Case Studies and Thesis Design

Fall 2014 quarter

Taught by

conservation biology, wildlife management
energy resources, sustainable/renewable energy, energy policy, nuclear power industry, social implications of technology choices, political ecology

Students will examine in detail a variety of environmental problems, using the skills they gained in their first year of MES core studies to carry out individual or small group projects. Students and faculty will also work together to apply what has been learned throughout the core sequence about interdisciplinary environmental research to design individual thesis research plans that will be ready to carry out by the end of the fall quarter of the student's second year.

Faculty Biographies
Dina Roberts, Ph.D., is a conservation biologist with broad field experience as an ornithologist and wildlife biologist, as well as experience in species management and forest policy development.  Her background in field research spans more than two decades and includes studies in temperate and tropical forests to understand the impacts of forest fragmentation and land use change on biodiversity.  Dina completed her Master’s research from University of Georgia in collaboration with Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center in Panama looking at the importance of shade coffee plantations for tropical ants and birds.  Dina received an IGERT Fellowship from the NSF to complete interdisciplinary doctoral research in a team of researchers looking at the importance of sustainable development and biodiversity protection in Costa Rica.  She has since worked as a Postdoctoral Researchers at Washington State University, as an Endangered Species Biologist with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and as a Staff Scientist working at the science/policy interface to increase understanding of the global importance and increase protection of boreal forest of North America.

Kathleen M. Saul, M.A., M.E.S., received her BA in French and BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame and MA in Management from the Wharton School of Business (University of Pennsylvania) before turning her attention to environmental issues and eventually joining the MES program at Evergreen.  After completing her degree in 2009, she taught Statistics in the Evening and Weekend studies program and Qualitative Methods, an Energy elective and gCORE in the Graduate Program on the Environment. Kathleen then moved to the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy at the University of Delaware to pursue her PhD. Her dissertation research focuses on the displacement of people that results from large scale technology projects, with a focus those involving nuclear technology.  While at Delaware, she participated in research projects looking into the energy policy implications of the Fukushima nuclear disaster as well as alternative administrative forms for organizations devoted to energy conservation, efficiency, and sustainable energy options. She also taught in the undergraduate Introduction to Energy Policy and Sustainable Energy Policy and Planning courses.  Her engineering acumen, business sense, and environmental awareness all come together in understanding modern energy systems and the green energy economy.

Program Details

Location and Schedule

Campus location



Offered during: Evening

Advertised schedule: 6-10p Tue/Thu


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Online Learning

Enhanced Online Learning: Access to web-based tools required, but use of these tools does not displace any face-to-face instruction.

Registration Information

Credits: 8 (Fall)

Class standing: Graduate

Maximum enrollment: 50


Course Reference Number

(8 GR credits): 10050

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