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October 14th, 2003

Science and technology policy is focus of new CU-Boulder graduate program

Society's growing need for expertise when faced with decisions involving science and technology has led to the creation of a new graduate certificate program at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

The science and technology policy certificate program will begin in spring semester 2004 and is open to all CU-Boulder graduate students. The application deadline is Nov. 14 and admissions decisions will be made by Dec. 19.

"Society invests a great deal of resources into research and development and expects a return on that investment in the form of useful information for decision making," said Roger Pielke Jr., director of the CU-Boulder Center for Science and Technology Policy Research. "Through this certificate, we hope to provide training for scientists and engineers to become more skilled in relating their research to the needs of decision making in public, private and nongovernmental sectors."

Three proposed new courses are among the 18 hours of required coursework for the certificate: "Science and Technology Policy," "Science, Technology and Society" and "Methods of Policy Analysis and Research." Three more courses are selected from a list of approved electives.

CU-Boulder faculty members participating in the program are from a variety of departments, institutes and programs including geography, civil and mechanical engineering, environmental studies, law, health sciences, the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, interdisciplinary telecommunications, computer science and journalism.

The certificate is coordinated by the university's Center for Science and Technology Policy Research, which is located within the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences. Comprised of six full-time staff members, 10 graduate and undergraduate students and several affiliated faculty members, the center is working on issues such as drought, global climate change, flood damage, technology transfer and national security.

A parallel certificate is being offered at the Colorado School of Mines, and students will have an opportunity to take classes at both campuses.

For more information about the CU-Boulder program and application process see the Web site at or contact Pielke at