Overview & History


What is this program all about?
The ICARE NRT master’s degree is a 2-year interdisciplinary degree program with a dual mission of diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice combined with research focused on improving the health of Baltimore Harbor. Students are mentored by a UMBC faculty member and a non-academic scientist from a government agency, non-profit, or industry. That research team is embedded in a larger stakeholder team, meaning that each student and their mentors work with one or more community members (non-scientists) that have a stake in the research, from development to completion. Students also take skills courses (community engagement, JEDI, oral and written communication) and disciplinary courses appropriate to their research project.

  • Theme
    • Grand challenges in urban ecosystems
  • Mission
    • Our dual mission is to facilitate a cross-sector, interdisciplinary network of environmental scientists and to increase the diversity across the environmental workforce.
  • Vision
    • ICARE envisions training a diverse student body in ecology, evolution, engineering, social science, and policy research related to the environment and empowering those students for careers in which foundational research is used to solve environmental problems.
  • Goals
    • Broaden participation in environmental problem-solving;
    • Evidence-based pedagogical training in workforce skills;
    • Interdisciplinary exercises mapping research impact;
    • Two-way knowledge exchange at the science-policy interface;
    • Place our trainees in rewarding jobs in the environmental sector


ICARE grew out of an effort by UMBC faculty in 2016 to increase collaboration among ecologists, evolutionary biologists, environmental scientists and engineers on campus. As we coalesced around a mission to train a diverse student body and increase representation of diverse backgrounds in our fields, we expanded to include professional scientists from local government agencies, non-profits and industry. We are now a large network of environmental researchers committed to diversifying the environmental workforce through teaching, mentorship, and professional development.



The ICARE Master’s Program is not currently accepting applications, but individual ICARE Faculty and Departments still are! More information can be found under Application Information.


Participating Departments at UMBC

Department of Biological Sciences

Department of Chemical, Biochemical, and Environmental Engineering

Department of Geography and Environmental Systems

Marine Estuarine Environmental Sciences

School of Public Policy

Application deadlines for ICARE departments/programs can be found under Application Information and under News.


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