American University of Beirut

Department of Landscape Design and Ecosystem Management (LDEM) Graduate Program

Chairperson: Abunnasr, Yaser
Professors:Talhouk, Salma; Zurayk, Rami (ECOM Program Coordinator)
Associate Professor: Abunnasr, Yaser
Assistant Professors:Al-Akl, Nayla; Dreksler, Beata
Lecturer:Karim Bacha
Instructor:Monika Fabian
Adjunct Associate ProfessorTrovato, Maria Gabriella

Graduate Program

The graduate study program leading to the MSES (Master of Science in Environmental Sciences) degree with a specialization in Ecosystem Management (ECOM) is offered with a thesis or non-thesis option.

The program educates students in ecosystem science and management by integrating instruction in biophysical and human systems. It provides students with sufficient research experience and equips them with the necessary tools for professional practice and/or the pursuit of higher education. Students are prepared to be leaders and agents of change to address issues of local and global relevance at the nexus of human development, ecological integrity and the sustainable use of resources.

Core and elective courses are structured to provide students with a diversified and multi-disciplinary background in environmental sciences including environmental restoration and nature conservation, ecosystem sciences and management, urban greening and natural resources planning and management. The program crosses traditional boundaries by applying an interdisciplinary approach and multiple resource knowledge to ecosystem studies while also emphasizing human-nature interactions.

Effective fall 2020/21, new ECOM students will need to take a total of 5 core courses equivalent to 15 credits (3 core courses from LDEM in addition to two core courses from ENVT, ENVH or ENVP). The 3 core graduate courses offered at LDEM include LDEM 301 (Urban Greening), LDEM 302 (Green Infrastructure for Resilient Landscapes and Cities), and LDEM 630 (Natural Resources Management). ECOM students will also need to take 3 elective courses equivalent to 9 credits (to be determined after consultation with their advisor). ECOM students will also register for a Comprehensive Exam (ENSC 695; 0 cr.) and an MS Thesis (ENSC 699; 6 cr.) In addition to the above, effective Fall 2023/2024, ECOM students will have to register for LDEM 320 (Graduate Seminar in Ecosystem Management; 0cr.) as a mandatory Seminar every term until graduation.

Natural resources management involves not only the understanding of ecosystem structure and function when used for a variety of purposes, but also the incorporation of social, economic and political considerations into decision-making. Consequently, the discipline involves the collection, analysis, interpretation and integration of information not only from the more traditional areas of science but also from the areas of management.

For full details on the admission requirements for this interfaculty program, see the Admissions section of this catalogue and the Admission Policies for the Interfaculty Graduate Environmental Sciences Program.

For information regarding graduation requirements, refer to the General University Requirements in this catalogue.

Credit requirements are tabulated below:

​Course Type
​Core​15 (out of which 9 are from LDEM)
Graduate Seminar
​Total number of credits required for graduation ​30

MSES (Major: Ecosystem Management)

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