M.En. Professional Service Projects

2017 PSP team who evaluated Climate Action Plan Strategies for the City of Oxford (Left to right: Ryan Bourgart, Celeste Bronson, Sara Rudokas, Clare Quinlan, Page Jordan)

The Professional Service Project (PSP) is a requirement of the M.En. core curriculum (IES 610 and IES 610.G) and is designed for students to develop their skills and experience by working with real clients.

The PSP is a cornerstone of our program. Graduates of the M.En. program frequently tell us that both the PSP experience and the problem-solving methodology were important parts of their future success as professionals.

Students Solving Real-World Problems

Each year, M.En. student teams provide help to 3 clients that have requested assistance in solving environmental problems or to improve the sustainability of their organizations and practices. A client can be a community, organization, or individual in the tri-state area (Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky).

These teams of graduate students from diverse backgrounds work for academic credit under the supervision of environmental professionals and Miami University faculty.

Becoming a Client Organization

To qualify, projects must deal with real-world environmental or sustainability problems and be of such a scope that they can be completed within 6 months. If you are interested in cooperating with a student team on such a project, please email us at ies@MiamiOH.edu.

Professional Service Projects for 2018-2019

Transforming a Former Soccer Field into an Educational Space in the Miami University Natural Areas

Client: Miami University Natural Areas Committee
Team: Esther Atutey, Simbarashe Dupwa, Max Leveridge, Macenzie Reed, Lea Wilczynski 

Miami University's Natural Areas Committee is seeking to find an alternative, educational use for a 10-acre plot of land within the Natural Areas that had previously been used for soccer fields. They would like the new use to complement current features in the Natural Areas, to support the Natural Area's mission of research and education, and to expand educational offerings to allow anyone from hikers to school groups to explore and learn about the natural environment on their own.

Improving Biodiversity in a Short-Grass Prairie at the Edge of the Farm Conservation Area

Clients: Owners and Managers of Edge of the Farm Conservation Area, Hays Cummins and Donna McCollum
Team: Tristan Barley, Erin Dodd, Zachary Neumann, Hannah Sommer, Sarah Wayman

The Edge of the Farm Conservation Area (Oxford, Ohio) contains 5 wetlands, 11 acres of tall- and short-grass prairies and 21 wooded acres. The owners have worked diligently to transform the property to a more natural state by removing honeysuckle, building the wetlands and planting the prairies. The 4.66 acres of short-grass prairie examined were originally planted with a diverse mix of native flora seed and intended to attract gamefowl, however, attracting game fowl is no longer desired and the prairies appear to contain a less diverse mix of plants. The goal of this project is to create an action plan that outlines methods to increase biodiversity on the land currently covered by short-grass prairies.

Conducting a Greenhouse Gas Inventory for the City of Oxford, Ohio

Client: City of Oxford, Ohio Environmental Commission
Team: Kelsey Forren, Archer Hill, Joycelyn Swamidoss, Shashi Vaish

The City of Oxford, Ohio would like to explore possible actions to protect the long-term quality of life and economic well-being of its residents from the impacts of climate change. Since a partial greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory was conducted in 2009, the city has taken considerable measures — construction of bike lanes, replacement of light bulbs, and increased implementation of transportation alternatives — to adapt to and further protect residents and infrastructure from the impacts of climate change. However, there is not currently a full accounting of GHG emissions at the municipal level, critical in setting a foundation for future reduction efforts. This team will conduct a GHG inventory for the City of Oxford to determine baseline emissions measures from which to develop a city emissions reduction plan.