Graduate School

Applied Natural Resource Economics—MS

With access to a unique blend of economics, business, forestry, and geology, plus engineering, social sciences, and technical communication, the Michigan Tech MS in Applied Natural Resource Economics  curriculum emphasizes real-world topics including environmental issues, public policy analysis, economic theory, and commodity markets. Naturally. 

What you’ll work on

Start with core courses, then add electives—from finance to forestry. You’ll make the program truly yours. Our students not only participate in research, they publish it. Student-led projects have been published in Marine Policy and Resources Policy.

Student research spans across topics and locations and is often inspired by evaluating current issues of developing countries. Recent research areas include petroleum fiscal regimes, global fisheries management, carbon sequestration of forest products, and social and sustainability challenges related to mining and oil production. Being in the “Great Lakes State” also facilitates student research closer to campus, such as evaluating natural resource stressors of Lake Michigan. 

Sample Areas of Interest

  • Energy Economics
  • Market Failure and the Environment
  • Mineral Economics
  • Natural Resource Economics

View full listing for this program.

Who you’ll work with

Work with faculty who are experts in natural resources. With a variety of applied tools, our faculty perform research in environmental damage assessment, metal market economics and policy, community-mining industry conflicts, natural resource management and policy, urban sprawl and natural resources in Michigan, the Great Lakes environment and fisheries, and coupling economic and ecological models. Mineral economics studies are a traditional strength of the Michigan Tech MS in Applied Natural Resource Economics program.

Research from our faculty has been published in top-tier journals in the fields of environmental and natural resource economics, including Ecological Economics, American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Environmental and Resource Economics, and the Journal of Sustainable Development.

Faculty Spotlight

Jenny L. Apriesnig

Jenny L. Apriesnig, PhD
Assistant Professor of Economics

Economics is everywhere.”

Natural resource economics is highly interdisciplinary, and understanding how we manage and value resources will only become more important as policy, technology, and markets evolve. Apriesnig works to create models that couple economic and ecological systems so that ecosystem disturbances and policy changes can be more comprehensively evaluated. 

Where you’ll work

Global or local focus—you decide. While you work on your MS in Applied Natural Resource Economics degree at Michigan Tech you’ll be located in the Upper Peninsula; an area that has a rich history of mining and forestry, and Lake Superior is just moments away. Our research centers and institutes, such as the Great Lakes Research Center, offer additional connections to resource-based research. 

Through a thesis or independent study project, graduates develop specialized knowledge in the economics of natural resources and the environment, an ability to evaluate resource projects, and a toolkit to perform independent analysis and effectively communicate analytical results. The flexible program is grounded in economic analysis, project evaluation, and statistical analysis. Our graduates are employed around the globe with careers in finance, government, and consulting and several pursued a PhD program to further their graduate education.