The Leadership for Public Lands and Cultural Heritage Certificate comprises six graduate-level courses and is accepting applications for the 2012-13 academic year. The deadline to apply is April 1.
"Public lands face challenges that are unique, in that they require a holistic view of how to address key management problems," UC Merced management Professor Erik Rolland said. "Such challenges cannot be addressed in isolation. They require a unique and broad cross-functional view of the world in which we live.
“The key is to get the students — typically managers of national parks — to think outside the box by exposing them to a wide range of ideas."
The program is looking to attract National Park Service employees at Yosemite National Park and other nearby parks along with other interested students. The program is particularly useful to those who are currently employed, and particularly in the areas of parks and cultural heritage.
The managers of the world's public lands must grapple with diverse and changing challenges, including climate change and invasive species that can undermine the ecosystem, Rolland said. The interdisciplinary program has faculty with backgrounds in public policy, management science, ecology and natural resources management. They hail from UC Merced, Colorado State University, Indiana University, George Washington University, Clemson University and the University of Vermont.