The Interfaces of Global Change (IGC) program is an innovative interdisciplinary graduate education program designed to address the multidimensional aspects of global change.  Funded by the Virginia Tech Graduate School, this program is one of several Interdisciplinary Graduate Education Programs (IGEPs). These programs address a variety of complex societal issues requiring interdisciplinary teams of scholars. Participants (PhD Fellows) typically enter the program at the beginning of their graduate studies and continue to participate throughout their time at Virginia Tech.

The Interfaces of Global Change program is closely aligned with the Global Change Center, which focuses on the interactions of habitat loss/degradation, invasive species, pollution, disease, and climate change. IGC students may focus on interdisciplinary aspects of these or other topics related to global change.

Goals of the Program

The goals of the Interfaces of Global Change program are to provide each PhD Fellow with a broad perspective on:

  • The social, economic, and environmental causes and consequences of global change.
  • The roles that science and scientists play informing public understanding, engaging with other stakeholders, designing sound environmental policy, and assisting market reform.
  • The purpose and practice of collaborative, team-based, interdisciplinary research.
  • Effective communication of science to diverse audiences.

The Interfaces of Global Change program does not grant degrees. Students still receive their PhD degree from their home department. The IGC provides students with a unique intellectual focus and additional training beyond the disciplinary expertise they develop in their home department. Our goal is for each student to gain depth in their specific scientific area of expertise while simultaneously gaining breadth in the multifaceted realm of global change and the science-policy interface.


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Photo credit: Wire-tailed Manakin by Joao Quental via Wikimedia Commons