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 260/PA 260 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 317 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 326/PA 326 Community Economic Development 

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 351/PA 303 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.

Domains of Application:

CDAE 237 - Economics of Sustainability

CDAE 321 - Econ of Sustainable Food Systems

CDAE 370 - Political Economy of Sustainable Development

CDAE 371 - Sustainable Development Policy & Governance

CDAE 395/PA 395 - International NGO Management

CDAE 295/PA 395 - Urban Policy & Leadership

CDAE 295 - Global Food Policy

CDAE 286 - Adv Sust Dev Small Island States

CDAE 395/NR 352 Ecological Economic Applications

CE 238 - Design/Planning for Bikes/Peds

CE 241 - Traffic Operations and Design

CE 312 - Sustainability and Transportation

EDSP 330 - The Trauma Lens

FS 340 - Food Systems, Science & Policy

FS 345 - Food Systems, Society & Policy

GEOG 246 - Climatology and Natural Hazards

GEOG 274 - Social Justice and The City

NR 235 - Legal Aspects Envir Planning

NR 265 - Environment & Human Behavior

NR 238 - Ecological Landscape Design

NR 288 - Ecol Design & Living Technology

NR 311 - Leadership for Sustainability

NR 312 - Power, Privlge & Catalyz Change

NR 341 - Ecological Economic Theory

NR 354 - Seminar:Envrmntl Policy & Mgmt

NR 388 - Ecological Leadership Seminar

NR 395 - Data Visualization and Communication

PA 301 - Foundations of Public Administration

PA 320 - Local Government Admin

PA 395 - Administrative Ethics

PH 306 - Social&Behavioral Public Health

PH 317 - Mgmt in Hlth Services & Med Care

PH 325 - Investigating Disease Outbreaks

PSS 238 - Ecological Landscape Design

PSS 313 - Participatory Action Research & Transdisciplinary Approaches

PSS 314 - Agroecol, Food Sov. & Soc. Mov.

TRC 314 - Risk/Behavior in Transportation


CDAE 273 - Project Development & Planning

CDAE 359 - Econometrics

CDAE 335 - Qualitative Research Methods

CE 369 - Applied Geostatistics

CE 370 - Reliability of Eng.Systems

EDFS 355 - Appl Data Analysis for Dec Mkg

GEOG 281- Adv Topic:GIS & Remote Sensing

GEOG 287- Spatial Analysis

PH 324 - Public Health Informatics

NR 245 - Integrating GIS & Statistics

NR 306 - Envisioning a Sust Future

NR 343 - Fndmtls of Geog Info Systems

NR 346 - Digital Image Processing

PA 308- Decision Making Models

PA 311 - Policy Analysis&Program Eval

STAT 221 - Statistical Methods II



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.