Assessing the Needs of Coastal Zone Management Education for the 1990s

by B. R. Crawford, Univ of Rhode Island, Narragansett, United States,
Niels West, Univ of Rhode Island, Narragansett, United States,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Coastal Zone '91

Abstract: Since the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA, 72) was enacted in 1972, nearly two decades ago, a profession of coastal zone managers has emerged. To meet the growing demand created for coastal zone managers more than half a dozen Universities have created graduate degree programs in coastal zone management and several more are in various stages of being implemented. Such programs are growing not only domestically but internationally as well. Some of these are centered on the natural sciences while others are largely based on the social sciences. The course offerings within these two clusters also vary considerably. This is often influenced by the available faculty resources, orientation of the university as well as the unit within the university within which the program was developed. Given the growth and the wide ranges of the present programs a needs assessment was done to determine how well existing educational programs are meeting the needs of the state coastal programs. A survey was conducted to determine the priorities of today's coastal issues as perceived by coastal managers currently employed in coastal programs on the national, state and local levels. In addition, information addressing the educational backgrounds of current coastal zone managers was compiled together with an analysis of their job descriptions. The intent is to ascertain how well existing programs are servicing the needs of the coastal programs on all three governmental levels. A corollary objective is to help existing and new educational programs better focus on the needs by both the private and public sectors. The overall supply of CAM graduates is quantified and compared to an estimate of current coastal management jobs and projected future demand. Recommendations for program and curriculum development are also suggested.

Subject Headings: Coastal management | Managers | Ocean currents | Coastal environment | Project management | Social factors | Faculty

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