Consultant, Environmental Planning, UK Department for International Development/World Bank, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
"The theoretical and practical training from BCEP was key to my entry into international development. My con-sulting assignments for international financial institutions vary from climate change planning to environmental impact mitigation to urban development in Latin America and East Africa - all have required a holistic approach and a firm grounding in understanding economic, political, technical and community angles to develop sustain-able solutions with government and donor clients."
Academic Calendar 2013–2014
August 23–25, 2013 Math and Science Refresher
August 26–30, 2013 Orientation and Workshops
September 2, 2013 Fall Semester Classes Begin
October 12–15, 2013 Fall Break
November 25–29, 2013 Fall Reading Week
December 16–19, 2013 Exams
January 13–24, 2014 January term
February 3, 2014 Spring Semester Classes Begin
March 24–28, 2014 Spring Reading Week
May 19–23, 2014 Exams and Master’s Presentations
May 24, 2014 Commencement
Environmental Policy Curriculum
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.
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
Good environmental management requires a basic understanding of physical and biological science concepts and principles. These courses are meant to provide you with that understanding—with the expectation that a scientifically savvy individual will make a better policy analyst, environmental activist, or entrepreneur. Given the breadth of the topic of environmental science, these courses cover information found in geology, soil science, hydrology, ecology, environmental chemistry, and atmospheric science classes. The classes are not just about facts; through the assignments and discussion, your understanding of the scientific method, comfort with scientific vocabulary, and ability to glean important information from literature will increase. Thus, the goal is not only to teach you about perturbations to global biogeochemical cycles, importance of redox and photochemical reactions, and threats to biodiversity—it is also to teach you how to think critically and solve problems.
These courses describe the conceptual framework and tools used by economists for environmental policy making. Students will understand and analyze the philosophical underpinnings of neoclassical economics, as well as its methodological toolkit. The goal is to understand how economists view environmental issues, and to develop a critical understanding and appreciation of their solutions to environmental problems. By the end of the year, students will be able to understand and critique the notion of economic efficiency, and understand the complexities and tradeoffs involved in making policy decisions. In addition to this intellectual advancement, students will also acquire professional skills used by policy makers today.
Use of logic to analyze claims made in the media and elsewhere
Use of real-world data to test and validate competing policy claims
Ability to calculate the time value of money, rates of return, and payback periods of different projects
These courses introduce students to the core concepts of environmental law in the context of interdisciplinary policy making. Students examine responses and solutions to environmental problems that rely on legal and regulatory instruments, judicial decisions, and voluntary agreements, while exploring the interaction between environmental law and policy. They also take into account the nature of international, federal, state, and local relationships in developing and applying the law, as well as the role of technology and science, tensions between private and public interests, and environmental justice considerations. The courses transition from foundational concepts into more advanced specialized environmental subjects. Theory and practice are combined to address issues of contemporary importance. A main goal is to gain a sense of the various legal approaches to environmental problems.
Solid understanding of the legislative, administrative, and judicial system of environmental law today
Ability to navigate a complex regime of statutes, regulations, and agency practices addressing environmental issues
Comprehend the framework of the major U.S. federal environmental statutes and how policy makers encounter them in practice
Basic knowledge of key international agreements and their interaction with domestic legislation
This course sequence analyzes the dynamic and complex relationship among various factors—legal, political, cultural, and ethical—that influence the environmental policy-making process. The courses use a case-study approach to introduce students to the core concepts of environmental policy making and envi-ronmental policy cycles that include defining the environmental problem, setting the environmental agenda, and presenting and implementing policy solutions. Students examine state and social responses to new and ongoing environmental problems. In the United States context, this includes taking into account the nature of state-federal relationships in developing and applying the environmental law, as well as the evolving role of technology, tensions between private and public interests, and equity considerations. In addition to U.S. environmental policy, the courses explore international environmental regime development, conflict resolution, and transboundary citizen networks that influence global environmental decision making.
Basic knowledge of qualitative policy analysis
Familiarity with key theories in international and comparative politics
Understanding of a range of concrete policy instruments related to environmental policy
Case-based analysis to identify critical policy problems and relevant policy or technical solutions
Statistics and Econometrics (Fall) This course provides an introduction to the quantitative tools used for monitoring, analyzing data, evaluating the state of the environment, and developing policy. Through practical and real-world applications, students learn statistical and econometric methods that identify problem areas and measure the efficacy of policy tools. This course focuses on concepts underlying statistical methods, as well as problem solving, through the use of STATA, a popular statistical software package.
Ability to describe basic statistical concepts in simple English
Means to test simple hypotheses
Capacity to distinguish between correlation and causation
Facility to use STATA and run various regression models
Geographic Information Systems (Spring) Students explore the various spatial analysis methods used by scientists, planners, and public-policy makers to improve the understanding and management of our world. Students learn the fundamentals of modeling, data analysis, mapping, and conducting an environmental-impact assessment using geospatial technologies. Practical exercises relate to themes studied throughout the year. In this project-based class, students begin by learning the fundamentals of using spatial information, conducting spatial analysis, and producing and interpreting maps. In the second half of the course, they apply these skills to a team-based research project of their own design. The program culminates in a poster session, where the students show their work to their peers, professors in the program, and the greater Bard community.
Understanding of the current capabilities of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) science and its limitations
Application of the fundamental techniques of vector- and raster-based spatial analysis
Ability to use GIS software to produce high-quality cartographic products
Appreciation of how spatial analysis and mapping play a critical role in the creation, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of environmental policy
J-term short courses take place during two weeks in January. These courses are designed for CEP graduate students and are open to the public for either a certificate or for credit. Past electives have covered the following topics:
Terra Preta to Commercial Product: Can we scale up Biochar?
Private Land Conservation: A Primer and Climate Change Consequences
Slow Water for Sustainable Development: Oaxaca
Private Land Conservation: A Primer, and The Role of Agriculture
Energy and Environment in Asia
Climate Finance: Theory and Practice
Only non-CEP students register for J-term courses. For more information, click here.