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Nicholas School of the Environment
Established 1938 as the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, 1991 as the Nicholas School
Type Private
Location Durham, North Carolina, USA

The Nicholas School of the Environment is one of seven graduate and professional schools at Duke University. A secondary facility is maintained in the coastal town of Beaufort, North Carolina. The 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). It is composed of three research divisions: Earth and Ocean Sciences, Environmental Sciences and Policy and Marine Science and Conservation.


The Nicholas School celebrates it creation date as 1991, but it represents a coming together of three entities that are almost as old as the university itself. The School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and the Duke University Marine Lab (both formed in 1938) came together in 1991 to become the School of Environment, which was named the Nicholas School of the Environment in 1995 following a $20 million gift from Peter M. and Ginny Nicholas of Boston. 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.

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