BCBusiness + Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

Among Thompson Rivers University’s140-plus on-campus programs and 60 Open Learning programs are two new options: the Master in Environmental Economics and Management (MEEM) and the Master of Science in Environmental Economics and Management (MScEEM).

TRU students like the balance between stewardship and business needs

Over the past 45 years, Thompson Rivers University (TRU) has earned a reputation for providing an excellent education to people of different backgrounds and perspectives, from traditional academics to trades. These diverse programs draw nearly 26,000 students to TRU’s Kamloops and Williams Lake campuses, and distance or online courses.

Among TRU’s 140-plus on-campus programs and 60 Open Learning programs are two new options: the Master in Environmental Economics and Management (MEEM) and the Master of Science in Environmental Economics and Management (MScEEM), which, according to one MEEM student, reflect TRU’s recognition of the growing importance of sustainable economic development in today’s business world.

Janelle Zimmer says: “As our communities and businesses evolve, so do the challenges we face. People are choosing to purchase from businesses—and attend universities such as TRU—that have sustainable practices. We need to adjust our educational programs to meet those needs.”

Dr. Laura Lamb, associate professor at TRU, says: “Young people see the need to balance environmental stewardship with business needs, and one theme that we use to market MEEM and MScEEM is ‘Planet or Profit?— Choose Both.’ That sums up the appeal of these programs, and why we’re getting such an enthusiastic response from students who want to enrol.”

These programs prepare graduates to make major contributions to the field of economic sustainable management. MEEM is a two-year, course-based program that provides graduates with a broad knowledge of the business environment, plus advanced management skills and specialized knowledge in environmental economics and sustainability.

MScEEM provides graduates with an understanding of the business environment, specialized knowledge in the emerging area of sustainability, as well as academic and applied research expertise through the completion of a graduate thesis or project.

Although both programs are new—Lamb says the first cohort began this fall and applications are being processed for students wanting to begin in the New Year—they are already earning positive feedback. Ed Blakeborough, who is enrolled in MScEEM and also a member of Leq'á:mel First Nation, says: “I chose this program because I view maintaining the environment in a healthy manner as a necessity for the well-being of future generations. This program will help me to be a part of the solution by giving me the abilities to fully take the environment and society into account while analyzing the costs and benefits of any prospective project.”

Blakeborough credits TRU for being “one of the first schools to have a program of this type.” He adds: “I think that economics and environment have been looked at separately for far too long. In reality I see them as being dependent on each other.”

Lamb concludes: “Gone are the days of businesses being purely about profit, and so too are the days of the type of environmentalism that rejected business activity. MEEM and MScEEM are very timely in a world that is moving towards a new way of thinking—and we’re very excited about giving our students the tools required to prevail in this world.”

Created by BCBusiness in partnership with Thompson Rivers University