CERE conducts field work at Murphy's Bottom near Freeport, Armstrong County.

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Duquesne Environmental Science and Management Master's: Pioneering for 20 Years

May 3rd, 2012

Faculty, staff and students of Duquesne University and its Center for Environmental Research and Education (CERE) will celebrate graduation-and reflect as the Master of Science in Environmental Science and Management (ESM) approaches its 20th year.

Matriculating its first students in August 1992, this specialty master's program in the Bayer School has since graduated more than 400 environmental professionals.

Duquesne was one of the first colleges in the country to offer an environmental master's program that focused on training professionals in the management of environmental issues, based upon a demand for those who could manage key issues and policies, said Dr. John Stolz, director of CERE, which houses the program.

"We continually change the program to address new issues that emerge in the field, most recently, in regard to sustainability broadly and specifically to conservation biology," said Dr. Stanley Kabala, associate director of CERE. "One of the key elements of this program is high exposure to various professions that are represented by our adjunct professors; they have immensely contributed to the program because their expertise keeps it current."

After graduation, most students pursue careers in environmental management, consulting and government-at positions that, when the ESM program started, didn't even exist. "No one was thinking about coordinating sustainability in 1992," Stolz said.
The program has teamed with other schools and, with federal funding, operated international programs focused on energy extraction, water supplies and renewable energy management as well as launching Duquesne's first multidisciplinary undergraduate course in sustainability.

Looking forward, Stolz said that the program intends to keep ahead of the curve.

"Keeping our curriculum current and providing opportunities for our students will always be the highest priority," Stolz said. "We will continue to serve as a regional resource on issues of energy and the environment and look forward to expanding our international presence building on our existing collaborations with China, Germany, Mexico and Ghana."

Historical Milestones

1992 - The Environmental Science and Management graduate program is launched, offering the M.S. and graduate certificates.

1997 - The Center for Environmental Research and Education is established.

1999 - CERE begins a series of projects to develop environmental management systems and train industry professionals in post-communist Bulgaria and Ukraine, continuing through 2002.

2000 - CERE begins a partnership with the University of Cologne that includes the ongoing exchange of faculty and students.

2001 - The B.S. in Environmental Science is launched.

2004 - CERE organizes the first Duquesne University delegation of science and education students to China; the fifth trip to China took place in 2011.

2004 - The Master of Environmental Management online program is launched, conferring degrees to 35 environmental professionals across the nation before the last student graduates in 2011.

2006 - CERE faculty and students develop a habitat restoration project at Murphy's Bottom, a former surface mining site on the Allegheny River, which continues to serve as a research site.

2009 - The Duquesne University Academic Sustainability Committee is formed under the leadership of CERE faculty.

2010 - In partnership with the Small Business Development Center, CERE brings Mexican engineering students to Duquesne to learn environmental management principles, continuing through 2012.

2010 - In partnership with the School of Leadership and Professional Advancement, CERE brings emerging leaders from Ghana to Duquesne to learn about energy extraction.

2011 - Continuing the program with Ghana, CERE leads a group of American professionals to learn about energy extraction in Ghana.

2011 - The Pennsylvania Environmental Council opens the Wingfield Pines environmental remediation project with the research support of CERE faculty and students.

2012 - CERE expands ongoing efforts to establish baseline biological conditions, study water quality and determine causes of contamination in western Pennsylvania areas with natural gas drilling.