Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

Education & Research

"A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops."

- Henry Adams

Sustainability is integral to the educational experience at MIIS. The Masters in International Environmental Policy (IEP) focuses intently on these issues, but everyone at MIIS has an opportunity to learn about these issues in classroom and real world settings.

Many Graduate School of International Policy and Management (GSIPM) faculty have contributed significantly to the literature and research on environmental, social, and economic sustainability, and continue to publish regularly on the topic.

Sustainability in the Curriculum

  • IPOL 8507: International Environmental Law and Politics: This course provides a foundation in the core concepts, actors, drivers and institutions of global environmental politics and governance. The first half of the class focuses on global environmental politics and the second on international environmental law and more broadly, global environmental governance (GEG).
  • IPOL 8512: Environmental Science and Policy: This course introduces the use of quantitative methods in environmental analysis. Students will learn how to apply basic principles of natural science to a variety of globally important environmental problems.
  • IPOL 8542: Environmental and Natural Resource Economics: The purpose of this course is to develop competency in economic theory as it relates to environmental issues, and the analytical skills necessary to evaluate, as well as craft, effective, efficient, and just environmental policies.
  • IPOL 8579: The China Factor: Learning focuses on the important institutional and individual players, processes, policies and strategies at the different levels of social, economic and political activities in China and beyond.
  • IPOL 8581: Sustainability Field Study: Students will carefully define an opportunity, baseline data, goals, politics, and methods of a project for a real world client. They will research, experiment, visit other models, think, write, and then present a plan for an innovative sustainable solution to the client. This class is for students interested in development, environment, public administration, and business.
  • IPOL 8603: Seminar: Asia’s Development Challenges in the 21st Century: Rapid economic growth in Asia lead to a wide discussion and sometimes emulation of the "Asian Miracle." Asia's growth was noteworthy not just for its pace, but for the accompanying improvements in social indicators (education, life expectancy, etc.). Yet challenges to its sustainability have been brought by economists, environmentalists, and other social scientists. This course will address questions such as: How can development policies in Asia be adjusted to make growth more sustainable?
  • IPOL 8614: Seminar: Economics of Sustainable Development: The course will begin with a short history of the larger debate on economic development and the environment as well as an assessment of the current debate over both the meaning of, and priorities for, sustainable development. We will then move on to a survey of the major economic issues relating to sustainable development, their measurement, and implementation.
  • IPOL 8615: MNC's, Investment, & Sustainable Development: This seminar explores linkages between trade, foreign investment, and global sustainable development. Using case studies and institutional analysis, the seminar has two main foci: 1) conflict and congruence between existing and emerging global, regional and bilateral trade and investment regimes and environmentally and economically sustainable growth; 2) the potential for innovations in governance to enhance the benefits of trade and foreign investment for sustainable development.
  • IPOL 8618: Grassroots Leadership Development: The purpose of this seminar is to prepare students to support, lead, analyze, manage, or govern grassroots social change organizations. Through readings, case studies, field projects and contact with established grassroots leaders, students will learn about the ecology of grassroots organizations, factors that contribute to effective grassroots leadership, strategies for leader development and strategies to build grassroots organizational capacity.
  • IPOL 8622: Advanced Environmental Policy Analysis: The purpose of this course is to complete a project of professional quality, using the analytical tools and concepts introduced in IP 542: Environmental & Natural Resource Economics and other IEP courses. This project will be done in small teams of 3-4 and should become a central component of students’ graduate portfolios.
  • IPOL 8623: Seminar: Business Models for Sustainable Development: This seminar explores the growing role of the private sector in promoting sustainable development goals in low and middle income countries through core business activities. The overarching aim of such business models is to reduce poverty and promote sustainability.
  • IPOL 8637: Seminar: Social Sector Needs Assessment: The goal of this course is to develop and apply the fundamental needs and assets assessment skills necessary for a career in international development. We will examine Needs Assessment in development policies, programs and projects.
  • IPOL 8644: Seminar: Program Evaluation: Seminar focuses on developing skills needed to apply a variety of evaluation approaches and models to public sector and nongovernmental organizations engaged in various facets of Third World development work. Seminar participants review and critique evaluations of development assistance projects sponsored by bilateral, multilateral, and nongovernmental organizations.
  • IPOL 8645: Protected Area Policy: National parks and other protected areas form the cornerstone of global biodiversity policy. Despite tremendous popularity and importance, these bastions of biodiversity face conflicting mandates and escalating threats. This course examines protected area policies in an international context, emphasizing key policy issues that transcend national borders.
  • IPOL 8646: Seminar: Public Private Partnerships for Sustainable Development: Partnerships between private sector, civil society and government actors are emerging as a primary mode both to deliver public goods and to provide public governance. This course examines public private partnerships (PPPs) as a vehicle for promoting environmentally and economically sustainable enterprise and livelihoods, especially in developing countries.
  • IPOL 8691: Seminar: MNCs, Investment and Sustainable Industrial Development: This seminar probes the theoretical, empirical and policy interface between foreign direct investment (FDI) by multinational corporations (MNCs) and sustainable industrial development.
  • IPOL 8692: Seminar: Emerging Issues in Ocean Conservation: The world’s oceans face growing pressure from new and often poorly understood human activities. Increasingly, ocean management agencies and policy-makers must make consequential decisions on a variety of competing ocean uses with imperfect information about their impacts on ecosystems, economies or other users. Through targeted readings, group discussions and guest lectures, this seminar will explore the scientific basis and policy implications of key conservation challenges facing ocean managers worldwide.
  • WKSH 8509: NGO Organizational Sustainability: This workshop is designed to clarify the conditions that are necessary for an NGO to become sustainable, as well as the processes that can help an organization consciously build a sustainability strategy.
  • WKSH 8514: Water Quality and the Real Value of Water: This workshop will provide a basic framework for understanding water quality issues and the range of options for managing various types of problems that arise from impairments to water quality.
  • WKSH 8517: Introduction to the Science of Climate Change: Anthropogenic climate change is the global environmental issue of the twenty-first century. Policymakers will increasingly find themselves dealing with climate change, including mitigation of human influence on climate, adaptation to inevitable climate change, and international policy questions relating to this global problem. This course introduces the science of this issue at a level appropriate to students of international environmental policy who do not necessarily bring a scientific background to their studies.
  • WKSH 8541: Global Energy Prospects: The science substantiating human-induced global warming is increasingly robust. Governments, via the Kyoto Protocol, and in the U.S., via state greenhouse gas reduction commitments, and in China, via energy intensity reduction commitments, are banding together to cap greenhouse gas emissions. Energy is the central challenge to bringing greenhouse gases under control. This course will explore the two main avenues to transforming energy toward a sustainable path - (1) renewable energy and (2) energy efficiency technology commercialization.

    View the entire list of course offerings to determine the semester each course is offered, for the most up-to-date course information, and for full descriptions of these courses.


    Please contact sustainablecampus@miis.edu with any questions, concerns, or for more information on sustainability issues at MIIS.