Ph.D. program in Anthropology and Environmental Policy

For application and admission information visit the Graduate School Website.

This new PhD Program centers on understanding human environmental relationships in cross-cultural perspective and their pivotal role in implementing successful environmental policy. The program engages students in a highly multi-disciplinary framework bridging environmental sciences and policy while focusing on the sociocultural impacts of, and responses to, local and global environmental change.

Students engage with faculty in cutting-edge research on the way social relations, human organization, cultural perceptions, and ecological behavior affect the causes and consequences of local, national, and global environmental change. Students analyze the social and cultural dimensions of policies that mitigate the negative environmental consequences of these changes while safeguarding or promoting human well-being. Areas of environmental policy and research include:

CW Alaska

  • Global Climate Change
  • Energy Resources
  • Marine Resources
  • Eco-tourism
  • Forestry Resources
  • Land-Use
  • Water Management
  • Pollution Contro

The program core is a firm grounding in anthropological social and cultural theory, qualitative and quantitative methodology, and policy development and analysis. Students engage in methodological and specialized courses tailored to their specific environmental interests at the local, national or international scale.

Graduate Teaching Assistantships and Work Study positions are available for qualified students.

Applications for fall admissions are due January 15. For prospective students, more information can be found on the Graduate School website.

Students in the program will normally select their main advisor from the Anthropology Department but are expected to include faculty from affiliated departments in their committees or as co-advisors.

Graduate Program Coordinator

Dr. Christine Beitl
Department of Anthropology
University of Maine
5773 S. Stevens Hall, Rm. 228A
Orono, Maine 04469-5773

Telephone: 207.581.1893
Fax: 207.581.1823

Program Curriculum

Students may enter the program with a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in the Social or Environmental Sciences or a closely related field. All students take the Core Curriculum courses in Cross-Cultural Human-Environmental Dimensions, with the remaining curriculum individually tailored depending on each student’s background, environmental focus area, and national or international environmental policy interest. Courses in policy and basic methodology will be dependent on courses students have taken previously.  Students entering the program with a relevant Master’s degree will need to take 36 Student Credit Hours. Students entering the program with a Bachelor’s degree will need to take 60 Student Credit Hours.

Core Anthropology Requirements (12 credit hours):

Both of these (6 hours)

  • Anthropological Dimensions of Environmental  Policy
  • Advanced Social Theory

Two of these (6 hours)

  • Ecological Anthropology
  • Human Dimensions of Climate Change
  • Climate, Culture and the Biosphere

Anthropology Elective Courses:

  • Human Impacts on Ancient Environments
  • Economic Anthropology
  • Environmental Archaeology
  • Resource Management in Cross-Cultural Perspective
  • Environmental Justice Movements in the United States
  • Institutions and the Management of the Commons

Available Environmental Policy Courses in Cooperating Departments:

  • Environmental Protection, Law and Policy
  • International Environmental Economics and Policy
  • Agent-Based Modeling
  • Environmental Philosophy and Policy
  • Environmental History
  • Wilderness Management
  • Wildlife Policy and Administration
  • Economics of Environmental and Resource Management
  • Forest Policy Problems
  • United States Environmental History

Available Methodology Courses:

  • Numerical Methods in Anthropology
  • Integration of GIS and Remote Sensing Data Analysis in Natural Resource Applications
  • Principles of GIS
  • GIS Applications

Environmental  & Geographical Area Courses:

The program has five environmental focus areas. Students will choose at least one of these areas in which to specialize: Climate Change, Marine Sciences, Ecology, Forestry, and Resource Economics. Courses within these areas will be chosen by the student and their faculty advisors. Courses related to the student’s geographical focus will also be selected in consultation with Faculty advisors.

Background Courses:

The program admits students who have a background in the social or environmental sciences.  Depending on a student’s previous training, undergraduate background courses in other areas may be needed. Additionally, language proficiency may be required given the context of study.