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Certificates

The Paul Smith’s College Graduate Studies Program offers three certificate programs in critical aspects of natural resources conservation and management.  The certificate program is designed for working professionals seeking to upgrade their education and skills and for exceptional Paul Smith’s College undergraduates seeking additional credentials and content.

Key features of Graduate Certificates in Natural Resources Conservation:

  • 12 graduate credits, 4 courses
  • 100% online course delivery – study from anywhere
  • Three topics available: Aquatic Resource Management, Forest Resource Management, or Sustainable Communities
  • Select one topic (includes 3 courses) + 1 additional course from either of the other certificate topics
  • August or January starting points
  • Complete in one year or longer if preferred
  • Courses can be transferred into the Master’s of Natural Resources Conservation program
  • Students with a 3.0 cumulative GPA in their certificate are automatically admitted into the Master’s Program for optional additional study
Aquatic Resource Management Certificate

It is impossible to overestimate the current and future importance of global water resource availability, security and quality in terms of both ecosystem integrity and human health.

Aquatic Resource Management Courses

Water Law, Policy and Regulation: This course explores a) how and why U.S. water law and policy have changed over time including the influence of new stressors in the future; b) specific laws, policies, and regulations governing water allocation and conservation of water resources, and protection and restoration of riparian zones and floodplain, wetlands, and water quality; and c) case studies showing successes, shortcomings, and lessons learned.

Restoration of Aquatic Ecosystems: This course helps students develop the skills needed to a) define benchmark restoration conditions for aquatic/terrestrial transition zones (ATTZs), b) identify the degree to which ecosystem structure and function of ATTZs have been lost, c) identify the effects of altered land cover on watershed process, and d) develop short- and long-term management plans.

Assessment of Aquatic Resources: This course entails a scientific study of the physical, chemical and biological attributes of water bodies (lakes, wetlands, and streams) to determine the level of potential impairment based on systematically collected data.  The course provides the student with the basic skills and knowledge to collect useful data typically required during the assessment phase of resource management efforts.

* In addition, choose one elective from Forest Resource Management Certificate or Sustainable Communities Certificate

Forest Resource Management Certificate

With the burgeoning demands placed on forest ecosystems by a growing human population, safeguarding and restoring ecosystem functions for a sustainable future is more vital than ever.

Forest Resource Management Courses

Natural Resources Economics: This course explores important economic principles relevant to natural resource management with an emphasis on forest-based resources. Topics include supply and demand, pricing, investment evaluation, net revenue maximization, non-timber forest products and the emerging field of ecosystem service valuation.

Forest Policy: This course identifies the major scientific and social drivers which have created new paradigms in forestry. Policy and actual forestry practices will be critically compared to examine how land-use decisions are made. General topics will include historical land-use shifts, environmentalism, economic shifts, interagency conflict, conservation mechanisms, and cross-border forest policies.

Forest Resources Assessment: Forests contribute to community resilience by regulating water flows, sequestering carbon, harboring biodiversity and providing food, energy, shelter, income and employment. This course provides the student with the basic skills and knowledge to collect useful data typically required during the assessment phase of resource management efforts, reflecting the diversity of uses and services provided by forests.

* In addition, choose one elective from Aquatic Resource Management Certificate or Sustainable Communities Certificate

 

Sustainable Communities Certificate

Truly sustainable communities are founded on key ecosystem services such as clean water, productive soils, and integrated networks of social and economic capital.

Sustainable Communities Courses

Sustainable Development: This course explores three complex and linked challenges: ending extreme poverty, improving social inclusion, and achieving sustainability on our planet. The course examines national and global policies in energy, biodiversity and conservation, health, sustainable business practices, food and nutritional security, social service delivery, and sound governance.

Strategic Communication for Sustainability: This course provides students the opportunity to develop vital professional skills in oral and written communication while preparing them to communicate clearly about science, natural resources policy, sustainability, and technology issues with demographically diverse and geographically dispersed audiences

Building Collaborative Communities: This course connects students with communities to address sustainability priorities and challenges through an engaged, collaborative effort. This course is intended to build understanding of the importance of partnerships in the field of sustainable development.

* In addition, choose one elective from Forest Resource Management Certificate Aquatic Resource Management Certificate

Certificate Courselist

Graduate Certificate in Aquatic Resource Management (12 cr.)

  • ENV 541 Assessment of Aquatic Resources (3 cr.)
  • ENV 542 Restoration of Aquatic Ecosystems (3 cr.)
  • ENV 515 Water Law, Policy and Regulation (3 cr.)
  • Choice of one 3 cr. elective from Forest Resource Management Certificate or Sustainable Communities Certificate

Graduate Certificate in Forest Resource Management (12 cr.)

  • NRS 510 Natural Resource Economics (3 cr.)
  • FOR 550 Forest Policy (3 cr.)
  • NRS 540 Forest Resource Assessment (3 cr.)
  • Choice of one 3 cr. elective from Aquatic Resource Management Certificate or Sustainable Communities Certificate

Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Communities (12 cr.)

  • SUS 520 Strategic Communication for Sustainability Professionals (3 cr.)
  • SUS 555 Sustainable Development (3 cr.)
  • SUS 530 Building Collaborative Communities (3 cr.)
  • Choice of one 3 cr. elective from Forest Resource Management Certificate or Aquatic Resource Management Certificate