TIDES (Training for the Integration of Decision making and Ecosystems Science) is a professional, non-thesis master’s degree program that provides the knowledge and skills needed to connect science with coastal decision making through a combination of course work and an internship at a reserve in the National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS).

The National Estuarine Research Reserve System is a network of 28 areas, representing different biogeographic regions of the United States that are protected for long-term research, water-quality monitoring, education and coastal stewardship. The Reserves work to address natural resource issues through research, stewardship, coastal training, and education programs. The System is a partnership program between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the coastal states. NOAA provides funding, national guidance and technical assistance. Each reserve is managed by a lead state agency or university, with input from local partners.

The internship is at the heart of the TIDES experience. Internships are often linked to a NERRS Science Collaborative-sponsored research project, which are designed to insure that investigators work with intended users of the science before, during, and after the generation of knowledge. Some of the primary issues addressed by these projects include: impacts of land use change, habitat change and restoration, estuarine contamination, and the management of stormwater and non-point source pollution.

TIDES interns help coordinate and facilitate collaborative ecosystem research within these projects. They provide input on how multistakeholder scientific discussions are structured and facilitated for maximum impact. They also may organize, implement, and evaluate interactions between researchers and intended users. Interns also take part in other activities at the reserve, such as educational events and fieldwork for research and stewardship. The internship is a great opportunity to gain real-world experience and training in estuarine issues and resource management, preparing TIDES graduates to effectively tackle environmental challenges.

TIDES is one of the few graduate programs in the nation to provide such training—and the only such program to complement coursework with a field-based internship at a NERRS site. Past TIDES students have done their internships in New Hampshire, Florida, California, New York, Texas, Alaska, Ohio, and Maryland. Recently, internships have included other organizations working on coastal management issues, including New Hampshire Sea Grant and the Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partnership. TIDES is hosted by the University of New Hampshire’s Department of Natural Resources & the Environment.

For more information on the TIDES program please contact:
Dr. David Burdick
Associate Research Professor and TIDES Graduate Program Coordinator
Department of Natural Resources and the Environment
James Hall
University of New Hampshire
Durham, NH 03824
Phone: (603) 862-4523
E-mail: David.Burdick@unh.edu

Also, read this article, or ask a TIDES student!

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