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  • AASHE-STARS

The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 52.49
Liaison Alexi Lamm
Submission Date Nov. 1, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Utah State University
AC-4: Graduate Program

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Alexi Lamm
Sustainability Coordinator
Facilities
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution offer at least one sustainability-focused major, degree program, or the equivalent for graduate students (I.e. an interdisciplinary academic program that concentrates on sustainability as an integrated concept)?:
Yes

Name of the sustainability-focused graduate-level degree program:
Human Dimensions of Ecosystem Science and Management

A brief description of the graduate-level degree program:

Formed in 2002, the Department of Environment and Society is the first of its kind in a college of natural resources in this country and has served as a model for the development of similar departments at other institutions of higher learning.

The human dimensions of ecosystem science and management program was created in response to the growing demand for professionals with the ability to analyze human and biophysical aspects of ecosystems and an ability to evaluate policies and decisions that encourage sustainability. The curriculum has its foundations in social science, with infusions of ecology and natural resource management, so that students may learn how to help individuals and organizations operate sustainably and minimize their environmental footprints.

Students in the program learn to describe how human activities interconnect with the natural environments where they occur, explore options for reducing society’s impacts on the natural world, and then help turn those findings into real changes in policy, planning, land management, and human behavior. Students are also able to study topics that fit their specific research and career goals such as: environmental communication and education, sustainability, behavioral science, policy analysis, human impacts on the environment, land and resource management, conflict negotiation, and more.


The website URL for the graduate-level degree program:
Name of the sustainability-focused, graduate-level degree program (2nd program):
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A brief description of the graduate degree program (2nd program):
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The website URL for the graduate degree program (2nd program):
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Name of the sustainability-focused, graduate-level degree program (3rd program):
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A brief description of the graduate degree program (3rd program):
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The website URL for the graduate degree program (3rd program):
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The name and website URLs of all other sustainability-focused graduate-level degree programs:
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Does the institution offer one or more graduate-level sustainability-focused minors, concentrations or certificates?:
Yes

Name of the graduate-level sustainability-focused minor, concentration or certificate:
Horticulture: Water Efficient Landscaping Specialization

A brief description of the graduate minor, concentration or certificate:

The MPSH is an online, professional graduate degree program with a required internship or capstone project. The program consists of 33 semester credits, with 21 credits of required courses and 4 credits of internship experience or capstone project. The courses are designed to increase skills and expertise in all aspects of landscape water conservation.

With an estimated 60% of drinking water in the western U.S. applied to urban landscapes, water conservation in the landscape is an important issue. Utah State University is the only university with a professional Master’s degree that focuses on urban landscape water conservation. Using landscape water efficiently is a multi-faceted issue involving an understanding of plant science, irrigation technologies, human behaviors, and landscape design, all set within the political and economic contexts of communities challenged to meet the water demands of growing populations. The purpose of this degree is to provide horticulturalists with knowledge and skills needed to effectively promote landscape water conservation. As water becomes more precious, the demand for these skills will continue to increase.

Because USU’s MPSH program with a specialization in water-efficient landscaping is designated as a Western Regional Graduate Program, students from participating western states qualify for in-state tuition. For more information, visit http://wrgp.wiche.edu.


The website URL for the graduate minor, concentration or certificate:
Name of the graduate-level sustainability-focused minor, concentration or certificate (2nd program):
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A brief description of the graduate minor, concentration or certificate (2nd program):
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The website URL for the graduate minor, concentration or certificate (2nd program):
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Name of the graduate-level sustainability-focused minor, concentration or certificate (3rd program):
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A brief description of the graduate minor, concentration or certificate (3rd program):
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The website URL for the graduate minor, concentration or certificate (3rd program):
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The name and website URLs of all other graduate-level, sustainability-focused minors, concentrations and certificates:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.