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Woods College of Advanced Studies Plans New Sustainability and Nutrition Certificate Program

Sustainability at Woods College

By Phil Jutras '65

A new program integrates science, policy, and environmental management. According to Fr. James Burns, Dean of Woods College, the program will be introduced in the fall of 2017 as a response to a significant increase in energy and environmental job opportunities in the past several years. The program should be of interest to BCEEAN members and alumni pursuing green career paths.

An underlying theme of the new certificate initiative is the human element in Pope Francis' environmental encyclical, Laudato Si': On the Care of Our Common Home. The initiative will integrate science with policy and environmental management, focusing on the Pope's concerns on how both environment and human populations are affected by climate change.

Professors Jennifer Cole and David Goodman are leading the design and implementation of the professional certificate course offerings. Also contributing are faculty from Nursing, Sociology and Theology.  

The planning team's selection of course offerings will be informed by recent job growth in the field of sustainability, particularly with respect to alternative energy sources of wind/solar and biofuels.  Careers have also expanded in clean water and water conservation, agriculture, energy efficiency, alternative transportation and building design, and health care in rural and urban communities. With a range of course offerings, the professional certificate can be shaped according to a student's professional goals.  

As part of the learning process, participants will engage in collaborative problem solving, develop alternative practices, and use a systems approach to integrating factors contributing to a sustainable future. The program will provide a mix of science and policy in all courses and will incorporate the five essential elements of sustainable practice: energy, water, food, materials and ecology. Proposed courses include: Sustainable Science, Sustainable Agriculture, Water Resources, Wetlands and Policy/Marine Resources, Evolution of Life and Historical Geology, Natural Disasters, Environmental History of Boston, Building Green Buildings, and Energy in the 21st Century.

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