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08-03-2012

Clarkson University Offers New Master's in Environmental Politics and Governance

Graduate students pursuing environmental studies at Clarkson University can approach issues from a social science perspective thanks to a new interdisciplinary degree program offered through the University's Institute for a Sustainable Environment.

 Prof. Stephen D. Bird, who teaches energy and environmental politics, presents a lecture to students.Clarkson’s Master of Science Degree in Environmental Politics and Governance (MSEPG) Program merges scientific reasoning with policy. The curriculum shapes students to understand and successfully navigate their way through the process of policy-making in order to promote science-based environmental legislation, regulations and policy, including energy policies and decisions within both the public and private sectors.

“We have had a strong environmental science and engineering (ESE) technologically oriented graduate degrees for years, and that satisfies the demand for the study of science and technology issues, but we needed to provide an opportunity for employing social sciences from a technological perspective,” says Institute for a Sustainable Environment Director Philip K. Hopke.

Toward that end, a group put together the outline of the new degree in 2010 with New York State approval in 2011. Students tailor their degree program by choosing from a variety of relevant electives that build on a small set of core subjects.

“We already have one student signed up for this new degree,” says Hopke. "It’s too early to know his thesis subject, but we’ll be up and running in the fall and looking for more students interested in applying their technological skill to solving environmental problems through appropriate policy decisions."

The institute is working to develop a number of interdisciplinary programs that bring together resources across the campus, he says. This led to the addition of a new undergraduate minor in sustainable solutions for the developing world and the Adirondack Semester in Saranac Lake, N.Y.

The Institute for a Sustainable Environment offers undergraduate degree programs in environmental health science and environmental science and policy. On the graduate level, there are the master of science and Ph.D. in environmental science & engineering, and the master of science in environmental politics and governance. All are interdisciplinary study programs.

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

Photo caption: Clarkson University's Institute for a Sustainable Environment has introduced its new Master of Science Degree in Environmental Politics and Governance (MSEPG) Program. Above, Prof. Stephen D. Bird, who teaches energy and environmental politics, presents a lecture to students.

[A photograph for media use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/sbird-ise.jpg .]

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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