Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 59.34
Liaison Elizabeth MacKenzie
Submission Date July 24, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Iowa
AC-3: Undergraduate Program

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Sara Maples
Interim Director
The UI Office of Sustainability
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Does the institution offer at least one sustainability-focused major, degree program, or the equivalent for undergraduate students (I.e. an interdisciplinary academic program that concentrates on sustainability as an integrated concept)?:
Yes

Name of the sustainability-focused undergraduate degree program:
B.A. or B.S. in Environmental Policy & Planning (Department of Geographical and Sustainability Sciences)

A brief description of the undergraduate degree program:
We as a society depend on and value the environment for basic services such as food production, climate regulation, and recreation.  In turn, societies have a significant impact on the environment, which in turn, can have significant economic and quality of life impacts.  However, environmental problems are often difficult to resolve because they are embedded in a complex mesh of economics, politics, culture, and behavior. In order to address environmental problems in the future, we will need citizens who understand the human dimensions of these issues. The purpose of this new major in Environmental Policy and Planning is to provide students with an opportunity to concentrate on the related social science and policy dimensions of environmental problems.
The major integrates a group of courses to comprise a coherent approach to the study of the human dimensions of environmental problems. The major provides a recognizable, meaningful label to a concentration of courses that are customized by the student, thus making graduates viable as potential employees or candidates for graduate education. The major is managed by the Department of Geographical and Sustainability Sciences. Students will take a common core of courses in anthropology, economics, geographical and sustainability sciences, and political science. Then, students choose between the Planning and Policy tracks. Each track has one course required for all and a selection of courses from which students pick an additional three. The Planning track has courses primarily in geographical and sustainability sciences and in urban and regional planning. The Policy track has courses primarily in political science and geographical and sustainability sciences.

The website URL for the undergraduate degree program:
Name of the sustainability-focused, undergraduate degree program (2nd program):
B.A. or B.S. in Environmental Sciences

A brief description of the undergraduate degree program (2nd program):
Environmental sciences is an interdisciplinary major that focuses on scientific study of the environment and understanding of the earth as a complex network of interacting organic and inorganic systems.
Career possibilities for students in this major include jobs in conservation, environmental assessment, and hazardous waste management. Graduates also may work in a state park or pollution control agency or as an inspection and compliance officer with the National Park Service. The major also is excellent preparation for graduate study.
Iowa’s Environmental Sciences Program offers rigorous training and a comprehensive approach, with four diverse environmental tracks: biosciences, chemical sciences, geosciences, and hydrosciences. Hands-on field experience is a crucial component of the program, and students are strongly encouraged to study abroad.
The major is truly interdisciplinary. Students will study and do supervised research with faculty members from the program’s four sponsoring departments—biology, chemistry, geography, and geoscience—as well as participating faculty from chemical and biochemical engineering, anthropology, and civil and environmental engineering.

The website URL for the undergraduate degree program (2nd program):
Name of the sustainability-focused, undergraduate degree program (3rd program):
B.A. or B.S. in Geography, Enviornmental Studies Track (Department of Geographical and Sustainability Sciences)

A brief description of the undergraduate degree program (3rd program):
Geography is concerned with places or environments and the physical, social, economic, and political processes that change them. It is a composite science, requiring a broad base of knowledge from many related disciplines. Geography also is an analytical science that seeks answers to specific questions from a geographic perspective. To achieve their aims, geographers develop and use advanced geospatial methods, including computer-based mapping, global positioning, and satellite sensing. BA and BS students also take courses in one of three tracks:
Environmental Studies Track—for students with environmental interests such as resource management, physical geography, environmental policy or law, global environmental change, sustainable development, or other complex environmental issues. It provides a sound foundation for graduate or professional study in natural or social aspects of the environment.

The website URL for the undergraduate degree program (3rd program):
The name and website URLs of all other sustainability-focused, undergraduate degree program(s):
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Does the institution offer one or more sustainability-focused minors, concentrations or certificates for undergraduate students?:
Yes

Name of the sustainability-focused undergraduate minor, concentration or certificate:
Certificate in Sustainability

A brief description of the undergraduate minor, concentration or certificate:
Sustainability is meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Accomplishing this goal requires an understanding of human and environmental systems and the complex interactions between them.
Because sustainability embraces many disciplines, methodologies, and institutional practices, certificate students must have knowledge of the multidisciplinary breadth of the field, which is represented by the program's areas of breadth electives: dynamics of natural systems, dynamics of human systems, and communication, ethics, and interpretation. They also must have experience with analyzing real-life problems in and outside of the classroom and with working collaboratively to solve such problems.
This is a program at the University of Iowa that draws on a number of different disciplines to create a 24 semester hour certificate that will give you the knowledge and skills to contribute to developing sustainable systems. Students who earn the certificate will enhance their preparation for a variety of vocations such as researcher, corporate officer, technology specialist, farmer, government official, and grassroots advocate.

The website URL for the undergraduate minor, concentration or certificate:
Name of the sustainability-focused undergraduate minor, concentration or certificate (2nd program):
Certificate in Wind Energy

A brief description of the undergraduate minor, concentration or certificate (2nd program):
Wind energy has become a major source of clean energy and is expected to grow rapidly over the coming decades. That growth will create new jobs and a need for professionals with diverse backgrounds and knowledge of wind energy fundamentals. This interdisciplinary undergraduate certificate program has been developed to meet the emerging market needs.

The website URL for the undergraduate minor, concentration or certificate (2nd program):
Name of the sustainability-focused undergraduate minor, concentration or certificate (3rd program):
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A brief description of the undergraduate minor, concentration or certificate (3rd program):
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The website URL for the undergraduate minor, concentration or certificate (3rd program):
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The name and website URLs of all other sustainability-focused undergraduate minors, concentrations and certificates:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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Data source(s) and notes about the submission:
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