As a synthesis between different fields of study, this certificate is an ideal complement to any educational training or professional experience. In fifteen credits you will gain a solid foundation in Ecological Economics and develop new skills to help you contribute to the big picture at your organization, in your research, or throughout your career.
Earn the certificate as part of a UVM Master's or Ph.D. degree program or as a stand-alone program. Explore below to learn more...
Ecological Economics is a transdisciplinary field that examines the relationships between ecological and economic systems while working to solve humanity's current environmental challenges. It is based on the understanding that the economy is a subsystem of a larger ecological life support system, and it strives to create an ecologically sustainable, socially equitable, and economically efficient future. The Certificate is a problem-based, interdisciplinary program focused on developing a practical framework for integrating economic and ecological systems. Students will acquire a theoretical and pragmatic basis to carry these skills into the world of practice.
Ecological Economic Theory: 3 credits
Ecological economics is an ongoing effort to reconcile economic theory and policy with accepted knowledge from other disciplines. This foundational course develops (1) a core understanding of the basic tenants of neoclassical economic theory, (2) an interdisciplinary critique of economic behavior and production models, and (3) a transdisciplinary foundation for problem-solving in the context of the scale and complexity of 21st century social and environmental problems. Students research, write, and present a paper that meets an academic conference/journal standard of review. As a gateway course to the Graduate Certificate, weekly seminars build peer mentoring relationships and connections to the Gund Institute learning community.
Ecological Economic Methods: 3 credits
Ecological economics considers the human economy as embedded in a social system and constrained by the biophysical world. As such, problem definition, analysis, and synthesis draws from many disciplinary perspectives. This course reviews key analytical tools used by ecological economists, and then develops methods for interdisciplinary synthesis such as dynamic systems modeling, multi-criteria analysis, input-output analysis, and spatial modeling of ecosystem services. Students develop a model of coupled human-natural systems to investigate a current management or policy decision.
Ecological Economic Practice: 3 credits
The full problem-solving process includes both credentialled experts and experiential knowledge in defining, analyzing, synthesizing, and communicating solutions. This hands-on course brings together students, faculty, and stakeholders from diverse backgrounds and disciplines to address a specific local, regional or global environmental problem. The problem for each semester is chosen in collaboration with a sponsor, and often involves an intensive workshop known as Gund ateliers (see past ateliers). Students learn to apply the principles and methods of ecological economics to messy, complex, real-world problems. Outcomes include collaborative research papers, grant proposals, and policy/management support.
Required Competencies ensure that students gain a background in social and natural sciences analysis, synthesis, and communication. Students must demonstrate competency in four areas: Natural Science, Social Science, Management and Quantitative Methods. Two of the competencies (6 credits) are taken as electives through certificate course work at UVM. The remaining two competencies are typically demonstrated as pre-requisites prior to enrolling in the certificate by appropriate graduate coursework at UVM or elsewhere, or by life experience. If prerequisites are not met prior to application, a student may be provisionally admitted with the understanding that the prerequisite(s) be taken at UVM prior to completion of the certificate.
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FOR CURRENT UVM STUDENTS: If you are currently enrolled in a UVM graduate or doctoral program, complete the Certificate of Graduate Study Short-Form Application (PDF) and attach a brief statement (200-500 words) explaining why you are interested in the Certificate program. Have your academic advisor sign the form. If you are not in RSENR, have your Graduate Program Coordinator sign the form. Give the original to Carolyn Goodwin-Kueffner in RSENR. She will send this on for the last two signatures.
FOR DUAL GRADUATE DEGREE/CERTIFICATE PROGRAM APPLICANTS: Students applying at the same time for both a regular graduate degree program and also for a Certificate of Graduate Study at UVM must complete the online UVM Graduate Application.
FOR APPLICANTS TO GUND CERTIFICATE PROGRAM: Applicants seeking to enroll in just a Certificate of Graduate Study program must complete the online UVM Graduate Application. Note: You must have completed an advanced degree (Masters, PhD, or JD) to apply for just the certificate. If you already have a graduate degree from an accredited college/university, GRE scores are NOT required.