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Support Academic Programs

The Bren School’s Academic Programs are foundational to its success in attracting and training effective environmental problem-solvers. Funding support is critical to maintaining their high caliber. A few of our prestigious and high-need programs include: 

Communication Focus
Faculty Advisor: Lisa Leombruni 

Students in the Master of Environmental Science and Management Strategic Environmental Communication & Media Focus learn to communicate environmental issues effectively and strategically. A blend of theory and practice, this program trains students to create compelling narratives, target specific audiences, and assess message impact. Students also acquire indispensable verbal and written communication skills and learn media tools, such as video production, social media, and writing. Philanthropic support benefits program management and lecturer salaries, hosting of visiting lecturers, student fellowship opportunities, and media production supplies and equipment. Learn more about BrenComm.  

Innovation Focus 
Faculty Advisor: Emily Cotter 

Students in the Master of Environmental Science and Management Environmental Innovation & Entrepreneurship Focus learn how to develop environmental solutions that solve real problems and create meaningful value. Experiential courses in the Innovation focus train students to develop, test and validate ideas that could make positive and measurable environmental impact. Coursework flexibility allows students to focus on corporate innovation, entrepreneurship or social innovation. Through their projects, students develop agile thinking and complex problem solving skills, as they are challenged to make a series of strategic choices that requires bringing together science, policy, systems thinking and human context. Many graduates have successfully launched new ventures, which were ideas developed and tested through the Innovation focus or as an Eco-E Project.

Four women stand together smiling

Students developing business models for new environmental ventures have access to valuable mentorship and advice from the Eco-E Advisory Council, a group of business experts and successful entrepreneurs, throughout their studies and beyond. Philanthropic support benefits program management and lecturer salaries, hosting of visiting lecturers, student fellowship opportunities, and the launch of project start-ups. 

Environmental Law Program 
Faculty Advisor: Jim Salzman 

Recognized by alumni as some of the most valuable courses for their professional careers, the Bren School’s environmental law program is a vital part of our interdisciplinary approach to environmental problem-solving. These classes provide students with critical analytic skills required to read, interpret, and apply statues and regulations. Philanthropic support benefits this program’s rigorous curriculum, including hosting guest lecturers who bring specialized expertise in water, land use, and other key areas. In fact, graduates of the Bren School receive more exposure to environmental law than most law school students. 

Master’s Group Projects 
Staff Advisor: Sean Kerr

A signature of the Master of Environmental Science and Management program, Master’s Group Projects provide a unique opportunity for students to gain unparalleled experience performing professional-level work, while applying their technical expertise to real-world challenges. Teams of 3-5 with a Bren faculty advisor and external advisors tackle specific problems posed by a client organization, and share their meaningful recommendations at this public presentation. Philanthropic support benefits research and travel expenses, publication costs, internship opportunities, and more.

Five students stand with professor in group on terrace overlooking ocean

Reach out to the Bren School and make an impact today.

Lotus Vermeer

Assistant Dean for Development
(805) 893-3712

Beth Pitton-August

Director of Development
(805) 893-5047

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