Environmental Certificates

Advance your career with flexible professional certificates focused on the skills you need. 

Climate Change Education

Post-baccalaureate certificate

The certificate in Climate Change Education is designed for  environmental educators, both formal and informal, and policy makers who face the challenges of understanding and explaining the complexity of the science and phenomena, as well as the range of behavior and beliefs, underlying climate change. Four eight-week, online courses are required to complete the certificate. 

CERTIFICATE APPLICATION

Program Details
Credits 12
Timeline 12 Months
Next start date August 24
Post-baccalaureate Certificate Cost $6,000
Student & Technology Fees $780
Total estimated program cost $6,780

Course Descriptions

Required Courses

ENV 637: Environmental Change: Causes and Impacts (3 credits)
This course examines the driving forces and impacts of a variety of environmental challenges, and geophysical and geopolitical ties that bind communities together around the world.  Students will better understand the social, economic, and biological landscape that we face globally today.  They will also understand how these forces of environmental change also fuel conflicts, public health issues, poverty, and vulnerability in communities.  Case studies of successful mitigation and resilience will be provided and discussed to provide students with awareness and appreciation for what is being done in response to these issues.

ENV 605: Climate Change: Science and Society (3 credits)
This course offers an integrative approach to climate change, providing an overview of the complex and multidisciplinary sciences underpinning climate science and it challenges to social and political accommodation.  As social and political implications of climate change have become increasingly apparent and communities across the globe struggle with impacts that include extreme weather and denial of causes, this course is designed to teach students to sort through the scientific, social, and political commitments of climate change and assess competing theories of change.    

Electives

 ENV 639: Citizen Science (3 credits)
The purpose of this course is to engage environmental educators in expanding fields of citizen science, volunteer environmental monitoring, and public participation the process of scientific investigations. Students will explore the foundations of citizen science project design, implementation, and analysis, to build skills as current and future citizen science project leaders.

ENV 612: Energy, Natural Resource Management, and the Environment (3 credits)
This course covers a wide spectrum of topics on energy and natural resource management from a public-policy and environmental-affairs approach.  In the course students will investigate the politics, economics, and impacts of renewable and fossil-fuel energy sources, energy policy, energy efficiency, waste, restoration, environmental technology, public finance and investment, and environmental law and regulations.

ENV 618: Environmental Education (3 credits)
This course investigates the role of education in solving environmental problems and developing environmental literacy.  Students will explore models of environmental education, how it manifests across sectors (in nonprofit, academic, for-profit and government contexts), best practices in environmental education program planning, and community-based environmental education. 

ENV 634: Environment, Development, and Economics (3 credits)
This course examines how natural resources intersect with social and economic-development initiatives.  We will review the different kinds of natural resources and review case studies of both successes and failures in regard to sustainable use and community benefits.  Special attention will be paid to community-based initiatives and examples of inclusive decision making and policy design.

ENV 653: Community-Based Conservation
This course addressed how communities become effective stewards of their environment, history, or culture.  How do groups and institutions learn their way forward to address complex problems with uncertain outcomes? These are core questions to guide us towards a dynamic understanding of theoretical and applied concepts of collective action in conservation. Grounded in conservation history, this course traces the development of complicated ideas concerning our perception of nature and heritage. We’ll examine case studies that demonstrate the complexities of managing common pool resources and protecting cultural identities. Participants will have an opportunity to examine a conservation community in their home region to share with each other. We will learn how to evaluate CBC’s and think strategically about ensuring long-term stewardship. This course will provide participants with opportunities get involved with or start a CBC project of their own.

ENV 689: Independent Study (1-4 credits)
This option allows students to determine and submit a self-directed research and/or creative project. Students will present a statement of rationale to the academic director for approval based on the value of the study within the student's overall educational objectives for the certificate program.

ENV 690: Environmental Practicum (3 credits)
The practicum will be designed to meet the student’s educational goals within the topical framework of the certificate program.  Students will enroll individually or with other members of their cohort and will work under the supervision of qualified individuals in the partnering organization.


Environmental Communication and Collaboration

Post-baccalaureate certificate

The Communication and Collaboration certificate is designed to provide professionals working in different capacities, formally and informally (curators, writers, journalists, conservationists, park rangers, policy makers, etc.), the tools to evaluate, communicate, and collaborate with stakeholders and members of the public on complex environmental issues.  Courses focus on critical evaluation of environmental claims, different ways of knowing, community-based knowledge and citizen science, and methods to document, assess, and produce environmental knowledge. Four eight-week, online courses are required to complete the certificate. 

CERTIFICATE APPLICATION

Program Details
Credits 12
Timeline 12 Months
Next start date August 24
Post-baccalaureate Certificate Cost $6,000
Student & Technology Fees $780
Total estimated program cost $6,780

Course Descriptions

Required Courses

ENV 615: The Environment & the Media (3 credits)
This course introduces students to the role of the media and communications in articulating environmental claims, issues, and challenges. It explores techniques for communicating across social and political differences, expressing complex technical issues, mediating contentious issues, and managing crisis rhetoric.  Students develop critical thinking for understanding multiple points of view, developing scientific literacy, and identifying sources and forms of bias and misrepresentation.  Students will evaluate popular environmental discourse and analyze environmental rhetoric.

ENV 624: Systems Thinking and Evaluating Claims for Environmental Research (3 credits) 
This two-part research and methods course provides students the tools and critical thinking to interpret, evaluate, communicate, and use scientific-research findings as well as design and conduct social science research projects. Systems Thinking and Modeling introduces students to the concept of systems thinking, design thinking, nonlinear dynamics, thresholds, uncertainty and surprise, and the importance and application of feedback loops in ecosystems, built-environment impacts, and human ecology.  Evaluating Claims presents case studies and critical analysis of research claims by examining the premises, logic, and application of method, as well as the validity and quality of the data.  Students will develop quantitative literacy for understanding scientific models (mathematical, population dynamic, and dimensional) and their underlying principles and notational conventions as tools that organize data, define parameters, clarify processes, and enable predictions.

Electives

ENV 634: Environment, Development, and Economics (3 credits)
This course examines how natural resources intersect with social and economic-development initiatives.  We will review the different kinds of natural resources and review case studies of both successes and failures in regard to sustainable use and community benefits.  Special attention will be paid to community-based initiatives and examples of inclusive decision making and policy design.

ENV653 Community-Based Conservation
This course addressed how communities become effective stewards of their environment, history, or culture.  How do groups and institutions learn their way forward to address complex problems with uncertain outcomes? These are core questions to guide us towards a dynamic understanding of theoretical and applied concepts of collective action in conservation. Grounded in conservation history, this course traces the development of complicated ideas concerning our perception of nature and heritage. We’ll examine case studies that demonstrate the complexities of managing common pool resources and protecting cultural identities. Participants will have an opportunity to examine a conservation community in their home region to share with each other. We will learn how to evaluate CBC’s and think strategically about ensuring long-term stewardship. This course will provide participants with opportunities get involved with or start a CBC project of their own.

ENV 639: Citizen Science (3 credits)
The purpose of this course is to engage environmental educators in expanding fields of citizen science, volunteer environmental monitoring, and public participation the process of scientific investigations. Students will explore the foundations of citizen science project design, implementation, and analysis, to build skills as current and future citizen science project leaders.

ENV 689: Independent Study (1-4 credits)
This option allows students to determine and submit a self-directed research and/or creative project. Students will present a statement of rationale to the academic director for approval based on the value of the study within the student's overall educational objectives for the certificate program.

ENV 690: Environmental Practicum (3 credits)
The practicum will be designed to meet the student’s educational goals within the topical framework of the certificate program.  Students will enroll individually or with other members of their cohort and will work under the supervision of qualified individuals in the partnering organization.


Environmental Education and Leadership

Post-baccalaureate certificate

The Environmental Education and Leadership certificate program provides education professionals graduate level knowledge and training to develop and enhance environmental education and leadership skills.  It is aimed primarily at secondary teachers but also other professionals working in environmental education in different capacities, formally and informally, including administrators, curators, conservationists, naturalists, and park rangers, among others.  Four eight-week, online courses are required to complete the certificate. 

CERTIFICATE APPLICATION

Program Details
Credits 12
Timeline 12 Months
Next start date August 24
Post-baccalaureate Certificate Cost $6,000
Student & Technology Fees $780
Total estimated program cost $6,780

Course Descriptions

Required Courses

ENV 618: Environmental Education (3 credits)
This course investigates the role of education in solving environmental problems and developing environmental literacy.  Students will explore models of environmental education, how environmental education manifests across sectors (in nonprofit, academic, for-profit and government contexts), best practices in environmental-education program planning, and community-based environmental education. 

ENV 641: Farm- and Forest-Based Education
This purpose of this course is to foster a deeper understanding of Mid-Atlantic forests and farms as dynamic educational resources to teach concepts of sustainability and issues of environmental and global climate change. Students will explore effective place-based learning models in farm-based education and forest school methodology, with an emphasis on integrated curriculum across content areas, service-based learning, and conservation education.

Electives

ENV 638: Human Dimensions of Food Systems and Landscapes (3 credits)
This course integrates agricultural, ecological, and social-systems thinking to address sustainable and ethical food systems concepts in environmental education. Students will learn how to analyze and apply food systems issues through the lens of educational resources and curriculum that help build knowledge and grounding in engagement with local communities and organizations.

ENV 639: Citizen Science (3 credits)
The purpose of this course is to engage environmental educators in expanding fields of citizen science, volunteer environmental monitoring, and public participation the process of scientific investigations. Students will explore the foundations of citizen science project design, implementation, and analysis, to build skills as current and future citizen science project leaders.

ENV 612: Energy, Natural Resource Management, and the Environment (3 credits)
This course covers a wide spectrum of topics on energy and natural resource management from a public-policy and environmental-affairs approach.  In the course, students will investigate the politics, economics, and impacts of renewable and fossil-fuel energy sources, energy policy, energy efficiency, waste, restoration, environmental technology, public finance and investment, and environmental law and regulations.

ENV 634: Environment, Development, and Economics (3 credits)
This course examines how natural resources intersect with social and economic-development initiatives.  We will review the different kinds of natural resources and review case studies of both successes and failures in regard to sustainable use and community benefits.  Special attention will be paid to community-based initiatives and examples of inclusive decision-making and policy design.

ENV 637: Environmental Change: Causes and Impacts (3 credits)
This course examines the driving forces and impacts of a variety of environmental challenges, and geophysical and geopolitical ties that bind communities together around the world.  Students will better understand the social, economic, and biological landscape that we face globally today.  They will also understand how these forces of environmental change also fuel conflicts, public health issues, poverty, and vulnerability in communities.  Case studies of successful mitigation and resilience will be provided and discussed to provide students with awareness and appreciation for what is being done in response to these issues.

ENV653 Community-Based Conservation
This course addresses how communities become effective stewards of their environment, history, or culture. Grounded in conservation history, this course traces the development of complicated ideas concerning our perception of nature and heritage. The course examines case studies that demonstrate the complexities of managing common pool resources and protecting cultural identities. Participants will have an opportunity to examine a conservation community in their home region to share with each other. We will learn how to evaluate CBC’s and think strategically about ensuring long-term stewardship. This course will provide participants with opportunities get involved with or start a CBC project of their own.

ENV 689: Independent Study (1-4 credits)
This option allows students to determine and submit a self-directed research and/or creative project. Students will present a statement of rationale to the academic director for approval based on the value of the study within the student's overall educational objectives.  Variable credits in the Independent Study allow it to be used as a full elective or paired with another 1.5 credit course to accumulate sufficient credits for the certificate.

ENV 690: Environmental Practicum (3 credits)
The practicum will be designed to meet the student’s educational goals within the topical framework of the certificate program.  Students will enroll individually or with other members of their cohort and will work under the supervision of qualified individuals in the partnering organization.


Professional Development Courses

Goucher College offers Maryland State Department of Education credits in partnership with the Maryland Agricultural Education Foundation.

For more information, please contact Shannon Brown, director of elementary education, MAEF, at sbrown@maefonlime.com, or Peggy Eppig, director of middle school education, MAEF, at peppig@maefonline.com.

Current MSDE Offerings

CPDV 9500: Infusing Agriculture in the Elementary Classroom (CPD/MSDE credit)
In the classroom, agriculture supports and connects to nearly every subject area. This hybrid course provides opportunities and resources to infuse agricultural concepts into elementary lessons planned around the Common Core State Standards, Environmental Literacy Standards, and Next Generation Science Standards. 

CPDV 9018: Infusing Agriculture in the Middle School Classroom (CPD/MSDE credit)
Designed for the middle school team, this hybrid course offers teachers across the curriculum opportunities to develop and implement agricultural education as schoolwide projects, citizen science, and multidisciplinary units grounded in Common Core State Standards, Environmental Literacy Guidelines, and Next Generation Science Standards.