What courses will I take in the online certificate?

The Sustainable Environmental Planning and Management Online Graduate Certificate is comprised of four required courses (12-credits in total) that are offered in the semesters listed.

Program of Study:

Course Number Spring
NRE 5200 (Required First Course) X X
NRE 5205 (Elective) X
NRE 5210 (Elective) X
NRE 5215 (Elective) X X
NRE 5220 (Core) X X
NRE 5225 (Elective) Odd Even
NRE 5230 (Elective) Even Odd
NRE 5585 (Elective) X

Core Courses:

NRE 5200 – Sustainable Natural Resources Management (3 credits, Fall and Spring)

Required First Course - This course integrates natural resources within a broader, social-ecological systems context, introduces some of the central topics in social-ecological systems theory, research, and practice, and provides the basis for understanding and evaluating sustainable natural resource management. The first component explores relationships between social, ecological, economic, and policy systems, with a focus on ecosystem services and human well-being and livelihoods. The second component introduces systems theory for understanding disturbance, feedbacks, thresholds, directional change, and adaptation and resilience in social-ecological systems. The third component includes applied case studies on sustainable agriculture, fisheries, forestry, freshwater, marine, water, and wildlife resources.

NRE 5220 – Environmental Planning for Sustainable Communities and Regions (3 credits, Fall and Spring)

This course integrates environmental planning within a broader, decision making and social-ecological systems contexts, introduces some of the central topics in environmental planning theory, research, and practice, and provides the basis for understanding and evaluating sustainable environmental planning and management. The first component explores principles of environmental planning, including the legal, economic, ethical, and ecological foundations of planning. The second component includes applied case studies of environmental planning for human health, natural areas, working landscapes, and built environments.

Choose two of the following four elective courses:

NRE 5205 – Decision Methods in Natural Resources and the Environment (3 credits, Spring)

This course presents aspects of decision making for individuals, organizations, and institutions, introduces some of the central topics in decision making theory, research, and practice, and provides the basis for understanding decision processes in natural resource management. The first component explores frameworks for decision making, including structured decision making, adaptive resource management, and organizational learning. The second component addresses tools and techniques for managing risk and uncertainty, including model-based and experience-based approaches to link alternative actions and consequences, tradeoffs and optimizations approaches, and monitoring and evaluating outcomes.

NRE 5210 – Communications for Environmental Decision Makers (3 credits, Fall)

This course presents methods and techniques for effective communication with diverse audiences using written, spoken, and digital media. Central concepts and topics include conflict resolution, crisis situations, persuasion, negotiation, marketing and advocacy.

NRE 5215 – Intro to Geospatial Analysis with Remote Sensing (3 credits, Fall and Spring)

This course will help students building their knowledge and skills on basic geospatial data analysis and visualization. This course is geared towards beginners who want to develop their geospatial skills.

NRE 5225 – Sustainable Use of Ocean Resources (3 credits, Odd-yr Springs, Even-yr Summers)

Course Description: Despite knowledge that the health and resiliency of the ocean and its natural resource services are extensively connected to our livelihoods and well-being, adverse impacts on this ecosystem continue to intensify, putting it, and us, in peril. This interdisciplinary course investigates environmental, social and economic connections with the marine environment, taking a systems thinking approach to environmental management and conservation practices.

NRE 5230 – Sustainability Leadership in Organizations (3 credits, Even-yr Springs, Odd-yr Summers)

NRE 5230 provides concepts and strategies for organizational leaders to adopt sustainability practices in organizations, companies, and other entities, including how to assess progress towards achieving sustainability goals. The Sustainability Leadership in Organizations course specifically addresses how social, economic, and political systems affect ecological systems.

NRE 5585 – Python Scripting for Geospatial Analysis (3 credits, Fall)

In this course, students will learn to develop custom tools that automate and enhance the capabilities of ArcGIS using Python scripting. Python is a powerful but relatively easy-to-learn programming language that is ideal for GIS professionals. The course will cover using Python with ArcGIS, Microsoft Excel, and other applications. This will be a hands-on course with practical sessions and demonstrations incorporated into the lectures. Students will work toward a final project that will demonstrate their proficiency in Python scripting. Students are expected to be familiar with ArcGIS before the start of the course but no prior programming experience is needed.