May 24, 2018  
2002-2003 Graduate Catalog 
2002-2003 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Resource Economics and Policy

The Department of Resource Economics and Policy administers the Master of Science in Resource Economics and Policy, and participates in the Master of Science in Resource Utilization and the Master of Science in Ecology and Environmental Sciences. The M.S. degree in Resource Economics and Policy has concentrations in Agricultural Production and Marketing, Environmental and Resource Economics, and Community Economic Development.

The graduate program is designed to provide students with an applied masters degree focusing on the economic analyses of public policy issues relating to natural resource use, environmental quality, marketing of natural resource based products, agricultural production, and economic development of rural communities. While focusing on the applied aspect of the program, the faculty also works to insure the program provides the opportunity for students to obtain the necessary preparation to excel in a Ph.D. program.

All students take a core of graduate courses depending on the concentration of study chosen; elective courses are chosen in consultation with each student’s advisory committee. The focus of the core courses is to provide students with a solid understanding of economics, statistics, and research methods. Elective courses vary for each student, but it is with these courses that students seeking a terminal masters degree add breadth to their programs and students choosing to continue their education can include additional courses to prepare for their Ph.D. course work. Both the thesis and non-thesis options allow students to delve into an applied problem within their chosen concentrations. Given the focus of the Depart-ment’s research program, students generally choose applied topics that have important public-policy implications.

We believe that the core courses provided in the Department and our close working relationships with our graduate students on their theses and projects, provide graduates with the foundation for successful professional careers. Recent graduates have gone on to attain leadership positions in state government, to become economic analysts for federal agencies, to work for economic and environmental consulting firms, or have continued their educations at some of the leading Ph.D. institutions in the country.

Admission Requirements

An undergraduate degree in economics or an associated field is desirable, but is not essential for admission to this program. The Department is much more concerned with the applicant’s capacity for graduate study and the quality of previous work. However, there are certain prerequisites that the student is strongly encouraged to complete before entering the graduate program. These prerequisites are:

  • Intermediate microeconomic theory (equivalent to UM’s ECO 420)
  • Statistics (equivalent to UM’s MAT 437 or 438)
  • Calculus (equivalent to UM’s MAT 114-115, 122 or 126)

Applicants without these courses may be admitted to the Graduate program with the requirement that the deficiencies be remedied early in the graduate program.
Other general admission criteria are described in the general section of this catalog.

Master of Science in Resource Economics and Policy

The Master of Science in Resource Economics and Policy has thesis and non-thesis options in three areas of specialization: Resource and Environmental Economics, Agricultural Production and Marketing, and Community Economic Development.

The core courses for the M.S. degree provide the student with the tools and problem solving skills applicable to the economic analysis of a wide variety of public policy issues. Elective courses allow students flexibility in designing programs to meet their needs.

The non-thesis option of the program is designed for students who wish to obtain greater breadth in their coursework and job experience through a project rather than undertake a thesis.

Requirements of the program include a minimum of 30 graduate degree credit hours. A program of study is developed in consultation with the student’s advisory committee. The areas of interest, background, and future needs of the student will be considered in planning the program of study.

Master of Science Degree in Resource Utilization

The graduate program in Resource Utilization is an interdisciplinary program to train students in the use, development, and conservation of our natural resources.

The Department of Resource Economics and Policy, the Department of Forest Management, and the Department of Plant, Soil and Environmental Sciences support the Master of Science program in Resource Utilization. Requirements of the program include a minimum of 30 graduate degree credit hours. A minimum of 12 credit hours (exclusive of thesis credits) of 500 and/or 600 level course work is required. The Resource utilization Program only offers a thesis option. See entry under ” Resource Utilization.”

Master of Science in Ecology and Environmental Sciences

The M.S. program in Ecology and Environmental Sciences is designed for students who wish to pursue an interdisciplinary program of study for their graduate programs. Each student chooses a primary and secondary area of study. Students advised by the faculty members in the Department of Resource Economics and Policy would choose the Policy Concentration for their primary area of study and would choose a natural science area as their secondary area of study. Students can choose courses in their primary and secondary concentrations to form a study area. For example, recent graduates advised by the Department have focused on issues such as surface water quality, land use, and marine fisheries management. The Department, because of the training and skills of the faculty, approach environmental policy from an economic perspective. In turn, students supported on a Graduate Assistantship from the Department are required to take a core of research, economic, and statistics courses, or demonstrate they have this knowledge from previous course work, in order to actively participate in faculty research projects.

Special Degree Requirements

Each graduate student who pursues one of the graduate programs administered by the Department must pass a comprehensive examination which consists of a written examination and an oral examination near the end of the student’s program.

Student Support

The Department has a number of research and teaching assistantships available for qualified students on a competitive basis. Efforts are made to match the student’s interests and background with the needs of the Department. For details on assistantships and for other information, contact Jonathan Rubin, Graduate Coordinator, Department of Resource Economics and Policy by phone at (207) 581-1528 or via e-mail at Further information can be found on the web at

Graduate Faculty

George K. Criner, Ph.D. (Washington State, 1983), Professor and Chair. Production, marketing, and waste management.

Kathleen P. Bell, Ph.D. (University of Maryland, 1997), Environmental Economics. Land use spatial analysis.

Kevin J. Boyle, Ph.D. (Wisconsin, 1985), Libra Professor of Environmental Economics. Resource and environmental economics, nonmarket valuation.

Hsiang-Tai Cheng, Ph.D. (VPI&SU, 1985), Associate Professor. Marketing, econometrics.

Timothy J. Dalton, Ph.D. (Purdue University, 1996), Assistant Professor. Production economics and international development.

Todd M. Gabe, Ph.D. (The Ohio State University, 1999), Assistant Professor. Regional and community economic development.

Alan S. Kezis, Ph.D. (Washington State, 1978), Professor and Associate Dean. Marketing.

Dierdre M. Mageean, Ph.D. (The Open University, England, 1989), Associate Professor. Associate Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate School. Research interests: migration; population environment interaction; rural poverty and rural development; human dimension of global change.

James C. McConnon, Ph.D. (Iowa State, 1989), Community Economic Development Specialist, UMCE.

Jonathan D. Rubin, Ph.D. (University of California, Davis, 1993), Assistant Professor, Research Associate, and Interim Director, Margaret Chase Smith Center for Public Policy. Resource and environmental economics.

Stewart Smith, Ph.D. (Connecticut, 1977), Professor. Sustainable development and agricultural policy.

Mario F. Teisl, Ph.D. (Maryland, 1997), Associate Professor, Environmental economics.

Gregory K. White, Ph.D. (Washington State, 1976), Associate Professor. Resource economics, land use policy.

James A. Wilson, Ph.D. (Wisconsin, 1971), Professor and Associate Director, School of Marine Sciences. Economics of information and institutions, marine economics.