SIT launches program on sustainability

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BRATTLEBORO — Responding to one of the planet's most pressing issues, the School for International Training has launched a globally focused master's degree that will prepare professionals to work in the fields of climate change policy and advocacy.

Starting in fall 2018, SIT's one-year MA in Climate Change and Global Sustainability will take students to the front lines of this international debate. Participants will spend the first semester in Iceland, the second semester in Tanzania, and the third semester on a supervised, skills-building practicum

anywhere in the world.

"Climate change is the biggest challenge confronting our planet today. It's up to us all to get engaged as educators to support a new generation who can work on the legal, policy, and grassroots aspects confronting this challenge," said SIT President Dr. Sophia Howlett.

"With field centers in more than 45 countries, SIT is in a unique position to train the next generation of global thinkers equipped with the skills they need to enter the policy and advocacy arenas."

Climate change has been affecting the Arctic for decades, and Iceland has been at the forefront of new responses, particularly with the development of sustainable energy sources. Climate change has been slower to impact the Indian Ocean, which makes Tanzania an ideal laboratory in which to explore emerging effects on human development.

"This program will give students a global perspective on the issue from multiple locations, topics and themes," said Degree Chairman Dr. Richard Walz. In addition to climate science, he said students will look at the broad human dimensions of climate change through settlements, water, food, and energy, and the environmental governance strategies and community adaptations aimed at mitigating it.

The 36-credit program launches in late August 2018 in Iceland, where students will be based at the University Centre of the Westfjords in safj r ur as they examine the natural sciences and renewable energy solutions in the Arctic. During the second semester, the program continues in Zanzibar, a Tanzanian archipelago off the coast of East Africa.

Living in and around Stone Town, a World Heritage site, students will study the social sciences and local sustainable approaches to food production and clean water.

During the third semester, students will conduct a supervised practicum with an organization addressing climate change anywhere in the world.

Climate Change and Global Sustainability is the first in a series of new global master's degrees in development that will draw upon SIT's worldwide infrastructure.

"SIT has always been at the forefront of international education," said Howlett. "We're working multidimensionally now — not simply bringing international students to the United States, or giving U.S. students an international curriculum. We're taking people from all over the world and putting them in places where SIT can work with them to address the critical global issues that impact us all."

Other degrees in development will focus on global health, migration and humanitarian assistance, and environmental management.

In addition to graduate-level programs, SIT offers more than 80 accredited, experiential study abroad programs on six continents, including at least 16 programs that partner with academics, professionals, NGOs, and universities around the world to focus on climate and the environment.

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