Graduate Certificate in Spatial Ecology

Interested in Spatial Ecology? Complete three courses to earn a transcriptable Graduate Certificate! The Graduate Certificate in Spatial Ecology provides interdisciplinary training necessary to develop inference about ecological phenomena using appropriate spatial theory, statistics, modeling approaches and data management tools. Students gain the necessary skills to address tomorrow’s complex ecological challenges.

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Spatial Ecology is concerned with the identification of spatial patterns and their relationships to ecological phenomena. Spatial Ecology has experienced a rapid increase in interest from:

  1. broad-scale natural resource assessments
  2. management and integration of “big data” into problem solving and decision-making
  3. using technology to collect massive amounts of spatially and temporally explicit data

patch of trees in mist and fog


Requirements for the Graduate Certificate in Spatial Ecology (MSU Program Code 5417):

  1. The following course (4 credits):
    • GEO 866 Spatial Data
  2. One of the following courses (3 credits):

    • FOR 870 Spatial Ecology
    • FW 840 Landscape Ecology
  3. One of the following courses (3 or 4 credits):

    • CSS 921 Geostatistics (3)
    • FOR 867 Hierarchical Modeling and Computing for Spatio-temporal Environmental Data (3)
    • FOR 870 Spatial Ecology (3)
    • FW 840 Landscape Ecology (3)
    • GEO 865 Advanced Quantitative Methods in Geography (4)
    • GEO 869 Geosimulation (3)
    • Forestry 870 and Fisheries and Wildlife 840 may not be used to fulfill this requirement if used to fulfill requirement 2. above.

See MSU Schedule of Courses for more detail on the timing of these courses.

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The Certificate is available as an elective to students who are enrolled in master’s or doctoral degree programs at Michigan State University. To enroll:

  • Send an email stating that you would like to enroll in the Spatial Ecology Graduate Certificate, and attach a PDF of your program of study to: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

All courses in the certificate may double count for your graduate degree requirements at MSU.


The Spatial Ecology Certificate is supported with advisory oversight and instruction from:

Additional instruction from:

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If you have questions about the Graduate Certificate in Spatial Ecology, please contact Dr. Phoebe Zarnetske (Chair) at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Dr. Phoebe Zarnetske
213 Natural Resources Building
Michigan State University
480 Wilson Road
East Lansing, MI 48824
Phone: (517) 355-7671