Guidelines to determine whether research topic falls within the scope of the Specialization in Environmental Sustainability Program

May 1, 2013

In order to qualify for entry into the Collaborative Program in Environmental Sustainability, students must be admitted to one of the participating Masters’ programs and must be conducting research on a topic of environmental sustainability.

For the purposes of the program, environmental sustainability is given a large definition that includes the study of the human enterprise of meeting the resource and service needs of current and future generations without compromising the health of the biological and ecological systems that provide them. It includes the study of the scientific, economic, social and regulatory elements of environmental management, as well as the investigation of factors that contribute to key environmental problems and their scientific foundations.

The program is aimed at students who are evaluating an environmental problem in the context of their research, perhaps considering the socio-economic or policy implications of their work, or evaluating a potential solution to a current environmental sustainability challenge.

The following are examples of the kinds of research topics undertaken within the program:

  • Parliamentary democracy and evidence-based environmental policy-making: disentangling science and politics in toxics regulatory decisions.
  • Identifying factors contributing to successful climate change adaptation mainstreaming in small island developing states.
  • Study of the potential for land value taxation in limiting urban sprawl.
  • Adaptation to climate change in South Africa’s subsistence farming sector.
  • A toxicological study of the low dose-response of different organisms with respect to contaminants for which current regulatory emission standards are being developed.
  • Evaluating Arctic marine transportation policy in light of changing sea ice dynamics and increased vessel volumes.
  • The effect of multi-level governance arrangements on the evolution of climate policy: a comparative examination of Canada, Germany and the United States.
  • Factors explaining the effectiveness of international environmental regimes: an assessment of the Arctic Council.
  • A scientific examination of the impacts on wildlife of wind farms.
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