Policy, Planning, Law and Society

The PPLS track focuses on developing understanding and problem-solving skills relevant to the interaction between human and natural systems. Students study concepts, issues, and problem solving approaches that address the policy, legal, economic, political, planning, and social aspects of environment and natural resource management. This study includes ethics and conflict management, and emphasizes an interdisciplinary approach for examining problems and developing effective and innovative solutions. Problems considered include sustainable land use planning, resource conservation and management, law, and environmental protection at a range of political levels and spatial scales. Students will learn how to integrate knowledge from the physical, biological, and social sciences in order to develop policy and planning alternatives and appropriate strategies to provide solutions to complex problems. Students can also develop a specialized background in environmental law, policy analysis, planning, and conflict management.

Types of Careers: With the PPLS track students will be well prepared for policy development and analysis, strategy development, and decision-making in a range of positions and institutional settings. Example positions include policy analysts, community planners, social researchers, or lawyers in public agencies, with legislative bodies, consulting firms, and conservation organizations. This track will also prepare students for law school or graduate programs in policy and planning. See also Career Information.