Simon Fraser University

Graduate Program

Our graduate school offers internationally recognized Master's and Ph.D. degrees in Resource and Environmental Management.
At the Master's level, students can develop their expertise in energy and materials sustainability through graduate courses and a research project, but because of the interdisciplinary nature of our program, students also obtain a broader training in many related fields such as environmental economics, policy design, risk assessment and decision analysis, environmental law, negotiation techniques, simulation modelling, and cost-benefit analysis.
EMRG students take some of the REM courses taught by Dr. Jaccard, supplementing this with required and optional REM courses of particular interest to them. Courses taught by Dr. Jaccard include:
  • Ecological Economics (REM 621) - students with an environmental economics background usually receive a waiver for this course and then audit it. Economic concepts for the environment and specific natural resources. Key issues are definitions of sustainability, the substitution capability between human-made and natural capital, and the appropriate application of economics to sustainable development analysis and policies. 
  • Energy and Materials Management and Policy (REM 650) - taken by all EMRG students. Management strategies and policies to achieve sustainable flows of energy and materials in the economy. Eco-efficiency strategies reduce these flows while resource substitution strategies seek more environmentally benign flows. Applies expertise from economics, ecology, thermodynamics, engineering, geology and behavioural sciences.
  • Energy and Materials Sustainability Modelling (REM 658) - taken by all EMRG students. Theory background and practical experience in the use of a range of techniques for policy modelling of energy and materials flows in society with the aim of demonstrating how more environmentally and socially sustainable trajectories can be achieved. Techniques include: simulation modelling, optimization modelling, econometric and other forms of parameter estimation, input-output modelling, game playing models, and integrated systems models.
  • Environmental Policy Analysis (REM 644) - optional for EMRG students. Theoretical and applied study of how sustainability motivated policies can be advanced given the real world constraints facing policy development and implementation.
At the Ph.D. level, students are more focused on their dissertation topic and have only four required courses. However, here too the interdisciplinary nature of REM provides the opportunity for training in many related fields. Prior to the dissertation, the comprehensive exam process is comprised of 'field statements' that students write over a period of several months on aspects of (1) environmental sciences, (2) environmental policy, and (3) ecological economics. Topics for these field statements are designed to be related or relevant to the student's dissertation topic.
Graduate students in EMRG have come from a wide variety of social and natural science backgrounds, notably economics, biology, engineering, business, environmental science, geography and political science. While our sustainable policy modelling and analysis requires some specific understanding of economics, engineering systems and modelling, we have consistently found that students in the REM program are quickly able to acquire and apply this knowledge through their course training and applied research projects. Therefore, we do not restrict in any way acceptance into the program on the basis of background training.