Online Master’s Degree Program Courses

Energy and Environmental Management Course Offerings

The Master's of Energy & Environmental Management (MEEM) provides an interdisciplinary perspective with 100% online courses in environmental planning and management, energy and environmental law, and geographic information systems (GIS). The MEEM requires 27 credits of coursework and 3 credits of internship or practicum, for a total of 30 credits.

COURSES FALL SPRING COMING SOON
 PLANNING AND  MANAGEMENT
  NRE 5200* X
  NRE 5205 X
  NRE 5210 X
  NRE 5220* X
  NRE 5215  
  NRE 5585 X
  LAW
  LAW 7812* X
  LAW 7568   X
  LAW 7650 X  
  LAW 7656   X
  LAW 7806   X
  GIS
 GEOG 5100 X X
 GEOG 5130 X
 GEOG 5500 X X
 GEOG 5510 X X
 GEOG 5520 X
 INTERNSHIP OR PRACTICUM
 NRE 5830 X X
 NRE 5850 X X

Required courses are indicated with an * and all others are electives.


Energy & Environmental Management Course Descriptions

Environmental Planning and Management
Gain interdisciplinary knowledge in the sustainable environmental arena, including sustainable agriculture, fisheries, forestry, freshwater, marine, water, and wildlife resources. Investigate different perspectives and gain the negotiation, communications, and facilitation skills required to bring divergent populations together in order to build consensus. Courses integrate aspects of social sciences and the humanities relevant to sustainability.

Course Title: Sustainable Natural Resources Management
Course Number: NRE 5200
Instructor: Dr. Chadwick Rittenhouse
Offered: Fall each year
Description: This course integrates natural resources within a broader, social-ecological systems context, introduces some of the central topics in social-ecological systems theory, research, and practice, and provides the basis for understanding and evaluating sustainable natural resource management. The first component explores relationships between social, ecological, economic, and policy systems, with a focus on ecosystem services and human well-being and livelihoods. The second component introduces systems theory for understanding disturbance, feedbacks, thresholds, directional change, and adaptation and resilience in social-ecological systems. The third component includes applied case studies on sustainable agriculture, fisheries, forestry, freshwater, marine, water, and wildlife resources.

Course Title: Decision Methods in Natural Resources and the Environment
Course Number: NRE 5205
Instructor: Dr. Chadwick Rittenhouse
Offered: Spring each year
Description: This course presents aspects of decision making for individuals, organizations, and institutions, introduces some of the central topics in decision making theory, research, and practice, and provides the basis for understanding decision processes in natural resource management. The first component explores frameworks for decision making, including structured decision making, adaptive resource management, and organizational learning. The second component addresses tools and techniques for managing risk and uncertainty, including model-based and experience-based approaches to link alternative actions and consequences, tradeoffs and optimizations approaches, and monitoring and evaluating outcomes.

Course Title: Communications for Environmental Decision Makers
Course Number: NRE 5210
Instructor: Dr. Chadwick Rittenhouse
Offered: Spring each year
Description: This course presents methods and techniques for effective communication with diverse audiences using written, spoken, and digital media. Central concepts and topics include conflict resolution, crisis situations, persuasion, negotiation, marketing and advocacy.

Course Title: Geospatial Techniques for Environmental Management
Course Number: NRE 5215
Instructor: TBD
Offered: TBD
Description: This course introduces methods and techniques for the management, display, and analysis of geospatial data. Participants will learn the scientific knowledge and technical skills to collect and effectively use geospatial data in environmental planning and problem solving. Topics addressed include global navigation satellite positioning methods – especially the US NAVSTAR Global Positioning System (GPS) at both mapping and surveying accuracy levels – geographic information systems, remote sensing, geospatial modeling, geospatial coordinate systems, and geoprocessing tools.

Course Title: Environmental Planning for Sustainable Communities and Regions
Course Number: NRE 5220
Instructor: Dr. Chadwick Rittenhouse
Offered: Fall each year
Description: This course integrates environmental planning within a broader, decision making and social-ecological systems contexts, introduces some of the central topics in environmental planning theory, research, and practice, and provides the basis for understanding and evaluating sustainable environmental planning and management. The first component explores principles of environmental planning, including the legal, economic, ethical, and ecological foundations of planning. The second component includes applied case studies of environmental planning for human health, natural areas, working landscapes, and built environments.

Course Title: Geospatial Data Processing Techniques
Course Number: NRE 5585
Instructor: Dr. Thomas Meyer
Offered: Fall each year
Description: In this course, students will learn to develop custom tools that automate and enhance the capabilities of ArcGIS using Python scripting. Python is a powerful but relatively easy-to-learn programming language that is ideal for GIS professionals. The course will cover using Python with ArcGIS, Microsoft Excel, and other applications. This will be a hands-on course with practical sessions and demonstrations incorporated into the lectures. Students will work toward a final project that will demonstrate their proficiency in Python scripting. Students are expected to be familiar with ArcGIS before the start of the course but no prior programming experience is needed.


Energy and Environmental Law
Global energy demands, climate change, environmental degradation, and a growing world all place pressure on both energy and environmental policy. Develop substantive knowledge in energy and environmental law, as well as strengthen your analytical, lawyering, legal research, and writing skills. Opportunities include unparalleled learning in courses ranging from International Environmental Law to Land Use, Energy Law to Climate Law.

Course Title: Energy Regulation and Policy
Course Number: LAW 7812
Instructor: Joseph Macdougald, J.D.
Offered: Spring each year
Description: Finding a way to more sustainably power societies around the globe may be one of the biggest challenges of our time. Focusing on the regulation and design of energy systems (i.e., the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity) and markets, this course will provide an introduction to the economic, social, environmental and policy issues raised by the current systems of energy use. We will examine the trade-offs and uncertainties inherent in evaluating and choosing different energy options and provide a framework for developing and assessing sustainable policy and regulatory solutions.

Course Title: Climate Law
Course Number: LAW 7568
Instructor: Joseph Macdougald, J.D.
Offered: Online version coming soon
Description: The law, like nature, abhors a vacuum. However, into the federal government's climate change policy void have rushed a series of state, local, and international policy and legal initiatives. With law firms creating departments devoted to climate issues, the time seems right to develop across the country a cohesive framework for the study of "Climate Law". The course will study changes in law and policy ranging from the Clean Air Act and the Kyoto Protocol, to the law of nuisance, land use, securities regulation, and energy. The readings will be organized chronologically, beginning with a thorough review of the Clean Air Act, through the successful cap & trade systems for sulfur-dioxide, to the Kyoto Protocol, Massachusetts v. EPA, the current litigation making its way through the federal system, and the area of local and state laws and initiatives that have been enacted over the last several years. Guest speakers in climatology, energy law, and climate practice will, schedules permitting, supplement the syllabus. Given the timing of the course offering (during the first 100 days of a new presidential administration), it is likely that substantial time may be devoted to new federal proposals. Students will be graded in three parts: in-class participation, an in-class project, and a final paper (which accounts for the majority of the grade).

Course Title: Environmental Law
Course Number: LAW 7650
Instructor: Joseph Macdougald, J.D.
Offered: Fall each year
Description: This course is an introduction to the law of environmental protection, with an emphasis on air and water pollution as well as the control of toxic substances and toxic wastes. It will examine the different strategies for environmental protection, including public regulation, common law doctrines, and economic incentives such as taxes and subsidies. The course will consider the roles of legislative, administrative and executive bodies (local, state and federal) and judicial review of their actions, including federal and state administrative procedures relevant to protecting the environment and intergovernmental problems of control.

Course Title: Natural Resources Law
Course Number: LAW 7656
Instructor: TBD
Offered: Online version coming soon
Description: This course examines the law governing protection and use of natural resources such as water, wildlife and biodiversity, fish and other marine resources, minerals, wetlands, forests, parks and other public lands, and coastal areas. A number of different regulatory and other legal tools are available to manage and preserve natural resources and the course will survey a variety of these, including common law property rights, public regulation, public ownership, as well as the use of economic incentives such as taxes and subsidies. The National Environmental Policy Act's requirement of environmental impact assessment by federal agencies will be covered. The course will consider specific natural resources in the context of the larger ecosystems in which each exists.

Course Title: Renewable Energy Law
Course Number: LAW 7806
Instructor: D. Kirt Mayland
Offered: Online version coming soon
Description: This course will examine the law, policy, and economics of renewable energy both in the United States and internationally. A major focus of the course will be the state and federal laws affecting the use of each major source of renewable energy. Specific topics will include renewable portfolio standards, subsidies, feed-in-tariffs, siting, and project financing. Class discussions will be held against the backdrop of climate change, energy security, nuclear power policy, and the market disrupting rise of “fracked” natural gas and shale oil.


Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
From healthcare and urban planning to transportation and archeology, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) provide incredible strategic value by helping profit and non-profit organizations alike perform location and demographic analyses that enhance decision-making, manage their infrastructure, reduce costs, save resources – and much more. Courses range in content from GIS software fundamentals to specific location analysis in various environments - from dense urban zones to highly remote.

Course Title: Location Analysis
Course Number: GEOG 5100
Instructor: Eric Hoffman
Offered: Spring and Fall each year
Description: This course introduces the concepts of Location Theory that are implemented within GIS environment. The students will learn the classical problems of locating different types of facilities for the given study area and assigning the target population to those facilities in an optimal manner. The basics of linear programming combined with GIS operations will be introduced and utilized in the homework assignments.

Course Title: GIS in Transportation
Course Number: GEOG 5130
Instructor: TBD
Offered: Spring each year
Description: This course introduces the major concepts pertaining to the subject of the urban transportation design and management using geospatial technologies. The content of this class is aimed to teach the students about transportation systems, specifically how they function and which role they play for the space-economy and the policies regulating and promoting transportation development. A special attention is given to the formulation and use of transportation models, visualization and analysis of transportation systems within GIS environment.

Course Title: Fundamentals of GIS
Course Number: GEOG 5500
Instructor: Ken Foote
Offered: Spring and Fall each year
Description: This course introduces the basic principles of GIScience and spatial analysis using GIS software, primarily ArcGIS Desktop. It will focus on teaching students the principles and operation of GIS software through computer-based exercises and project. Exercises train students in solving spatial problem utilizing GIS mapping and statistical methods. The project will give students hands-on experience in using computerized technologies for geographic analysis. It intends to help students understand GIS technical issues and become proficient with GIS software. The course also focuses on learning about GIS concepts, independent of the software that is used to address them.

Course Title: Application Issues of GIS
Course Number: GEOG 5510
Instructor: Dr. Richard Mrozinski
Offered: Spring and Fall each year
Description: The course covers the application of geographic information systems (GIS). Emphasis will be placed on understanding GIS through actual use of ArcGIS software. Students will study principal functional components of ArcGIS including: general GIS design and management theory, spatial and attribute data automation, spatial database design and database management, spatial analysis, cartographic production, and application design and implementation. The course includes a final project component, where students investigate a GIS application in depth.

Course Title: GIS Modeling of the Urban Environment
Course Number: GEOG 5520
Instructor: George Bentley and Shuowei Zhang
Offered: Fall each year
Description: The course teaches the available GIS techniques for the analysis and characterization of the urban setting focusing on population growth, economic development, population diversity trends and urban environmental issues. The students will be assigned exercises that help understand the diverse planning issues in cities and implement spatial technology to better model the multifaceted urban living.

Course Title: Geospatial Data Processing Techniques
Course Number: NRE 5585
Instructor: Dr. Thomas Meyer or Dr. Jason Parent
Offered: Fall each year
Description: In this course, students will learn to develop custom tools that automate and enhance the capabilities of ArcGIS using Python scripting. Python is a powerful but relatively easy-to-learn programming language that is ideal for GIS professionals. The course will cover using Python with ArcGIS, Microsoft Excel, and other applications. This will be a hands-on course with practical sessions and demonstrations incorporated into the lectures. Students will work toward a final project that will demonstrate their proficiency in Python scripting. Students are expected to be familiar with ArcGIS before the start of the course but no prior programming experience is needed.

INTERNSHIP OR PRACTICUM (select one)

Course Title: Internship in Energy and Environmental Management (3 credits)
Course Number: NRE 5830
Instructor: TBD
Offered: Spring and Fall each year
Description: Integrate core concepts of the Energy and Environmental Management program with planned and supervised experience in the public or private sector. Students complete an Internship or Research Project that applies knowledge and skills, gains professional experience, and builds networks with prospective employers. 

Course Title: Practicum in Energy and Environmental Management (3 credits)
Course Number: NRE 5850
Instructor: TBD
Offered: TBD
Description: Examines contemporary issues and problems relevant to Energy and Environmental Management. Focuses on interdisciplinary exchange of ideas and development of a project relevant to the student's program emphasis.