NRES Online M.S. Blog

blog navigation

blog posts

  • Spring Course Selection Advising Session - Monday evening!

    Join us Monday, November 24 at 6:00 pm CST to learn more about the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences Spring 2015 online course offerings. You can join the session by going to: 

    For further information, please contact Renee Gracon at

  • Advising Session - Course Selection for Spring 2015

    Interested in knowing more about the courses that will be offered this Spring? Curious about what courses will meet core area requirements? Join me Monday, November 24, 2014 at 6:00 pm CST for a look at the online course options for Spring 2015. I will briefly describe the spring courses and answer questions about future course options and capstone enrollment. You can join the broadcast by going to

    I hope many of you will plan to attend.

    For further information, please contact Renée at


  • Important Reminder about Extending Deferred or Incomplete Grades

    If you were enrolled in a capstone course during the spring or summer 2014 semester(s) and you have not finished the capstone requirements, please take note. The “incomplete" (I) grade you were awarded will automatically convert to an “F” at the end of the fall semester UNLESS you complete the petition to request an extension. You will find the form at: You will need to supply your name, UIN, the capstone course number and CRN, the number of credit hours for which you were enrolled, and a brief statement indicating that you are still actively working on your capstone project. (Those who have previously petitioned for an extension do not need to re-petition.) Please take care of this before the end of the semester! For further information, contact Renée Gracon at

  • Final Written Exam for M.S. Degree - Registration Reminder

    If you are planning to take the Final Written Exam for the online M.S. degree in January 2015, you should put your name on the Distribution list. Students who are eligible have completed at least one course from each of the 4 core areas. Please copy and paste this URL into your browser to include your name on the list: 

    The exam will be distributed on Monday, January 5, 2015 and due back within one week of the distribution. For more information, please contact Renee Gracon at  

  • NRES Capstone Presentations - Nov. 14

    You are invited to attend the upcoming virtual capstone presentations on November 14, 2014.

    12:00 pm - Conservation Efforts at Sea World – San Antonio presented by Annie Cooper.

    3:00 pm – A Conservation Leadership Experience with the Student Conservation Association (SCA) presented by Starlyn Robinson.

    You may join the sessions by copying and pasting the following URL into your browser:

    Please be sure to log in at least 10 minutes prior to the start of the presentation.

    For further information, please contact Renée Gracon at

  • Requesting enrollment in Capstone Credit for Spring 2015

    If you are planning to enroll in capstone credit for the Spring 2015 semester, please be sure that your committee-approved project proposal is on file in the NRES office. For eligibility questions, or if you are not sure whether your proposal is on file, please contact Renee Gracon ( for assistance.

    Students should request permission to enroll in capstone credit, on or before January 1st, by going to .  

  • Self-enroll for the Written Final Examination offered January 2015

    If you have completed at least one course from each of the four (4) core areas and you plan to take the Written Final Exam in January 2015, be sure to put your name on the exam distribution list at:

    For further information or questions pertaining to exam eligibility, please contact Renee Gracon at

  • Invitation to Attend Capstone Presentation

    You are invited to attend the capstone presentation titled PROPOSED ALTERNATIVE OUTLET TO LANDFILL FOR ONE WASTE STREAM AT A MANUFACTURING FACILITY by Melissa Brice on Nov. 7, at 12:30 CST, on campus in Turner Hall room S-509, or virtually via the following link.

    Melissa will discuss the waste characterization study and the alternative outlet for the prioritized waste stream that she proposed as part of her internship with Kraft Foods, Inc. If you are logging in virtually for the presentation, please be sure to log in at least 10 minutes prior to the start of the presentation.

    For further information, please contact Renée Gracon at

  • Online Library Workshop

    The College of Education is hosting the following library workshop which is open to all students. 


    Library Online Workshop


    Learn to use the world class University of Illinois Library.  Workshops available completely online to provide you with personalized research training in the subject of your current coursework or research interest. 


    November 12 and 13 at 6:00 pm Central Standard Time. 


    Bring your research topic and questions and log into:


    Use the enrollment key “researchworkshop”

    Additional training materials are available at the workshop site.


    Thank you, 

    Christine Martinez

    Online Program Coordinator

    Center for Innovation in Teaching & Learning

    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    PH: 217-265-7595 | 

  • NRES - related Employment Opportunity in Carlisle, PA

    The following employment opportunity may be of interest to you:

    The Alliance for Aquatic Resource Monitoring (ALLARM), housed out of Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA, is hiring a two-year position, Assistant Director of Outreach (salary low $30K).  This position is responsible for working with ALLARM’s fracking stream monitoring communities throughout Pennsylvania – conducting monitoring workshops and providing follow up support to our fabulous volunteer monitors. In addition this position is responsible for doing outreach and promotion of ALLARM’s work.


    Deadline to apply: November 1, 2014


    To learn more about the position and apply:

    For more information about ALLARM:

    For more information about ALLARM’s shale-gas monitoring program:


    The College is committed to building a representative and diverse faculty, administrative staff, and student body. We encourage applications from all qualified persons.


    Julie Vastine, Director

    Alliance for Aquatic Resource Monitoring (ALLARM)

    Dickinson College - Environmental Studies Dept.

    phone: 717.245.1135  fax: 717.245.1971

  • Winners Named in NRES Online Students Photo Contest

    Thank you to the students that participated in the 2014 NRES Online Students Photo Contest. All of this year's entries were outstanding - making the selection of the First Place winners extremely difficult! 

    It is a pleasure to announce the 2014 First Place winners:

    Category: Wildlife and Scenery  - Sandi Kukla

    Category: Students in Action - Christin Crutchfield

    You may view the winning photos at 

    Congratulations to our winners and thank you to all that participated. Don't forget to start capturing those picture perfect moments now for entry in next year's contest. 

  • Stat-Com: A UIUC Statistical Consulting Resource!

    Students in the Statistics Department PhD program are eager to inform you of  the newest graduate resource, Stat-Com (Statistics in the Community).  This is a FREE service for graduate students and faculty.  According to one of the students, Lyndsay Shand, “our main agenda is to provide guidance in resolving statistical issues – such as designing experiments, visualizing data, and conducting statistical analyses. Our expertise in statistical analyses includes regression methods, categorical data analysis, multivariate analysis, time-series analysis, surveys, and much more.” To learn more about available services contact them at

  • Sept. 27 - National Public Lands Day!

    Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where Nature may heal and cheer and give strength to body and soul alike. 
    ~John Muir

    September 27, 2014 marks the 20th anniversary of National Public Lands Day. Several federal land management agencies, including many of the National Parks and U.S. Forest Service lands, are fee-free on Saturday. Many state parks are offering interpretive programs, hikes, and stewardship projects (called “hike and serve”) to jump-start and encourage volunteer participation. To find out what is going on in Illinois, check out: . If you reside in another state, use the handy site locator at: . There are over 2050 sites participating across the nation. Get involved!


  • Online Students Received Great Value from Campus Event!

    On September 13th, online students came together on campus to meet each other and to network with the NRES faculty. Five instructors and the Department Head offered their insights on what is expected of a NRES graduate student, how to find a good capstone project, and the student/Research Advisor relationship. The Director of the Online NRES Program hosted this opportunity and offered her thoughts on how to optimize the M.S. experience.

    Students attending the day remarked , “This day helped demystify the program considerably”, “It was fantastic!”, and “The information was priceless. Knowing what to expect really put me at ease”. Please plan to  join us next September  for the 5th Annual Online Students On-Campus Day!  Your time will be well spent. For more information about next year's event please contact Renée at


  • Career Opportunity in GIS

    The following is a career opportunity in Johnson County, Iowa. Ordinarily we would most this in the Career Bulletin, but the deadline for applications is Sept 12. 

    Geographic Information System (GIS) Analyst

    Posted 09/03/2014

    Johnson County Information Technology seeks a Geographic Information System (GIS) Analyst to develop web-based mapping applications, database management, research, documentation, cartography, user assistance and Global Positioning System (GPS) support.

    Bachelor’s degree in GIS, geography, computer science, planning, or closely related field; and two (2) years working within a GIS environment to include 1 year experience in developing and maintaining web based mapping applications; or any equivalent combination of education and experience that provides the necessary knowledge, skills and abilities to perform the work.

    Special requirements: Valid Iowa driver’s license and insurable under County liability coverage. May also require use of personal vehicle for official business.

    Starting hourly pay: $25.00 – $29.41 plus excellent benefits. Submit cover letter, resume and employment application at by 5:00 p.m., September 12, 2014.

    For more information go to:


  • YOU ARE INVITED On-Campus Day – Saturday, Sept. 13

    There is still time to let us know that you plan to attend the On-campus events for students in the online M.S. program this Saturday. Remember, this day was planned just for you! 

    We will start the morning in the SIMS room of the ACES library with light refreshments and a chance for you to meet fellow NRES online students. Then you will hear more about the University resources and what being part of such prestigious and renown University has to offer not only its students, but it’s alumni as well. At 10:30 am we have several faculty members who will speak about student expectations and answer questions you may have about capstone projects. Before lunch we will do a walking tour of campus. The department will treat all of our online students to lunch at Rosati’s. Following lunch a former student will speak to us about her experience as an NRES student followed by a presentation about recent capstone projects and how to move efficiently through the final steps to graduation. There will be plenty of opportunity for you to talk one-on-one with some of our instructors and to network with other NRES online students. Don’t miss out on this great day!

    If you have additional questions about the day or you plan to attend but have not had a chance to RSVP, please contact Renée Gracon at or at 217-333-7738. If you need assistance while on-route to campus, please contact Renée via her cellphone at 404-713-3623. 

  • On-Campus Day for NRES Online M.S. Students - Sept. 13

    Join us on Saturday, September 13, for an opportunity to meet the faculty, learn more about the University, and hear presentations from former students. Network with other NRES online Students! Hear about capstone projects!  This is a chance to meet face-to-face with may of your instructors. All NRES online M.S. students are encouraged to attend.

    For more information, please contact Renee Gracon at

    RSVP to

  • NRES Online Students' 2014 Photo Contest!

    The deadline for submitting photos for the 2014 NRES Online Students' Photo Contest has been extended to Wednesday, September 3! Send your best photos today! Don't forget to include your name, UIN, the photo location, photo title, and a brief description of the photo. 

    For additional information, please contact Renee Gracon at

  • Online Students Day on Campus - REMINDER

    Don't miss out!!!  

    The 4th Annual Online students' on-campus event is just over 2 weeks away. This is a once-a-year opportunity for all NRES online M.S. students to meet the faculty/instructors, learn more about the University and the NRES resources, mingle with classmates, and ask questions!  Join us for a great program designed around YOU! Build connections with the faculty who may be on your Graduate Reivew Committee. Learn about their research interests. Talk face-to-face with other students in the program. Hear about the capstone efforts of some of our graduate students. 

    RSVP to

    For more information contact Renee Gracon at

    We hope to see you there!

    Piper Hodson and Renee Gracon

  • Welcome Back Students!

    Welcome back students! Today is the first day of fall 2014 classes.  We have a terrific list of course offerings this fall and we are pleased to see so many of you beginning your capstone work. We hope this is an exciting, productive, and challenging semester for all of you.

    If you are having trouble getting motivated to submit a photo for the NRES Online Students' Photo Contest (entries are due by Sept.5), check out the latest "Here and Now" photos on the University's website at for some inspiration. We know there are many of you out there that are keeping your photographic talent a secret. Share your best photos with us today, by emailing your JPEG or GIF files and the entry form to Renee Gracon at

    Don't forget the upcoming Online Student's On-Campus Day, Saturday, Sept. 13. Whether you are new to the program or have been in the program for a couple of years, you are invited to join us on campus. This is a great opportunity to meet the faculty and staff, learn about University resources, and get to know other online students better. We hope you all attend! To RSVP, please go to For more information, contact Renee (email address above). 

    Best wishes to all of you,