Course Schedule

The courses below are those offered for the term. (To view the course description, class dates & times, touch on accordion tab by the title.)

State-specific Information for Online Programs

Note: Students should be aware of state-specific information for online programs. For more information, please contact an admissions representative.

  • Washington DC Center

    420.679.51 - International Water: Issues and Policies

    $3972

    Winston Yu

    Wednesday 6:00 - 8:45; 9/5 - 12/12

    This course is a broad survey of the international water issues facing the 21st century. Topics to be covered include, water security, privatization of water service delivery, conflict and cooperation on trans-boundary rivers, the role of large multi-purpose reservoirs (for hydropower, water supply, irrigation), water as a human right, achieving the Sustainable Development Goals on water supply and sanitation, the role of water in food security, water institutions and policies, and climate change. Any discourse today on sustainable development is not complete without a discussion of the important role of water to society, economic growth, and poverty reduction. Our objective in this course is to gain a broad overview of these issues, primarily from the sustainable development lens, and to critically evaluate these challenges from a multi-disciplinary perspective (e.g. economics, environment, social, engineering, public health). This is important as solutions to water problems will require many different disciplines and expertise working together.

    420.687.51 - Science Communication and Policy Engagement

    $3972

    Rebecca Aicher

    Monday 6:00 - 8:45; 9/10 - 12/17

    This course provides students with an introduction to the theory and practice of communicating science and engaging with different types of audiences including policymakers, the public, and the media. Science is valued by many and sharing our understanding of science and technology is a crucial part of engaging beyond the scientific community. In this course, we will explore current research on the science of science communication, as well as how to create narratives for engagement based on the goals and audience. Students will have the opportunity to discuss engagement strategies and communication methods, design an engagement plan, and practice using their skills for engaging with policymakers, public audiences, the media, and more.

  • Online Courses

    420.301.81 - Quantitative Methods

    $3972

    James Taylor

    Online 9/5 - 12/18

    This prerequisite course provides the necessary background in mathematics for students who do not have sufficient undergraduate course work in calculus and statistics. Students who receive a provisional admission because of math deficiency can opt to take the mathematics assessment test. If the student earns a score of 80% or better, then s/he is not required to take the course. In this course, students acquire quantitative skills and an understanding of mathematical principles fundamental to environmental sciences, and necessary for evaluating the implications of policy measures. Topics include probability and statistics, systems of equations, analytical geometry, and basic concepts of calculus. Problem sets, interpretation of data, and applications to everyday problems help students appreciate the usefulness of quantitative methods. Offered online twice a year.

    Technology Fee: $200.00

    420.603.81 - Environmental Applications of GIS

    $3972

    Rachel Isaacs

    Online 9/5 - 12/18

    Geographic information systems technology (GIS) is a powerful data visualization and analysis tool.This course is designed to introduce students to advanced concepts of geographic information science related to the fields of reserve planning, environmental science, natural resources, and ecology for the purpose of spatial analysis and geo-visualization of environmental issues. Topics may include conservation needs using remote sensing, digital image processing, data structures, database design, landscape ecology and metrics, wildlife home range and habitat analysis, suitability modelling, terrain and watershed analysis, and spatial data analysis. This course will only be offered online yearly. ?

    Technology Fee: $200.00

    420.603.82 - Environmental Applications of GIS

    $3972

    Rachel Isaacs

    Online 9/5 - 12/18

    Geographic information systems technology (GIS) is a powerful data visualization and analysis tool.This course is designed to introduce students to advanced concepts of geographic information science related to the fields of reserve planning, environmental science, natural resources, and ecology for the purpose of spatial analysis and geo-visualization of environmental issues. Topics may include conservation needs using remote sensing, digital image processing, data structures, database design, landscape ecology and metrics, wildlife home range and habitat analysis, suitability modelling, terrain and watershed analysis, and spatial data analysis. This course will only be offered online yearly. ?

    Technology Fee: $200.00

    420.604.81 - Hydrology & Water Resources

    $3972

    Christiane Runyan

    Online 9/5 - 12/18

    This course provides an introduction to the hydrological cycle and examines the influence of climate, geology, and human activity on this cycle. The components comprising this cycle will be examined and include: precipitation; evapotranspiration; surface and groundwater flow; storage in natural reservoirs; water quality; and water resource management and regulation. Discussion of these topics in threaded discussions using the primary literature as well as problem sets will highlight applications and areas of current hydrological research. Offered online and onsite three times per year. Onsite version includes a required field trip.

    Technology Fee: $200.00

    420.604.82 - Hydrology & Water Resources

    $3972

    Christiane Runyan

    Online 9/5 - 12/18

    This course provides an introduction to the hydrological cycle and examines the influence of climate, geology, and human activity on this cycle. The components comprising this cycle will be examined and include: precipitation; evapotranspiration; surface and groundwater flow; storage in natural reservoirs; water quality; and water resource management and regulation. Discussion of these topics in threaded discussions using the primary literature as well as problem sets will highlight applications and areas of current hydrological research. Offered online and onsite three times per year. Onsite version includes a required field trip.

    Technology Fee: $200.00

    420.606.81 - Climate Justice

    $3972

    Eileen McGurty

    Online 9/5 - 12/18

    Climate change impacts and policies effect different groups of people in varying ways. More vulnerable populations will disproportionately experience impacts more severely (drought, flooding, food security, storms, heat islands, changes to resources and livelihoods). Also, policies to mitigate and adapt to climate change will have differential impacts. In this course, we will review both climate impacts and proposed policies through the lens of equity and justice. Topics to cover will include: analysis of differential impacts, equity critique of mitigation policies, and the impact of adaptation policies on the poor and people of color. The course will cover both the US and international topics.

    Technology Fee: $200.00

    420.608.81 - Oceanic & Atmospheric Processes

    $3972

    Kathryn Schubel

    Online 9/5 - 12/18

    In this course, students study the oceans and the atmosphere as interrelated systems. The basic concepts of air masses, water masses, winds, currents, fronts, eddies, and storms are linked to permit a fundamental understanding of the similar nature of oceanic and atmospheric processes. Among the course’s topics are weather forecasting, global climate change, marine pollution, and an introduction to applied oceanography. A field trip is included for in-person sections. Offered on-site or online two to three times each year.

    Technology Fee: $200.00

    420.608.82 - Oceanic & Atmospheric Processes

    $3972

    Kathryn Schubel

    Online 9/5 - 12/18

    In this course, students study the oceans and the atmosphere as interrelated systems. The basic concepts of air masses, water masses, winds, currents, fronts, eddies, and storms are linked to permit a fundamental understanding of the similar nature of oceanic and atmospheric processes. Among the course’s topics are weather forecasting, global climate change, marine pollution, and an introduction to applied oceanography. A field trip is included for in-person sections. Offered on-site or online two to three times each year.

    Technology Fee: $200.00

    420.608.83 - Oceanic & Atmospheric Processes

    $3972

    Kathryn Schubel

    Online 9/5 - 12/18

    In this course, students study the oceans and the atmosphere as interrelated systems. The basic concepts of air masses, water masses, winds, currents, fronts, eddies, and storms are linked to permit a fundamental understanding of the similar nature of oceanic and atmospheric processes. Among the course’s topics are weather forecasting, global climate change, marine pollution, and an introduction to applied oceanography. A field trip is included for in-person sections. Offered on-site or online two to three times each year.

    Technology Fee: $200.00

    420.611.81 - Principles & Methods of Ecology

    $3972

    Jorge Santiago-Blay

    Online 9/5 - 12/18

    This course examines the relationship between organisms and their biotic and abiotic environment at three levels of biological hierarchy: individual organism, population, and community. Population characteristics, models of population dynamics, and the effect of ecological interactions on population regulation are discussed in detail. The structure and function of natural and man-made communities and the impact disturbances have on community structure are also examined. Students are led to appreciate the importance of ecology in solving environmental problems. Offered online or onsite, at least twice per year. Onsite version includes required field trips.

    Technology Fee: $200.00

    420.612.81 - Sustainability Science: Concepts and Challenges

    $3972

    Jennifer da Rosa

    Online 9/5 - 12/18

    Sustainability Science is an interdisciplinary field engaged with understanding the dynamics between natural and social systems and how those interactions challenge the notion of sustainability. This course will start by reviewing the history of the concept of sustainability and will then consider how it has been applied in the environmental sciences. Specifically the goal of the course is to provide a comprehensive, multidisciplinary perspective on this emerging field, understanding its theory, research horizons, and practical applications. Concepts to be reviewed include socio-environmental systems, complex adaptive systems, cross-scalar impacts, tipping points and regime shifts, vulnerability, resilience and adaptive capacity, equity, sustainable development, political ecology, governance, capital assets and livelihoods. In a seminar context this course will consider these and other concepts from a theoretical perspective but will focus on their application in solving real-world problems. Offered on-site, infrequently.

    Technology Fee: $200.00

    420.612.82 - Sustainability Science: Concepts and Challenges

    $3972

    Jennifer da Rosa

    Online 9/5 - 12/18

    Sustainability Science is an interdisciplinary field engaged with understanding the dynamics between natural and social systems and how those interactions challenge the notion of sustainability. This course will start by reviewing the history of the concept of sustainability and will then consider how it has been applied in the environmental sciences. Specifically the goal of the course is to provide a comprehensive, multidisciplinary perspective on this emerging field, understanding its theory, research horizons, and practical applications. Concepts to be reviewed include socio-environmental systems, complex adaptive systems, cross-scalar impacts, tipping points and regime shifts, vulnerability, resilience and adaptive capacity, equity, sustainable development, political ecology, governance, capital assets and livelihoods. In a seminar context this course will consider these and other concepts from a theoretical perspective but will focus on their application in solving real-world problems. Offered on-site, infrequently.

    Technology fee: $200.00

    420.614.81 - Environmental Policymaking and Policy Analysis

    $3972

    Rhey Solomon
    Helen Serassio

    Online 9/5 - 12/18

    This course provides students with a broad introduction to U.S. environmental policymaking and policy analysis. Included are a historical perspective as well as an analysis of future policymaking strategies. Students examine the political and legal framework, become familiar with precedent-setting statutes such as NEPA , RCRA , and the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, and study models for environmental policy analysis. Cost benefit studies, the limits of science in policymaking, and the impact of environmental policies on society are important aspects of the course. A comparison of national and international policymaking is designed to provide students with the global perspective on environmental policy. Offered online or onsite, at least twice per year.

    Technology Fee: $200.00

    420.614.82 - Environmental Policymaking and Policy Analysis

    $3972

    Rhey Solomon

    Online 9/5 - 12/18

    This course provides students with a broad introduction to U.S. environmental policymaking and policy analysis. Included are a historical perspective as well as an analysis of future policymaking strategies. Students examine the political and legal framework, become familiar with precedent-setting statutes such as NEPA , RCRA , and the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, and study models for environmental policy analysis. Cost benefit studies, the limits of science in policymaking, and the impact of environmental policies on society are important aspects of the course. A comparison of national and international policymaking is designed to provide students with the global perspective on environmental policy. Offered online or onsite, at least twice per year.

    Technology Fee: $200.00

    420.617.81 - Managing Responsible Organizations for the Ecosystem

    $3972

    Diana Watts

    Online 9/5 - 12/18

    Corporations are currently in the forefront of the sustainability debate with business viewed as a primary player in determining the future of the ecosystem. Leading businesses focused on sustainable strategies, implies changes across the conventional management processes of planning, organizing, leading and innovating. This course will examine the existing and emerging managerial approaches and individual competencies for sustainable management.

    Technology Fee: $200.00

    420.659.81 - Management for Environmental Results with Performance-based Measurement

    $3972

    Arthur Koines

    Online 9/5 - 12/18

    At all levels of government and throughout private industry, performance-based initiatives now place unprecedented demands on environmental managers to achieve measurable environmental results. The goal of the various performance based initiatives is to give environmental managers a systematic understanding of the causes of environmental problems, both natural and anthropogenic, and their human, ecological and economic effects. It is also at the heart of sound environmental impact analysis, risk assessment, and benefit-cost analysis. In this course, students learn the foundations and applications of modern performance-based initiatives. Using case studies taken from a variety of environmental programs, students learn to use available scientific knowledge to uncover the likely keys to program success. Students learn why success has so often eluded environmental managers in the past. The goal of this class is for students to critically assess the design, performance measurement and management of environmental programs on all scales and to recommend effective improvements. Students will develop skills for implementing results oriented environmental management. Offered onsite or online, annually.

    Technology Fee: $200.00

    420.671.81 - Global Land Use Change

    $3972

    Christiane Runyan

    Online 9/5 - 12/18

    This course provides a comprehensive examination of global land use change including the current spatial and historical extent of forests and grasslands, methods used to detect forest cover and its current and historical changes. Reviewing these patterns will lead to an understanding of the past and present drivers of land use change. In this course, we will consider the hydrological, and major biogeochemical cycles (i.e., carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus) and the impacts that forests and grasslands (and the loss of these ecosystems) has had on these cycles. The impact of forest loss on biodiversity, long term functioning of ecosystems and climate will also be discussed. After reviewing the effects of a loss of these environmental processes, we will bridge the physical and biological sciences with the social sciences by examining economic impacts and socioeconomic drivers of deforestation. Lastly, current policies and the potential effect of policies that aim to reduce deforestation such as REDD will be discussed.

    Technology Fee: $200.00

    420.677.81 - Spatial Statistics

    $3972

    Kimberly Gardner

    Online 9/5 - 12/18

    Spatial Statistics is a rapidly developing tool in the discipline of ecology that analyzes both 2-D and 3-D data that contain a spatial component. Many ecologists use continuous data (e.g., vegetation density and height, net aboveground primary production, percent of biomass killed by disturbance, etc…) that violates the assumption of spatial independence; therefore, necessitating the need to analyze the data using spatial statistics. Thus, spatial statistics provides concepts, tools, and approaches that will enhance the analyses of population data, sample data, partitioning of regions (patch and boundary), spatial interpolation, and data that are spatially autocorrelated. The goal of this course is to give students a firm grasp of the concepts of spatial statistics in ecology and of how they can be applied to analyze continuous data for environmental policy, management, and assessment. Uses of case studies, data analysis in the R spatial statistics package, and discussions help to examine and apply the concepts.

    Technology Fee: $200.00

  • Off-Site or International

    420.601.91 - Geological Foundations of Environmental Science

    $3972

    Jerry Burgess

    Tuesday 6:00 - 8:45; 9/11 - 12/18

    This course provides an overview of Earth’s materials, processes, and resources for environmental scientists and policymakers. Topics include minerals, rocks, sediments, stratigraphy, structure, geomorphology, and geologic environments. Emphasis is placed on understanding geologic principles and methods as applied to environmental science, Earth resources, and public policy. Offered online or onsite, twice per year. Onsite version includes a required field trip.

    This course will meet on the DC campus, but there will be a weekend day time field trip to explore local geology and tectonic history. Field Trip Fee is $75.00

    420.609.91 - Agroecology

    $3972

    Elizabeth Marshall

    Thursday 6:00 - 8:45; 9/6 - 12/13

    This course will focus on the management of agroecosystems for sustainable productivity, profitability and environmental protection by studying plant and soil sciences, ecology, and pest management from a systems perspective. Students will gain a more in-depth understanding of inputs and outputs in agricultural systems and their relation to primary productivity, nutrient cycling, energy flows, and species interactions on farms. This course also recognizes that agroecological practices cannot be considered apart from the socioeconomic and political processes in which they are a part. Class time will be spent in lecture, field studies and field trips that will attempt to integrate concepts in agroecology with actual practices in sustainable agriculture.

    This course is taught on the DC campus and there will be a day field trip to view local agricultural practices. Field Trip Fee is $75.00

    420.611.91 - Principles & Methods of Ecology

    $3972

    David Curson

    Wednesday 6:00 - 8:45; 9/5 - 12/12

    This course examines the relationship between organisms and their biotic and abiotic environment at three levels of biological hierarchy: individual organism, population, and community. Population characteristics, models of population dynamics, and the effect of ecological interactions on population regulation are discussed in detail. The structure and function of natural and man-made communities and the impact disturbances have on community structure are also examined. Students are led to appreciate the importance of ecology in solving environmental problems. Offered online or onsite, at least twice per year. Onsite version includes required field trips.

    This course is taught on the DC campus and please note that there will be two field trips for this course. Dates are TBD. Field Trip Fee - $75

  • Online Courses (Cross-Listed)

    425.800.81 - Research Design for Capstone Projects in Energy and Environmental Sciences

    $3858

    Daniel Zachary

    Online 6:00 - 8:45; 9/5 - 12/18

    The Capstone Project enables students to apply and synthesize the material learned in other courses, develop expertise on a specific topic related to climate change science or policy, work closely with experts in the field of study, and improve professional writing and presentation skills. In the semester prior to conducting the project, students must identify a proper topic and mentor who is both familiar with the chosen topic and willing to guide and oversee the project. The mentor must be a faculty member teaching in the program, a supervisor from the student’s place of work, or any expert with appropriate credentials. Formal proposals must be submitted at least two weeks prior to the start of the semester in which the project be completed. Prior to the enrollment in the course, the proposal must be reviewed and accepted by the course instructor.

    Technology Fee: $200.00

    430.601.81 - Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

    $3782

    Heather Hicks

    Online 6:00 - 8:45; 9/5 - 12/18

    In this introductory course, students become familiar with the concepts and gain the experience necessary to appreciate the utility of Geographic Information Systems in decision-making. Topics covered include the fundamentals of data structures, georeferencing, data classification, querying, cartography, and basic spatial data analysis. The course provides an overview of the capabilities of GIS software and applications of GIS. Class time is divided between lectures and GIS exercises that reinforce critical concepts. Students must complete a term project as part of the course. Offered every semester. Elective option for Govt. Analytics students.

    Technology Fee: $200.00

    470.623.81 - Nonprofit Program Development and Evaluation

    $3897

    Steven Mayer

    Online 6:00 - 8:45; 9/5 - 12/18

    (Formerly Program Development & Evaluation in Nonprofits.) A major goal of this course is to help students become more proficient in recognizing, evaluating, and encouraging the kinds of benefits or outcomes intended by our society’s variety of nonprofit and public programs. We will examine what needs and opportunities are addressed by four major types of programs: those serving individuals, those serving communities, those serving networks or systems, and those serving other organizations. Evaluating each requires different lenses and different tools; we will explore the role of culture and context in choosing particular approaches to evaluation. A view of programs as interconnected rather than isolated will be encouraged. A second goal is to help students become more proficient in managing an evaluation process: We will explore purposes and uses of evaluation, the essential elements of an evaluation inquiry, and ways to communicate and use evaluation results. We will explore the variety of quantitative and qualitative strategies useful for evaluating progress in an organization’s attainment of its intended outcomes or benefits. Students can expect to become more proficient in discussing issues of nonprofit and public “program effectiveness,” and strategies for improving nonprofit and public program designs. Elective course for the Certificate in Nonprofit Management.

    Technology Fee: $200.00

  • Washington DC Center (Cross-Listed)

    425.605.51 - Introduction to Energy Law & Policy

    $3858


    Wednesday 6:00 - 8:45; 9/5 - 12/12

    This course will provide an overview of the major laws and policies that shape and regulate the complex energy system the United States and, to a lesser degree, the world. The goal is to provide students with a framework for understanding the energy laws and policies of today and those likely to be important in coming years. The course will review laws and policies for all major types of energy, including fossil fuels, nuclear, and renewables, as well as issues related to extraction, conversion, distribution, use, and conservation. Laws and policies ranging from local level to state, federal, and international levels will be included. Laws and policies will be presented again in the context of profound and rate changes occurring in the energy system, climate change and other environmental issues, economics, national security, and population growth. The course will be largely empirical, but attention will be given to major theories. Most aspects of the course will be illustrated by reference to contemporary issues, such as the recently unveiled Clean Power Plan, court decisions, climate change negotiations, and changes in state policies and federal tax policies for renewables. Offered on-site at least once every two years.

    425.637.51 - International Climate Change Policy

    $3858

    Thomas Peterson

    Monday 6:00 - 8:45; 9/3 - 12/17

    This course focuses on the development and implementation of international frameworks, policies, and mechanisms for responding to climate change. It includes a review of the history of international responses to climate change at the multilateral and bilateral levels, including in depth examination of the recent Paris Agreement from COP21. The course explores how climate change impacts and issues relate to the national vision, governmental priorities, and capacity needs of countries, and how these circumstances shape the evolution of climate change policy and related policy areas, such as trade and energy. It also explores the interplay between subnational, national, and international policy formation and implementation. Offered onsite at least once every two years. Prerequisite - Science of Climate Change and Its Impacts, Climate Change Policy Analysis.