Please note:

To view the Fall 2017 Academic Calendar go to http://www.sfu.ca/students/calendar/2017/fall.html

School of Resource and Environmental Management Simon Fraser University Calendar | Spring 2018

Resource and Environmental Management

Doctor of Philosophy

In this doctor of philosophy (PhD) program students gain exposure in three core areas: environmental sciences, resource and environmental policy and planning, and ecological and environmental economics. Research will integrate elements of two of these three areas.

Admission Requirements

To qualify for admission, an applicant will satisfy all university admission requirements as outlined in the graduate general regulations and have

  • the ability to carry out innovative, independent and original PhD level research in their field
  • high academic standing in previous university work
  • a master’s degree in a related discipline

Applicants will be accepted by an identified senior supervisor (REM faculty member) prior to admittance. PhD applicants are strongly advised to visit the University for an interview prior to January 25 of the year of requested admission. Detailed application information can be found on the department's website: http://www.sfu.ca/rem/prospective-students/apply.html.

Transfer from the Master’s Program to the PhD Program

A master of resource management (MRM) student who shows exceptional ability may apply to transfer to the PhD program only if the student has the ability to carry out innovative, independent and original PhD level research in that field, has obtained high academic standing in previous university work, and has the support of their master's research supervisor. All university regulations governing transfers must be met. Transfers are only permitted when the student has been in the master’s program for two but not more than four terms.

Transfer applications must be approved by the student’s supervisory committee, the REM graduate studies committee, and the senate graduate studies committee. Students transferring from the master's program will be eligible to earn only the PhD degree.

Supervisory Committee

With guidance from the senior supervisor, upon admission, each student will be assigned an initial supervisory committee (the supervisor and at least one additional REM faculty member). The initial supervisory committee must be either modified or confirmed as the student's supervisory committee by the beginning of the second term (at the latest when starting in REM 802). The supervisory committee shall reflect the student's evolving research direction and consist of the supervisory committee and at least one other Simon Fraser University faculty member. Both the initial and the subsequent regular supervisory committees must include representation from two of the three REM core research areas.

Program Requirements

Students complete an introductory field course [REM 698], four additional required graduate courses, a comprehensive examination, and a thesis. Students must maintain a minimum A- average across all required courses.

Required Courses

REM 698 - Field Resource Management Workshop (3) *

An intensive field course introducing students to the diversity of issues and viewpoints concerning management of natural resources. Problem areas will include forestry, mining, fisheries and wildlife management, energy, recreation and land use planning. Graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis. Equivalent Courses: MRM698.

REM 802 - Research Approaches for REM PhD Students (5)

This course is designed for all REM PhD students, although considerable course material may be of interest and value to other REM students. The course will emphasize preparing PhD students for their breadth comprehensive exams by discussing and evaluating various viewpoints in published debates related to the three topic areas of comprehensive exams: resource and environmental economics, policy and planning and environmental science. The course will also cover planning and carrying out the PhD research, as well as effectively communicating research results. Equivalent Courses: MRM802.

Section Instructor Day/Time Location
G100 Ken Lertzman
Mo, We 10:30 AM – 12:20 PM
WMC 2501, Burnaby

Students will also complete at least one course in each of the three core areas (environmental sciences, resource and environmental policy and planning, and environmental economics). Although it is strongly recommended that students complete all three core courses in their first fall term, the timing will be determined by the student and the senior supervisor in conjunction with the supervisory committees. The recommended courses to fulfill this requirement are normally

REM 611 - Population and Community Ecology (5)

A review of population, community, and ecosystem ecology; implications of these areas for methods of resource management and environmental assessment. Equivalent Courses: MRM611.

REM 621 - Ecological Economics (5)

Introduction to economic concepts for management of the environment and specific natural resources. Key issues are definitions of sustainability, the substitution capability between human-made and natural capital, and the appropriate application of economics to sustainable development analysis and policies. Equivalent Courses: MRM621 MRM662.

REM 644 - Public Policy Analysis and Administration (5)

Analysis of methods of policy-making and problem solving with particular emphasis on natural resource issues. Topics include goal setting, problem definition, program scheduling, policy evaluation, policy implementation and public administration. A practical analysis of the structure and processes surrounding major contemporary policy issues. Equivalent Courses: MRM644.

Substitutions of other graduate courses to fulfill the core requirements may be recommended by the supervisory committee, with the approval of the graduate studies committee.

One of these REM core courses may be waived on the basis of substantial prior experience, with agreement from the supervisory committee, the course instructor, and the REM graduate studies committee. If a student receives a course waiver, the student is not required to replace the course for which the waiver was received.

Course selection must be approved by the senior supervisor or the supervisory committee, who may recommend additional courses to strengthen the student's background in areas directly related to their thesis research. Elective courses may be completed outside of the School of Resource and Environmental Management. Students who transfer from the REM master's program into the REM PhD program are not required to complete REM 611, 621, 644 and 698 a second time if they have completed these courses with a minimum of an A- average across all of these courses.

The student's progress will be evaluated annually in accordance with the graduate general regulations.

* normally completed in the first fall term

† normally completed in the second term

Comprehensive Examinations

Students complete

REM 802 - Research Approaches for REM PhD Students (5)

This course is designed for all REM PhD students, although considerable course material may be of interest and value to other REM students. The course will emphasize preparing PhD students for their breadth comprehensive exams by discussing and evaluating various viewpoints in published debates related to the three topic areas of comprehensive exams: resource and environmental economics, policy and planning and environmental science. The course will also cover planning and carrying out the PhD research, as well as effectively communicating research results. Equivalent Courses: MRM802.

Section Instructor Day/Time Location
G100 Ken Lertzman
Mo, We 10:30 AM – 12:20 PM
WMC 2501, Burnaby

This course emphasizes the preparation of PhD students for completing the comprehensive examination and defense of their thesis proposal. The student must complete the course successfully in their second term, except in exceptional circumstances.

REM 802's requirements include a draft thesis research proposal containing a strong interdisciplinary direction, and an oral examination of the draft research proposal with the REM 802 course instructor and the supervisory committee.

No later than at the end of their fourth term, each student will successfully defend their thesis research proposal during a comprehensive exam before an approved oral examination committee comprised of the student's supervisory committee and additional REM faculty as needed to provide coverage for the three core research areas. The thesis research proposal must show how at least two of the core areas will be incorporated into the student's research. Through the thesis proposal and oral defense, the student will demonstrate

  • their general preparedness in disciplines related to their research
  • their specific readiness to conduct the proposed research
  • and that the proposed research is feasible, has merit, and could form the basis of a thesis if completed adequately.

If a student requires further background in either general or specific preparation, the examining committee may recommend further courses of study and/or background preparation after the proposal defense. If the candidate fails this examination and this assessment is approved by the REM Graduate Studies Committee, the student will be required to withdraw from the PhD program.

Detailed information about the examination procedures, dates and deadlines are provided in the REM PhD Handbook.

Thesis

A written thesis is based on the candidate's original research, and must meet the requirements of interdisciplinarity outlined above. When the thesis is substantially complete, the student must first present it at a REM colloquium prior to the formal thesis defence. This presentation forms the basis of the supervisory committee's final recommendation about whether the student is ready for the final defence. All PhD candidates must then pass the formal thesis defence, which is conducted in accordance with University regulations. All other PhD general requirements are as outlined in the graduate general regulations.

Enrollment Requirement

A candidate must be enrolled at Simon Fraser University for the minimum number of terms as described in the graduate general regulations.

Academic Requirements within the Graduate General Regulations

All graduate students must satisfy the academic requirements that are specified in the Graduate General Regulations, as well as the specific requirements for the program in which they are enrolled.