Program Summary

Credits Required


Tuition per Credit


Online Certificate in Leadership and Communication Skills for Ecosystem Managers

Making strategic decisions as an ecosystem manager requires a solid understanding of the key financial, planning, economic, and legal principles that frame a variety of natural resources and ecosystems issues. This role also requires the ability to communicate effectively with diverse groups and to lead people, both inside and outside of the organization, to accomplish ecosystem management goals.

The Graduate Certificate in Leadership and Communication Skills for Ecosystem Managers, offered online through Penn State World Campus, can provide a foundation in the planning processes and tools needed for developing and leading management plans for natural resource systems. The program includes courses to help develop leadership and communication skills and covers core ecosystem economic concepts and principles as well as environmental law and regulation, including federal, state, and international policies.

Course topics include:

  • project planning and management, including decision support systems commonly used in natural resource planning and management
  • communication, conflict resolution, negotiation, and leadership skills
  • the application of natural resource economics principles and cost-benefit analysis to common natural resource management problems
  • the legal and policy framework within which ecosystem management decisions are made

Who Should Apply to the Ecosystem Management Program at Penn State?

Whether you already have your master's degree and are looking to add additional training in this field or you are just starting your graduate education, this certificate is an excellent credential to help you develop your leadership and communication skills and deepen your understanding of environmental economics, policy and law.

In addition, all of the credits in this graduate certificate can be applied toward the Master of Professional Studies in Ecosystem Management, if you apply to and are granted admission into the degree program.

As a complement to the challenging, but rewarding, curriculum, the online courses provide you with the flexibility and convenience to study around your own schedule without sacrificing quality. You can skip the commute and prepare for more rewarding career opportunities without leaving the comfort of your home.