|Submission Date||March 6, 2020|
Paul Smith's College of Arts & Sciences
AC-4: Graduate Program
|3.00 / 3.00||
Center for Campus Sustainability
Does the institution offer at least one sustainability-focused major, degree program, or the equivalent for graduate students (I.e. an interdisciplinary academic program that concentrates on sustainability as an integrated concept)?:
Name of the sustainability-focused graduate-level degree program:
A brief description of the graduate-level degree program:
Paul Smith’s College (PSC) is a thriving college, broadly recognized for outstanding experiential education. The college’s mission is to (i) develop career-ready graduates through hands-on, personalized education, (ii) educate, research and advocate on issues that improve our planet and the lives of the people that inhabit it, and (iii) help the Adirondack region be ecologically and economically sustainable. The college currently has several strong baccalaureate programs in natural resources conservation areas that collectively provide a proven and strong foundation for realizing our vision and for achieving our mission. All of these programs are designed to prepare students for “real work” through our model of applied experiential education, the hallmark of a PSC education since our founding in 1946.
The MS in Natural Resources Conservation program uses our experiential education approach to provide students with enhanced credentials that increase their job competiveness and ability to serve in leadership roles in public and private sectors. Offering an MS program also recognizes an increasing demand for credentials beyond the baccalaureate in this field, and as the only 4-year degree granting institution in the Adirondack Park, PSC has the responsibility and is uniquely positioned geographically to offer the only MS program in the Adirondack Park. According to the NYS Department of Labor prospects for employment of program graduates in the North Country region are very favorable with projected employment growth over the next 10 years for related occupations of 15.9% compared to 7.2% for all occupations, with an average wage of $59,328 for related occupations compared to $43,540 for all occupations. Public sector jobs are available with local governments, state and federal agencies, and vocational education, and there are a growing number of jobs in the private sector with environmental consulting and engineering firms.
Natural Resources Conservation is a rapidly growing and evolving field that addresses key ecosystem services such as clean water and productive soils upon which sustainable communities are based. These services have been largely taken for granted until recently, but with burgeoning demands placed on ecosystems by a growing human population, safeguarding and restoring ecosystem functions for sustainable futures are more vital than ever. As a result, Natural Resources Conservation is a multi- disciplinary field that must be comprehensive and integrate natural sciences, social sciences, and conservation laws and policies. Practitioners must be able to evaluate terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and determine how these systems can be managed to protect their functions, while also sustaining their benefits / services to humans. Employers are seeking individuals with knowledge, skills and abilities such as knowledge of ecosystem structure and function, project management, public participation, personnel management, communications, and problem solving. Thus, graduates of the MS in Natural Resources Conservation program will be able to:
identify and understand human threats to ecosystem services and recommend conservation approaches to protect or restore these services;
design studies, and acquire, analyze and present data/information from multiple sources to a variety of audiences in support of conservation and sustainability goals
develop and execute management and/or monitoring plans to achieve conservation and sustainability goals
articulate and substantiate the importance of natural resources conservation and sustainability
uphold the ethical dimension of humanities’ relationship with the natural world
The MS program is designed to be completed in 12 months using a blend of intensive residential coursework and synchronous on-line courses. This allows non-traditional students, full-time working professionals, and traditional students to earn an advanced degree while continuing to earn income. The residential coursework utilizes the unique setting and resources of PSC to provide students with
immersive field experiences. The program will be delivered using a cohort model that emphasizes peer- to-peer learning through collaborative, team-based approaches to problem solving. The program includes a culminating integrated natural resources conservation project that engages participants with real clients requesting our assistance with developing solutions to their natural resources challenges.
Program Foundations are laid during summer and winter residencies and provide a comprehensive platform for additional coursework and a thesis project. Additional coursework will depend on a student’s chosen area of concentration (Forest Resource Management, Aquatic Resource Management, or Sustainable Communities).
The website URL for the graduate-level degree program:
Name of the sustainability-focused, graduate-level degree program (2nd program):
A brief description of the graduate degree program (2nd program):
The website URL for the graduate degree program (2nd program):
Name of the sustainability-focused, graduate-level degree program (3rd program):
A brief description of the graduate degree program (3rd program):
The website URL for the graduate degree program (3rd program):
The name and website URLs of all other sustainability-focused graduate-level degree programs:
Does the institution offer one or more graduate-level sustainability-focused minors, concentrations or certificates?:
Name of the graduate-level sustainability-focused minor, concentration or certificate:
A brief description of the graduate minor, concentration or certificate:
Natural Resource Conservation M.S. Concentration on Sustainable Communities includes the following three courses.
1) Sustainable Development
2) Strategic Communications for Sustainable Development
3) Building Collaborative Communities
The website URL for the graduate minor, concentration or certificate:
Name of the graduate-level sustainability-focused minor, concentration or certificate (2nd program):
A brief description of the graduate minor, concentration or certificate (2nd program):
The website URL for the graduate minor, concentration or certificate (2nd program):
Name of the graduate-level sustainability-focused minor, concentration or certificate (3rd program):
A brief description of the graduate minor, concentration or certificate (3rd program):
The website URL for the graduate minor, concentration or certificate (3rd program):
The name and website URLs of all other graduate-level, sustainability-focused minors, concentrations and certificates:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.