College of Arts and Letters2021-2022
Department of English
Environmental Narrative, Graduate Certificate
This eighteen-credit certificate program trains students to write literary fiction and nonfiction that incorporates scientific inquiry and place-based narratives in order to publish work that speaks to a wide audience interested in ecology, sustainability, and climate change and solutions. Students may work in a wide range of genres, including realism, speculative fiction, nature writing, longform nonfiction, and lyric, braided, and poetic forms.
The curriculum draws from diverse disciplines, traditions, and writing styles.
The certificate incorporates writing workshops, literary study, and field work, and culminates in a capstone writing project.
What Can I Do with a Certificate in Environmental Narrative?
Students incorporate contemporary environmental research into creative and literary narratives that tell stories on a human scale. They may initiate correspondence with leading researchers and gain confidence with interviewing, shadowing, and volunteering in ecological research projects. Students learn to tailor and professionally pitch their writing for multiple audiences and diverse publications.
Career opportunities that might be pursued:
- Students will be prepared to publish books, stories, essays, articles, and narrative poems in national and literary venues
- Work as program coordinators, fellowship directors, institute administrators, and conference organizers.
- Apply for fellowships in the environmental humanities, editorial positions at established publications, and writer-in-residence positions
With further education, one of these paths is possible:
- Apply for positions on the tenure-track academic job market in creative writing and the environmental humanities
- Transfer skills to K-12 education
- With further interdisciplinary education—in political science or public administration, for example—they will be equipped to direct nonprofit organizations, community programs, grant agencies, and businesses with sustainable missions.
Graduate certificate programs require a minimum of 12 credit hours. Many certificate programs require more than 12 credit hours.
No more than one 400-level NAU course (3 or 4 units) may be used on a certificate program.
No more than 25% of the units required for the certificate program may be transferred from another university.
A 400-level course (undergraduate course) completed at another university is not eligible for transfer credit.
A minimum grade point average of 3.0 must be achieved to obtain a graduate certificate. No more than three units of coursework with a grade of "C" may be used in a certificate program.
A graduate student may pursue a graduate certificate concurrently with a graduate degree. Each graduate degree program must decide which, if any, certificate courses can be counted toward the graduate degree.
Students who are admitted to a graduate certificate program will be eligible for the official posting of the graduate certificate to their transcripts when all applicable coursework has been successfully completed and approved by the academic unit and the Graduate College.
- Please be aware that federal financial aid is not available for some certificates, if the certificate is pursued and completed as a stand-alone certificate (i.e., not completed concurrently with a degree program). See the “Details” tab for additional information.
In addition to University Requirements:
- Complete individual plan requirements.
|Minimum Units for Completion||18|
|Research||Individualized research is required.
|Some online/blended coursework||Required|
(Scope) This certificate aims to broaden understanding of climate-change and environmental issues through narrative writing. The Environmental Narrative Certificate is an interdisciplinary degree program that combines science and literature courses with a breadth of specialized classes from across the university.
(Content, Skills, Learning Experiences) The Environmental Narrative Certificate program provides cross-disciplinary training to prepare students to write narratives about environmental science. Students gain this knowledge through their individual fieldwork research and coursework in literature, climate science writing, environmental communication, political science and environmental science. The Environmental Narrative Certificate rigorous training in narrative and environmental science prepares graduates for successful careers in environmental writing as creators of texts that rely on literary techniques, such as novels, memoirs, long form journalism, and science writing. Our graduates can successfully communicate across multiple disciplines to develop scientifically and politically sound narratives to enlighten audiences to the wide range of environmental issues that currently challenge our society. The Environmental Narrative Certificate trains students how to develop character, plot, scene, and other literary techniques to captivate the imagination of readers and propel the understanding and urgency of climate science to a broad audience. The research skills gained by Environmental Narrative students help them continue to expand their knowledge long after they graduate from the program. This training and experience helps our graduates assume leadership roles in Environmental Writing, Sustainability Writing, and Climate Science-writing positions.
This program is designed for students with strong preparation in English, Communication, Sustainability Studies, Political Science, and Environmental Science. Moreover, we aim to reach out to diverse students, and we want to become a flagship certificate for recruiting and graduating Native American students from the broader southwest region.
Student Learning Outcomes
This eighteen-credit certificate program trains students to write literary fiction and nonfiction that incorporates scientific inquiry and place-based narratives in order to publish work that speaks to a wide audience interested in ecology, sustainability, and climate change and solutions. Students may work in a wide range of genres, including realism, speculative fiction, nature writing, long form nonfiction, and lyric, braided, and poetic forms. As the market, audience, and necessity for ecological writing grow, these students will be prepared to apply their experience and their narrative skills.
This certificate will prepare students to:
- Read and respond thoughtfully and thoroughly to work by their colleagues in order to hone the critical, intellectual, and analytical skills that are crucial to success in a broad range of literary, artistic, cultural and professional fields.
- Refine skills in drafting, revising and editing in a primary literary genre with the goal of producing a polished creative manuscript of marketable quality.
- Learn the theoretical foundations and research methods in advanced literary studies, and gain expertise in specific genres, periods, and topics in the field, namely environmental-literary criticism and traditions beyond settler/Euro-American notions of place, wilderness, and ecology.
- Write about the environmental forces that shape their work with better-informed scientific research and rationale.
- Develop a professional presentation of an excerpt to the community in a public reading.
Take the following 18 units:
Foundation Writing Courses (3 units):
Literature Courses (6 units):
Advanced Writing Courses (3 units):
Select one from:
Science-Centered Coursework (3 units):
Select three units on Global Climate Change, Science Communication, Environmental Studies, or other coursework to be selected in consultation with an advisor.
Select one from:
- COM 540, COM 541, COM 542 (3 units)
- ENV 595 (3 units)
- Another science-related graduate course at NAU with certificate advisor approval.
Field Work Capstone (3 units):
The Capstone could include amateur field work, internships, community engagement projects, or collaborative research, culminating in a 30-page writing component integrating that individualized experience into the creative narrative
This certificate may be pursued and completed concurrently with a degree program or as a stand-alone certificate. Federal financial aid cannot be used if the certificate is completed as a stand-alone certificate.
Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.
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