Nov 28, 2023  
2012-2013 Graduate Catalog 
2012-2013 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Resource Economics and Policy

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The School of Economics administers the Master of Science in Resource Economics and Policy, and participates in the Master of Science in Ecology and Environmental Sciences.

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 ensure 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; the focus of the core courses is to provide students with a solid understanding of economics, statistics, and research methods. Elective courses are chosen in consultation with each student’s advisory committee; 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. Given the focus of the School’s research program, students generally choose applied topics that have important public-policy implications.

We believe that the core courses 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 a related field is desirable, but is not essential for admission to this program. The School 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 required 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 215 or 232)
  • Calculus (equivalent to UM’s MAT 115, 126, or 151)

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 both thesis and non-thesis options. 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.

Graduate students in this program are required to complete the following sequence of courses.

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 Resource Economics and Policy program choose the Policy Concentration for their primary area of study and 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 School have focused on issues such as surface water quality, land use, and marine fisheries management. The School, 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 School 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.

Graduate Students in this program are required to complete the following sequence of courses:

Student Support

The School 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 School. For details on assistantships and for other information, contact Mario Teisl, Graduate Coordinator, School of Economics via email at Further information can be found on the web at


Graduate Faculty

Kathleen Bell, Ph.D. (University of Maryland, 1997), Associate Professor. Environmental Economics, land economics, spatial economics, regional and public economics.

Hsiang-Tai Cheng, Ph.D. (Virginia Polytechnic Institute, 1985), Associate Professor. Marketing, food demand, econometrics.

Todd Gabe,
Ph.D. (Ohio State University, 1999), Associate Professor. Regional and community economic development, public finance.

Gary L. Hunt
, Ph.D. (University of Colorado-Boulder, 1984), Professor. Demographic and spatial economics, econometrics, mathematical modeling.

James McConnon, Ph.D. (Iowa State University, 1989), Associate Professor. Regional and community economic development, innovation, small business management.

Stephen Reiling
, Ph.D. (Oregon State University, 1976), Professor. Recreation economics, non-market valuation, economic impact, policies affecting rural Maine.

Jonathan Rubin
, Ph.D. (University of California-Davis, 1993), Professor. Environmental regulation and design, economics of alternative transportation fuels and vehicles, economics of greenhouse gas reductions.

Linda Silka,
Ph.D. (University of Kansas, 1978, Professor and Director, Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center.  Research partnerships, research ethics, grant writing, program evaluation, community-university partnerships.

Mario Teisl, (Ph.D. (University of Maryland, 1997), Professor. Information economics, food safety, environmental and social marketing, environmental economics.

Philip Trostel, Ph.D. (Texas A & M University, 1991), Professor.  Human capital and savings, public economics, labor economics.

Sharon Wagner, Ph.D. Engineering & Public Policy (Carnegie Mellon, 2011), Research: Energy Economics, Environmental Impacts of Electricity Generation, Energy Storage, and Renewable Energy Policy

Tim Waring, Ph.D. (University of California, Davis, 2010), Assistant Professor.  Sustainability, human cooperation, human cultural evolution, evolutionary ecology.

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