Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

Program Chair's Message

Jason Scorse, Ph.D., Program Chair for International Environmental Policy

"We are in this profession for one reason above all—to improve the overall quality of life for humanity." 

If you’re reading this, you probably have a lot in common with students and faculty in International Environmental Policy (IEP). We share an intense desire to be at the heart of the action when it comes to solving the world’s most challenging environmental problems. Like you, we don’t see the “environment” as separate from human welfare, and in fact often grapple with how poorly the term “environmentalism” captures the full extent of what we do.

We are in this profession for one reason above all—to improve the quality of life for humanity. We want to help integrate natural systems with the built environment so people, animals, and plants thrive. We are much more interested in long-term sustainability than short-term victories.

We know that a deep understanding of natural and social science is key to creating a new paradigm, but that politics is at the heart of everything we do. Extremely powerful and wealthy interests are invested in the dysfunctional status quo. We recognize that communications and messaging are perhaps just as important as rigorous analysis, because at the end of the day, no matter how good your work is, it won’t have an impact if no one pays attention. And impact is what we’re all about. We measure our success by the rate of positive change we create.

Positioning our students for the best jobs is a huge part of that goal. But “best” for us doesn’t mean the most money or prestige, but enjoying a deeply meaningful life, with outstanding colleagues and an ability to see the impact of what we do, whether in the smiles of children receiving clean water, the exuberance of breaching whales making a comeback from the brink of extinction, a CEO’s satisfaction at reducing their company’s pollution and saving money at the same time, or watching the first shoots break ground in an urban community garden.

I hope you will join us on this amazing journey and be part of the IEP community. I am available to speak personally with all prospective students and help arrange campus visits so you get the most out of your stay. All of my IEP colleagues are standing by as well to assist you and explain what we do.

In the hopes of a greener and more peaceful world,

Jason Scorse, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Chair, International Environmental Policy Program
Director, Center for the Blue Economy
Graduate School of International Policy and Management
Middlebury Institute of International Studies, A Graduate School of Middlebury College
Office: K23, Kade Building