Senior Research Assistant at the International Food and Policy Research Institute in Washington, D.C.
"The combination of course work focused on multidisciplinary aspects of environmental policy and an extended internship provided me an ideal educational experience. Toward the end of the program, I was offered the position of senior research assistant at the International Food Policy Research Institute, where I had interned. I assist in the implementation of modeling, scenario analysis, write-ups, and data activities."
Students discuss some of the benefits of working with the faculty at Bard CEP.
Masters in Environmental Policy
Environmental science, environmental and natural resource economics, environmental law, and environmental policy comprise the program's core courses. All courses move through several topics, outlined below, enabling students to examine one specific environmental area at a time in an integrated and comprehensive manner.
The Bard CEP curriculum integrates the core disciplines of science, policy, law, and economics into a consistent and comprehensive first year of graduate course work. Through close collaboration with faculty and an innovative program of study, students learn to think across disciplines to understand the complexities of today’s environmental problems and challenges. Courses delve simultaneously into curricular themes to provide students with a deep understanding of the issues from multiple perspectives and at the same time highlight linkages and divisions across disciplines. This holistic approach to learning illuminates integral connections between the social world and the physical sciences, and encourages students to incorporate various perspectives and ideologies into their work. VIEW MORE >>
First Year Modules (Curricular Themes) Foundations and General Concepts Air and Atmosphere Risk and Uncertainty Water and Fisheries Biodiversity Lands, Forests, and Soils Food and Agriculture Energy and Sustainability Industrial Ecology Urban Ecology
First-Year Course Work
The first-year courses link natural ecosystems and their functioning to the impact of socioeconomic activities, and to the political, institutional, and legislative responses that address environmental problems. Courses emphasize analytical frameworks and basic principles through examples and case studies. Joint class sessions, field trips, guest lectures, and conferences expose students to the critical issues and contemporary practices of environmental policy. The curricula’s structure provides the context for the courses and enables students to examine in an integrated, comprehensive, and realistic manner one particular environmental area at a time. VIEW MORE >>
Environmental policy professionals must be able to communicate their knowledge clearly and effectively through the spoken and written word as well as with images, data, and figures. The courses emphasize various modes of communication and persuasion through writing exercises as well as group presentations. Regional and international implications of “local” environmental problems are explored. Special emphasis is given to the problem of translating scientific knowledge into workable policies. Students learn how scientific knowledge applies to environmental issues and explore the difficulty of policy making under conditions of risk, scientific uncertainty, and incomplete information.
Courses in economics, law, and policy provide a basis for exploring how society has responded to changing environmental conditions. The policy tools that are used to address these conditions, including laws, regulations, market-based instruments, and voluntary agreements, are shaped by a variety of political, cultural, and ethical forces. Students analyze how these factors come together to influence the policy-making process. They also analyze how the tools can be applied locally, regionally, and globally to influence behavior, achieve or go beyond compliance, and manage change for preservation of natural resources and environmental protection.
The internship provides hands-on experience working with professionals in the field and facilitates entry into the job market. Internship arrangements with public, private, and nonprofit organizations offer a wide range of choices and provide real benefits to the student and the collaborating organization. Con-ducted during the summer and fall semester of the second year, internships are at least 30 hours a week and four consecutive months in duration.
Bard CEP helps students find internship opportunities with a variety of institutions, and is continuously expanding the list of internship sponsors. The internship allows students to follow their preferred areas of specialization locally, elsewhere in the United States, or abroad. The internship gives students an ap-plied focus to their degree and an opportunity to learn in a professional setting the job-specific skills they will use upon graduation. Internships also expand professional networks, often leading directly or indi-rectly to employment. Below is a select list of student internship placements. VIEW MORE >>
Selection of Recent Internship Placements • Center for Biological Diversity (San Francisco) • Center for Neighborhood Technology (Chicago) • Department of Energy (Washington, D.C.) • Environmental Defense Fund (Austin) • Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta (Atlanta) • Global Green USA (New York) • Institute of Nature and Society (Oaxaca, Mexico) • Chinese Academy of Sciences Global Lake Ecological Observatory Network (Wuxi, China) • New York City Department of Environmental Protection (Flushing, New York) • Ocean Acidification Research Center (Fairbanks, Alaska) • Resources for the Future (Washington, D.C.) • Society for Development Alternatives (New Delhi, India) • The Nature Conservancy (Dublin, Ohio) • The World Health Organization (Berlin, Germany) • U.S. Agency for International Development (Washington, D.C.)
Flexible Student Research
The Master’s Project is an original presentation with practical application to a particular environmental problem and its policy implications. Normally linked to some part of the internship, the project should reflect the multifaceted nature of an actual environmental issue and integrate aspects of the natural and social sciences and humanities in the analysis and policy recommendations. Recent Master’s Projects examine important environmental concerns covering an array of areas, including water and wildlife management, pollution prevention and regulatory review, land-use planning and environmental justice, preservation of natural resources and the rural character of smaller towns, economic growth and sustainable development, corporate social responsibility, and more.