By integrating courses in environmental science, social science, and organizational leadership, the Sustainable Development and Climate Change concentration prepares adult learners like you for the rigorous challenges that environmental advocates face every day. The complex arena of sustainability and environmental protection involves tricky navigation of public and private interests. The convoluted, multifaceted problems that you’ll face require the proper skill, knowledge, and leadership to help develop fair compromises in the face of adversity.
This degree is offered by AU New England.
The Master of Science in Environmental Studies with a concentration in Sustainable Development and Climate Change (SDCC) will empower you to learn and apply knowledge from key areas such as ecological and climate science, policy formulation and implementation, stakeholder participation and organizational decision-making.
Our faculty work with our students to achieve their goals and develop as leaders. In the course of the SDCC program, students become:
- Scientists: Our students learn to critically assess the antagonistic and synergetic dynamics of maintaining the functional values of natural systems in a changing landscape. They learn to identify field indicators of impact from development while mastering field-data collection methods and field equipment use. These assessment techniques are the key to sustainable development for the future.
- Critical Thinkers: We train our students to use resources and develop the skills for effectively balancing economic development with the protection of natural resources.
- Leaders: The SDCC concentration trains our students to identify and understand the scientific and social complexities within the interdisciplinary field of environmental studies, including ethics, sustainability and social justice. Understanding these complexities is an important part of being able to facilitate solutions to the complex multi-issue, multi-stakeholder environmental problems of today.
- Conservationists: For our students conservation is not simply scientific understanding of the natural systems, nor just conducting research within the natural world. Both of these are necessary activities but not sufficient. Ultimately, conservation is decision-making and subsequently managing the implementation of those decisions.
- Visionaries: Our students learn to demonstrate and apply theory into practice. We focus on facilitative and adaptive leadership as well as applying skills in external stakeholder capacity building. Our students understand the definition and requirements of organizational sustainability.
Length of Program:
This coursework for this program can be completed in 5 semesters. Classes meet one day a week plus 3-5 weekends per semester.
To earn the MS degree in Environmental Studies with a Sustainable Development & Climate Change concentration, you must earn a minimum of 36 credits distributed as follows:
Core Areas (9 credits, select 3 out of 4 courses):
- Earth Systems and Climate Change (3)
- Community Ecology of the New England Landscape (3)
- Political Economy and Sustainability (3)
- Leadership for Change (3)
Concentration courses (15 credits):
- Climate Change Resilience, Adaptation, and Mitigation (3) –Required
- Energy and Materials Sustainability (3) – Required
- Building Sustainable Organizations (3)
- Conservation Psychology Theory & Application(3)
- Land Use and Protection Techniques (3)
- Principles of Sustainable Systems (3)
- Watershed Science and Management (3)
- In consultation with a student’s academic adviser, other courses may be selected from the complete suite of concentration course offerings
Skills courses (6 credits)
- Intro to GIS (3)
- Advanced GIS (3)
- Applied GIS (3)
- Communication in the Digital Age (2)
- Consulting Skills (1)
- Dispute Resolution (1)
- Diversity, Justice & Inclusion (2)
- Field Study Trips (2-3)
- Natural Resource Inventory: field Techniques (2)
- Proposal Writing and Project Management (3)
- Service Learning Seminar (1)
- with permission of the academic adviser, students may substitute 2-3 credits of skills with a concentration course
General Internship (3 credits)
Capstone Project or 2nd Internship (3 credits)
Most course offerings rotate over a 2-year cycle; Professional Science Masters students should select courses in consultation with their academic adviser to meet additional requirements; Students who select 1 and 2 credit courses should plan carefully with their academic adviser to avoid additional cost; Students entering under a recognized partnership with AUNE should discuss degree requirements with their academic adviser.
Combine this concentration with Peace Corps service. Through the AUNE International Service Program, you can earn credit for your service tuition-free and change the world.
Graduates are prepared for a variety of environmental careers in the public and private sector including environmental regulation, environmental consulting, local and regional planning, and environmental non-profit leadership.
Upon completion of their Master of Science in Environmental Studies with a concentration in Sustainable Development and Climate Change (SDCC), students are able to:
- Identify and understand the scientific and social complexities within the interdisciplinary field of environmental studies including ethics, sustainability and social justice;
- Critically assess the dynamics of maintaining the functional values of natural systems in a changing landscape;
- Comprehend the dynamics of environmental change at multiple temporal and spatial scales;
- Understand the structural and functional tenets of organizations in order to maximize their resilience and adaptive capacity in changing regulatory and economic environments;
- Facilitate solutions to complex multi-issue, multi-stakeholder landscape scale environmental issues;
- Utilize resources and skills to build needed capacity at the local level to effectively balance economic development with protection of natural resources;
- Demonstrate competence in field identification of indicators of impact from development;
- Master field-data collection methods and equipment;
- Demonstrate the ability to quantitatively and spatially analyze environmental data;
- Demonstrate proficiency in modeling skills to project possible consequences from current land-use and development decisions;
- Be adept at proposing, managing and completing team projects, within proposed timelines and budgets;
- Demonstrate effective communication that effectively translates technical, scientific and economic information for local decision-makers.