Coastal areas and their populations are extremely vulnerable to effects of climate change ranging from sea level rise to intensified storm events, and understanding both the risks and the adaptation opportunities requires knowledge from several disciplines. The proposed new graduate-level certificate program, titled Coastal Climate Risk & Resilience, focuses on the theories, methods, practical skills and contextual knowledge needed to work productively on this topic. This innovative and interdisciplinary program integrates existing coursework offered in several graduate programs with a few new courses. Students who complete this certificate will be well equipped to work on coastal risk and resilience issues within their own home disciplines.
The Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy (Bloustein), the Institute of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences (EOAS), the Department of Human Ecology (Human Ecology, and the Department of Civil Engineering (Civil Engineering) have developed this certificate in order to offer graduate students throughout Rutgers an unparalleled learning opportunity. This collaboration, these perspectives and these skills will be the focus of this certificate program.
The program is open to any Rutgers graduate student, and is designed so that students can complete the requirements for the 18 credit (6 courses) certificate as part of the coursework for their graduate degrees. Students will be well-prepared with an important skill set and knowledge of coastal challenges for future careers in Earth sciences, urban planning, civil engineering, and other fields.
The Certificate requires six (6) 3-credit courses. These include three common core courses plus three distributed electives. If a course is not available in a particular year then a reasonable substitution is allowed.
Students must take one of two foundational transdisciplinary courses (Transdisciplinary Perspectives on Coastal Climate Risk and Resilience or Climate Change Risk Analysis). With permission from the certificate program’s faculty advisor, they may also substitute an extra elective course from outside their main focus area.
16:460:629 Transdisciplinary Perspectives on Coastal Climate Risk and Resilience (3). This course will explore issues related to coastal risk and resilience by integrating perspectives from climate science, geography, sociology, economics, urban planning, ecology, and civil & environmental engineering. Each class session will center on a discussion led by a member of the faculty or by an outside guest and will focus on transdisciplinary learning, new perspectives, and current issues within the context of more than one disciplines. This course will introduce students to a broad conceptual modeling framework and encourage critical questioning of disciplinary scopes, and biases. The goal of the course will be for students to connect new knowledge among the different disciplines and create a deeper understanding related to human experience with coastal adaptation and resilience.
16:460:571 Climate Change Risk Analysis (3). Science, economics and public policy of climate change risks. Extreme events, sea-level rise, agriculture, energy, health, labor, crime and violence, supply chain disruptions, ecosystem services, tipping points. Global and regional climate modeling, integrated assessment modeling, decision-making under uncertainty and with long time horizons. Climate change adaptation and resilience.
Students must also take both of the following core courses.
34:970:655 Communicating Science to Decision-Makers (3). This theory-and-practice course will focus on communicating science to policymakers, business leaders, and the general public. It will emphasize the interactive aspects of communication in which competency depends on both speaking and listening, and in which facts must be “constructed” according to contextual norms rather than merely transmitted. It will also include guest lectures by non-academic professionals on their career pathways and experiences. The course will be designed to introduce students to the latest research-based evidence about effective communication of risk, vulnerabilities and coastal science. It will also provide students with a deep understanding of strategies to communicate and engage stakeholders in processes leading to assessment of coastal vulnerabilities and hazards and an appreciation of and support for coastal resilience planning and action. Targeted stakeholder communication will be outlined when engaging diverse audiences such as community leaders, residents, policy-makers and business decision-makers, especially small and midsize coastal businesses. The course will go beyond strategies that rely on “one way” communication and expand students’ capacity to lead and facilitate engaged processes that result in outcomes that enhance coastal resilience. Additionally, students will be involved in applied practice of effective communication and stakeholder engagement strategies. They will participate in “field” community engagement experiences, meet with small to mid-size coastal businesses to better understand how risk and vulnerability planning can be integrated into business operations, and prepare background briefings on pending and timely coastal and resilience policy issues. Additionally, students will learn applied strategies for survey research, and in particular, how to integrate public perceptions of risks and vulnerability into strategies to enhance resilience.
34:970:510/511 Studio on Coastal Climate Risk & Resilience (3). This studio or workshop pairs students with a client (such as a coastal community) to assess the risks posed to the client by climate change and strategies for managing that risk. This studio class will help integrate the disciplinary perspectives of participating graduate students and engage them in the development of land-use, capital improvements, or hazard-mitigation planning for a client, such as a coastal municipality. The studio experience will expose students to local lay knowledge, public decision-making procedures, and the challenges of contributing scientific information to contentious public policy debates. The modeling approach introduced in the Perspectives course will be here linked to application-specific tools including benefit-cost analysis, financial analysis, risk assessment, and GIS.
In addition to these three core courses, certificate students are expected to take three 3-credit elective courses. Each student will be required to take at least one course covering (1) natural systems, (2) socio-economic systems, and (3) engineering systems of coastal resilience. Current elective courses are shown below; others may be substituted with permission from the certificate program’s faculty advisor.
Menu of Elective Courses: choose one from each column
|Natural Systems||Socio-Economic Systems||Engineered Systems|
|16:107:545 Physical Climatology||16:450:508 Environment and Development||16:180:563 Advanced Hydrology|
|16:215:510 Conservation Ecology||16:450:510 Water Resources Management||16:180:565 Biogeochemical Engineering|
|16:215:587 Urban Ecology||16:460:571 Climate Change Risk Analysis||16:180:566 Sediment Transport|
|16:215:520 Landscape Ecology||34:833:686 Climate Governance||16:180:556 Methods and Models for Resilient Building and Infrastructure Systems|
|16:450:504 Coastal Geomorphology||34:970:618 Environmental Planning and Management||16:180:575 Groundwater Engineering I|
|16:460:528 Groundwater Modeling (alternate years)||34:970:619 Environmental Economics and Policy||16:180:590 Coastal Engineering|
|16:460:571/16:107:571/34:970:663 Climate Change Risk Analysis||34:833:562 Negotiation and Conflict Resolution||16:180:591 Sustainable Environmental Biotechnology|
|16:712:501 Physical Oceanography||34:970:523 Environmental Law and Policy||16:180:592 Green Infrastructure for Water Management|
|16:712:503 Coastal Ocean Dynamics||34:970:520 Planning and Land Use Administration||16:375:504 Water and Wastewater Treatment|
|16:712:526 Estuarine Ecology||16:375:509 Groundwater Pollution|
|16:450:507 Applied Geomorphology|