55 Years of Environmental Leadership

Tufts University has been a premier center of environmental leadership for over five decades. In recent years, Tufts has also cultivated a dedicated water studies program that has contributed to strong institutional expertise and a campus network of water organizations, experts, and faculty members that collaborate in both academic and real-world settings. In addition to the Sustainable Water Management degree, Tufts also has a Water Diplomacy Ph.D. program and a Water Systems, Science and Society certificate program open to graduate students. Pursuing the SWM degree program means you will also be joining this broad and diverse network of water professionals.

The SWM Story

Humanity’s Impact on the Environment

In 1962, Tufts University became one of the first academic institutions that prioritized environmental issues by offering courses that responded to the growing concerns of humanity’s impact on the environment. As the next decades saw further need for increased environmental action, Tufts established the Center for Environmental Management (CEM) in 1984 that supported projects, training, and outreach for faculty members who were conducting environmental research. A precursor to TIE, the CEM was established with EPA support and in 1986 began several initiatives that worked towards increased sustainability at Tufts and campus greening. Evolving out of CEM’s early enterprises, the Tufts Institute of the Environment (TIE) was founded in 1998 to respond to the need for a university-wide organization that worked toward environmental research, learning, outreach, and service across all schools in the Tufts community.

The Global Context

After nearly twenty years of operation that has seen the successful completion of multiple programs and initiatives, Tufts Institute of the Environment (TIE) continues to support the Tufts community by responding to a growing demand for environmental leaders in an increasingly global context. With core funding from the Provost Office, TIE is the center of environmental research, teaching, and leadership at Tufts. Supporting research in three core areas: water, energy and climate, and health, TIE promotes interdisciplinary environmental education that encourages the consideration of multiple viewpoints and perspectives. Since its founding, TIE has helped students and faculty pursue their research goals and continues to assist by providing fellowships, travel grants, internships, workshops, and programs in order for the Tufts community to engage in contemporary environmental conversations. In addition to campus-based action, TIE has also partnered with several organizations both in the Boston area and worldwide which have provided further connections and opportunities for Tufts students and staff to engage in environmental projects and activism. By providing support and connection for the Tufts community, TIE looks forward to a more sustainable future. To learn more about current TIE programs and events, or for more information about how TIE can support your research, please visit the Tufts Institute of the Environment.

History of Water at Tufts

Interdisciplinary Perspectives

In 2004, the Tufts Institute of the Environment (TIE) responded to the growing need for interdisciplinary perspectives in the management of water around the world by forming the Water: Systems, Science, and Society certificate program. This program, one of the first of its kind to be offered in the United States, fosters interdisciplinary research and collaboration across disciplines in order to provide integrative solutions needed for successful water management. Students enrolled in the WSSS program in the past have represented nearly every school at Tufts University, including the School of Engineering, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the Friedman School of Nutrition and Science Policy, and many others, and have benefited from the opportunity to engage with individuals outside their discipline and specialty in order to more fully combat water issues and promote comprehensive and enduring solutions. For more information about the WSSS certificate program, please visit Water: Systems, Science and Society.

Growth and Expansion

Tufts further expanded its water-focused initiatives in 2010 with the Water Diplomacy Ph.D. program. With core funding from the Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) grant program, the Water Diplomacy program responds to the need for new approaches in the water sector, with emphases in the political and social spheres. Tufts’ Water Diplomacy program focuses on preparing the next generation of water professionals who will emphasize adaptive solutions to resolve water issues through negotiated solutions. Students enrolled in the Water Diplomacy Ph.D. program have the opportunity to design their own degree trajectory based on their specific interests, and benefit from the ability to cross disciplinary boundaries to create innovate ways to manage 21st century water problems. For more information about the Water Diplomacy Ph.D. program, please visit Water Diplomacy.

Sustainable Water Management

The Sustainable Water Management (SWM) degree is Tufts’ newest initiative and combines almost fifteen years of interdisciplinary research and experience to promote further advancement in the water sector. Supported by the excellence of the WSSS certificate and the Water Diplomacy program, the SWM degree builds off of the tenants and values of the two programs. With faculty contributions and assistance across Tufts, the SWM degree is able to build off existing water conversations and research across departments in order to provide an interdisciplinary and intensive degree program that could not be conducted in any one school or department at Tufts University. The SWM degree continues to expand the water conversations at Tufts with a new and exciting opportunity for students which enables them to pursue a variety of futures within the water discipline.