Advertisement

Developing and Managing Integrated [Interdisciplinary/Transdisciplinary] Graduate Programs in Environmental Science and Management in a Collaborative Context

  • Michal BardeckiEmail author
Chapter
Part of the World Sustainability Series book series (WSUSE)

Abstract

This paper draws on the lessons from 15 years of experience at Ryerson University with graduate programs (master’s and doctoral) in Environmental Applied Science and Management (EnSciMan). The program incorporates 80 faculty members from 21 departments and schools in each of the university’s six Faculties. The paper has three principal objectives. First, to outline the conceptual framework for the environment programs which, in contrast to traditional, highly specialized “I-shaped” curriculum developed within the traditional academic structure, follows a “T-shaped” curriculum: providing problem-solving and research depth in one area while incorporating overall breadth in perspective and skills. Second, since the programs operate independently outside, but concurrent with, existing academic departments and schools, to discuss the challenges in developing cooperation and collaboration for integrated (interdisciplinary/transdisciplinary) graduate programs within a collaborative context. Finally, in this context, to describe the key metrics used to evaluate the degree of program success.

Keywords

Graduate education Environmental applied science Environmental management T-shaped curriculum Canada 

References

  1. Bardecki MJ, Pushchak R (2014) Environmental applied science and management at Ryerson: a fifteen-year retrospective, ENSCIMAN Occasional Paper 14-01. Environmental Applied Science and Management, Ryerson University, Toronto, p 44Google Scholar
  2. Bitner M, Brown S (2008) The service imperative. Bus Horiz 51(1):39–46CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Blackwell AF, Wilson L, Street A, Boulton C, Knell J (2009) Radical innovation: crossing the knowledge boundaries with interdisciplinary teams, Technical Report Number 760. University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory, Cambridge, p 124Google Scholar
  4. Brint S (2005) Creating the future: ‘new directions’ in American research universities. Minerva 43:23–50CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Brint S, Turk-Bicakci L, Proctor K, Murphy S (2009) Expanding the social frame of knowledge: interdisciplinary, degree-granting fields in American four-year colleges and universities, 1975–2000. Rev High Educ 32(2):155–183CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Casey BA (2010) Administering interdisciplinary programs. In: Frodeman R, Klein JT, Mitcham C (eds) Oxford handbook of interdisciplinarity, Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 344–359Google Scholar
  7. Clayton K (1976) Environmental sciences/studies: a decade of attempts to discover a curriculum. Area 8(2):98–101Google Scholar
  8. Donofrio N, Spohrer J, Zadeh HS (2009) Research-driven medical education and practice: a case for T-shaped professionals. Almaden Research Center, IBM, San Jose. http://www.ceri.msu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/A-Case-for-T-Shaped-Professionals-20090907-Hossein.pdf. Accessed 26 Sept 2011
  9. Field M, Lee R (1992) Assessment of interdisciplinary programmes. Eur J Educ 27(3):277–283CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Fischer ARH, Tobi H, Ronteltap A (2011) When natural met social: a review of collaboration between the natural and social sciences. Interdisc Sci Rev 36(4):341–358CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Fortuin IKPJ, Bush SR (2010) Educating students to cross boundaries between disciplines and cultures and between theory and practice. Int J Sustain High Educ 11(1):19–35CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Foster J (1999) What price interdisciplinarity? Crossing the curriculum in environmental higher education. J Geogr High Educ 23(3):358–366CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Giacomelli P, Travisi C, Nava M (2003) Are graduates in environmental sciences potential managers of the environment? Some problems and examples in the north of Italy. Int J Sustain High Educ 4(11):9–16CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Guest D (1991) The hunt is on for the renaissance man of computing”. The Independent, London, Sept. 17Google Scholar
  15. Hansen MT (2010) “IDEO CEO Tim Brown: T-shaped stars: the backbone of IDEO’s collaborative culture” chiefexecutive.net January 21. http://chiefexecutive.net/ideo-ceo-tim-brown-t-shaped-stars-the-backbone-of-ideoae%E2%84%A2s-collaborative-culture. Accessed 20 Oct 2013
  16. Heinemann E (2009) Educating T-shaped professionals. In: Proceedings of the fifteenth americas conference on information systems, San Francisco, California August 6–9, 2009. http://aisel.aisnet.org/amcis2009/693. Accessed 5 Jan 2012
  17. Hiwasaki L, Arico S (2007) Integrating the social sciences into ecohydrology: facilitating an interdisciplinary approach to solve issues surrounding water, environment and people. Ecohydrol Hydrobiol 7(1):3–9CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hollaender K (2003) Success factors in inter- and transdisciplinary research: selected results from the program Urban Ecology. In: Tress B, Tress G, van der Valk A, Fry G (eds) Interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary landscape studies: potential and limitations, DELTA Series 2, Wageningen, Netherlands, pp 91–99Google Scholar
  19. Holley KAE (2009) Understanding interdisciplinary challenges and opportunities in higher education, ASHE Higher Education Report 35(2). Jossey Bass, San Francisco, p 131Google Scholar
  20. Huutoniemi K, Klein JT, Bruun H, Hukkinen J (2010) Analyzing interdisciplinarity: typology and indicators. Res Policy 39(1):79–88CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Jeffrey P (2003) Smoothing the waters: observations on the process of cross-disciplinary research collaboration. Soc Stud Sci 33:539–562CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Klein JT (2008) Education. In: Hirsch Hadorn G, Hoffmann-Riem H, Biber-Klemm S, Grossenbacher-Mansuy W, Joye D, Pohl C, Wiesmann U, Zemp E (eds) Handbook of transdisciplinary research, Springer, Dordrecht, Germany, pp 399–410Google Scholar
  23. Krozer Y (2005) The life-cycle of environmental professionalism. Greener Manage Int 49:43–55Google Scholar
  24. McIntosh BS, Taylor A (2013) Developing T-shaped water professionals: reflections on a framework for building capacity for innovation through collaboration, learning and leadership. Water Policy 15:42–60CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. McNeill D, García-Godos J, Gjerdåker A (eds) (2001) Interdisciplinary research on development and the environment, Centre for Development and the Environment, University of Oslo, Oslo, p 56Google Scholar
  26. Metzger WP (1987) The academic profession in the United States. In: Clark BR (ed) The academic profession: national disciplinary and institutional settings. University of California Press, Berkeley, pp 123–208Google Scholar
  27. Nash JM, Collins BN, Loughlin SE, Solbrig M, Harvey R, Krishnan-Sarin S, Unger J, Miner C, Rukstalis M, Shenassa E, Dubé C, Spirito A (2003) Training the transdisciplinary scientist: a general framework applied to tobacco use behavior. Nicotine Tobacco Res 5(S-1):S41–S53Google Scholar
  28. National Academy of Sciences (2005) Facilitating Interdisciplinary Research. National Academies Press, Washington, p 306Google Scholar
  29. Newell WH (1992) Academic disciplines and undergraduate interdisciplinary education: lessons from the School of Interdisciplinary Studies at Miami University, Ohio. Eur J Educ 27(3):211–221CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Newswander LK, Borrego M (2009) Engagement in two interdisciplinary graduate programs. High Educ 58:551–562CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Osborne T. (2013). “Inter that discipline!”. In: Barry A, Born G (eds) Interdisciplinarity: reconfigurations of the social and natural sciences. Routledge, London, pp 82–98Google Scholar
  32. Shepard K, Yeo G, McGann L (1985) Successful components of interdisciplinary education. J Allied Health 14:297–303Google Scholar
  33. Soule ME, Press DL (1998) What is environmental studies? Bioscience 48(5):397–405CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Tbilisi Intergovernmental Conference on Environmental Education (1978). Toward an action plan: a report on the tbilisi conference on environmental education. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, p 33Google Scholar
  35. Thomas IG (1992) Integrators: an outcome of environmental education. Environmentalist 12(4):261–266CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Vincent S, Focht W (2009) US higher education environmental program managers’ perspectives on curriculum design and core competencies: implications for sustainability as a guiding framework. Int J Sustain High Educ 10(2):164–183CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Weiler CS (2007) Meeting Ph.D. graduates’ needs in a changing global environment. EOS 88:149–151CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. World Bank (2012) What is the purpose of the Young Professionals Program? http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/EXTJOBSNEW/0,,contentMDK:23131984~menuPK:8479833~pagePK:8453902~piPK:8453359~theSitePK:8453353,00.html. Accessed 12 Dec 2013

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Environmental Applied Science and ManagementRyerson UniversityTorontoCanada

Personalised recommendations