Sustainable Development and Climate Change Concentration

Interview and Presentation on Climate Change Adaptation, Michael Simpson, Director of the Sustainability Development and Climate Change Concentration and Chairperson, Department of Environmental Studies, AUNE

Radio Interview:

Listen to an interview with Michael Simpson, chair of AUNE’s Department of Environmental Studies, on Green is Good Radio. The Effects of Our Changing Climate

Sustainable Development & Climate Change ConcentrationThe MS in Environmental Studies with a concentration in Sustainable Development and Climate Change (SDCC) integrates courses in environmental science, social science, and organizational leadership. 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

Choose a Professional Science Master’s Option.

Sustainable Development and Climate Change has been approved for affiliation as a Professional Science Master’s (PSM)Professional Science Master'sdegree program by the Council of Graduate Schools. SDCC students can choose to follow the PSM track of studies or the non-PSM, policy track of studies. Students who wish to graduate with the PSM designation must take at least eighteen science and/or math credits.

Lead the way to a sustainable future.

Gain the skills you need to manage for change in the complex arena of today’s environmental challenges. Learn and apply knowledge from key areas such as ecological and climate science, policy formulation and implementation, stakeholder participation and organizational decision-making.

Complete your degree in 20 months.

Classes meet one day a week plus 3-5 weekends per semester for five semesters. Courses in climate change adaptation and resiliency, environmental site assessment, sustainable community planning, and building sustainable organizations, plus applied internships and projects.

Make a difference in the world.

Environmental problems are complex and multi-faceted. Work with experienced environmental professionals to connect theory and practice, learn with students from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds and skills, develop group collaboration and project management skills to address interdisciplinary environmental challenges through teamwork and effective communication.

Build your résumé and professional network.

Integrate classroom learning through field internships and capstone projects that provide you with the opportunity to apply your knowledge and develop your professional resume. Community engagement offers the opportunity to contribute to on-the-ground change, and build your professional network before you graduate.

Program Delivery

  • 42 credits
  • Fall & Spring Entry – Apply now for Fall
  • Classes meet one day a week plus 3-5 weekends per semester.
  • 5 semesters to complete (Fall, Spring, Summer, Fall, Spring)

Antioch University New England is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

In the course of the SDCC program, students become:

Energy and passion alone do not create comprehensive solutions to complex problems. Other ingredients are leadership informed by science, theory tempered by practical experience, and the integration of diverse perspectives through systems thinking.

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.

Our faculty works with our students to achieve their goals and develop as leaders.

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.

Professional Science Master’s Designation

Students who wish to graduate with the PSM designation must take at least 18 science and/or math course credits.

Track 1:

Students who choose Track 1 register for 4 courses in both their first Fall and first Spring semesters. This track provides students with an opportunity to schedule the entire Summer and/or Spring II semesters off campus. *This is the preferred sequence for those intending to do a Master’s Thesis or Master’s Project.

Track 2:

Students who choose Track 2 register for a maximum of 3 courses per semester. This Track provides students with a more evenly paced sequence of coursework throughout their program.

Requirements: 42 CREDITS

Students may select any 3 out of 4 core courses

Core (C) ; 9 credits; Concentration (T) ; 6 credits; Methods: courses selected by student – 18; Internship ; 6 credits; Capstone Project ; 3 credits

Track 1

Track 2

Fall I (12 credits)
Earth Systems and Climate Change (C)(3)
Community Ecology of the New England Landscapes (C)(3)
Methods (3) (BSO – strongly recommended)
Methods (3)
Fall I (9 credits)
Earth Systems and Climate Change (C)(3)
Community Ecology of the New England Landscapes (C)(3)
Methods(3)(BSO – strongly recommended)
Spring I (12 credits)
Climate Change Resilience, Adaptation, and Mitigation (T)(3)
Political Economy of Sustainability (C)(3)
Methods (3)
Methods (3)
Spring I (9 credits)
Climate Change Resilience, Adaptation, and Mitigation (T)(3)
Political Economy of Sustainability (C)(3)
Methods (3)
Summer (3 credits)
Internship I (3)
Summer (6 credits)
Internship I (3)
Methods (3)
Fall II (9 credits)
Environmental Assessment Techniques (T)(3)
Leadership for Change (C)(3)
Methods (3)
Fall II (9 credits)
Environmental Assessment Techniques (T)(3)
Leadership for Change (C)(3)
Methods (3)
Spring II (6 credits)
Capstone Project (3)
Internship II (3)
Spring II (9 credits)
Capstone Project (3)
Methods (3)
Internship II (3)

Sample Method courses include:

  • Building Sustainable Organizations(BSO)
  • Citizen Participation and Sustainable Communities
  • Climate Change: Resilience, Adaptation and Mitigation
  • Coastal Geoecology of New England (Fall 2011 field study trip)
  • Community & School-based Sustainable Food Systems
  • Conservation Psychology Theory & Application
  • Cuba: Sustainability and the New Food System (Fall 2012 registration; January 2013 field study trip)
  • Ecology and Management of Adirondack Mountains (Fall 2012 field study trip)
  • Ecosystems of Mount Desert Island (Spring 2012 field study trip)
  • Energy and Materials Sustainability
  • Environmental Law
  • Environmental Assessment Techniques
  • Financial Administration
  • Foundations of Environmental Education
  • Geographic Information System (GIS)
  • Integrated Conservation of Tropical Ecosystems: Costa Rica (Spring 2012, March field study trip)
  • Land Use and Community Planning
  • Making Sense of Place
  • Natural Resource Inventory
  • New England Flora
  • Non Profit Organizations & Social Entrepreneurship
  • Organizing for Social Change
  • Ornithology
  • Principles of Sustainability
  • Program Evaluation for Environmental and Conservation Educators
  • Proposal Writing and Project Management
  • Qualitative and Quantitative Research Design Techniques
  • Research Seminar
  • Soil Ecology
  • Soils Mapping and Interpretation
  • Vertebrate Ecology: Mammalogy
  • Wetlands Ecology
  • Wildlife & Forest Management

Building Sustainable Organizations course - Field Trip to Bensonwood Construction

The SDCC concentration requires 42 credits of academic work. The two required internships are a total of 6 credits and the final capstone project (either a Collaborative Service Initiative, a thesis, or an individual master’s project) counts as 3 credits. The remaining 33 credits are for course work (11 courses). The course work requires four core courses that all student take (12 credits). The remaining 21 credits (7 courses) are a combination of required concentrations and methods/electives. The specific method/elective courses are developed through a dialogue between the student and her/his academic advisor that focuses on the goals of each student and their potential career objectives.

Required Core Courses:
12 credits (4 courses)

The four core coursesEarth Systems and Climate Change, Ecological Dynamics of the Landscape, Political Economy and Sustainability, and Leadership for Change – are designed to ensure all students are proficient in the foundational framework of environmental studies. Theoretical concepts, content, and skills acquired in these core classes are reinforced through subsequent courses, applied research, and professional internships. These core courses are designed to allow students to look at change and sustainability through multiple lenses.

Ecological Dynamics of Landscapes
This course examines the diversity of plant communities found in central New England with special attention to the impact of topography, substrate, and disturbance regimes on community composition and structure as a means to understand ecological community dynamics in any part of the world. As a largely field-based course, both qualitative and quantitative means will be used to describe community composition and structure, as well as the reasons for community placement. Eco-indicator species will be used to delineate specific topographic and edaphic sites, while evidence of various disturbances will be used to interpret successional patterns as a means for “reading the landscape.” The course will have a strong grounding in concepts related to community ecology including dominance, diversity, niche structuring, and succession. Skills in plant community sampling, soil interpretation, and plant identification will also be developed. A number of outstanding representatives of community types in the central Connecticut River watershed will be visited.

Leadership for Change
Leadership for change is the art of structuring organizations and collaboration, building morale and vision, and facilitating group deliberation and decision-making to guide effective policy-setting and organizational work that makes a positive difference at the individual, interpersonal, organizational, field and societal levels. This course will help students develop the skills and understandings that support leadership that is adaptive, inclusive, participatory, collaborative, culturally competent, and effective. Participants in this class will be challenged to explore: 1) personal leadership competencies and styles; 2) group dynamics, inclusion, and team facilitation; 3) strategies for engaging diverse stakeholders; and 4) the capacity of creative leadership to facilitate large-scale systemic change.

Earth Systems and Climate Change
This course employs a systems approach to understanding earth’s physical and biological environment by examining the large-scale components and processes of the earth system. Understanding the interaction of these elements and their natural variability in space and time is critical for assessing the rates, drivers, and consequences of environmental change. Content will emphasize climate change dynamics, biogeochemical cycles, and land use patterns and their feedback relationships with the atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, pedosphere and diosphere.

Political Economy and Sustainability
Political economy seeks to explain how political institutions, the economic system, applied sciences, and social movements interact over time. This course will focus on how these dynamics generate varied outcomes in relation to the goals of sustainability, justice, and economic well-being. Students will examine the political and economic roots of the global sustainability crisis. Students will assess political and economic reforms, policy processes, and policy tools that might yield better outcomes. Students will also develop a greater understanding of possible action strategies from within civil society, the business sector, government, and/or international bodies for creating a transition toward a more sustainable society.


Required Concentration-Area Courses: 6 credits (2 courses)

Concentration area courses provide additional knowledge and skills for students in their area of specialization. The two required courses are: Climate Change, Adaptation, and Mitigation, and Environmental Assessment Techniques.

Environmental Assessment Techniques
This course is useful for anyone who will be working to preserve, conserve or manage land-use and water resource decisions. The course content reviews, and allows student to practice, field assessment approaches so as to evaluate potential or actual impacts from human activities, both at the watershed level and for a specific parcel of land. Such procedures range from the formalized ASTM Phase I site assessment procedures to techniques for documenting watershed health and mitigating potential non-point source pollution. Skills to be developed are for anyone entertaining the possibility of working for a land trust, watershed association, a planning agency or a consultancy that focuses on landowner regulatory compliance and liability issues.

Climate Change, Adaptation, and Mitigation
The goal of this course is to increase students’ breadth and depth of understanding of, and discourse in, adaptation strategies that span changes to technologies and management strategies to changes in social organization and related institutions. The course will address how to evaluate the robustness of social-ecological systems and the ramifications this has on the management of resources on the landscape into the future. Skill development in evaluating potential adaptation strategies, at different scales, will be introduced, and the concepts of uncertainty and risk identification, assessment and decision analysis.


Methods/Electives Courses: 15 Credits (5 courses)

Additional 5 methods/Elective courses are required. Method/elective courses to support a student’s critical path. Methods courses focus on core skills. Course selection, in consultation with the faculty advisor, will be based on students’ professional experience, prior academic work, and professional career path. Examples include: Building Sustainable Organizations; Energy and Materials Sustainability; Geomorphology; Land Use and Community Planning; Soil Ecology and the Landscape; Financial Administration; Geographic Information Systems, Proposal Writing and Project Management; Environmental Law; Mammalogy; Ornithology; Herpetology; New England Flora; Natural Resource Inventory; Research Design and Assessment; Principles of Sustainability and; Social Aspects of Conservation and Development. A few example course descriptions are provided below.

Building Sustainable Organizations
BSO surveys the landscape of sustainability theory and literature by considering organizational purpose, design and behavior through the lenses of ecology, management, economics and social justice. This course prepares students to analyze organizations from the perspective of sustainable practices, and to develop an understanding of the importance of self-knowledge and personal sustainability. BSO is designed to serve as a gateway for further study. The course relies on heavily active participation by all class members, drawing from each participant’s previous organizational and managerial experiences.

Energy and Materials Sustainability
Individuals, either as a consumer, an employee or someone who lives on the landscape, are learning to become more environmentally responsible and realize true savings through adopting sustainability driven policies and practices. In this course we will examine how the emerging field of materials and energy sustainability can help individuals and organizations to become more effective at reducing their ecological footprint. This course is based on the premise that the material and energy flow throughout one’s home or business is part of a greater life cycle which stretches from raw material extraction through the manufacturing stages and onto consumer and post-consumer stages. We will discuss concepts in the areas of waste reduction, pollution prevention, energy efficiency, environmental management and life cycle analysis to equip participants with the tools they need to understand and potentially reduce environmental impact within the different domain of their lives.

Land Use and Community Planning
The objective of this course is to provide students with an overview of land use issues and community planning concepts and techniques. The course will introduce landscape ecology principles to build a foundation for sustainable land use planning at a broad scale. We will discuss ethical and legal implications for land use decision-making and develop analytic skills for determining appropriate uses given site specific conditions. The class will then focus on planning techniques at the community scale, covering topics such as master planning, zoning, and sub-division and site plan regulation.

Financial Administration
The overall goal of the course is to introduce students to the principles of financial administration as applied to the management of organizations. This course is designed for students with little or no financial background. The course has the objectives for the student to: become familiar with the language of finance, essential for those who will play a role in managing the financial resources of an organization; understand the basics of the financial system and its components; learn the principles of preparing an annual and capital budget; gain experience in setting up and using spreadsheets; develop skills in the analysis, interpretation, and use of financial information; become familiar with the principles of time value of money; review the principles of investment and retirement accounts; and become familiar with the key components of an annual financial audit and systems of internal control. The course will focus on gaining competency in financial management skills as directed towards running an organization.

Geographic Information Systems
This is an introductory course in the use of GIS software to create, manage and work with spatially explicit data. This class will explore how to access GIS information available on the WWW, extract and analyze quantitative data using ArcGIS 9.x software, understand limitations associated with various data sources and use software for preparation of maps.

Proposal Writing and Project Management 
This course will focus on gaining competency in the three phases of the grants process: planning, research, and writing. Students will research and explore public and private funding sources appropriate to the human services and environmental fields. The criteria for selecting potential funding sources, the basic elements of a proposal, and developing successful collaborative efforts will be emphasized. Students will interactively engage in each phase of the process and will demonstrate their learning through submission of a proposal abstract and evidence of research in the public and private sectors.

Quantitative & Qualitative Research Techniques
The purpose of this course is to gain a basic understanding of quantitative and qualitative research approaches so that students, in their professional life, can assess research reports that must be evaluated in order to develop policy and/or to inform implementation. The material presented is done at a depth and breadth to provide a basic understanding of how research is done and why specific techniques and approaches are used for answering specific questions. Students will try out different methodological approaches that include basic statistical analysis and design, field techniques, and computer models. Through the development of a research proposal, you will ground discussions of theory in the practical concerns of research: framing research questions; designing a small study; collecting and analyzing data; dealing with validity, reliability, and ethical issues; and writing a research report.


Capstone Options

To earn a Master’s degree, all students have to complete one Capstone Option. SDCC students have 3 capstone options. All three options allow a student to demonstrate their knowledge, skills, and competencies. These options include:

  • Thesis
  • Master’s Project
  • Collaborative Service Initiative

The identification of a student’s capstone option and development of a topic occurs through a seminar process completed by the end of the first year of study.

Collaborative Service Initiative
A collaborative service initiative entails a substantive applied research, evaluation and/or consultation project that is linked to an external partner’s identified need. This team service learning project applies skills and knowledge gained through the Master’s Environmental Studies courses and internships. These collaborative service initiatives will emphasize:

  • An interdisciplinary team of students and faculty with a faculty mentor;
  • Achievement of community service learning goals that reflects the ES mission;
  • Commitment from external partners in the form of time; mentoring; and access to relevant information, resources and individuals.

Master’s Thesis
The Master’s Thesis should reflect the student’s particular focus of study and future professional interest. Students develop a research hypothesis or question and the appropriate methodology to test that hypothesis or questions. This effort includes a data collection component and the analysis and interpretation of that data framed within a theoretical context. The research approach can be based on quantitative or qualitative research and literature review.

Master’s Project
The Master’s Project differs from the Master’s Thesis in that the Project will typically be more descriptive in focus and usually will not be defined by formal hypothesis-testing of theoretical concepts. The Master’s Project will often follow standardized approaches used in a student’s chosen field such as development of a regional land use plan, completion of a natural resource inventory, or preparation of a high school curriculum. Master’s Projects will be expected to be professional in their presentation, but need not adhere to AUNE’s formal Thesis Guidelines.

To earn a master’s degree, all students have to complete one capstone option. SDCC students have three capstone options. All three options allow a student to demonstrate their knowledge, skills and competencies. These options include:

  • Master’s Thesis
  • Master’s Project
  • Collaborative Service Initiative

The identification of their capstone option and development of a topic occurs through a seminar process completed by the end of the first year of study.

Master’s Thesis

The Master’s Thesis should reflect the student’s particular focus of study and future professional interest. Students develop a research hypothesis or question and the appropriate methodology to test that hypothesis or questions. This effort includes a data collection component and the analysis and interpretation of that data framed within a theoretical context. The research approach can be based on quantitative or qualitative research and literature review.

Master’s Project

The Master’s Project differs from the Master’s Thesis in that the project will typically be more descriptive in focus and usually will not be defined by formal hypothesis-testing of theoretical concepts. The Master’s Project will often follow standardized approaches used in a student’s chosen field such as development of a regional land use plan, completion of a natural resource inventory, or preparation of a high school curriculum. Master’s Projects will be expected to be professional in their presentation, but need not adhere to AUNE’s formal Thesis Guidelines.

Collaborative Service Initiative

collaborative service initiative entails a substantive applied research, evaluation and/or consultation project that is linked to an external partner’s identified need. This team service learning project applies skills and knowledge gained through the master’s Environmental Studies courses and internships. These collaborative service initiatives will emphasize:

  • An interdisciplinary team of students and faculty with a faculty mentor
  • Achievement of community service learning goals that reflects the ES mission
  • Commitment from external partners in the form of time, mentoring and access to relevant information, resources and individuals.

Examples of Capstone Options:
Collaborative Service Initiatives
Master Thesis and Master Projects

Practice of theory and skills, and building a portfolio of experience for prospective employers, are at the core of the SDCC curriculum. Many of the SDCC courses develop challenges that allow students to practice team problem solving and development of a final product of a quality reflective of what they would be expected to create as a professional. Other courses have term projects that are actual consultancies to organizations that have requested assistance in addressing a current challenge. In addition, all SDCC students are required to take 6 credits of internship (practicum) and a 3-credit capstone course. This allows students to not only gain experience within the type of organization they project that they may want to work, but it also allows application of the theory and skills presented in the classroom setting. Most importantly, it provides students the opportunity to network with the environmental professional community that they hope to join at graduation.


Professional Science Master's DegreeThe Sustainable Development and Climate Change program is approved for affiliation as a Professional Science Master’s degree program by the Council of Graduate Schools. It is the first Professional Science Master’s program in New Hampshire, and one of only 212 in the U.S. The program bears the official PSM logo, and is included on the Professional Science Master’s website.

Two Program Options

Students in AUNE’s Sustainable Development and Climate Change program can choose to follow the Professional Science Master’s (PSM) track of studies or the non-PSM, policy track of studies. Students who wish to graduate with the Professional Science Master’s designation must take at least eighteen of their required credits in science and math.

About the Professional Science Master’s degree

The Professional Science Master’s degree is an innovative, non-thesis graduate degree that enables students to pursue advanced training in science or mathematics without a PhD, while also developing sought-after workplace skills often learned in an MBA program. Launched in 1997 with support of the Alfred B. Sloan Foundation, and designed in collaboration with industry, a Professional Science Master’s program can be completed in two years, and combines interdisciplinary academic study with research projects and internships in businesses and the public sector. To date, graduates successfully work in industry, government and non-profit organizations.

Federal support for the Professional Science Master’s degree has been growing over the past several years. The National Science Foundation (NSF) recently awarded $15 million in grants to develop or expand PSMs, an initiative authorized by the America COMPETES Act and funded by the 2009 stimulus bill.

Read the recent Chronicle of Higher Education commentary in support of Professional Science Master’s Degrees.

RMC students

The Sustainable Development and Climate Change (SDCC) program emphasizes the need to build trust and foster the commitment of participants in effectively addressing environmental problems. To that end, the SDCC program teaches students how to help create a shared vision that reflects the diverse views of a community by integrating and communicating technical, scientific, social and economic information as well as local or indigenous knowledge.

From the moment students enter the SDCC program, we prepare them for entry into the environmental profession. This comprehensive approach to preparing students for employment has proved very successful.

Also contributing to the program’s success has been the use of individual advising, which helps students develop a vision of their prospective career paths. Once a clear path has been envisioned, students are asked to think strategically about courses, course projects, practica and their capstone project, so that the choices they make will build upon one another and the students will develop a portfolio of work and experience that will ease their move into a career after they leave the program.

As students begin to envision their career paths, their advisers emphasize their choice of practicum and the capstone project, since both not only provide experience but can also be of strategic use in networking and expanding the students’ access to job opportunities.

At Antioch University New England students have the opportunity to work with faculty on various consulting projects. These projects allow students to think dynamically and put theory into action. Many students find these research assistantships to be vital to their AUNE experience. The following is a sampling of projects that students and faculty have jointly worked on over the past several years. They also illustrate the types of projects could also serve as a Capstone: Collaborative Service Initiative.

Beaver BrookRiparian Corridor Wildlife Assessment 
Study of Impacts to Wildlife Habitat and Connectivity for the Urbanized Beaver Brook, Keene, NH


Lake Sunapee Watershed Infrastructure ProjectLake Sunapee Watershed Infrastructure Project
Study of impact from climate change and facilitation of public policy process


Liberia Post-Conflict Infrastructure ProjectLiberia Post-Conflict Infrastructure Project 
Development of Intervention Strategies to Re-establish Urban Environmental Services


Climate Change AdaptationClimate Change Adaptation 
Study of Impacts to the Oyster River Watershed and Great Bay Estuary


Regional Organics RecoveryRegional Organics Recovery 
Establishment of a Composting Option for Commercially Generated Organics, Brattleboro, VT


Waste Action Collaborative of Sullivan County, NHWaste Action Collaborative of Sullivan County, NH 
Developing and Implementing a Recycling-Based, Integrated, Waste-Management Plan


Monadnock NH Region Greenhouse Gas Reduction InitiativeMonadnock NH Region Greenhouse Gas Reduction Initiative: COOL Monadnock


Community Technical Assistance Project (CTAP)Community Technical Assistance Project (CTAP)
A Regional Community Driven Smart Growth Initiative in New Hampshire


Community Conservation Partnership (CCP)Community Conservation Partnership (CCP)
Assisting Communities in the Monadnock Region Develop Local Conservation Plans


Friends of Center City KeeneFriends of Center City Keene
Building Community Consensus in Supporting a Vital Downtown Keene, New Hampshire

The Minnehaha Creek Watershed Stormwater Adaptation Study – Fall 2012

The Minnehaha Creek Watershed Stormwater Adaptation Study – Spring 2013

Final Project Report -Design and Implementation of a Decision-Support Program for Adapting Civil Infrastructures to Climate Change: Stormwater drainage system vulnerability, capacity, and cost, under population growth and climate change

Oyster River Culvert Analysis Project: Final Technical Report

Adapting To a Changing Landscape in the Context of a Changing Climate

Michael Simpson presentation of Climate Change Adaptation Research

Simpson/Gruber: Initial findings and approach NOAA funded  Minneapolis Vulnerability Assessment (9/2012)

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Simpson/Gruber Final findings and approach NOAA funded Minneapolis/ Victoria, MN Vulnerability Assessment

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The following Department of Environmental Studies core and associate faculty members currently mentor students and teach courses taken by Sustainable Development and Climate Change Concentration students and Resource Management and Conservation students. There are also adjunct faculty members that teach specific courses in the department.

Michael Simpson, MS, MALS, Department Chair, ES Dept. Director of Sustainable Development and Climate Change Concentration.
Michael’s areas of research and interest are climate change and water resource management, wetlands ecology, environmental site assessment and pollution/waste prevention.

Abigail Abrash, MSc, Assistant to the President for Sustainability/Social Justice.
Abi’s areas of focus include sustainability, social and environmental justice and community development. She has experience in public and corporate policy advocacy, and organizational and change leadership in her work with ActionWorks and the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Rights. She also serves as Chair of the City of Keene’s Planning Board and served on the Steering Committee for the city’s 2010 Comprehensive Master Plan.

Jon Atwood, PhDConservation Biology.
Jon is a conservation biologist and ornithologist. His other areas of interest are citizen science and regional habitat conservation.

Steve Chase, PhD, Director, Advocacy for Social Justice and Sustainability.
Steve’s area of interest includes corporate globalization, relocalization, grassroots organizing, the Transition movement, and faith-based activism.

Charles Curtin, PhD.
Charles’ areas of research and interest are environmental change, climate, land use, place-based ecosystem level conservation programs and new conservation initiatives in Syria.

James S. Gruber, PE, PhD, Director, Resource Management and Conservation Program
Jim’s areas of expertise and interest are community-based environmental programs, civic engagement, ecological economics and public policy.

James Jordan, PhD, Director of Environmental Studies Master of Science Program.
Jim’s research program focuses on the effects of decadal to millennial-scale environmental change along Alaskan coasts of the North Pacific, Bering, and Chukchi seas. His other areas of interest are landscape evolution, climate change and human environment interactions.

Beth Kaplin, PhD, Director of Environmental Studies PhD program, Co-director of the Center for Tropical Ecology & Conservation.
Beth’s areas of research and interest are tropical forest ecology, primate behavioral ecology, and protected areas management.

Alesia Maltz, PhD
Alesia, through her work in supporting indigenous rights, focuses on recruiting students from under-represented minority groups. Her areas of research and interest are environmentalism and justice, as well as First Nations environmental policy.

Elizabeth McCann, PhD, Director of Environmental Education Concentration
Libby’s research interests are school yard restoration, adult learning theory and non-formal education.

Peter Palmiotto, PhD, Director of Conservation Biology Concentration
Peter’s area of research and interest is subalpine forest ecosystem dynamics and climate change in temperate and tropical biomes. He is co-director of the Center for Tropical Ecology & Conservation, and founder of MERE.

Tania Schusler, PhD
Tania has interests in building stakeholder engagement and fostering community development and environmental protection. She has worked with grassroots organizations and local government to improve local economies and sustainability.

Rachel Thiet, PhD, Director of Seld-Designed Studies Concentration and Director Field Studies

Rachel’s areas of research and interest are terrestrial soil ecology, salt marsh plant and soil ecology, salt marsh restoration, biogeochemistry, and global climate change.

Tom Wessels, MA, former Director of Conservation Biology
Tom has a wide range of interests throughout the natural world. He enjoys forests, deserts and alpine ecosystems as well as landscape ecology and history. He has a passion for teaching and is the author of several books including: Reading the Forest Landscape and The Myth of Progress: Toward a Sustainable Future.

Site AssessmentSustainable Development and Climate Change (formerly Resource Management and Conservation) graduates are very successful in gaining employment and career advancement in a dynamic and growing field of opportunity. Diversity of background, variety of career paths, and breadth of employment opportunities make it difficult to characterize a typical SDCC career.

Individual advising and the critical-path thinking requested of all SDCC students is combined with formal sessions to allow the development of an individual’s marketing strategy so to prepare and position each student to successfully start on their professional career path.

The following list of environmental professional positions that have been secured by SDCC graduates are clustered in six domains:

  1. Nonprofit conservation and advocacy organizations at the local, national, and international level.
    • Director, Texas Audubon Society
    • Rural Conservation Specialist, Oxfam International
    • Policy Coordinator, NH Lakes Association
    • Director, New England Biosolids and Residuals Association
    • River Steward, Connecticut River Watershed Council
  2. Government/Intergovernmental institution departments that manage natural resources, regulate pollution, or monitor environmental compliance.
    • District Lands Manager, US Army Corps of Engineers
    • Wetlands Inspector, NH Department of Environmental Services
    • Director, Waste Management Division, Vermont Agency of Natural Resources
    • Environmental Analyst, World Bank
    • Environmental Health Specialist, Manchester, NH
    • Regional Planner, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
    • Watershed Manager, NH Department of Environmental Services
    • Pollution Prevention Specialist, Maine Department of Environmental Protection
    • Waste Prevention Coordinator, Upper Valley Solid Waste District, VT
  3. Public agencies concerned with local and regional land use planning, or which acquire and manage open space.
    • Manager, Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve
    • Environmental Manager, Metropolitan Planning Organization of Kansas City
    • Executive Director, Kennebunk Land Trust
    • City Planner, Keene, NH
    • Lands Steward, Monadnock Conservancy
  4. Environmental consulting businesses engaged in land management and sustainable development, wetlands protection, water resource management and environmental impact assessment.
    • Senior Planner, URS Greiner Woodward Clyde, Inc.
    • Senior Partner, DSM Environmental Services, Inc.
    • Project Manager, Global Environment and Technology Foundation, Inc.
    • Senior Environmental Scientist, Dufrene, Henry and Associates, Inc.
    • Vice President, Tighe and Bond, Inc.
  5. Private industry and institutions engaged in meeting regulations for environmental compliance and developing ecologically sustainable management systems.
    • Director, North American Materials Recovery Operations, Compaq Computers,
    • Chemical Coordinator, Lahey Clinic
    • Environmental Safety and Health Coordinator, Textron Automotive, Inc.
    • Sustainability Coordinator, Dartmouth Hitchcock Hospital Alliance
    • Pollution Prevention Specialist, Small Business Development Corporation
  6. Entrepreneurships and business start-ups
    • Climate Change Modeling and Community Impact, Portland, OR
    • Green Decking and Fencing, Austin, TX
    • Geophysical and Water Resource Exploration, Lyndborough, NH
    • Forestry, Wetlands & Lands Assessment, New London, NH
    • Waste Management and Odor Modeling, Newburyport, MA
    • Wetlands and Watershed Impact Restoration, Norwich, VT

The Sustainable Development and Climate Change (SDCC) concentration and the Resource Management and Conservation (RMC) program stem from the same core Resource Management and Administration (RMA) MS degree program. Antioch University New England’s RMA program began in 1978 and was renamed the Resource Management and Conservation program in 2007 to recognize the critical role of conservation in sustainable resource management.

SDCC and RMC

The original RMA program was designed to train the next generation of environmental leaders in effective resource management. This professional graduate program focused on enhancing a student’s professional skills and knowledge of policy and science in order to support future careers as environmental leaders and managers. Graduates of this program now practice in environmental leadership roles throughout the United States and around the world.

In order to meet the evolving needs of the future, in 2010 the program branched into two Master of Science Degrees: The MS in Environmental Studies with a concentration in Sustainable Development and Climate Change and the MS in Resource Management and Conservation.

What are the differences between the Resource Management and Conservation program and the Sustainable Development and Climate Change concentration?

The Master of Science in Resource Management and Conservation program (RMC) prepares graduates for leadership and management roles in public and private sector organizations that focus on resource management and conservation. Students learn the skills they need to facilitate, manage and lead within a science-based profession and are provided opportunities for scholarly investigation so they can make solid policy decisions and implement sound strategies designed to address complex environmental issues.
The RMC program is designed for working professionals who have academic grounding in the physical or natural resource sciences and demonstrated work experience in the environmental field.

The goal of the Sustainable Development and Climate Change concentration (SDCC) is to provide students with a foundation of theory and knowledge and the requisite skills for future professional careers that recognize and embrace the critical need of sustainable development within the context of a rapidly changing climate. These students will be prepared to deal with multi-issue, multi-stakeholder environmental challenges through a trans-disciplinary program that integrates courses in environmental and social sciences, policy, communication and leadership skills.

This concentration is designed for students who are entering or are in the early phase of their profession. Graduates are prepared for a variety of environmental careers in the public and private sectors including local and regional planning, environmental regulation and compliance, environmental consulting, and environmental non-profit leadership.