2019-2020 Course Catalog

Accelerated Master of Sustainability EARTH (MSUS)

This program is designed for students who have taken sufficient relevant credits at a high enough level, in their bachelors and previous education, to complete a masters of sustainability in one year with the minimum requirement of 31 credits. The program includes core course requirements (10 credits) in sustainability & systems, research methods and political economy. Each student will complete a minimum of six classes (18 credits) demonstrating knowledge and experience in sustainability in the US context in a focused area of expertise. Area of expertise include but is not limited to: Water resource management, Communications and media studies, Community health, Food systems, and Business and management.

Finally each student will undertake a summer internship (3 credits) working with a US-based organization, including businesses, not-for-profit organizations, and government. Most opportunities will be in the Southwestern Pennsylvania area.

Students in the program will learn to address the challenges of applying sustainability principles across all aspects of society, from the local level to emerging global initiatives. This program will develop the knowledge and practical skills necessary to manage the complex challenges posed by sustainability.

Admission Requirements

The following are requirements of admission to the Master of Sustainability program:

  • Educational Prerequisites:
    • Bachelor's degree from an accredited academic institution
    • Overall grade point average (GPA) of 3.3 or better on a 4.0 scale
    • Preference for applicants with coursework and/or experience demonstrating capacity for transdisciplinary thought
  • Two letters of recommendation from faculty or direct work supervisors that describe the applicant's:
    • Capacity for independent thinking
    • Written and verbal communication skills
    • Ability to thrive in a collaborative, transdiciplinary academic settings
    • Commitment to a career advancing sustainability
  • Essay/Letter: Each applicant should submit a one- or two-page letter than explains the origins of their interest in sustainability and professional goals
  • Curriculum vitae or resume
  • Completed Application Form, which can be found at http://apply.chatham.edu/graduate/

Admission Deadlines

  • Priority Deadline – February 1 (all application materials must be received by this date for first consideration of fellowships/assistantships)
  • Regular Application Deadline – July 1

Learning Outcomes

The goal of the Master of Sustainability is to provide professionally oriented students the skills, knowledge, experiences, and networks necessary to meet their career goals. To that end, we produce graduates recognized for their:

  • intellectual and experiential core of knowledge about sustainability;
  • preparedness to champion and implement sustainability in a variety of settings;
  • entrepreneurial spirit and capacity for transformative leadership; and
  • commitment to ethical and informed citizenship
  • To that end, our curriculum is designed to achieve a number of learning outcomes that include:
  • COMMUNICATION

    Students will become effective communicators by evaluating and implementing appropriate communication strategies. They will develop written, oral, and visual tools and practices for communicating about sustainability to diverse audiences.

    TEAMWORK AND TRANSFORMATIVE LEADERSHIP

    Students will be prepared to take an active role in advancing sustainability, with the understanding that to do so will require behavioral, cultural, institutional, and other changes at multiple spatial and temporal scales.

    CREATIVITY

    Students will understand that facilitating sustainable attitudes and practices requires creativity in conceptualizing existing conditions and generating and implementing sustainable solutions to complex problems.

    ETHICS

    Students will understand ethical implications of decisions and actions across diverse cultural, political, and temporal perspectives and be prepared to choose and act with integrity in their careers.

    CONCEPTUALIZING SUSTAINABILITY

    Students will be able to explain the origins, meanings, and applications of sustainability, and by extension, explain the interrelationships among environmental, societal, and economic well-being. They will do this in a framework that recognizes the cultural dimensions of sustainability.

    SYSTEMS THINKING

    Students will develop tools to model complex systems, describe the impact of changes within systems, consider the impacts of decision-making on systems, and analyze a system's strengths and weaknesses.

    TRANSDISCIPLINARITY AND COLLABORATION

    Students will work across knowledge bases to better understand how different individuals and groups make decisions and work collaboratively with partners in the private sector, public sector, and academia. In these contexts, students will also learn how to apply the appropriate resources and methods to sustainability projects.

    APPLICATION AND ASSESSMENT

    Students will develop the necessary analytical skills for applying and assessing sustainability in a range of settings.

    Curriculum

    +Major Requirements

    Including the Integrative Capstone (10 credits)

    SUS502 Sustainability and Systems

    In this course, students will develop skills necessary to understand, describe, and communicate complex systems. Working from examples, exercise and interactive discussions, students will learn to identify key drivers and leverage points for change. Students will learn to solicit useful information, model, and enact change using a various systems-based tools.

    3
    SUS511 Project Design, Methods, and Evaluations

    3
    SUS512 Sustainability in Pittsburgh

    Pittsburgh and the surrounding region have experienced several waves of change; the current described as a "green renaissance". This course will provide a brief socio-ecological history then will visit various places and people that highlight the diversity in how Pittsburgh is striving to become a model of a sustainable city.

    3
    SUS602 The Political Economy of Sustainability

    This course will examine the economic dimensions of environmental change through the frameworks of political ecology, political economy, development studies, and sustainability. Through case studies and current theory, we will investigate the costs, benefits, and sustainability of environmental governance.

    3

    +Electives

    Six electives (18 credits)

    FST513 Integrated Seminar in Applied and Environmental Microbiology

    This course will provide a forum for interdisciplinary learning and discussion in the core areas of applied and environmental microbiology. Students will analyze case studies based on real-world issues, use evidence-based practice to devise solutions to applied problems, and develop communication skills to convey disciplinary knowledge to different audiences.

    3
    FST605 Food and Climate Change

    This course considers the relationship between Earth's changing climate and the human production and consumption of food. With attention to current theories and case studies, students will develop a comprehensive understanding of food systems in relation to global environmental change, with a specific focus on livelihoods, adaptation, sustainability, and justice.

    3
    SUS580 Sustainable Behavior Change

    This hybrid course combines classroom and online instruction with real-world application. Students learn the latest science concerning sources of environmental degradation. In teams, students apply motivational theory, collect secondary and primary data, and develop an action plan for increasing pro-environmental behaviors (PEB) in a specific context.

    3
    SUS605 Leadership for Transitions to Sustainability

    This class builds a foundation for sustainability management through exploration of Transition Management, a methodology for sustainable innovation. Students study innovation management, learn steps in managing a transition through analyzing systemic socio-technical problems, learn to develop potential solutions, and understand the organizational and societal structures necessary to support long-term change.

    3
    SUS516 Sustainable Decision Analysis

    The class contributes to a foundation for sustainability management by exploring different quantitative approaches to sustainable decision-making including: Life Cycle Analysis, Ecosystem Services Valuation, Carbon and Water Foot printing, and DPSIR (Drivers, Pressures, States, Impacts and Responses) Society-Environment interaction framework. Finally, the class explores how quantitative decision-making is shaped by various stakeholders.

    3
    SUS521 Ecotoxicology and Environmental Health

    Human health is intimately connected to environmental conditions and ecosystem integrity. Introducing concepts and measures of ecosystem and human health, this course will cover the principles and practice of contributing fields including ecotoxicology, epidemiology, environmental health and risk assessment. Students will be led from inquiry to action for key issues.

    3
    SUS640 Sustainable Community Development

    This course explores how people can engage in creating more environmentally, socially and economically sustainable communities at multiple scales, from the local to the regional. The reading and assignments emphasize sustainable planning theory and practice as well as sustainable food systems perspectives. Students will engage in practice-based research and community projects.

    3
    SUS622 Engaging Animals

    This course considers human-other animal engagements and how these affect sustainability. We first make sense of what "engaging animals" means, focusing on human-animal relations at different scales and levels cross-culturally, and then consider the impact on sustainability. We end with a student-led symposium on a specific human-animal relationship in relation to sustainability.

    3
    FST575 Field Ecology

    The goal of this course is to introduce the students to the principles of ecology in urban and rural environments. Initially there will be a series of lectures to study ecological concepts, with extensive reading and discussion from the primary literature. The students will gain the understanding of how the physical environment, global cycles and climate influence the biogeographical distribution of global and regional ecosystems and local microhabitats. Lectures will focus on the physical environment, plant and animal adaptations, population ecology and community dynamics. One-half of the classes will consist of field trips to observe flora and fauna, practice plant and animal data collection techniques using standard field methods, and to study human ecology and the impacts of population growth and resource consumption.

    3
    FST505 Food and Representations

    Food is elemental to survival, culture, home, and subjectivity - to rituals of love, loss, and celebration. Focusing on representations of food and eating in spiritual narratives, epic texts, myth, novels, and film, this class examines the cultural work food performs along with the varying meanings assigned to food and eating.

    3
    FST512 Practical Nutrition

    Course provides an overview of nutrition as an evidence-based research field, focusing on groups and communities where research is conducted and then applied. Topics include science and politics of food categories; supplements and functional foods; weight and disordered eating, commercial, local, organic, and conventional foods; cuisine, culture, and diet.

    3
    FST513 Integrated Seminar in Applied and Environmental Microbiology

    This course will provide a forum for interdisciplinary learning and discussion in the core areas of applied and environmental microbiology. Students will analyze case studies based on real-world issues, use evidence-based practice to devise solutions to applied problems, and develop communication skills to convey disciplinary knowledge to different audiences.

    3
    FST605 Food and Climate Change

    This course considers the relationship between Earth's changing climate and the human production and consumption of food. With attention to current theories and case studies, students will develop a comprehensive understanding of food systems in relation to global environmental change, with a specific focus on livelihoods, adaptation, sustainability, and justice.

    3
    FST609 Dairy: From Pasture to Plate

    This multi-disciplinary graduate course examines a range of agro-ecological, philosophical, socio-economic, health, and political issues related to dairy production in the US. Key course themes include: dairy history; sustainable and conventional production; raw milk and consumption debates; livestock care; milking; cheese-making; dairy policy; international issues; and popular representation of dairy.

    3
    FST615 Food, Labor, and Inequality

    In this course, we will focus on theoretical and applied frameworks for thinking about the labor of growing food, transporting it, transforming it into comestibles, and finally, serving and cleaning related to food consumption. The course considers how global labor shapes the availability and appropriateness of food for different populations and therefore includes a substantial analysis of gender, race, and social class. Readings and discussion will touch on migrant labor, domestic cooking, waiting and serving, agriculture, cooks and chefs, and food professionals.

    3
    FST625 U.S. Agricultural Policy

    This graduate multi-disciplinary course examines a range of philosophical, socio-economic, health and political issues related to agricultural policy in the US. It provides a foundation and introduction to U.S. farm policy as a means of exploring how political dynamics and choices impact the nature of food, agriculture, and communities at local, national and global scales.

    3
    FST524 Greenhouse Production

    Students will explore alternative season extension practices used in cold season production and compare the opportunities available to local farmers who choose to adopt season extension practices. Through class lectures and assignments students will learn the essentials of healthy soil, pest and disease identification, planting, harvesting and marketing opportunities available to sustainable farmers. Through working on Chatham's Eden Hall Farm as well as neighboring farms, students will integrate best practices for sustainable greenhouse growing with theory presented in class.

    3
    FST608 Culture and Culinary Grains

    Culture and Culinary Grains

    3
    FST518 Business of Food and Agriculture

    In this class the student will learn both history and current practices related to food and agriculture as economic enterprises in the United States and the world. Skills include ability to understand strategic management principles including identifying target markets, niche marketing, SWOT analysis and diffusion of innovation theory. Students will be able to develop a business plan including understanding barriers of entry, compiling demographic data, developing feasibility studies, long and short term business goals, define and calculate a breakeven point, and budget formulation.

    3
    FST532 Sustainable Meat Production

    As part of sustainable agriculture and culinary knowledge, understanding meat production outside the conventional large scale processing facilities is a critical skill for students who will work with restaurants, farm markets, and other distribution venues.

    3
    FST603 Food Journeys

    Food Journeys

    3
    FST607 Sustainable Consumption

    Sustainable Consumption

    3
    FST611 Religion, Community, and Food

    This course explains the ways in which sustainability and communal religious life have Intersected in the U.S. from the 17th century to the present. Using lecture readings, film, and independent research, we will study ethical farming practices, food sustainability, and moral food choices through the lens of American religious communities.

    3
    SUS580 Sustainable Behavior Change

    This hybrid course combines classroom and online instruction with real-world application. Students learn the latest science concerning sources of environmental degradation. In teams, students apply motivational theory, collect secondary and primary data, and develop an action plan for increasing pro-environmental behaviors (PEB) in a specific context.

    3
    SUS605 Leadership for Transitions to Sustainability

    This class builds a foundation for sustainability management through exploration of Transition Management, a methodology for sustainable innovation. Students study innovation management, learn steps in managing a transition through analyzing systemic socio-technical problems, learn to develop potential solutions, and understand the organizational and societal structures necessary to support long-term change.

    3
    SUS516 Sustainable Decision Analysis

    The class contributes to a foundation for sustainability management by exploring different quantitative approaches to sustainable decision-making including: Life Cycle Analysis, Ecosystem Services Valuation, Carbon and Water Foot printing, and DPSIR (Drivers, Pressures, States, Impacts and Responses) Society-Environment interaction framework. Finally, the class explores how quantitative decision-making is shaped by various stakeholders.

    3
    BUS570 Global Business

    This course introduces students to international business and management by studying cultural influences, government, and business structures in our global economy. Students also learn about trade relations, international finance and legal and labor agreements. Also covered, are topics on information needs, production systems, marketing and promotion, and career planning.

    3
    BUS641 Sustainable Supply Chain Management

    This course provides students with an understanding of how supply chain works, how and where along the supply chain sustainability questions should be addressed/considered, and the impacts of those decisions on stakeholders further down the chain. Topics include: packaging, transportation, energy use, and waste.

    3
    FST518 Business of Food and Agriculture

    In this class the student will learn both history and current practices related to food and agriculture as economic enterprises in the United States and the world. Skills include ability to understand strategic management principles including identifying target markets, niche marketing, SWOT analysis and diffusion of innovation theory. Students will be able to develop a business plan including understanding barriers of entry, compiling demographic data, developing feasibility studies, long and short term business goals, define and calculate a breakeven point, and budget formulation.

    3
    SUS562 Economics of the Environment

    This course is designed to introduce you to how economists think about the environment. The theory of externalities and market failure provide the basis for applying microeconomic concepts to the study of environmental issues. Analytical tools, particularly cost-benefit analysis, are explained and applied to problems with environmental dimensions.

    3

    +Internship

    3 credits

    Each student is expected to complete a three credit internship, in the region, in the summer after their two semesters of course work.

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