Environmental Education Specialization

collage of hand holding a lizard, kids inspecting a turtle, an open field, and hikers. Photos from usplash.com

The Environmental Education (EE) specialization is a non-thesis program available for University of Nebraska Masters of Applied Science (MAS) students. The EE specialization provides post-baccalaureate training related to pedagogical methods in nonformal and formal education settings related to environmental education and conservation education. The advanced training is designed to provide a distinctive edge in the workforce and advancing careers.

Note, while many courses are online, some are not yet available in an online format.


  • Design and develop environmental education and public information programs.
  • Design and develop campaigns to encourage conservation behaviors.
  • Evaluate environmental education programs, public information programs, and behavior change campaigns
  • Demonstrate excellent teaching and effective program delivery skills.
  • Manage and lead environmental educators.

Why choose the MAS program?

The program offers:

  • A professional degree in agricultural science, community development and natural resources at the master’s level
  • Flexibility that allows you to design an area of study that addresses your educational goals
  • Online courses allowing you to earn the degree remotely

As a college-wide degree program, there is flexibility in the selection of course work to create a personalized program built around the specialization. You will work with an advisor and examining committee to customize a program of study best fitting your educational objective(s). The degree project is intended for you to gain immediate value to apply to your workplace or for career advancement.


Specialization Core
  • *+NRES 804: Program Planning & Evaluation (3 credits)
  • *+NRES 805 Conservation Behavior (3 credits)
  • NRES 834 Environmental Education & Interpretation (3 credits)
Total: 9 credits

*Graduate only
+Available online

Additional Specialization Courses
  • NRES 886 Professional Certifications (1-3 credits)
  • *+ENTO 810 Insects as Educational Tools (3 credits)
  • ANTH 863 Exhibits: Design Development & Assessment (3 credits)
  • *NRES 841 or *GEOS 811 STEM Education Seminar (1-3 credits)
  • NRES 828 Environmental Leadership in Public Organizations (3 credits)
  • *EDPS 855 Teaching Learners to Learn (3 credits)
  • *TEAC 924J Equity and STEM Education (1-3 credits)
  • TEAC 800 Teaching and Learning (3 credits)
Total: 6 credit hours

*Graduate only
+Available online

NRES 897 Master of Applied Science Project

3 credit course

Total: 18 credits

Tuition and Fees How to Apply Contact Us

Clicking "How to Apply" takes you to the Graduate Studies website for additional program and application information.

Graduates may find careers in a multitude of areas, including:

  • Museum educators/administrators
  • Naturalists/nature guides
  • Zoo educators and administrators
  • Nature center administrators
  • Outdoor/Natural resource educators
  • Extension educators
  • School teachers
  • Public relations/fundraising/development in natural resources

Service you expect from a leading University

  • Access the same student services available to on-campus students
  • An academic adviser will guide you along your journey
  • Career services are available when you are ready to take your next step


  • Combine a number of disciplines to create a unique degree
  • Choose more than 50% of the courses you take as electives
  • Complete coursework during the time of day that works best for you within a select timeframe

Quality learning experience

  • The University of Nebraska has offered distance education courses for more than 100 years
  • Interact with faculty and students through e-mail, discussion forums and chat groups
  • Direct access to world-class faculty – researchers who are experts in their fields or practitioners with real-world experience

To be accepted to this program

  1. 3.00 GPA or above on a 4.0 scale
  2. Taken the TOEFL or IELTS
    (Only required if English is not your native language)
  3. A written personal statement
    Please describe how obtaining this degree will help your personal, career, and/or professional goals. Describe your level of commitment to successful completion of this degree.
  4. 3 letters of recommendation
  5. Official/Unofficial transcripts from all previous schools
NOTE: This program is authorized, exempt, or not subject to state regulatory compliance and may enroll students from all 50 states

Application Deadlines

Rolling admissions. Application review will begin upon receipt of all required application materials.

Lisa Pennisi

Questions? Please Contact

Lisa Pennisi

School of Natural Resources

Lisa Pennisi is a Professor of Practice in the School of Natural Resources interested in environmental education programs that encourage connection to nature and sustainable behaviors. Prior to becoming a professor, she worked as a naturalist, nature center manager, and zoo high school science teacher.

Jill Motschenbacher

Jill Motschenbacher

School of Natural Resources

I am Dr. Jill Motschenbacher, an Associate Professor of Practice in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources (CASNR) at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). I started at UNL in August 2022 to work with developing UNL’s Master of Applied Science (MAS) program within the Conservation Agriculture specialization. My work involves designing innovative, flexible, and unique online learning experiences for graduate students in agriculture- and Earth science-based disciplines that focus on understanding, designing, and discovering methods to strengthen the resiliency of food and fiber production systems.


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