PULLMAN, Wash.–The Washington State University Program in Environmental Science and Regional Planning has received a grant to establish a joint environmental science program with the new Environmental Management and Planning Program at the University of Chile.
The three-year, $120,000 U.S. Information Agency grant funds a partnership that will involve faculty from across WSU in research, education and outreach with colleagues in Chile.
The new program will include joint interdisciplinary programs to support sustainable economic development. It will offer joint master’s degrees as well as non-degree training for environmental and natural resources professionals and organizations, and may, in the future, offer a joint bachelors degree, according to William Budd, chair of the WSU ESRP program.
The new partnership will address the need for environmental and natural resource professionals, decision makers and citizens to make the best possible decisions related to the management and use of the earth’s finite natural resource base, Budd said.
“It is difficult for any one university to have available all the necessary education, research and outreach capacity, information and technologies related to the complex issues of environment, natural resources and sustainable development,” said Budd. “In addition to the fact that environmental science is multidisciplinary, including the fields of physics, chemistry, biology, geology, soil science, hydrology, ecology and various engineering specialties, the need is compounded by the global nature of international economies, the environment and sustainable development in an increasingly interdependent world.”
WSU and the University of Chile have an ongoing relationship which includes collaborative research in environmental systems and pest management, as well as parallel interests in extended learning opportunities in the area of environmental science. The new program provides for faculty exchanges and curriculum development. Other Chilean institutions, including the Universidad de Magdellanes at Punta Arenas and the Universidad Austral de Chile at Valdivia, and the three WSU branches will also participate.