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Environmental Science and Policy - Clark University

Environmental Science and Policy

The Environmental Science and Policy (ES&P) program at Clark University prepares students for evolving and critical careers at the intersection of environmental science and policy. ES&P continues a long tradition of innovation and creative contributions to environmental challenges — the current program has evolved from one of the first environmental programs in the country to explore relationships between environmental science, technology, and society.

Environmental challenges are complex. ES&P teaches students to use knowledge and methods from both the natural and social sciences, to integrate quantitative and qualitative analytical tools, and to understand the connections among environment, technology, society, and development.

With this program's course of study, the ES&P student is equipped with skills and perspectives to work with a wide array of stakeholders — communities, industries, governmental agencies, NGOs, researchers, and donors — in ways that are sensitive to cultural, institutional, socio-political, and economic needs.

ES&P students have opportunities to participate in high quality, meaningful research collaborations. They have access to faculty that have experience working with an ethnically and socially diverse student population. ES&P graduates are able to recognize, frame, characterize, and creatively address the many environmental problems facing the world today.

View the Program Brochure

Faculty Research and Practice Areas

ES&P faculty have expertise in three signature topical areas:

1. Environment and Human Health — understanding and responding to local and global environmental health challenges. This includes: the use of risk and vulnerability assessment; health policy analysis; participatory methods, health GIS, environmental justice, dimensions of social justice, and poverty.

2. Climate, Energy and Sustainability — understanding and responding to climate change at the local and global scale, energy and sustainable development challenges. This includes a focus on: climate change mitigation; climate change impact assessment and adaptation; climate and energy policy analysis; energy technology innovation; energy efficiency measures; renewable energy technologies, and other clean energy technologies; campus sustainability.

3. Environmental Management and Policy — understanding the role of science and technology in environmental policy making. This includes how to manage natural resources and pollution, stakeholder engagement, uncertainty in decision-making, the role of regulation, the role of technological innovation, the roles of institutions, social learning, capacity building, and policy analysis.

Students are encouraged to work closely with ES&P faculty to develop their own research capabilities in these areas, and with other faculty in IDCE and other Clark programs like Geography, Economics, Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

Highlights

Competitive Advantage: Environmental career trends show that employers worldwide — whether in the public, private, or non-profit sectors — seek a rare combination of five skills: 1) scientific and technical literacy — command of the language and concepts we use to characterize and understand problems; 2) analytical and research ability with both quantitative and qualitative data; 3) a working knowledge of GIS methods and tools; 4) an understanding of what it takes to work in concert with diverse social groups; and 5) critical-thinking and transdisciplinary ability for re-framing, understanding and addressing issues in innovative ways. ES&P Program equips students with this highly competitive skill set.

  • Environmental Science & Policy students can take courses and benefit from opportunities in all four IDCE graduate programs.
  • IDCE is a unique community of dedicated graduate students.
  • Clark is a small friendly campus.
  • Small class sizes, close faculty-student interaction.
  • Collaborative and cooperative international student body.
  • Multi-disciplinary, academically accomplished, and experienced faculty.
  • Scholar-practitioner IDCE faculty.
  • Commitment to strengthening the science-policy link.
  • Strong links to other research and science programs at Clark and elsewhere.
  • Tradition of innovative research with supportive community.
  • Worcester offers local setting for our work, and living costs are affordable.
  • Local, national, and international scope.

M.B.A. Dual Degree Program

Students enrolled in the ES&P program are now able to pursue a dual degree program based on a partnership with Clark University's Graduate School of Management (GSOM).

Beginning in Fall 2009, IDCE and GSOM are piloting the dual degree program with a select group of highly qualified students who will earn two degrees during three years of graduate study — a Master of Science degree in Environmental Science & Policy from IDCE and a Master of Business Administration from GSOM.

This unique educational partnership is consistent with Clark's long tradition of cross-programmatic collaborations.

Part-Time ES&P Program

Clark's ES&P graduate program admits a limited number of part-time students. While the program is designed primarily for full-time students, a part-time course of study is possible. Prospective students who may be interested in a part-time option should contact the admissions office before submitting their application and should also indicate in their application essay that they are interested in a part-time option. Financial assistance for part-time students is extremely limited.

Questions:

The following Frequently Asked Questions should help answer some of your questions.

About the Dual Degree

Q: Why should I pursue this dual degree?

A. The worlds of business and the environment are increasingly intertwined. The environmental problems we are facing in the twenty first century are deeply linked to the very nature of the modern economic system: the goods and services we produce, market, and consume. Transitioning to a more sustainable society requires integrated action of the public, non-profit, and business sectors. Novel approaches to management are needed.

Innovations in technologies and services provided by entrepreneurs and corporations are increasingly central to making a transition to a more sustainable world, and to building the "green collar economy" of the future. Non-governmental organizations, traditionally key partners with governments in pursuing environmental goals, are increasingly collaborating with the business world to address sustainability challenges. These organizations need employees with strong management and strategic planning skills, technical skills (like GIS and data analysis), an entrepreneurial spirit, as well as understanding of the complexities of environmental science and policy.

Students admitted to the dual degree program will be able to integrate the perspectives, knowledge, and skills they gain from ES&P courses, which focus on policy analysis and the use of scientific and quantitative tools, with the business and management perspective, knowledge, and skills learned in GSOM courses.

Future professionals who combine the mastery in these two areas will thrive as building bridges between the private and public sectors is increasingly valued, and as cross-sectoral career paths are increasingly common. Students completing the dual degree program may consider jobs in environmental consulting, entrepreneurial environmental leadership (like renewable energy systems), sustainable technology businesses, nonprofit operations and management, corporate sustainability, and others.

Q: How does it work?

A: The first year of your graduate studies will be spent in the IDCE department and your studies will be focused on environmental science and policy. The second year you will be taking courses at GSOM, acquiring management skills. In the third year, you will take courses in IDCE and GSOM and complete a final consultancy project that will require the knowledge and skills you have gained from both departments. Up to four courses taken during the three years can count toward both degrees. (Please note that there are likely to be few elective course options since students will be completing two degrees during a rigorous schedule.)

Q: How do I apply?

A: You must submit an application and all required attachments (e.g. transcripts, recommendations, TOEFL scores) to the IDCE Department. You must also concurrently submit an application only to the GSOM M.B.A. program. You will submit just one application fee and deposit to the IDCE Department, which will be considered your "home department." IDCE will share your required attachments with GSOM. In your required written essay, which can be used for both applications, please address the reasons why you would like to pursue both degrees.

Q: What is the application deadline?

A: The priority deadline for dual degree applications is February 1. Students are strongly encouraged to submit their applications by this date if they want to be considered for tuition fellowships and want to ensure their place in the class the following fall. Late applications will be accepted up to April 1 as long as there is space available.

Q: What kinds of activities are dual degrees students involved with here at Clark?

A: Ezra Becker (ES&P/M.S./M.B.A. '12), Patrick Bird (ES&P/M.S./M.B.A. '12), Jill Dimedio (ES&P/M.A./M.B.A. '11), Nanako Kudo (IDSC/M.A. '11), and Demetrios Yannopoulos (CDP/M.A. '11) are the current IDCE members of NetImpact. A creation of the dual degree programs and students pursuing the M.B.A. in Social Change, this collaboration brings students together who are interested in a new mode of business that puts emphasis not only on profits but also on environmental and social impact. Although their aspirations vary, these students are interested in topics such as corporate social responsibility, environmental sustainability, microfinance, social entrepreneurship, and much more. As a Net Impact Chapter, their current initiatives include a Nonprofit Board Fellows Program, Green Run (5K), Speaker Series, and more as they are always looking to partner and take on new initiatives.