Dear Chairs Gustafson and Manuwal,
As the College rethinks its strategy for developing undergraduate programs related to the key integrating theme of "sustainability", I believe we should take steps to implement a new program in Forest Environmental Science and Conservation (FESC). Given the sensitivity surrounding the name of this program, I suggest that the word "forest" be used in the title. We do not wish to be seen as over-reaching by choosing a broader name such as "Environmental Science". The FESC program will be housed in CFR. Discussions with Dean Nowell suggest that other campus units may develop related programs relevant to their specific scientific disciplines (see below). The new FESC major should envelope the SRS and the CWR programs.
To gain efficiency in program management across the College, we must seriously consider steps to integrate our undergraduate programs into more attractive and flexible packages. I suggest that all undergraduate programs be grouped under the three umbrellas of management, science and engineering and, where practicable, that common lower division requirements be identified. A possible model is the revised Wildlife Science program.
As you design the FESC program, please allow for two options: 1) a traditional four-year program leading to a BSF (or a new BS) degree and 2) an accelerated 4-1 program leading to a BSF (or a new BS) and an MS in Environmental Science. We envision that this latter option will be offered in conjunction with SAFS and (perhaps) earth sciences (earth and space sciences, oceanography, and atmospheric sciences) as well as biological sciences (botany, biology, and zoology). The MS degree will consist of 24 credits of course work in environmental law, economics, and policy with the remaining 12 credits in group projects dealing with capstone case studies. The MS degree will be non-thesis only and will be offered in conjunction with SAFS and other academic units. I believe CFR should take the lead in moving this forward in consultation with POE and SAFS.
POE should be kept informed of progress in designing the above options. They will be instrumental in facilitating the MS degree and in coordinating the development of the various BS programs that may evolve under this model. Please involve them as much as possible in all of your deliberations. They will be critical to the success of this new program.
Please work with Associate Dean Edmonds to establish a cross-divisional committee to develop and implement the FESC program. Please consult with SAFS, POE and any other academic unit interested in developing a similar BS program with an environmental science component. I will be happy to meet with the Committee at any time. I would like you to co-chair the committee.
I believe we should have this new program (at least the BSF portion) in place by Autumn of 2002. Therefore, I request that the committee complete its work before the end of the Autumn quarter. I would like for you to explore ways that this program could be administered as a cross-divisional major. Please propose ways to manage such an arrangement. In order to move your proposal through the faculty review and approval process, you should aim for a final all-college faculty vote by November 30, 2001. This implies previous divisional and all-college faculty meetings to discuss earlier proposals. Ms. Cece Paul will be available to provide staff support to help facilitate your committee's deliberations. Thank you for agreeing to work on this important task for the College.
B. Bruce Bare
Acting Dean, Forest Resources