Virginia Tech is taking an interdisciplinary approach to meet the complex challenges of managing water by proposing a new bachelor of science degree that draws upon the resources of five of its colleges. The Virginia Tech Board of Visitors approved the new degree at its June 1-2 meeting; the proposal is now under consideration by the State Council for Higher Education in Virginia.

The degree program — called Water: Resources, Policy, and Management — addresses expected job growth in positions requiring a comprehensive understanding of water issues. “In order to sustainably manage the resource, understanding the human side of water is as important as understanding the science,” said Professor Stephen Schoenholtz, who will coordinate the program with an advisory committee representing faculty from 10 departments.

The interdisciplinary degree program will have its academic home in the college’s Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation. The colleges of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Architecture and Urban Studies, Engineering, and Science are equal partners, bringing a unique aspect to the degree. The university expects to initiate the program in spring 2015 pending final approval.

Look for an in-depth article on the new degree program in a future issue of CNRE News.