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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University July 23, 2007 | Vol. 36 No. 40
New online master's program in environmental planning, management

Beginning with the fall 2007 semester, the Johns Hopkins University Engineering and Applied Science Programs for Professionals, known as EPP, will offer a fully online master of science degree program in environmental planning and management in collaboration with the Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering. The program will focus on water resources planning.

"The online curriculum will emphasize the relationships between environmental engineering and science and public policy, with particular attention on decision-making tools and policy analysis, as well as the role of economic factors in environmental management and water resource planning," said Hedy Alavi, chair of the EPP master's program in environmental engineering, science and management and assistant to the dean for international programs in the Whiting School of Engineering.

This online program in environmental planning and management, believed to be the only one of its kind in the nation, is designed for working professionals who are located too far away from Johns Hopkins' educational centers or who cannot attend classes because of work or family commitments. The courses, with many interactive features, will be delivered entirely over the Internet, following the established academic schedule for each term. A number of courses offer opportunities for group collaboration. Students can complete many of the online requirements asynchronously, meaning the courses can be accessed at any time of day.

Allan Bjerkaas, EPP associate dean, said, "Bringing the environmental planning and management degree program online demonstrates the continuing commitment of Johns Hopkins to provide high-tech educational opportunities to working engineers, not only in the Maryland region but throughout the country and the world."

Program chair Alavi added, "We feel this program will have a broad appeal to midcareer environmental managers and water resource planners at the federal and state levels, including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Agriculture and their equivalent state agencies." The program also is expected to be of interest to people affiliated with environmental organizations and consultancies as well as to international organizations such as the U.S. Agency for International Development, the United Nations Development Program and the World Bank.

The program, which has received approval from the Maryland Higher Education Commission, requires completion of 10 one-term courses. Core courses include Environmental Impact Assessment, Water Resources Management, Air Resources Modeling and Management, and Optimization Methods for Public Decision Making.

Part of the Whiting School of Engineering, EPP offers master's degrees in 14 distinct disciplines. More than 2,200 students are currently enrolled in programs at seven education centers throughout the Baltimore/Washington area and online.

For more information on EPP programs, go to or e-mail


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