By Lauren Harper
Earlier this week, the Earth Institute and Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs welcomed the Environmental Science and Policy Class of 2019. Lauren Harper, MPA-ESP Class of 2018, finds out more.
The graduate class consists of 57 students who will combat today’s most pressing sustainability and environmental problems using the knowledge they gain through the interdisciplinary MPA-ESP curriculum. A third of the cohort is made up of international students, which is the largest of any previous ESP cohort in the past 17 years. At Orientation, the new class met 12 of the 17 faculty members that will teach the core curriculum of the program. Steve Cohen, director of the MPA in Environmental Science and Policy, welcomed the Class of 2019 by providing them with an overview of the environmental and sustainability issues of the past, the importance of environmental education, and the need for further collaboration within the industry to make the world a better place.
Over this next year, the students will learn how to communicate complex issues concisely to policy makers, analyze and influence policy, and develop strategic plans to solve various environmental problems.
The program will kick off with a summer of science where the students will acquire a base of natural sciences to later apply to shape political solutions. In the fall and spring semesters, the students will continue with the core program curriculum and have the opportunity to select electives to customize their educational experience.
The students in the program are gathered here to complete this professional degree because they care about public health and the natural environment. Upon completion, with their passion for sustainability and the professional training the program offers, there is no doubt that the new cohort will shape future environmental policy, joining the 750+ alums that are already working to do so.
Lauren Harper is an alum of the MPA in Environmental Science and Policy, Class of 2018.