Nicholas School of the Environment

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Nicholas School of the Environment
Established 1938 — School of Forestry and Environmental Studies
1995 — Nicholas School of the Environment
Type Private
Location Durham, North Carolina,  United States

The Nicholas School of the Environment is one of ten graduate and professional schools at Duke University. The majority of its programs are housed within the Levine Science Research Center, the largest single-site interdisciplinary research facility of any American university.[1] A secondary coastal facility is maintained in Beaufort, North Carolina. The Nicholas School is composed of three research divisions: Earth and Ocean Sciences, Environmental Sciences and Policy and Marine Science and Conservation. The current dean of the Nicholas School is Alan Townsend.


The Nicholas School celebrates its creation date as 1991, but it represents a coming together of three entities that are almost as old as the university itself. Both formed in 1938, the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and the Duke University Marine Lab came together in 1991 to become the School of Environment. Following a $20 million gift from Peter M. and Ginny Nicholas in 1995, the school was named the Nicholas School of the Environment. In 1997, the Department of Geology (formed in 1936) joined the school as the Division of Earth and Ocean Sciences and focuses on a number of areas at the intersection of earth and environmental sciences.

School facilities and technology[edit]

The Nicholas School is primarily housed in the Levine Science Research Center (LSRC). In 2014, the Nicholas School will move to the new Duke Environment Hall, a 70,000 square-foot building located on the West Campus, when construction is completed.[2] The School also holds classes in the Old Chemistry building as well as in the Gross Chemistry Energy Hub on Duke’s main campus.

The Nicholas School runs the Duke University Marine Laboratory on an island in Beaufort, North Carolina. The current Chair of the Marine Laboratory is Cindy Lee Van Dover. In addition, the Nicholas School uses the Duke Forest, established in 1931 and spanning 7,060 acres, for teaching and research purposes.[3]

Degree programs[edit]

As of 2012, the Nicholas School provides educational opportunities for students at the doctoral level (Ph.D.), graduate professional level (Master of Environmental Management and Master of Forestry), and undergraduate level (B.S. and A.B.).

Specialized areas of study offered for the Master of Environmental Management (MEM) degree are as follows:

  • Coastal Environmental Management (CEM)
  • Ecosystem Science and Conservation (ESC)
  • Ecotoxicology and Environmental Health (EEH)
  • Energy and Environment (EE)
  • Environmental Economics and Policy (EEP)
  • Global Environmental Change (GEC)
  • Water Resources Management (WRM)

Joint degree programs with Duke University School of Law, Fuqua School of Business, and Sanford School of Public Policy are also available to enrolled students at the Nicholas School.[4] Other concurrent degree programs include the Master of Arts in Teaching (MA) administered through the Graduate School of Duke University, Master of Engineering Management Program (MEMP) at the Pratt School of Engineering, and selected graduate degrees offered at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Academic, Cultural and Research Centers. Duke University Admissions. Retrieved April 3, 2011.
  2. ^ "Duke Environment Hall". Duke University. Retrieved 30 December 2012. 
  3. ^ "Duke Forest: About". Duke University. Retrieved 30 December 2012. 
  4. ^ "Concurrent Degree Programs". Duke University. Retrieved 30 December 2012. 

External links[edit]