Academic Programs Supported by MARI

Summer 2022:
IDS 369/CL 668 Internship

Spring 2022:
250N Natural Hazards
467/567 Sustainability Leadership

Fall 2021:
250N Natural Hazards
466W/566 Adaptation
658 Modeling

Summer 2021:
IDS 369/CL 668 Internship

Spring 2021:
250N Natural Hazards
467/567 Sustainability Leadership

Fall 2020:
250N Natural Hazards
466W/566 Adaptation
658 Modeling

Summer 2020:
IDS 369/CL 668 Internship

Spring 2020:
467/567 Leadership
IDS 369/PRTS697 Internship

Fall 2019:
658 Modeling
466W/566 Adaptation
250N Natural Hazards and Disasters
369 Internship

Summer 2019:
369 Internship
467/567 Sustainability Ledership

Spring 2019:
466W/566 Adaptation

2018 and earlier
250N Natural Hazards and Disasters
369 Internship
467 Leadership
Teaching Archive

Project and Programs:
ILC Project
CURE Project
Sustainability and Conservation Leadership Program
Sustainability and Conservation Leadership Minor
Grad. Certificate in Conservation Leadership
MARI Case Study Template


MARI strongly supports the Sustainability and Conservation Leadership Program at ODU. This program was developed under the leadership of MARI and in collaboration with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). The FWS and a number of other governmental and non-governmental organizations work with MARI in the program and interact with the students as societal stakeholders and as hosts for internships.

Note that the course IDS 466W and IDS 467 count toward your major for participating in supervised or mentored research projects in conjunction with a faculty member. See the Undergraduate Research Program Courses page for more details.

Courses and seminars in 2020 include:

Courses and seminars in 2019 include:

Courses and seminars in 2018 include:

Courses and seminars in 2017 include:

  • OEAS 250N: Natural Hazards and Disasters; Hans-Peter Plag
  • IDS 368: Internship in Interdisciplinary Studies; Eddie Hill, Hans-Peter Plag.
  • OEAS 495/BIOL 496: Sustainability Leadership; Hans-Peter Plag, Tatyana Lobova, and Michelle Heart.
  • IDS/BIOL/OEAS 466W; BIOL/OEAS 566: Introduction to Mitigation and Adaptation Studies; Hans-Peter Plag, Tatyana Lobova

Documentation for selected previous courses and events is available through the Teaching Archive.

I hear and I forget
I see and I remember
I do and I understand



[2020/7/02] Impact Learning Community (ILC) "Leaders for a Sustainable Future" Renewed: The Fall 2020 466W course and the Spring 2021 467 course constitute again the ILC “Leaders for a Sustainable Future.”

[2020/1/13] Impact Learning Community "Leaders for a Sustainable Future": The Service Learning Class 467 "Sustainable Leadership" is part of the Impact Learning Community that started in Fall with the Writing class 466W "Mitigation and Adaptation Studies". In this class, the students carry out case studies for The Nature Conservancy on the future of the Brownsville Preserve and the Virgina Coast Reserve. The results of the research carried out by the students will be used by The Nature Conservancy in the development of a 10-year strategic plan.

[2019/7/2] Learning through Experience: A draft video is documenting "Learning through Experience" based on the service learning time of the OEAS/BIOL/IDS 467 and OEAS/BIOL 567 "Sustainability Leadership" class in Puerto Rico. Watch the video ...

[2019/5/1] CURE Project "Research in Case Studies of Real-World Problems in Conservation Leadership": This CURE project will implement a web-based tool for the MARI Case Study Template guiding students in their research of real-world wicked problems through all steps. The resulting web-based tool will be used for the first time in the Summer 2019 class BIOL/IDS/OEAS 467 "Sustainable Leadership" for a case study of water management in Puerto Rico and the impacts of this on freshwater ecosystems. Read more ...

[2019/3/10] Impact Learning Community "Leaders for a Sustainable Future": The Fall 2019 466W class and the Spring 2020 467 class have been selected as an Impact Learning Community (ILC) under the title "Leaders for a Sustainable Future". More information on the overall ILC program is available on the ILC Communities page. Read more ...

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service visited ODU to inform students about job and internship opportunities. More than 100 students attended the meeting documenting the broad interest in job opportunity and conservation-related education.


[2019/2/21] New course on Modeling, Simulation and Visualization: The graduate course on Participatory and Agent-Based Modeling, Simulation and Visualization will be taught the first time in the Fall term of 2019. It will be regularly taught in the Fall terms. Many societal challenges are "wicked problems," i.e., social or cultural problems that are difficult or impossible to solve. The class will introduce the students to the theory of wicked problems, engage them in transdisciplinary approaches to address such problems using collaborative strategies such as participatory modeling combined with conceptual and agent-based models. Scenario-based simulations and visualizations will be used to explore possible futures and to create foresight related to wicked problems.

New course on Sustainability Leadership: The course on Sustainability Leadership was taught the first time in the first of the 2017 Summer sessions. It was taught in the first part of the Summer session. From 2020 onward, it will be regularly taught in the Spring term. Creating a more sustainable society presents a serious challenge and at the same time an enormous opportunity. In this class, students discovered what makes a leader for sustainability. They considered a range of global and local crises from a leadership point of view in the context of sustainability science, which addresses the development of communities in a rapidly changing social, economic, and environmental system-of-systems environment. The course took a problem-motivated and solution-focused approach to the challenges considered. The course included service-learning projects, in which students worked in small groups on developing solutions for real-world problems from a leadership point of view. The projects included a mandatory one-week work period in Florida.

Interdisciplinary Course on Mitigation and Adaptation Studies. The course was taught in Fall 2016 and Spring 2017, and it will be taught in each Spring term. The course gives an introduction to the science underpinning mitigation of human-induced changes in the Earth system, including but not limited to climate change and sea level rise, and adaptation to the impacts of these changes. The course covers the environmental hazards and the opportunities and limitations for conservation, mitigation and adaptation. The course is a core course for the interdisciplinary minor in Conservation Leadership.

Interdisciplinary minor in Conservation Leadership: This interdisciplinary Minor focuses on conservation solutions in the context of our quickly changing planet. A goal of this new program is to develop the next generation of conservation leaders with the ability to critically review underlying paradigms and to initiate paradigm shifts where they are needed in conservation roles, such as in local, state and federal agency and non-profit sectors, to more suitably address the challenges of sea level rise and climate change. The core of this 15 credit minor is built around two courses on Adaptation Studies and Adaptive Leadership, in addition to a service-learning course. One additional course is an elective, which can be selected across disciplines to suit a wide-range of conservation interests. An internship is the capstone of this minor. For more information, see here.

In the 2016 Summer term (June 27 — August 6, 2016), the graduate course “Decisions, Biases, and the Creation of Knowledge” will study how personal, community and cultural biases impact the creation of knowlegde and the use of it in decision making. The course is open for guests who whould like to participate in the deliberations. For more information, see the course page.