The Master of Science in Integrated Science and Technology (M.S. ISAT) with a concentration in Environmental Management and Sustainability includes core classes covering fundamental aspects of analytical methods using both GIS and data science, systems thinking and modeling, human environment dynamics, sustainability, and tools to understand, analyze and describe critical models and concepts in an increasingly cross-cultural world. The program is designed to build holistic thinking and problem-solving using systems perspectives on environmental and sustainability challenges. 

Courses are designed, developed, and, for the most part, taught collaboratively by faculty from James Madison University and the University of Malta. Learning at both campuses affords students the opportunity to experience, compare, and contrast environmental and sustainability issues in different geographic, political, and social contexts from US, EU, and global perspectives. 

Organization of the program includes a core of applied material valuable to the practitioner that carries across the Fall and Spring semesters at both James Madison University and the University of Malta.  Concentration courses provide opportunities to go deeper into areas of global sustainability and its impacts on society, sustainability policy and law, with electives designed to extend this knowledge into areas of sustainable technological systems, or food systems and biodiversity.

Core Courses
  • Analytical Methods and Techniques in GIS and Analytical Methods and Techniques in Data Science provide access to tools and techniques necessary for understanding patterns in large data sets and in methods to apply this understanding in meaningful ways that can help define action and shape policy and practice.
  • Systems Dynamics introduces the science of systems as practiced in the field and includes elements of system dynamics and systems modeling.
  • Human-Environment Dynamics focuses on the role humans play within natural, social, and technological systems and how to properly understand and describe their impact on these systems how science and technology impacts modern society and fits within a cross-cultural world.
Concentration Courses

Courses that are part of the concentration in Environmental Management and Sustainability include: 

  • Sustainability, Society, and Change explore key principles of sustainability and how these apply to both the individual and society at large, also discussing why this concept has taken on global importance in the wake of environmental and human development crises.
  • Earth Systems characterizes the Earth’s physical domains and dynamic processes within its biosphere, lithosphere, cryosphere, lithosphere, and atmosphere, focusing in particular on key interactions between these. 
  • Sustainability Policy and Law introduces students to the basic principles of international and national environmental law, policy, and regulation as it pertains to sustainability.
  • US and Mediterranean Field Study is a set of dispersed and distinct field coursework that provides hands-on location-based experiences and observations relevant to the integrated and applied science practitioner.

Students select one of two Elective Pathways allowing them the opportunity to further focus their environmental management and sustainability studies in areas related to sustainability technology systems and food systems and biodiversity.

Elective Pathway 1: Sustainable Technological Systems focuses on improving the sustainability performance of industry through applications of industrial ecology and environmental management systems, as well as by developing a deeper understanding of innovative approaches used to meet societal needs for energy, water and air while managing the need to limit impacts on the natural world and limited resources.

  • Sources, Sinks & Cycles: Energy, Water and Air I & II
  • Industrial Ecology & Sustainable Industrial Systems I & II

Elective Pathway 2: Food Systems and Biodiversity focuses on the challenges of safeguarding biodiversity and protecting natural habitat while ensuring sustainable food production systems that are able to reliably and effectively provide food security. 

  • Biodiversity Conservation I & II
  • Regenerative Agriculture & Sustainable Food Systems I & II

Beginning in the Spring semester and carrying through the summer, students will work with faculty to create an independent Capstone Project, jointly advised by JMU and University of Malta faculty members, that aligns with a student’s interests and coursework.

The capstone project affords students the opportunity to demonstrate the application and synthesis of the skills and knowledge gained through the program. Capstone project work is developed throughout the program of study under the guidance of program faculty and may be combined with professional placement opportunities.

The completion of the project, analysis of data, report generation, and occurs during the summer at a location selected by the student, in coordination with the faculty advisors. A final project presentation will be scheduled in person, or virtually, in collaboration with the project faculty advisors.

For students wishing to do a more in-depth project, a Thesis option is available in determination with the advisor and program directors.

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