URI developing world’s first climate science MBA program

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KINGSTON, R.I. – September 12, 2007 – The international business community will likely bear the brunt of the challenge to find ways to reduce the world’s greenhouse gas emissions for years to come. Yet few people have the necessary training in both business and climate science to lead the way.

That may soon change.

The University of Rhode Island is developing the world’s first graduate degree program that would merge a master of business administration with a master’s degree in ocean and climate science.

The two-year, dual degree, which the University is aiming to offer in the fall of 2008, would educate future leaders in global change opportunities, according to URI Professor of Oceanography S. Bradley Moran, who is leading the initiative.

“Climate change represents a major challenge and opportunity to a broad range of businesses and the global economy. Climate change is happening, and businesses need to adapt to this change,” Moran said. “By combining the world-class reputation of URI’s Graduate School of Oceanography with the strength of its College of Business Administration, this unique business-science dual degree will educate students in the application of strategic management, leadership, and ocean and climate sciences to important real-world problems.”

“ This degree will provide tomorrow’s leaders in science with the knowledge and skills to develop business models to ensure an environmentally sustainable world for future generations,” said Business Dean Mark Higgins.

Moran and Higgins said the degree is designed for students with undergraduate training in pure science, environmental science, or engineering who want to develop management skills and diversify their career opportunities. The degree would be particularly beneficial to those seeking management careers in industries such as energy, ocean technology and engineering, hazard risk management, water resources, fisheries, marine navigation and tourism, as well as ocean and human health.

Students would take courses in the URI business and oceanography programs, as well as from the economics, natural resource economics, and marine affairs departments. A new course on the business of ocean and climate sciences is currently in development. Internships with businesses are also being planned as part of the curriculum.

The proposed new MBA program must first be approved by the URI Faculty Senate and the Rhode Island Board of Governors for Higher Education. Its launch next fall would coincide with URI’s fall Honors Colloquium on ocean science and climate change, a semester-long series of lectures by prominent experts and a wide range of related activities.

Students interested in learning more about the new program can contact Moran at 401-874-6530 or moran@gso.uri.edu.