Campus over looking Lake Champlain in the evening

Resilient communities of the future will be designed and governed through the awareness that no single public policy issue or concern can be addressed in isolation of one another.

Secure provision of food, energy and water to vulnerable communities in the face of natural and man-made hazards requires urgent attention of policy makers at all scales of governance.

The 18-credit Certificate of Graduate Studies in Community Resilience and Planning (CRP) provides masters, doctoral and certificate of graduate study-only students with the skills and knowledge needed to lead and guide communities through periods of change brought on by natural, economic, social and political shocks and disruptions. Students completing this certificate will develop a deep understanding of the current threats and opportunities facing communities within Vermont, the United States, and across the globe. With a core set of courses designed to provide students with a survey of the community resilience and sustainability field, a foundation in community economic development and research methods, and a capstone experience focusing on system dynamics and strategic management and planning, the CRP prepares students with the tools needed to lead and assist communities through times of crisis and transition.


Core courses:

• CDAE/PA 5600 Smart Resilient Communities (Spring)

In this graduate/upper undergraduate level course, we will explore complex adaptive systems and adaptive management approaches to design smart resilient communities. Increasing demands of a globalizing economy, aging critical infrastructure, changing demographics, and a changing climate has led to increasing concern about the resiliency of social-ecological and socio-technological systems at multiple scales of governance. Multi-scale challenges require multi-scale solutions. In particular, secure provision of food, energy and water and early warnings to vulnerable communities in the face of natural and man-made hazards requires urgent attention of policy makers, planners and citizens. This course will focus on social ecological systems and socio-technological systems integration framework to unravel the complex pathways that determine community resilience and enable smart design processes at the nexus of food, energy and water systems. The emphasis will be placed on imparting cutting edge skills, such as system dynamic models, early warning systems, resilience design approaches and interactive scenario planning techniques, to enable students to work with community stakeholders for analyzing, planning and designing smart resilient communities.

• PA 6170 System Dynamics and Strategic Management for Community Resilience (Spring)

This course combines systems and network analysis with community resilience and organizational learning theory and practices to provide students with a heightened capacity to analyze and effectively plan for complex policy dilemmas at the community scale. The architecture for the course is grounded in many of the fundamental conceptual frameworks found in network, systems and complexity analysis, as well as some of the fundamental frameworks employed within the public administration, planning and policy studies fields. Two overarching learning competencies drive this class. They are: As a result of completing this course, students will gain the capacity to describe, analyze and design complex networks organized to achieve specific policy functions; and As a result of completing this course, students will gain the capacity to diagnose when and how specific policy, planning and management strategies can contribute to the resilience of communities facing threat due to environmental, social or economic drivers. This class is anchored by a service-learning project focusing on a wicked problem facing communities in Vermont and beyond.

• CDAE/PA 6260 Community Economic Development (Spring)

As people, places, and technology change, communities face inevitable changes as well, including the need to revitalize their economic and social functions. This course examines perspectives, methods, and strategies used to develop healthy communities that are economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable at a local scale. Students will analyze the complex issues facing local communities, from job creation and retention, workforce training, transportation, health and energy, housing, to food and agriculture. Using rural and urban examples, we will investigate community economic development from an assets based approach considering the different roles of economic, environmental, social, cultural, physical, political and financial capital. Planning and stakeholder engagement tools and strategies for addressing these issues will be a focus of the course lectures, readings and projects. The course examines both the theory and practice of community and economic development. Guest speakers will provide us with their perspective on particular topic areas.

• CDAE 6510/PA 6030 Research and Evaluation Methods (Fall, Summer)

Data analyses and communication of statistical information for management decision making. Methods of modeling relationships, comparing strategies, and assessing probabilities. Instruction in computer use.

In consultation with their advisor, students will select two electives from the list of domains of application and methods below. Students can draw from either list. Note that some courses are offered on alternate years.

Domains of Application:

Economics of Sustainability

Econ of Sustainable Food Systems

Political Economy of Sustainable Development

Sustainable Development Policy & Governance

International NGO Management

Urban Policy & Leadership

Global Food Policy

Adv Sust Dev Small Island States

Ecological Economic Applications

Design/Planning for Bikes/Peds

Traffic Operations and Design

Sustainability and Transportation

The Trauma Lens

Food Systems, Science & Policy

Food Systems, Society & Policy

Climatology and Natural Hazards

Social Justice and The City

Legal Aspects Envir Planning

Environment & Human Behavior

Ecological Landscape Design

Ecol Design & Living Technology

Leadership for Sustainability

Power, Privlge & Catalyz Change

Ecological Economic Theory

Seminar:Envrmntl Policy & Mgmt

Ecological Leadership Seminar

Data Visualization and Communication

Foundations of Public Administration

Local Government Admin

Administrative Ethics

Social&Behavioral Public Health

Mgmt in Hlth Services & Med Care

Investigating Disease Outbreaks

Ecological Landscape Design

Participatory Action Research & Transdisciplinary Approaches

Agroecol, Food Sov. & Soc. Mov.

Risk/Behavior in Transportation


Project Development & Planning


Qualitative Research Methods

Applied Geostatistics

Reliability of Eng.Systems

Appl Data Analysis for Dec Mkg

Adv Topic:GIS & Remote Sensing

Spatial Analysis

Public Health Informatics

Integrating GIS & Statistics

Envisioning a Sust Future

Fndmtls of Geog Info Systems

Digital Image Processing

Decision Making Models

Policy Analysis&Program Eval

Statistical Methods II

Qualitative Research I

Adv Quant: Survey Research

Applied Educational Research




Admissions Requirements

  • Undergraduate transcripts showing completion of bachelor's degree.
  • Evidence of at least one college level course in statistics.
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae
  • International students must meet UVM’s minimum English proficiency requirements.
  • Matriculated students in existing masters or doctoral programs should email for specific application instructions.
  • There are no GRE requirements for acceptance into this certificate program.

 For more information, contact Julie Starr.