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New program offers sustainability know-how to North Texas professionals

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

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Media Contact: Traci Peterson, Office:817-272-9208, Cell:817-521-5494, tpeterso@uta.edu

FORT WORTH - The University of Texas at Arlington is offering North Texas professionals the opportunity for advanced education in sustainability issues with a new master's degree that debuts this fall.

The Master of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies-Sustainability Track will be offered at the University's Fort Worth Center. The 36-hour, non-thesis program can be completed in one year. Classes will meet Tuesday nights and Saturdays.

UT Arlington faculty and administrators have designed a program that meets the increasing demand for individuals with advanced sustainability analysis and evaluation skills.

"This program takes a holistic approach to sustainability," said Meghna Tare, director of UT Arlington's Office of Sustainability. "Professionals and students are encouraged to gain a 'big picture' perspective of the challenges we face and of how to move towards sustainability in a strategic and profitable way."

The new initiative is unique among master's level programs in North Texas because it addresses sustainability across a variety of academic and professional disciplines. Some courses will focus on core sustainability concepts like the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED program, the Energy Star program and High Density Development. Others will examine the cost and regulatory issues involved with "going green." In addition, students will learn about the psychological and socio-economic dynamics of this cultural paradigm shift to more conscientious consumption.

Fred Forgey, executive director of graduate programs in real estate at UT Arlington, played a leading role in organizing the new master's degree program.

"It focuses on better resource utilization, specifically trying to maximize productivity while minimizing impacts on the environment," Forgey said. "Students will not only be able to evaluate existing sustainability programs, but also design new programs for implementaton as well as secure grant funding, where appropriate."

The degree would be beneficial for those working in corporate, nonprofit, private consulting, and governmental agencies, said Megan Topham, graduate adviser for the sustainability track.

The new program strengthens UT Arlington's commitment to being a leader in campus sustainability issues. This fall, the University will begin offering a minor in environmental and sustainability studies. The minor will provide credentials in the field of sustainability to students in a variety of majors.

In keeping with the idea of sustainability, Earth-friendly practices such as online textbooks and other opportunities to go paperless will be incorporated into the Fort Worth Center's new program.

Applications are being accepted now. Classes start Aug. 28. An interactive, online information forum will be held from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. July 15.

To sign up for the forum, please visit https://www.uta.edu/fortworth/InfoReservationForm/index.php.

For more information about the program and costs, please contact Megan Topham at 817-272-5908, SUST@uta.edu or visit www.uta.edu/fortworth/sust.

The UT Arlington/Fort Worth Center is at the historic Santa Fe Freight Building in downtown Fort Worth. Its mission is to serve Tarrant County by meeting working professionals' needs for upper-division undergraduate and graduate programs focused on both credit and continuing education solutions.

UT Arlington, with 29,000 students in the heart of North Texas, is among the state's fastest-growing universities and is on track to become a nationally recognized research institution.

Learn more about UT Arlington at www.uta.edu.

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The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.