Emissions from human activities have repercussions on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems as well as on local and global economics. These emissions, often dispersed over wide areas at low concentrations, can have profound and complex effects on human health. Recognition of such ubiquitous impacts has resulted in significant state and federal legislation and international initiatives that redefine how people live, work, and define their quality of life.

Air Resources Management (ARM) was introduced in 1993 to help meet the nationwide need in government, business, and industry for professionals in air quality management. This need stemmed in part from the adoption across the country of stringent air quality laws and regulations, notably the federal Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 and their state and local counterparts.

ARM prepares students for professional air quality management work in government, business, and industry. ARM addresses air management issues at the local and ecosystem scales through interdisciplinary studies in science, economics, health, engineering, ecology, and policy. It acquaints students with a carefully planned mix of pertinent topics, including air system behavior, multimedia issues, regulation, analysis, planning, design, and control.

ARM is not available as a stand-alone graduate degree. Each ARM student must complete at least 10 credits including one core policy course, one core technical course, a seminar/colloquium, and one approved elective course. Doctoral students earn an external minor in ARM if they complete the specified 10-credit requirement.

ARM welcomes students in any doctoral degree program at UW–Madison. Students pursuing ARM are expected to have completed at least one college-level course in physics; chemistry; biology or environmental science; economics; social science in the area of government, law, institutions, or organizations; and calculus or another mathematics course beyond college algebra. Prerequisites may be waived upon recommendation of the ARM faculty.