Environmental stewardship and sustainability are becoming guiding principles for all forward-thinking organizations. The University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES) has been at the forefront of environmental stewardship for over 90 years and is committed to developing the next generation of scientists, business leaders, policy-makers, natural resource managers, and educators to meet the unprecedented environmental and allied social challenges of the 21st century. This Professional Certificate program will guide anyone with an interest in environmental management to a) obtain literacy in environmental issues, b) use data of different spatial scales to drive decision-making, and c) effectively communicate environmental policy across a broad spectrum of constituencies.
We will explore the evolution of environmental management among pioneering thought-leaders in conservation ecology and will utilize invaluable supplementary reading to understand how their essential texts remain relevant to this day. Further, we will explore how early conservation and environmental movements were shaped by the reality of politics, policy, and science. Finally, we will explore how today’s environmental managers inform effective policy when using a participatory, transdisciplinary approach to socio-environmental management and justice.
Environmental decision-making requires an approach that best matches your skill sets and organizational needs with crucial environmental issues. We will explore case-studies of the management of large, complex systems, investigate how to scale and transfer the lessons-learned from these case studies, and explore strategies for integrating coupled human and natural systems. From these global examples, including Chesapeake Bay, the world’s best studied estuary, you will learn how to develop solutions to your organization’s unique socio-environmental challenges.
Best-practice environmental management goes hand-in-hand with current methods of communicating changes to complex ecosystems in a manner that is accessible to all stakeholders. Today’s complex environmental challenges ranging from climate change and global warming to land use change require clear and compelling science communication. For example, diffuse sources of pollution like atmospheric emissions and subsequent deposition or groundwater contamination are difficult subjects to envision. You will learn from experienced and talented science communicators how to generate compelling graphics and visualizations combined with an effective narrative structure that will serve as springboards for action within any organization.
Socio-environmental report cards are acknowledged as THE effective tool for communicating status and trends of socio-environmental systems and engaging stakeholders. These tools are being used on a global scale to effect positive change at the local level. Report cards releases have become media events that have sweeping community reach from schools to legislatures. This course will walk you through the process of how these incredibly useful tools are created and disseminated.
Courses under this program: Course 1: Strategic Communication for Sustainability Leaders
Communicating science effectively is a critical skill for anyone involved in environmental policy or sustainability. Learn how to integrate effective visualizations into compelling narratives to clearly explain complex ecosystem processes.
Course 2: Storytelling with Data using Socio-environmental Report Cards
Socio-environmental report cards have proven to be THE tool to effect positive change. Join us as we explore proven techniques to synthesize data, engage the local community, inform decision-making, and drive policy for any environmental or sustainability challenge.
Course 3: The Science Advisory Toolbox for Environmental Management
Develop your own science and management strategy while viewing the environment through a multicultural lens. Learn how science advocacy can drive effective environmental and sustainability decision-making.
Course 4: Innovative Environmental Management Models: Case Studies and Applications
Utilizing extensive case studies of various ecosystems, you will learn how to effectively utilize science-based management to mitigate anthropogenic impacts and ensure resiliency and sustainability in your community.
Effective science communicators are in short supply during a time of unprecedented environmental challenges. As policy-makers, businesses, and communities seek solutions, the need for science communication skills will only grow. In this course, you will not only learn how to identify the tools of science communication, but will be able critique, refine, and develop them.
Any leader understands that data is the underpinning of competent decision-making. Complex systems require that data be presented in a clear and accessible format. You will learn to construct easy-to-interpret data visualizations that will enable you to build consensus and facilitate decisions across a broad spectrum of stakeholders.
Data tells us a story. Articulating and messaging this data-driven narrative to communicate the latest research is a key skill for any manager. You will learn to use proven techniques to develop such narratives so that you can effectively communicate complex data-sets to any audience.
Cogent science communication requires the effective integration of a captivating and accessible narrative with appealing multimedia data visualizations. These two new skills are the foundation for telling a larger story. Compelling “stories” are a proven approach to explain complex problems, involve the target audience, and motivate diverse stakeholders to work toward change.
Imagine if you had the tools that would galvanize volunteers to protect their local river, inspire politicians to fund restoration activities, or stimulate engineers to devise ways to reduce pollution. Socio-environmental report cards synthesize data from scientists and volunteers and convert it into an image-rich format that is easily accessible to a wide stakeholder audience.
Report card grades also tap into a powerful human motivator: peer pressure. Civic leaders and community members can compare their grades with their neighbors, and we have learned that these comparisons lead to a desire for better environmental outcomes in their own backyard.
For nearly two decades, our team has worked with local river protection groups to develop comprehensive assessments of iconic ecosystems like the Chesapeake Bay (United States of America) and the Great Barrier Reef (Australia). These socio-environmental report cards have been used to catalyze improvements in ecosystem health, motive cooperative problem-solving, guide restoration efforts, and stimulate relevant research.
We can no longer be content to just study environmental or natural resource-related problems. The challenges and negative environmental impacts of climate change and other myriad environmental management issues are upon us. We need to use science to inspire real change. We’ll show you how.
Case studies are the best means to analyze real world problems and assess viability of proposed solutions. We will explore a variety of ecosystems and determine how effectively they are managed given the specific challenges of each locale.
We will be analyzing how monitoring, modeling, research and resource management approaches are scaled across multiple dimensions such as size, population, complexity, and maturity gradients. For instance, Chesapeake Bay, located in the United States largely within the states of Maryland and Virginia, is the best-studied estuary in the world. Since European settlement, contravening forces (land use, eutrophication via phosphorus and nitrogen point and nonpoint sources, sediment runoff, and wetland degradation to name a few) have impacted the entire watershed of this highly productive ecosystem which falls under the jurisdiction of six different state governments and the local government of Washington DC. A comprehensive management approach involving the Environmental Protection Agency and other federal agencies working under the umbrella of the Chesapeake Bay Program headquartered in Annapolis, MD, has resulted in measurable improvements in water quality. Lessons learned from the restoration efforts of the Bay have applications well beyond fisheries, agriculture, and conservation. Other large complex systems that we will be discussing are the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, the implications of the 2010 Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and the transnational management of the Baltic Sea.
We will also explore innovative stakeholder-driven approaches, such as COAST Card (Coastal Ocean Assessment for Sustainability and Transformation) that integrates socio-environmental report cards, social network analysis, and system dynamic models. Its development in iconic locations (Chesapeake Bay (US), Manila Bay (Philippines), Tokyo Bay and Ishigaki Island (Japan) and the Goa Coast of India) present both shared and unique challenges for managing coupled human and natural systems. Addressing these linkages between human health and environmental quality and the required trade-offs a management team must make is a key component of best management practice for our natural resources.
Finally, we will discuss the implications of climate change science and how it can influence socio-environmental management. Each case study will present unique solutions to address ecosystem stress. Scalability of management approaches across a variety of ecosystems including those of differing population densities, areas, complexities, and maturities will be discussed.
Upon completion, you will have the practical tools to develop effective management solutions for a variety of ecosystem and sustainability challenges.
There is a broad spectrum of ways that science can be incorporated into environmental management and policy and it all begins with effectively articulating cause and impacts. Climate change, biodiversity loss, and other pressing, global environmental issues are of such a scale that citizens, NGOs, natural resource managers, interest groups, and local governments believe themselves helpless to find solutions. But these are the very groups that need to coalesce around a strong message to effect social change. You can be their guide.
We will begin this course with a survey of early conservation thought-leaders that changed the conversation about how humans view their natural world. Environmentalism, at its core, requires a science-driven, grassroots movement that ultimately inspires social change, encourages corporate social responsibility, and shapes environmental policy. Only then can society ensure healthy ecosystems and environmental justice for citizens of local and regional communities.
As our understanding of our natural world has grown in depth and complexity, so has the need for implementing new communication tools to best express this knowledge in a way that is accessible and actionable. Synthesis of data into a compelling story is the solution. You will develop your own toolbox of science advisory techniques while growing your environmental management knowledge base.
Taught by leading experts in the field with real world examples and studies, this course will show you how today’s conservation leaders can still “change the conversation” and guide society toward solutions for complex resiliency and sustainability problems that benefit all stakeholders and future generations.
Richard Arnold, Vanessa Vargas-Nguyen and William “Bill” Dennison
Start your review of Environmental Management for Sustainability
Nimesha Buddhini Sooriaarachchi
i want to learn environmental management for my career development. Sustainability is world trend foe the future. All business parties work with sustainability to increase their profit and social responsibility. Traditional business environment has more impact to the environment. Most of the organization increase their sustainability activities for reducing the environmental impacts.
It's a course that helps in the planning of the community, also to avert unforseen happening in terms of sustainability of the community and country at large.