Graduate certificate in geodesign to be offered online at Penn State

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Designing land-based projects that are sustainable can be challenging with the numerous issues involved, including rising land costs, conservation factors and energy concerns. Today, it takes contributions from multiple professions to achieve successful design solutions. This trend is resulting in double-digit growth in professions involved in design and planning, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. To prepare professionals to help lead complex sustainable design and planning projects, Penn State is launching a graduate certificate in geodesign, delivered entirealy online.

“Geodesign is a collaborative process that brings together design-thinking with science to help communities move forward with their change initiatives,” said Kelleann Foster, associate professor of landscape architecture and lead faculty for the program. “The program is rooted in a framework that has been used for decades. That process, coupled with enhanced technologies, provides students with a solid basis for how to help communities address their challenges, including knowing the key questions to ask, how to discover which data are most appropriate and how to put together the right team of collaborators.” This program advocates for developing a well-thought-out geodesign framework before delving into technical processing.


Credit: Penn StateCreative Commons

The 14-credit certificate is offered by the Stuckeman School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture in the College of Arts and Architecture and the Department of Geography in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences and delivered online through the World Campus. Three courses cover theory and practical applications in geodesign and are supplemented with two courses in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). With eight- and 10-week course sessions, students can complete the certificate in one year.

Anthony C. Robinson, lead faculty for online geospatial education, John A. Dutton e-Education Institute, said the certificate will “prepare students with the core competencies that are expected of geodesign professionals. A lot of people currently working in planning, landscape architecture or GIS will already have a subset of these skills at hand, but they won’t have had collaborative experiences built around the full set of competencies that we expect geodesigners to have.”

Because the program is online, adults anywhere in the world will be able to enroll and interact with other students on the unique course content, including many case studies. Foster added that “students will be exposed to many geodesign project examples and will be able to start applying what they are learning right away.”

For information about Penn State’s Graduate Certificate in Geodesign, visit the website.

Credit: Penn StateCreative Commons

Last Updated June 24, 2013