New Master of Public Administration Major to Examine Energy and Environmental Issues

Issue Date: 
September 30, 2013

A new major focused on energy and the environment has been launched by the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA).

The Energy and Environment major, part of GSPIA’s Master of Public Administration program, addresses the policy implications of energy and environmental issues both within the western Pennsylvania region and around the globe. The major was inspired by Pittsburgh’s emergence as a global epicenter of the shale gas boom. As new technologies generate billions of dollars from the extraction of unconventional gas, creating thousands of new jobs, controversies have stemmed from issues ranging from the environmental impacts of fracking to the optimal mode of taxing the extracted gas.

“The Energy and Environment major fits perfectly within the local-to-global theme that defines GSPIA,” said Dean John Keeler. “We have specialists in political science, political economy, economics, and urban planning who will teach courses and guide research related to energy and the environment and the impact of Marcellus Shale in this region. 

“Moreover, we are developing partnerships with universities from Paris to Nanjing to advance research and teaching on these issues,” Keeler explained. “Our Energy and Environment major will not, however, be limited in focus to the opportunities and challenges posed by unconventional gas issue. Students will be able to take courses that examine a wide range of energy and environmental issues from both a national and international perspective.” 

GSPIA Associate Dean Martin Staniland added, “In the twenty-first century, international relations has started again to focus on the basics of human survival: the pursuit of adequate energy, a hospitable climate, and affordable, nutritious food. Our new Energy and Environment major responds to the interest of our students in preserving the intricate balance between all three.”