URI enrolling students in first climate science MBA program

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KINGSTON, R.I. – April 24, 2008– The University of Rhode Island has begun enrolling students in the nation’s first graduate degree program to merge a master of business administration with a master’s of oceanography degree.

The 16-month, dual degree program, dubbed the Blue MBA for its oceanography focus, will educate future leaders in global climate change opportunities, according to URI Professor of Oceanography S. Bradley Moran and College of Business Dean Mark Higgins, who are leading the initiative.

“The business community will likely bear the brunt of the challenge to find ways to reduce the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, yet few people have the necessary training in both business and climate science to lead the way,” said Moran. “This unique new 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 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.

“As climate change accelerates and the business community responds, there will be a strong demand for graduates who can claim a rigorous background in ocean and climate science while also having the benefits of an MBA,” said David Farmer, dean of the URI Graduate School of Oceanography. “The MBA/MO offers an outstanding chance for students to take advantage of this challenge.”

Students would take courses in the URI business and oceanography programs, and choose additional courses 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 launch of the new degree program next fall will 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 enrolling in the program can contact Meredith Clark at 401-874-6246 or mclark@gso.uri.edu or Lisa Lancellotta at 401-874-4241 or mba@uri.edu.