6 Reasons Why You Should Complete a Master’s of Environmental Sustainability at the University of Ottawa.

Posted on Tuesday, January 29, 2019

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Institute of the Environment


Are you passionate about the environment? Are you interested in pursuing a master’s degree? Apply for the Master’s of Environmental Sustainability program at the University of Ottawa’s Institute of the Environment! Here, you will tackle the greatest challenges facing our planet and society: environmental sustainability. Here are 6 features that should convince you to apply:

1. A Unique Learning Experience

The program design is practical and policy-oriented, allowing you to take on challenges our society is facing today. You start the program in the fall with the four foundation courses in environmental science, economics, law, and policy, as well as a professional skills course. Once this knowledge is attained; you learn to apply that knowledge in the winter session to an environmental case study, and you learn methodological skills to synthesize and evaluate evidence to inform decision makers. You can also choose to take the capstone course, where you partner with “clients,” (organizations in Ottawa) on a current environmental challenge. Working with the Capstone professor, an environmental consultant, you will conduct an environmental scan, assessment, and provide recommendations to your client.

The Orientation Program: The program starts with an intense 3-day orientation program that gives you the opportunity to learn more about the National Capital Region, and allows you to converse with professors on the meaning of sustainability, and attend panels with environmental professionals. This provides an opportunity to meet your cohort who come from different disciplinary backgrounds.

Take a look at what our students have done in the past. 2018_orientation_agenda.pdf (pdf, 1,186.44 KB)

The Institute ensures the interdisciplinary nature of the program: Not located in any one faculty, and having both a research unit (Smart Prosperity Institute) and academic programs, we foster interdisciplinary research and dialogue. We engage professors from across the University, attract fulbright visiting scholars, and collaborate with experts from across Canada.

2. Access to the Best Environment-Economy Network in Canada

We are affiliated with Smart Prosperity Institute (SPI), a national research network and policy think tank that conducts world-class research and works with private and public partners. Select a research topic in line with the ‘green economy’ and work with SPI to advance practical policies and market solutions for a cleaner and stronger economy.

The Economics and Environmental Policy Research Network (EEPRN) is managed by SPI and brings together leading researchers from across the country to study and develop innovative policies for protecting Canada’s environment while simultaneously building a stronger economic future.

You also have the opportunity to work with and learn from some of Canada's Ecofiscal Commission members right here in Ottawa. By identifying and promoting practical fiscal solutions in Canada, they are aiming towards economic and environmental prosperity that will benefit all Canadians.
Connections to these organizations create multiple opportunities for growth in the environment and economic industry.

3. Amazing CO-OP placements

Students who study at the Institute of the Environment have the chance to apply to our CO-OP Program. Students have been placed at the following organizations: Environmental and Climate Change Canada; Fisheries and Oceans Canada (Species at Risk Program); Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada; Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada; National Defence; Natural Resources Canada (Energy sector); Sustainable Development Technology Canada; and the World Wildlife Fund! How impressive!

4. Multiple Scholarships and Funding Available

The Smart Prosperity Institute also offers a Travel Grant for students’ conference attendance on a competitive basis to current graduate students conducting environment-economy research of policy relevance for Canada. Funded by the SPI for up to $1,500.00CAD, you can travel and present your research in leading environmental conferences and seminars.

The Institute of the Environment also offers Travel Grants on a competitive basis, valued at $500.00, for student conference participation in all other areas of environmental research.

Admission Scholarships: 
In addition, the University of Ottawa offers admission scholarships of $15,000 CAD per year to students pursuing a master’s degree. These awards are based on merit, students must have a grade-point average of 8.0 or more out of 10 to be eligible.

5. Working and Learning from the Best

At the Institute, we collaborate with world-class professors, researchers, panellists and partners with various areas of environmental expertise..

You have the opportunity to learn from and work with our three Canada Research Chairs who teach and/or supervise students in the Masters in Environmental Sustainability program:

Carolyn Fischer
Carolyn is the University of Ottawa’s Canada 150 Research Chair in Climate Economics, Innovation and Policy and is cross-appointed with the Faculty of Social Sciences and the Institute of the Environment. Find out about her research on our website!

Anthony Heyes
Anthony is the Canada Research Chair in Environmental Economics and teaches the Foundations for Environmental Economics course (EVD5122).Anthony is an environmental economist with a wide range of interests in environmental policy. Find out more about his research on our website.

Nicholas Rivers
Nic is the Canada Research Chair in Climate and Energy Policy and teaches the Applied Environmental Sustainability course (EVD5109). Nic's thematic focus has mostly been on energy policies and on climate change mitigation policies. Learn more on Nicholas on our website.

6. Select Environment-Economy Research Questions

Completing your Master’s degree in Environmental Sustainability allows you to focus and work on exciting research questions that are most important for a thriving and prosperous economy and environment. Quantitative methodology, green labelling programs, solar power energy, greenhouse gas emissions are all engaging topics.

Here are some captivating research questions you could be working on for your master’s degree:

  • Using quantitative methodology to "map" attitudes to a selected environmental topic.
  • How could price-based instruments be used to deliver better urban environments?
  • What are the social benefits of green labelling programs?
  • What are the drivers of (and constraints upon) the use of market-based instruments in the management of water use and abuse?
  • What is the effect of incorporating wind and solar power on Ontario's electricity sector greenhouse gas emissions?
  • What is the value of electricity storage in Ontario's electricity system?
  • What is the effect of rejecting approval for an oil pipeline on oil sands production and greenhouse gas emissions?
  • What is the regional effect of an oil and gas boom in Canada?​​​​​​​
  • What is the effect of water metering on consumption?​​​​​​​
  • What is the effect of pricing garbage by the bag on waste output?

We strongly believe that you should join the Institute of the Environment, and embark on this unique and exciting adventure by completing a Master’s in Environmental Sustainability. By learning from the best, contributing to innovation through research, building new connections with experts and even forging new friendships, we think that this program can benefit you.

The application deadline is fast approaching. You have until February 1st! APPLY NOW!

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