Master s of ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY

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1 Master s of ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY

2 DIRECTOR S MESSAGE Moving towards a truly sustainable future requires leaders who have an understanding of the current barriers, and how they might be overcome. This requires understanding the scientific, economic, legal and political dimensions of sustainability understanding that the MES program is specifically designed to deliver. SCOTT FINDLAY, PHD Associate Director (Graduate Studies) Institute of the Environment One of the things that has repeatedly struck me in my work on environmental sustainability is how interwoven the issues are. Climate change is as much about energy and the global economy as it is about poverty and water. Biodiversity is not only about the richness of life, but is also the foundation of human society. Similarly, policies are interconnected how we manage agricultural, economic and social policy, for instance, has vast implications for environmental sustainability, and vice versa. Although we have long recognized these inter-relationships, we have struggled as a society to adopt policies that effectively address environmental challenges. We must transform our economy to reflect these realities and align price signals with social and environmental values. This new graduate program is designed to do just that train professionals to have the skills needed to transition us to a new economy, to sustainable communities, to a better future. The program s unique curriculum gives students a common foundation in key environmental concepts from several disciplines, teaches methodologies specific to environmental decision-making and creates opportunities for students to apply these skills to real problems both in and out of the classroom. Students gain professional skills that are usually learned on the job, such as oral communication, team leadership, project management and negotiation. It is a rigorous, cutting-edge program meant for students who are serious about wanting to help create the public policy and actions that will lead society to change. If you are someone who is passionate about environmental issues, wants a meaningful career and is not afraid of hard work, I invite you to apply to be part of this ground-breaking initiative. Nathalie Chalifour, PhD, Founding Director 2 ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS AND APPLICATION INFORMATION:

3 IS THIS PROGRAM FOR YOU? Are you passionate about the environment and do you want to direct that energy into your work? Are you interested in influencing change, either through public policy, greening business or hands-on action, leading to a more sustainable future? Are you a creative thinker who enjoys exploring unconventional perspectives when seeking out solutions? Are you a recent graduate who is searching for a meaningful career that aligns with your values? Are you working in government, the private sector or civil society and wish to deepen your capacity for integrated problem-solving? If you are seeking a career that makes a difference in the community, the Master s of Environmental Sustainability may be right for you. DO YOU HAVE QUESTIONS? WOULD YOU LIKE TO PLAN A VISIT TO THE CAMPUS TO LEARN MORE? Please contact the Academic Coordinator: Telephone: (613) WE LOOK FORWARD TO SPEAKING WITH YOU! ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS AND APPLICATION INFORMATION: 3

4 PRAGMATIC. RIGOROUS. REAL. Environmental challenges are multi-faceted they do not fit within one particular discipline, nor do they get resolved by policies that ignore the scientific, economic or political realities that created them in the first place. To be effective, solutions must be developed using integrated, systems-based thinking and by professionals with the pragmatic skills to translate those ideas into tangible action. This interdisciplinary master s program will prepare graduates to navigate key environmental sustainability issues using a real-world approach to education, bringing practice into the classroom and learning into the community. The program is designed to address a growing need in the marketplace for sustainability professionals who can influence decision-making through deep understanding of the problems and the interconnected processes through which they persist. LEARN AND SOLVE PROBLEMS IN A BROADER CONTEXT: Deconstruct the scientific, economic, legal and political elements of environmental issues and apply evidence-based techniques to finding effective policy solutions. REAL-WORLD EXPERIENCE: Combine course work, research and practical experience, working with external partners through a capstone course. PROFESSIONAL SKILLS: From engaging with the media to preparing policy briefs, learn professional skills needed in a sustainability career. PRIME LOCATION: Located in the nation s capital, the University of Ottawa is steps away from where the country s environmental policy is made and where many NGO s, think-tanks and industry associations are headquartered. PEER LEARNING IN A COHORT: Attend courses exclusive to the program as one cohort; having different disciplinary backgrounds in the classroom simulates the kind of interactions encountered in sustainability careers. DEVELOPMENT FOR ANY STAGE OF YOUR CAREER: The program is suitable for recent graduates as well as mid-career professionals who meet the competitive admission requirements. BRINGING MEANING TO YOUR WORK: Train for a career that aligns with your values, providing you the tools needed to channel your energy into becoming an agent of change in society. 4 ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS AND APPLICATION INFORMATION:

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6 REAL, MARKETABLE SKILLS UPON GRADUATION The Master s of Environmental Sustainability prepares graduates for a variety of careers through which one can influence environmental policy and practice, and to do work that reflects their passions. Students of the program will graduate with professional skills that are in high demand for careers in environmental sustainability. Students will learn to: DECONSTRUCT ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY CHALLENGES with an understanding of their scientific, economic, and political underpinnings. CRITICALLY EVALUATE AND INTEGRATE KNOWLEDGE from key disciplines in environmental sustainability. DEVELOP EFFECTIVE EVIDENCE-BASED POLICY SOLUTIONS AND STRATEGIES for adoption in a given socio-economic and political context. PERFORM CRITICAL EVALUATION of sustainability policies, reports and regulations. DEVELOP AND IMPLEMENT sustainability plans and strategies. COLLABORATE WITH DIVERSE STAKEHOLDERS in the context of environmental decision-making and creative problem-solving. COMMUNICATE EFFECTIVELY about environmental sustainability issues in diverse settings. TRANSLATE AN ETHIC OF INTEGRITY, entrepreneurialism, efficiency and justice into environmental solution-building. 6 ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS AND APPLICATION INFORMATION:

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8 CAREERS THAT MAKE A DIFFERENCE POLICY ADVISOR to a Minister SUSTAINABILITY MANAGER for an industry association SENIOR POLICY ANALYST for government LEADER of a sustainable community initiative RESEARCHER for a sustainability think tank ENTREPRENEUR for an environmentally progressive company EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR of a non-governmental organization Energy Efficiency OFFICER BE A CATALYST FOR CHANGE

9 INSTITUTE OF THE ENVIRONMENT The Institute of the Environment (IE) is the University s hub of research, teaching and activities relating to environmental sustainability. The IE supports students learning and success by: DEVELOPING AND HOSTING WORKSHOPS, conferences and lectures as well as offering career development resources. CREATING OPPORTUNITIES for students to engage with professors and fellow students from a range of faculties in a bilingual milieu. TAPPING INTO EXPERTS AND DECISION-MAKERS FROM GOVERNMENT, INDUSTRY, AND NGOs in the national capital region, across Canada and internationally. OFFERING A GATEWAY to academic, student and community-based environmental sustainability initiatives. SUSTAINABLE PROSPERITY CANADA S GREEN ECONOMY THINK-TANK LOCATED AT THE INSTITUTE OF THE ENVIRONMENT. Made up of business, environment, policy and academic leaders, Sustainable Prosperity (SP) is a national initiative that harnesses leading-edge thinking to advance innovation in policy and markets, in the pursuit of a greener, more competitive Canadian economy. SP actively helps broker real-world solutions by bringing public and private sector decision-makers to the table with expert researchers to both design and apply innovative policies and programs. ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS AND APPLICATION INFORMATION: 9

10 PROGRAM STRUCTURE Students may choose between two options: CAPSTONE PROJECT with research paper (1 year) or THESIS PROJECT (2 years). The program begins in September for all students. Students may study part-time after one full-time term. BUILD FOUNDATIONS Take courses in science, economics, law and policy. The courses are coordinated to foster a deep understanding of the connections and tensions between the disciplines, and the particular vocabulary, methods and perspectives inherent within each. INTEGRATE Learn methodologies to critically evaluate the scientific, economic, legal and political underpinnings of environmental problems and inform decisionmaking based on evidence from multiple fields.

11 APPLY Using a current topic like climate change, learn to synthesize information about the problem from multiple disciplines, and using the robust methodologies taught, develop creative, rigorous and effective solutions for change. Students in the research paper option conduct their research as part of the capstone course, in which students work on a current sustainability issue in partnership with a public or private sector or local community group. Thesis students pursue in-depth research in partnership with a committee of faculty members engaged in diverse sustainability projects. To view the courses that are part of this program, please visit *Currently, compulsory courses for the program are offered in English. In the future, they will also be offered in French. In accordance with the regulations of the University of Ottawa, examinations, assignments, and the research paper or thesis may be written in the official language of the student s choice (either English or French).

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13 BE PART OF THE ACTION Learn from and work alongside leaders in environmental sustainability inside and outside the university community. Below are only three examples of the many areas of research underway at uottawa. THE TRANSITION TO A SUSTAINABLE ECONOMY From carbon taxes to feed-in tariffs, economic instruments are part of the policy toolkit for progress on many sustainability problems. Students in our program can engage with Sustainable Prosperity, a green economy think-tank based at the Institute of the Environment that is leading the charge on helping Canada transition to a more sustainable economy. ENERGY AND CLIMATE CHANGE How Canada and the rest of the world choose to produce and consume energy in the future will have profound implications for everyone. Students in this program can join faculty and students from across campus working in labs, in classrooms and with partners in the public and private sector on finding sustainable and ethical ways to power the future in the context of a changing global climate. TOXICS, SCIENCE AND LAW When deformed frogs and changing birth ratios call into question the regulatory framework for the management of toxic substances in Canada, how do science and law interact to identify effective solutions? Students can participate in the development and evaluation of innovative approaches to bring science into the courtroom, and community issues into political discussions. ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS AND APPLICATION INFORMATION: 13

14 SOME OF OUR PROFESSORS Building an environmentally sustainable economy is probably the greatest challenge of our time. The problems are complex, and solving them requires multi-dimensional skills. STEWART ELGIE, PhD Associate Professor, Faculty of Law Director, Institute of the Environment Chair, Sustainable Prosperity All the important problems of today are, by definition, complex. Finding and implementing effective solutions demands that decision-makers not only appreciate this complexity but have the skills, knowledge and attitudes required to exploit it. C. SCOTT FINDLAY, PhD Associate Professor, Department of Biology Faculty of Science Chair in University Teaching The demand for people who can bridge the gap among the social and biological sciences will continue to grow in the field of sustainability. DAVID RUNNALLS Visiting Professor, Institute of the Environment Senior Fellow, Sustainable Prosperity Past President, International Institute of Sustainable Development Graduates of this program will be trained to better integrate scientific knowledge and environmental policy a skill increasingly in demand in the workforce. DANIELLE FORTIN, PhD Professor, Department of Earth Sciences Faculty of Science

15 In the past we concerned ourselves with localized environmental problems that could be solved through local resources. Today, we are dealing with environmental problems that are global in scope and political in nature. JACKIE DAWSON, PhD Assistant Professor, Department of Geography Canada Research Chair in Environment, Society & Policy The challenges raised by sustainability require us to organise our study and research around the problems we face as we try to decarbonise the economy, deal with water scarcity and pollution, or address the crisis of biodiversity, rather than around the disciplines that structure academic life. MATTHEW PATERSON, PhD Professor, School of Political Studies Faculty of Social Sciences Modern economics provides the toolkit for understanding how the natural environment and the human economy interact and co-evolve, and as such is essential in environmental policy design and operation. ANTHONY HEYES, PhD Professor, Department of Economics Canada Research Chair in Environmental Economics Today, ensuring the protection of the natural environment, whether it s protecting biodiversity, limiting pollutants or dealing with climate change, is not just a scientific challenge: it s also a tremendous social, economic and political challenge. LUC JUILLET, PhD Associate Professor, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs Faculty of Social Sciences The arguments for and against environmental policies are often presented in extremist formats. The truth is much more nuanced, and involves far less doom and gloom. NIC RIVERS, PhD Assistant Professor, Department of Economics Canada Research Chair in Climate and Energy Policy

16 Front and Back Cover Photo Credit: Jeffrey Meyer Photography.ca INSTITUTE OF THE ENVIRONMENT University of Ottawa 1 Stewart Street Ottawa, Ontario K1N 6N5 (613)

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