The central focus of the Environmental Resources & Policy Ph.D. is advanced inter-disciplinary training and research on physical, biological, and social processes responsible for natural resource and environmental problems facing contemporary society. Additionally, the ER&P Ph.D. focuses on assessing public policy alternatives to address those problems and create new opportunities.
The curriculum is designed to be information-rich, utilizing such computer-based technologies as the Internet and Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and focused on inter-disciplinary ideas, such as those articulated by the United Nations Environment Program, the World Resources Institute and Resources for the Future.
Through the eight problem-oriented and industry-oriented concentrations, the ER&P Ph.D. is a course of study that is particularly well suited to training and re-training environmental and natural resource professionals, in public agencies and private-sector firms. However, it should also serve to educate a new generation of inter-disciplinary academics as well.
The central problem addressed by the ER&P Ph.D. is sustainability -- meeting the economic needs of the present while maintaining the natural capital required to meet the economic and environmental needs of the future.
A primary objective of the ER&P Ph.D. is to provide students with an advanced interdisciplinary education in the physical, biological, and social processes that generate natural resources, natural hazards, and environmental quality problems -- with a perspective on public policy and social institutions that shape societal and individual reactions to environmental issues.
This education will prepare students to work with multifaceted environmental issues and enable them to carry out interdisciplinary scientific research and be qualified for higher level administrative positions in government, the private sector, and an evolving niche within academia for inter-disciplinary environmental analysts.