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Student Organizations

Nicholas School Chartered Groups

Nicholas School Student Council (NSSC) of the Nicholas School of the Environment is an advocate on behalf of professional students, representing the interests and concerns of these students to the Duke University and Nicholas School community. The NSSC is a group of elected and volunteer-appointed Masters of Environmental Management (MEM) and Masters of Forestry (MF) students that serves as an advisory body to the faculty and administration and provides a conduit between the student body, faculty, and administration. NSSC also coordinates the annual Earth Day and Field Day activities.

Nicholas PhD Advocacy Council (NPAC) is a group composed of peer-elected students from the Nicholas School-affiliated PhD programs (ENV, UPE, UPEP, MSC, TOX, EOS) which aims to represent and support the academic and professional interests of all Nicholas School-affiliated PhD students, while fostering a sense of community within the Nicholas School. NPAC aims to:

  1. Strengthen professional and social relationships among students in Nicholas School-affiliated PhD programs (e.g., through professional development activities such as the Graduate Afternoon Seminar).

  2. Advocate for the academic and professional interests of Nicholas School-affiliated PhD students.

  3. Provide support to program administrators for PhD student needs (e.g., Nicholas School PhD student orientation).

  4. Provide representation for Nicholas School-affiliated PhD students to other administrative and advocacy groups (e.g., Nicholas School faculty meetings, Duke Graduate and Professional Student Council).

Professional Groups

Coding for the Environment is dedicated to furthering student knowledge and expertise in data sciences and coding applications for environmental science, economics, energy, and other related topics. The club provides coding workshops, supports students in their coursework by holding open hours to ask coding-related questions, and brings in speakers who use coding and data sciences for their work in the environmental field.

Duke Conservation Society (DCS) focuses on contemporary conservation issues and solutions covering a variety of fields and exploring multiple forms of conservation including wildlife, land trusts, market-based, community-based, and policy-based among others. The society's vision is to provide a resource for students and future conservationists in finding solutions to the natural world’s most pressing problems.

Duke Water Network (DWN) is a student organization dedicated to connecting Duke students interested in water with each other, community members, and professionals in the fields of water management, science, policy, and business. DWN may organize employer and alumni networking events, trips to explore innovative water management approaches, talks and panels, and other events that fulfill its mission.

Eno Literary Magazine (Eno) has a mission to encourage, promote, and publish artistic forms of expression that inspire a deeper understanding and appreciation for the environment. The magazine aims to inspire artists to create work celebrating nature and to encourage consumers to reflect and act in service of the environment.

Green Roof and Orchard Workforce (GROW) is an inclusive, member-driven organization within NSOE that manages the rooftop garden space and orchard. The purpose of the group is to promote awareness and understanding of the functions and benefits of building-integrated green space, facilitate the proper and productive use of the Nicholas School’s green roof and orchard for communal enjoyment and benefit, support the Nicholas School’s spirit of community outreach and education, and promote community development and build social capital through shared stewardship and events.

Nicholas School Energy Club (NSEC) has a mission to educate Nicholas School students and the broader Duke community about energy issues and provide professional development opportunities in energy through networking events, field trips, socials, and conferences. NSEC coordinates activities with the Duke University Energy Initiative and partner energy clubs at the Fuqua School of Business and the Sanford School of Public Policy.

Ocean Policy Working Group (OPWG) focuses on the political, economic, and cultural dimensions of human interactions with the ocean. The group brings together graduate and professional students from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds to consider how their areas of study influence perceptions of the ocean. In addition, the group’s biannual publication, Upwelling, is a great way for members, faculty, and alumni to showcase their policy work with the greater Duke community.

Student Association for Geospatial Analysis (SAGA) is a graduate student organization for students interested in developing and sharing skills related to geospatial analysis. The mission of SAGA is to provide the graduate students of Duke University with a resource to expand, explore, and build professional skills in the field of Geospatial Analysis. SAGA serves as an organization to inform students about emerging trends and techniques, as well as to develop skills not taught through Nicholas School curriculum.

Social Groups

Diverse & Inclusive Community for the Environment (DICE) fosters a welcoming community within the Nicholas School so that members of disenfranchised groups/communities will feel that they belong in the community. This means bridging gaps between peoples of various identities by both acknowledging their differences and also learning to recognize shared interests and experiences. DICE seeks to empower members of disenfranchised groups/communities to join the Nicholas School community. This means working with the Nicholas School administration and staff to increase the recruitment rates for students of different races, cultures, gender and sexual identities, levels of ability/disability, socioeconomic classes, countries of origin, religions, and ethnicities.

Nicholas School’s Black & Latinx Club (BLC) is a student group providing a space to celebrate and educate the Nicholas School community on Black and Latino culture. It serves the needs of not only Black and Latino students but also any student, faculty, or staff member who wishes to engage in meaningful activities that build cultural, academic, and environmental awareness.

Nic Queer Network (NQN) represents the needs and concerns of students, staff, faculty, and other Nicholas School community members who identify as LGBTQIA+ or allies.

Nicholas School Naturalists (NicNats) is a natural history and outdoors club within the Nicholas School of Environment. Outdoor trips, which include hiking, backpacking, climbing, rafting, canoeing, birding, scuba diving, and more, are open to any graduate students within the Nicholas School.

FOREM is the official unofficial social organization of the Nicholas School. It is a social professional organization for all Nicholas School graduate students, faculty, and staff. The group’s purpose is to foster an environment in which students can balance their academic and social lives.

Duke Affiliates—Societies, Chapters, Clubs, and Initiatives

Duke Chapter of American Fisheries Society (DukeFish) is the graduate student chapter of the American Fisheries Society (AFS) at Duke University. AFS is an international organization whose mission is to promote and improve the conservation and sustainability of fishery resources and aquatic ecosystems. It is the oldest and largest fisheries professional society, established in 1870. The group promotes sustainable fisheries and consumer practices by reaching out to our peers, community members, and local industries through education, outreach, and community participation.

Duke Conservation Society (DCS) is a student group focusing on contemporary conservation issues and solutions. The group covers a variety of fields and explores multiple forms of conservation including wildlife, land trusts, market-based, community-based, and policy-based among others. The group’s vision is to provide a resource for students and future conservationists in finding solutions to the natural world’s most pressing problems.

Duke Environmental Law and Policy Forum (DELPF) began in 1991 as an interdisciplinary magazine published annually. Since then, the Forum has grown into a traditional environmental law journal. DELPF has retained its interdisciplinary roots and presents scholarship that examines environmental issues by drawing on legal, scientific, economic, and public policy resources. DELPF’s affiliations with the Nicholas School for the Environment, the Sanford School of Public Policy, and the Law School render it uniquely positioned to adapt to the increasingly interdisciplinary nature of environmental law. DELPF is a student-run publication, with staff members from the Law School, the Nicholas School for the Environment, and the Sanford School of Public Policy. New journal members, both JD and non-JD, are selected based on their writing skills, research ability, and interest in both DELPF and environmental policy.

Society of American Foresters (SAF), Duke Chapter, is the national scientific and educational organization representing the forestry profession. The Duke University Student SAF Chapter is a professional organization that facilitates student involvement in forestry at the local, regional, and national levels by promoting the forestry program at the Nicholas School, sustaining Duke’s relationship with other forestry schools, organizing both educational and community service events, and facilitating student attendance at SAF national conferences and meetings.

Duke Student Association of Wetland Scientists (SAWS) is a student-run organization dedicated to wetland ecology, restoration, and conservation at Duke University. The goal is to provide a meeting ground for graduate and non-graduate students interested in all aspects of wetlands. Activities include field trips, seminars, and volunteer events. The club works in coordination with the Duke University Wetlands Center.

Sustainable Oceans Alliance (SOA), Duke chapter, strives to equip students who have a passion for ocean conservation with the tools to help make a change. Duke SOA aims to enhance the university’s ability to support the needs and interests of students who intend to pursue marine science and conservation, both educationally and professionally. SOA provides a forum for Duke students interested in marine science and conservation, education for the Duke community about opportunities in the marine sciences available at Duke and the Duke Marine Lab, and facilitation for those students wishing to study at the Duke Marine Lab.

Duke Sustainability Board initiates and supports activities to help the Duke community move towards a more sustainable existence.

MEM/MBA Club is the home for concurrent MEM/MBA students and provides the key link between the Nicholas School and Fuqua School of Business. The club’s mission is to support students’ academic transition between two graduate programs, facilitate social cohesion, and encourage professional development through Duke’s unique hybrid education. The MEM/MBA program—both within Duke and externally through increased visibility and outreach to the Nicholas School of the Environment, The Fuqua School of Business, and the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School—actively works with school administrations to streamline MEM/MBA academics and administrative processes.

Nicholas School Net Impact is the Nicholas School chapter of the national Net Impact organization. It is a networking and professional development club that connects Nicholas School students with environmental professionals in the private sector and provides access to resources for further business related education.

The Coastal Society (TCS) is an organization of private sector, academic, and government professionals and students. TCS is dedicated to actively addressing emerging coastal issues by fostering dialogue, forging partnerships, and promoting communication and education. The Duke University Student Chapter of TCS seeks to fulfill this mission of coastal stewardship through education and restoration.

Working Group on the Environment in Latin America (WGELA) is a collaborative effort between Duke University, the University of North Carolina, and North Carolina State University undergraduate and graduate students to promote a rich comprehension of environmental issues in Latin America through interdisciplinary collaboration. WGELA aims to foster a dialogue concerning critical environmental issues affecting Latin America. The group also seeks to improve the understanding of the social, historical, political, and cultural contexts in which these environmental issues are embedded, and build capacity among an interdisciplinary and cross-institutional group of individuals to address and conduct research on Latin American issues.