The TESS program consists of three 4-week online courses designed for working professionals and graduate students who want a solid grounding in approaches to bring scientific insights to real world challenges.  The courses may be taken by themselves, or in any combination.  If you would like to take all three, it makes sense to start with Fundamentals of Transdisciplinary Research, followed by Practicing Collaborative Research, and finally Communication Strategies. However, it is possible to take them in any order that you would like or that is convenient.

Here is some general information on what is required for each course to help you determine which course(s) might best meet your needs:

Fundamentals of Transdisciplinary Environmental Research focuses on concepts related to transdisciplinary research, including science policy, knowledge approaches, and methods of engagement between science and society.  In each of the first 3 weeks, assignments include watching video lectures, reading several book chapters or journal articles, and discussing the ideas on the readings via an online discussion tool.  In the last week, you will develop a case study to apply the concepts and ideas presented in the course to a real world problem.

Practicing Collaborative Research is more practically oriented.  There is less reading, but more time is spent in applying the methods and approaches of collaborative research to an environmental problem selected by the student as a case study.  Each week, a different element of a collaborative research plan will be addressed using a research plan guide. The final product will be a research plan based on your case study, and a planning template that you may find useful in future work. You will also listen to lectures and take part in online discussions this week.

Communication Strategies For Collaborative Research is different from a science communication course in that it focuses on elements and practices of communication that foster successful collaborative research. The course content includes several readings a week from a variety of sources, along with a set of reflection and discussion exercises. The second two weeks are more practically oriented, with information on strategies and practices for collaborating in different ways and settings, and a chance to explore and try a variety of tools for collaboration and development of collaborative research outputs.

For more information in the individual courses, use the links below: