by Mio Katayama Owens, International and Executive Programs, UC Berkeley
This summer, the Beahrs ELP will be celebrating 15 years of successfully training over 540 participants from 110 countries in environmental leadership. At times such as these, we reflect on the trials and triumphs of ELP’s history, from its beginnings in 2000 with seed funding from Carolyn and Richard Beahrs to our upcoming program with over two hundred applicants from countries all over the world.
As ELP continues into the future as part of the College of Natural Resources (CNR) at UC Berkeley, the Dean’s office has decided to expand our professional development and executive education offerings with the creation of a new unit called International & Executive Programs (IEP). The creation of this unit comes at a strategic time, when educational needs are shifting with more and more professionals eager to expand or galvanize their skillsets through short, intensive trainings. IEP’s goal is to draw from the success of ELP, one of the proudest activities of the College of Natural Resources, to develop and deliver additional programs that complement ELP.
IEP celebrated its creation with the delivery of its first in-house program last October titled, “The Economic Impact of Climate and Energy Policy on Public and Private Sectors.” Taking California as its case-study, our faculty – which included professors that ELP alumni are familiar with like Professors David Zilberman, David Roland-Holst, Dan Kammen, and Max Auffhammer – instructed participants on subjects ranging from water and energy to climate policy. Since this workshop catered to a group of participants with diverse backgrounds, discussions were insightful with multi-sided perspectives, and by the end, there was a friendly, ELP-like atmosphere with lively conversations and participants who wanted to stay connected.
For its next program, we are partnering with the Geospatial Innovation Facility (GIF) in UC Berkeley to offer an intensive, 3-day bootcamp on Spatial Data Science, a new field that goes beyond what is usually known as Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Aimed at professionals already working with GIS who hope to expand their skillset beyond conventional proprietary programs, this program will utilize hands-on tutorials and instruction to facilitate the transition to powerful open-source and web-based technologies. If you would like to learn more about this exciting program, please visit our website.
We are especially intrigued by how Spatial Data Science complements the college’s efforts in fields such as climate and energy policy and conservation of natural resources. GIS is crucial in integrating and visualizing disparate data, demonstrated by GIF’s innovative approach to work with climate data, Cal-Adapt, showcasing how these technologies are shaping the way we present and analyze data. As always, these programs are also inflected by the mission of the College of Natural Resources: to “see the bigger picture, make a better world” by providing the tools necessary to both protect the Earth’s natural resources and ensure economic and ecological sustainability for future generations.
There is always a home at Berkeley for ELP alumni, and we look forward to seeing you in our future programs.