Overall Rating Platinum - expired
Overall Score 88.00
Liaison Sam Lubow
Submission Date Feb. 22, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Stanford University
AC-4: Graduate Program

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Moira Hafer
Sustainability Specialist
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

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:
Master's of Sustainability Science and Practice

A brief description of the graduate-level degree program:

The Sustainability Science and Practice program is an interdisciplinary program hosted by the School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences. As the global human population climbs toward 11 billion this century and consumption demands increase, we must find ways to meet the needs of people in ways that do not forgo possibilities for future generations. These sustainability challenges are marked by extreme complexity, urgency, conflicting demands, and often a paucity of resources or political will to address them.

The program integrates theoretical and conceptual knowledge with practical skills and tools to prepare students to both envision a prosperous future for all, and know how to design the practices and cultivate partnerships essential to building that future. As part of the program, students complete a 4-unit (120 hour) practicum placement, which provides an opportunity to apply the leadership mindsets, knowledge and skills from the curriculum to a practical experience working on complex sustainability challenge with a partner organization.

The curriculum covers three main elements:

Students develop a “systems perspective”, deepening their awareness of the dynamic and interrelated nature of social-environmental systems. They explore tools to measure, map, and model five capital assets – social, natural, human, manufactured, and knowledge capital – and their complex interactions in order to recognize potential feedbacks, thresholds, and unintended consequences, as well as to identify leverage points and opportunities for interventions that can have transformative leaders, and examine business, government and non-profit strategies for advancing sustainability. Students develop a range of skills, including decision-making in the context of complexity and uncertainty, the application of holistic metrics and evaluation tools, and communication and stakeholder engagement.

Students examine the roles of diverse actors who influence change in social-environmental systems and explore strategies to align decision making and behavior with sustainability. They explore mindsets and attributes of transformative leaders and their organizations while building a range of skills, including decision making, the use of inclusive metrics and evaluation approaches, and communication approaches.

Students develop understanding of how to intervene in complex systems for transformative impact by exploring frameworks and tools from systems thinking, design thinking, social cognitive theory, behavioral economics, and partnership strategies. They develop practical skills in mapping complex systems and designing creative, high-leverage interventions that realign systems with the goal of intergenerational well-being.

The website URL for the graduate-level degree program:
Name of the sustainability-focused, graduate-level degree program (2nd program):
Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources

A brief description of the graduate degree program (2nd program):

Stanford's Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources (E-IPER) trains the next generation of interdisciplinary scholars and leaders to address the world's most challenging environmental and sustainability problems. E-IPER students combine academic disciplines, including natural and earth sciences, engineering, economics, humanities, social sciences, law, health, policy, and business to yield new insights and novel solutions to urgent global problems, such as energy use, climate change, food security, freshwater availability, depletion of ocean resources, land degradation, and biodiversity loss.

The website URL for the graduate degree program (2nd program):
Name of the sustainability-focused, graduate-level degree program (3rd program):
Earth System Science

A brief description of the graduate degree program (3rd program):

The goal of the program is to understand, predict, and respond to human-caused environmental change at local and global scales. To take on this challenge, students investigate the complexity of the global system, including the interactions, synergies, and feedbacks that link the oceans, atmosphere, land surfaces, and freshwater systems. A global perspective has emerged that challenges the research community to view and study the planet as a singular, highly-interactive system, moving past disciplinary approaches to evaluate the interactions among chemical, biological, and physical processes across the Earth's surface. Through the graduate and undergraduate programs, the program will train a new generation of scientists who comprehend the multiple facets of environmental processes, and who are able to think synthetically, evaluating change in our oceans, water, air and land processes as part of an integrated and connected system.

The website URL for the graduate degree program (3rd program):
The name and website URLs of all other sustainability-focused graduate-level degree programs:

ENERGY RESOURCES ENGINEERING: https://earth.stanford.edu/ere
Energy Resources Engineering at Stanford focuses on the design of processes for energy production and energy transformations, and the long-term storage of energy byproducts such as carbon dioxide. The design of subsurface processes includes characterization of the spatial distribution of formation properties, experimental investigations of flow behavior, computational and analytical modeling of flow, selection and implementation of methods for enhancing fluid recovery or long-term storage, understanding the environmental aspects of resource production, and optimization of process performance. Other areas of focus include clean energy conversions (e.g., clean coal), geothermal engineering, energy systems modeling and optimization, and marine energy systems, large-scale solar and other renewable energy resources.

Faculty and graduate students conduct research in areas including: subsurface characterization, uncertainty modeling and geostatistics; computational modeling of subsurface flow (reservoir simulation); enhanced oil recovery by thermal means, gas injection, and the use of chemicals; well test analysis; advanced well modeling; clean energy conversions; carbon capture and sequestration; geothermal engineering; marine energy systems; process optimization and inverse modeling; and modeling and optimization of large-scale energy systems.

This program does also include a PhD minor, satisfying the criteria in the Minors, Concentrations and Certificates section below. To be recommended for the PhD minor, a student must take 20 units of selected graduate-level lecture courses in the department. These courses must include ENERGY 221 and 222. The remaining courses should be selected from ENERGY 175, 223, 224, 225, 227, 240, 241, 251, 280, 281, and 284.

There are numerous sustainability-focused graduate-level degree programs offered at Stanford. Please see the complete list, including website URLs, in the back-up document uploaded for AC-2.

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:
Civil & Environmental Engineering, Sustainable Design & Construction

A brief description of the graduate minor, concentration or certificate:

The Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) department is committed to finding solutions to our major sustainability challenges this century, and to educating and training the leaders who will have a large impact on our profession and on society. The CEE department offers master's degrees in several concentration areas, all of which could be considered sustainability programs, thus allowing this program to also fit into the category above for Majors and Degree Programs.

The most directly relevant concentration is Sustainable Design and Construction. The Sustainable Design & Construction Program is part of the Sustainable Built Environment (SBE) group in the department of Civil & Environmental Engineering at Stanford, which includes faculty from Structural Engineering & Geomechanics and Sustainable Design and Construction. The program's focus is on educating practitioners and researchers who can play a variety of roles in planning, designing, building and operating more sustainable buildings and infrastructure. The program includes courses in sustainable, multi-stakeholder design methods and tools that incorporate lifecycle cost analysis, green architectural design, lighting and energy analysis to educate students from a variety of undergraduate backgrounds interested in promoting more sustainable development of buildings and infrastructure.

The website URL for the graduate minor, concentration or certificate:
Name of the graduate-level sustainability-focused minor, concentration or certificate (2nd program):
Certificate in Public Management and Social Innovation

A brief description of the graduate minor, concentration or certificate (2nd program):

The Stanford Graduate School of Business social innovation curriculum prepares students to lead global social and environmental change. The Certificate in Public Management and Social Innovation, created by former Dean Arjay Miller in 1971, is an academic option within the MBA and MSx programs.

Students may choose to focus their elective coursework on a particular social-innovation field, such as economic opportunity, environmental sustainability, health, or education. They can also shape their academic efforts based on their preferred approach to social impact: e.g., responsible business, social entrepreneurship, nonprofit leadership, social impact funding, or public policy.

The Certificate is evidence of a student’s preparation for and commitment to addressing public issues. It serves as an important signal to future employers.

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):
Environmental and Natural Resources Law and Policy Program

A brief description of the graduate minor, concentration or certificate (3rd program):

Uniquely situated in the heart of Silicon Valley and part of one of the world’s preeminent research universities, Stanford’s award-winning Environmental and Natural Resources Law & Policy Program (ENRLP) has earned its reputation as a leading program for education and research in this dynamic field. Indeed, with a nationally renowned faculty praised for its cutting-edge research and practice, the program has revolutionized environmental education.

Students develop their skills in analyzing and solving problems through situational case studies, learn effective teamwork through Stanford’s Environmental Law Clinic, and master mediation and multiparty negotiation techniques through in-class simulations. Clinical programs and courses foster collaborative solutions to real-world problems. Many courses involve other Stanford departments, and all integrate multidisciplinary materials. The program also provides access to a broad spectrum of practitioners, regulators, and academics in Silicon Valley and beyond, and to hands-on involvement in research, environmental advocacy, and collaborative dialogues. Beyond the classroom, students pursue a wide array of extracurricular activities, such as membership in the Stanford Environmental Law Journal and the Environmental Law Society.

Stanford Law School graduates pursue a variety of distinguished careers in environmental and natural resources law. Alumni currently hold positions—covering the spectrum from staff attorney to executive leadership—at national environmental organizations, federal and state agencies, the White House, major corporations, law firms with strong environmental practices, and academia.

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:

There are numerous such programs offered for graduate-level minors, concentrations, and certificates. Please see the complete list, including website URLs, in the back-up document uploaded for AC-2.

Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

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