“The one-year MSEM program was very appealing, as I wanted to return to the work force as soon as possible. Many comparable programs are very regionally-focused. I found that SENS offered learning that could be applied broadly and would not limit my mobility. I found faculty at SENS whose interests aligned directly with my own. Plus, I liked the idea of living in the beautiful city of Saskatoon.” 

Liam Mulhall, MSEM '13, business analyst, Stantec Consulting, Winnipeg, MB

Program

The Master of Sustainable Environmental Management (MSEM) program is for the new and early-mid career professional that wants to sharpen his or her skills assessing environmental and sustainability issues and return to the workforce quickly. Students take the core courses listed here.

The main features of the program include:

•  Transdisciplinary approach to teaching and learning

•  Team teaching by leading scholars in many fields

•  Integrated classroom learning and applied experience

•  Professional, technical and employability skills development

•  Project with public, private or not-for-profit sectors

The program begins with an intensive field experience at Redberry Lake Biosphere Reserve (ENVS 806). This course provides hands-on training in a variety of practical skills and techniques in ecological and social science related to rural communities and agro-ecosystems. Read about the field school experience from our students' perspective

Students may enter the graduate programs from a variety of backgrounds, including the natural sciences, engineering, social sciences, business, law, education or arts and humanities. 

Project

MSEM students must complete a research project as part of their degree requirements to foster project management and critical thinking skills. The project provides an opportunity for students to investigate applied topics in environment and sustainability. They are interdisciplinary in scope and may include scientific, technical, social, economic, cultural, institutional or other appropriate attributes of environment and sustainability challenges.

The project engages students in real-world, hands-on, applications-based experience while working with partner organizations. These partners include non-profit and charitable organizations, different levels of government and crown corporations. If students already have a partner organization and wish to gain practical experience by partnering with them, this option may also be available. Students work with the partner organization for a 250-hour project placement from May through July.

Sample Reports

Below are the list of completed MSEM project titles and topics: 

2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017

Tuition and Scholarships

Tuition rates for the 2017-2018 MSEM program are listed here, under the heading "Programs with Special Tuition Rates"

In addition, students are required to pay these applicable student fees.  Students who do not complete the MSEM program in a 12-month period will continue to pay tuition at the regular rate until the degree is complete.

Additional Fees: ENVS 806 (Field Skills in Environment and Sustainability) has an additional fee of $400 CDN plus GST to cover the field component of the class. This fee is subject to change by year. Payable when tuition is due.

Applicants who receive admission to the MSEM program are required to submit a deposit of $500 CDN to hold their spot in the limited capacity program. Successful applicants will receive a notice of acceptance and must mail the completed notice with a $500 CDN money order made payable to the University of Saskatchewan. The notice of acceptance and the money order must be received by SENS by the deadline specified in the letter or this offer will automatically lapse. The $500 deposit will be applied as partial payment of tuition fees at the time of registration and is non-refundable if a student subsequently decides not to enter the MSEM program.

Scholarships

There are minimal scholarships available for professional program students. Applicants will be assessed for scholarship funding based on merit. 

Visit grad.usask.ca for more information. 

Applications

Alumni Profiles

Aman Sangha, MSEM '15, is currently an environmental coordinator with the City of Saskatoon. There, he facilitates and coordinates initiatives in the areas of waste and recycling management and education programs. His SENS project focused on aboriginal engagement on environmental issues. Aman holds a bachelor's degree in agricultural engineering from Punjab Agricultural University and an MBA in agribusiness from the Asian Institute of Technology. 

"I credit the MSEM program in providing an excellent base from which to build a meaningful career in the environmental management field. It provided me with the management skills I needed to succeed and a deeper understanding of sustainability as a whole."

Jesse Woodward, MSEM '12, Markets Director, West Kootenay EcoSociety, Nelson, BC

Paul Hawthorne, MSEM '13, is the founder of Premier Power Projects Inc., a company in Waterloo, Ontario that designs, installs and manages solar PV projects across the province for residential, commercial and farm-use ranging in size up to 500 kilowatts. He holds a BA (Honours) in Political Science from Wilfrid Laurier University. His degree focus at SENS was environmental policy and energy economics. 
Christine Markel, MSEM '10, works as a senior environmental assessment advisor for the Government of Saskatchewan in Regina. She provides operational and regulatory support for the environmental assessment program by conducting policy initiatives that align with the strategic direction of government. She also develops and manages initiatives pertaining to public participation, internal program evaluation and enhancement, and federal-provincial agreements. Christine found SENS to be a fun and dynamic community of like-minded individuals with diverse experiences to share.
Isabel Melgarejo, MSEM '12, is a business development entrepreneur in Mexico City. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering. Her SENS research focused on waste management. 
Sarah Turkeli, MSEM '11, is an ecologist with the Wascana Centre Authority in Regina, Saskatchewan. She works to balance protecting the park natural environment and encouraging people to visit and enjoy the marsh and protected habitat through outdoor environmental education programs. Her SENS degree focused on the benefits of schoolyard community gardens and the connection to food sovereignty. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Saint Francis Xavier University, with a double major in aquatic resources, and public policy and social research.
Darcy Paslawski, MSEM '12, is an environmental specialist in environmental impact assessment with Hemmera in Vancouver, BC where he supports major resource projects through the environmental assessment and permitting process. His MSEM project focus was environmental assessment and cumulative effects. He also holds a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Land Use and Environmental Studies from the U of S. 
Brittany Heath, MSEM '11, is a policy analyst with the British Columbia Ministry of Environment in Victoria, BC. Her MSEM project focused on water governance in the Saskatchewan River Basin. In her role as policy analyst she leads waste reduction policy initiatives, with a focus on organics and food waste prevention. She holds a BA in Anthropology and Cultural Studies.
Davida Bentham, MSEM '15, is a law student at the U of S. Her MSEM project focused on environmental sustainability education in Canadian Aboriginal education settings. She holds a BA in Northern Studies from the U of S.
Daniel Brent, MSEM '11, is an infrastructure planner with the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority where he reviews municipal environmental assessments from a natural resource, heritage, management and hazard perspective. Daniel's MSEM degree focused on environmental economics and urban issues. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce in economics and management science from Ryerson University. 

ENVS 806 Field School at Redberry Lake Biosphere Reserve

From left: Muzeyi Bagonluri, Alexandra Gresiuk, and Ashley Shaw in the field near Hafford.

Redberry Lake sits in central Saskatchewan near the town of Hafford. This salt-water lake nestled within rolling prairies is the nesting grounds for over 180 species of birds – many endangered or threatened – and is a popular summer tourist destination. For the past 15 years, Redberry Lake has been designated by UNESCO as a biosphere reserve where maintaining the health of the natural environment is practiced alongside a focus on meeting the needs of the local, mainly agriculture-based, community. 

In September, SENS students worked with local farmers to help them assess the sustainability of their farm operations as part of a five-day field course primarily for students in the school’s Master of Sustainable Environmental Management (MSEM) program.

“Exploring Redberry Lake Biosphere Reserve was a wonderful opportunity, and I learnt so much during the field course,” said Alexandra Gresiuk, MSEM student. “I’m from Saskatchewan, so I know how important agriculture is. I also care about the environment, but until this course I didn’t realise that sustainability and farming could coexist.”

Groups of three to four students were paired with a local cattle or crop farm and spent five days taking soil, water and vegetation samples, and interviewing farmers to evaluate the sustainability of their operations. Students considered environmental, economic and social dimensions of sustainability. In late October the teams met with the farmers to present their reports and talk about their findings at a community event held in Hafford.

Alex and classmates Ashley Shaw and Muzeyi Bagonluri were paired with Nick Partyka, a farmer with a 3,000 acre cropland operation about 20 kilometers west of Hafford. The Partyka family has been farming in the area since 1914. 

“Nick is doing a really good job. He includes wetland buffers and uses a targeted instead of blanket approach when it comes to fertilizers,” said Alexandra. “Our report focused on some of the potential consequences we could see coming up in the future like eutrophic wetlands, degraded soils and flooding.”

To help prevent this from becoming a reality, the students suggested the farm increase existing buffer areas around wetlands, to help the natural plant life filter the pesticides, fertilizers and herbicides used on crops. They also stressed the need for cover crops to limit soil erosion and add additional nutrients.

“We were looking at not only the impact the Partyka farm would have on its own lands, but also the impact on the larger biosphere reserve and ecosystem,” said Alex.

Nick was appreciative of the hard work done by the students and is looking forward to going through the recommendations in the report.

“There are a lot of good points in the report. We are doing quite a bit of it already and planning to do more, especially to control encroaching and noxious weeds, basically those invasive species,” he said. “Otherwise these weeds take over the land and need more particular herbicides.”

“I liked working with the students – they are a very diverse group and I found learning about their local farm practices informative, like Alex’s experience in BC and Muzeyi’s in Ghana,” added Nick.

For the students’ part, working with the farmers was a rewarding experience as well.

“Having a client was really nice. You typically don’t have that experience of doing real work for a client while in school. I really liked getting the feedback from Nick. It makes me a better scientist,” said Alex.

Muzeyi, an MSEM student from Ghana, enjoyed the field trip and his first time visiting rural Canada.

“I had a very good experience,” he said. “In Africa, we don’t have these same systems of crops. So during the assessment, I came to realise the importance of the Canadian and Prairie farming systems.”

SENS has been doing research at Redberry Lake Biosphere Reserve for five years now and has close ties to the community and the nearby town of Hafford.

“We wanted to give back to the community in some way and this opportunity to work directly with the farmers seemed a great fit. We hope they can use the results to inform their operations,” said Maureen Reed, SENS professor and course instructor. “Spending five days in the field means relying heavily on the community and we couldn’t have done this course without their support.

“We are really hopeful that this is the start of an ongoing relationship with farmers in the area.”

MSEM News

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