Overall Rating Platinum
Overall Score 86.01
Liaison Patrick McKee
Submission Date March 6, 2020
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Connecticut
AC-4: Graduate Program

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Richard Miller
Ofice of Environmental Policy
"---" 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:
Agricultural and Resource Economics

A brief description of the graduate-level degree program:

Graduate students have opportunities to work closely with faculty in three general areas: Food Marketing and Industrial Organization, Environmental and Resource Economics, and International Agricultural Development.

The Department takes particular pride in its research program and recognizes that research permits graduate students to demonstrate their creative ability and to attain academic maturity. Students usually begin thinking about their thesis or dissertation project early in their program, with formal planning beginning during the second semester of an M.S. program and at the end of the second semester of a Ph.D. program. Examples of possible research topics are: econometric analysis of food demand and supply, measurement of economic efficiency in agricultural enterprises, market power and industrial concentration, interregional competition, analysis of entry barriers in the food manufacturing industries, evaluating alternative promotion strategies for a commodity marketing board, analysis of public policies to protect open space, efficient design of policies for environmental protection, evaluating the impact of alternative groundwater contamination regulations upon agricultural activity and public welfare, and identifying the determinants of rural-urban migration patterns in less developed countries.

The website URL for the graduate-level degree program:
Name of the sustainability-focused, graduate-level degree program (2nd program):
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

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

Research in the department covers a wide range of fields, including behavioral ecology of vertebrates and invertebrates, systematics and evolution of plants and animals, population and community ecology, functional morphology and development, and conservation biology. Faculty members and graduate students work on nearly all of the major groups of organisms, including algae, mosses and lichens, aquatic plants, desert plants, tropical and temperate forest trees, the parasites of sharks and rays, insects, spiders, fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. Current research projects span the globe, with investigators working throughout North America, Costa Rica, Panama, Nicaragua, Brazil, Borneo, Madagascar, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and many other countries.

Our strong research program has given national recognition to Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Connecticut. Federal grant support for research in systematic biology over the past decade places the University of Connecticut among the top 10 in the country. Many of our faculty members serve or have served as officers of major scientific societies, including several presidents of national or international scientific societies, as National Science Foundation panel directors or members, and as editors of over two dozen science journals. Recent graduate students have won prizes for best papers at national meetings in fields such as botany, ecology, entomology, evolution, herpetology, ichthyology, marine biology, parasitology, and plant systematics.

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

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

The Environmental Engineering Program's mission is to provide a state of the art and multidisciplinary learning environment supported by cutting-edge research in three core areas (tracks):
(i) Biogeochemical processes (BGC); (ii) Air pollution and atmospheric processes (ATM); and (iii) Hydrogeosciences and engineering (HGS). These three tracks reflect the scope and interdisciplinary nature of Environmental Engineering. Peavy et al. (Environmental Engineering, 1985) provide the following definition: "that branch of engineering that is concerned with protecting the environment from the potentially deleterious effects of human activity, protecting human populations from the effects of adverse environmental factors and improving the environmental quality for human health and well-being."

The faculty is committed to academic and professional success. It offers challenging and rigorous courses, exciting and relevant research opportunities, and individualized mentoring and guidance.

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

Applied and Resource Economics

Biodiversity and Conservation Biology

Energy and Environmental Management

Natural Resources: Land, Water, and Air


Plant Science

Public Health

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:
Sustainable Environmental Planning and Management

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

Offered as an online program and able to be completed in 12-16 months. The program is designed for: i) Professionals in the natural resources and sustainable environmental fields looking to enhance their skills and advance their careers; ii) College graduates with a Bachelor’s degree looking to break into the field; iii) Professionals who have been in the workforce for a period of time and are interested in going to graduate school, but need the credentials to apply for a Master’s Degree program.
Upon completion of the program, students will be able to: describe how ecological systems operate, describe how social, economic, and political systems affect ecological systems; identify essential components of decision processes and communication methods; apply geospatial skills in a planning context; develop custom geospatial tools using Python scripting; operate effectively in a team-based planning process; prepare an environmental management plan; and evaluate an environmental management plan for sustainable outcomes.

The website URL for the graduate minor, concentration or certificate:
Name of the graduate-level sustainability-focused minor, concentration or certificate (2nd program):
Contaminated Site Remediation

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

Offered as an online program. As ecological concerns increase, environmental engineering approaches are becoming more in demand and more complex. A certificate program in Contaminated Site Remediation can ultimately lead to a Master of Engineering (MENG) degree providing students the necessary knowledge at an advanced level to engage in the design of contaminated site investigations, remediation, and redevelopment.

The Contaminated Site Remediation Certificate trains students to:
- Use appropriate tools and techniques for the planning and design of site investigations and waste containment systems
- Understand physical, chemical, and biological processes governing contaminant fate and behavior in the subsurface
- Apply the fundamental physical, chemical, and biological principles of soil and groundwater treatment methods to design
comprehensive remediation strategies for contaminated sites.

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):
Geographic Information Systems

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

The Geographic Information Systems certificate, available fully online or as a combination of online and on-campus classroom instruction (blended), can be completed in one year.

“Geographic information science is a relatively new scientific discipline that uses spatial analysis to look at economic, business, social, political, and environmental problems,” says Professor and Head of Geography Chuanrong (Cindy) Zhang. From healthcare and urban planning to transportation and archaeology, Geographic Information Systems provide incredible strategic value, helping profit and non-profit organizations alike perform location and demographic analyses to enhance decision-making, manage their infrastructure, reduce costs, save resources – and much more.

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:

For this submission, we selected our most interdisciplinary programs where graduate students predominantly work on sustainability issues, including ecosystem maintenance, food systems, and social responsibility.


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