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The Graduate Certificate in Global Energy, Development, and Sustainability (GEDS)


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What is the GEDS Certificate?

A multidisciplinary certification that will:

  • Provide the analytical tools and frameworks necessary for assessing and addressing the long-term social, economic, and environmental impacts of energy projects.
  • Introduce “best-practices” for creating energy projects that benefit all stakeholders (communities, companies, governments) in developing nations.
  • Help students in understanding the origins of “the natural resource curse.”

The Global Energy, Development, and Sustainability (GEDS) graduate certificate offers students a unique, multi-disciplinary curriculum focused on the petroleum industry and society. Our classes are designed and taught by UH faculty and energy experts from Houston and beyond in an environment of academic rigor and diverse real life international industry and civil society experience. The GEDS certificate is the only one of its kind, teaching critical and timely theory, practice, and skill sets in global oil and gas history, economics, environmental impacts and policy, legal frameworks, community engagement, social justice, corporate social responsibility, human resource management, and risk analysis.

This certificate is important because in many regions and nations, the advent of oil or natural gas production has not brought positive benefits to the society at large. Despite large amounts of foreign investment and a massive influx of oil revenues, economies tend to fluctuate and stagnate, governments may fail, corruption often increases, standards of living do not increase for the majority of the population, and violence can erupt. The technical expertise of companies and governments is focused on safe and efficient extraction of resources; however converting energy projects into sustainable socio-economic opportunities and development for communities, regions, and countries requires individuals and organizations with different skills – an understanding of the contexts and the tools and practices that help mitigate the “resource curse.”

The GEDS Certificate can benefit those working or intending to work in the energy sector such as industry professionals, government officials and regulators, members of civil society and think tanks, policy makers, consultants, advisors, and graduate students from related fields. Those in existing oil and gas producing countries as well as those in countries considering first-time development can use our approach to navigate and chart collaborative, innovative courses for positive change.