science, Engineering and Public Policy
Coastal and Watershed Science & Policy Program
The Coastal and Watershed Science & Policy Program is an innovative interdisciplinary program offering training in science and technology in the context of environmental policy. The program prepares students for careers in environmental resource management, environmental consulting, non-profit agencies, and further education in doctoral programs.
The mission of the Master of Science in Coastal and Watershed Science & Policy program is to build a community of professionals who can employ sound science, technology, and economics to produce, evaluate, and implement environmental decisions affecting the natural and managed systems of the coastal zone extending from watersheds to the continental slope.
The Coastal and Watershed Science & Policy program emphasizes applied, hands-on, field-oriented learning that takes full advantage of the unparalleled array of environmental resources, technologies, and worldclass research institutions in our region.
CSUMB is positioned at the land-sea interface of Monterey Bay where we can use the local terrestrial and marine resources as a living classroom. Regional assets that are all less than a 30-minute drive from CSUMB include the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, Monterey Institute of International Studies, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, agricultural lands of the Salinas Valley, coastal streams that host endangered salmonids and the red-legged frog, and Fort Ord reuse activities that comprise both urban planning and natural resource development. The Monterey Peninsula, Big Sur coast, and Salinas Valley are living laboratories for learning about the scientific, economic, and political dimensions of land use and water resource issues.
The Chapman Science Academic Center, opened in 2004, offers state-of-the-art labsfor teaching, learning, and student research.
CSUMB is the only CSU campus offering this degree.
Included Academic Fields
Coastal Zone Management ~ Marine Science ~ Environmental and Resource Economics ~ Environmental Policy ~ Marine Policy ~ Marine Science ~ Watershed Management
M.S. in Coastal and Watershed Science and Policy
The M.S. in Coastal and Watershed Science & Policy (CWSP) is a graduate degree program in the Division of Science & Environmental Policy (SEP). The program accepts students from a wide range of related undergraduate majors. Regardless of undergraduate major, the following prerequisites must be completed by the times indicated below for admission to the graduate program.
- Calculus (2 course sequence; must be completed BEFORE enrolling in the fall).
- Statistics (1 course; must be completed BEFORE enrolling in the fall).
- Biology (2 courses; college biology for science majors; second semester may be completed in the fall; e.g., organismal biology, ecology, etc.).
- Physical Earth Science (1 course; e.g., geology, soils, geomorphology, hydrology, oceanography; may be completed during fall semester).
- Economics (1 course; e.g., microeconomics, macroeconomics, resource economics; may be completed during fall semester).
- GIS (1 college-level GIS course or basic ESRI ArcGIS certification; may be completed during fall semester).
Applicants who lack any of these required courses may be accepted for conditional admission. Applicants should state in their application letter how they plan to complete all missing requirements by the end of the fall semester.
Program Admission Requirements
- Bachelor's degree in related field from accredited college or university with an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale. Applicants with a strong application and a GPA of 2.75 to 2.99 may be considered under exceptional circumstances if their GPA in their final two years of undergraduate or postgraduate studies is above 3.0.
- GRE general test scores. When submitting scores, be sure to specify Institution R1945 (California State University, Monterey Bay) and Department 0502 (Environmental Sciences).
Admission to the CWSP M.S. program will be based upon a holistic evaluation of all application materials, and the availability of a thesis advisor.
General Admissions Information and Procedures
All CSU campuses utilize an online application process using CSUmentor.edu
Prospective students should review faculty research areas and contact individual faculty members for current information about research projects and potential funding sources. Because Coastal and Watershed Science & Policy is a thesis-based M.S. program, students will not be admitted to the program unless you are accepted by a faculty thesis advisor.
A complete application includes:
- Electronic application via CSUmentor.edu.
- Application fee (paid via CSU Mentor electronic application process).
- Three letters of reference from individuals who can provide a recent evaluation of your intellectual and analytical ability, creativity, initiative, and promise of success in the realm of science and policy. At least one of these must be a recent instructor.
- Two copies of a one-to-two page Statement of Purpose. Please include the name(s) of the faculty member(s) you have contacted about your thesis project.
- Two copies of your resume or curriculum vitae.
- Two copies of official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions and programs attended(including Education Abroad Programs, if the grades do not appear on your undergraduate transcripts. At least one copy must in an unopened, sealed envelope).
- GRE general test scores (GRE must have been taken within last three years).
- TOEFL scores taken within two years of the time of application (for applicants whose native language is not English ).
The Master of Science degree will be conferred after you have successfully completed all of the following, within seven years of your admission to the CWSP program, including time during approved leave.
- Advance to candidacy.
- Complete approved Individual Learning Plan coursework.
- Defend thesis orally before thesis committee and invited public.
- Prepare thesis that is approved by your thesis committee. The thesis must conform to the rules and standards set forth by CWSP and CSUMB, including submittal of one bound copy for the CSUMB library, one bound copy for SEP and one PDF format digital copy for SEP.
- Maintain a minimum 3.0 overall GPA in courses required for degree, with no graduate degree course lower than B-.
- Apply for graduation in accordance with CSUMB policy.
Susan Alexander, Ph.D., Professor and Program Coordinator
Ecology ~ ecosystem modeling ~ marine science
Sharon Anderson, Ph.D., Professor
Soil and water chemistry ~ pesticide fate
Daniel Fernandez, Ph.D., Professor
Physics ~ sustainability and alternative energy ~ fog water collection ~ ocean remote sensing
Corey Garza, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Marine ecology ~ statistics ~ geospatial technology (GIS/GPS)
William Head, Ph.D., Professor
Marine ecology ~ internship program ~ marine policy ~ aquaculture ~ critical thinking
Rikk Kvitek, Ph.D., Professor and Director of the Seafloor Mapping Lab
Marine science ~ geospatial technology (GIS/GPS) ~ seafloor mapping
James Lindholm, Ph.D., Assistant Professor and James W. Rote Distinguished Professor of Marine Science and Policy; Director of Institute for Applied Marine Ecology (IFAME)
Ecology of marine fishes ~ habitat response to fishing ~ design and efficacy of MPAs
Marc Los Huertos, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Water quality ~ nitrogen cycling ~ agroecology
Steven Moore, Ph.D., Professor
Zoology ~ robotic technologies for environmental education and research ~ nature photography
Douglas Smith, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Watershed processes and restoration ~ geology ~ marine geology ~ sedimentology
Fred Watson, Ph.D., Assistant Professor and Co-Director of the Watershed Institute
Hydrology ~ ecology ~ modeling ~ monitoring ~ software development
Suzanne Worcester, Ph.D., Professor
Restoration ecology ~ conservation biology ~ informal science education
The program emphasizes the application of science, technology, and policy to real-world problems in the coastal zone, offering hands-on learning in courses and applied research projects.
The Watershed Institute at CSUMB provides hands-on opportunities to participate in applied watershed research, restoration projects, policy decisions, and education.
The Seafloor Mapping Lab specializes in high-resolution acoustic remote sensing for coastal habitats. Combining research and education with state-of-the-art geospatial technology, it offers unique hands-on, field-to-finish experience conducting professional habitat mapping surveys for resource management and basic research along the continental margins.
The National Ocean Economics Program provides data on ocean-related economic activities and resource trends to government, businesses, and individuals to guide investment and management decisions. It targets a goal of balancing conservation and growth in coastal areas.
Regional partnerships with nearby world-class research and technology centers-Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, Stanford's Hopkins Marine Station, and NASA/Ames Research Center-create outstanding opportunities for students.