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Online Master of Infrastructure Planning & Management

Course Descriptions

IPM 500: Strategic Planning & Policy Analysis

Instructor: Mary Roderick and Leah Tivoli

Credits: 3

This course addresses three fundamental and related aspects of planning and policy making: how to identify problems in the public realm, analyze a range of policy options to address them and organize and orient people’s efforts to implement the desired policies. The first portion of the course will focus on policy analysis; the second will focus on strategic planning for organizations, and will include practice with various elements of strategic planning applied to a real organization.

IPM 501: Comprehensive Emergency Management

Instructor: Curry Mayer

Credits: 3

The purpose of this course is to teach the principles and practices of risk reduction that modern emergency managers use. Students will learn about existing organizational arrangements and plans of government, military, nonprofit and private organizations to deal with major disasters. You’ll learn how to apply risk-reduction measures to manipulate vulnerable elements and improve organizational capabilities. You’ll also use a tabletop exercise, a common method in emergency management organizations, to practice applying concepts and principles to a target neighborhood.

IPM 502: Introduction to Infrastructure Systems

Instructor: Marty Curry

Credits: 3

This course lays the groundwork for students entering the MIPM program, providing an overview of the program and its goals and introducing the program’s basic components. It covers core concepts, methods and applications, then focuses on each of the key infrastructure systems — energy, communications/cybersecurity, water, food, transportation and public health.  Through readings, written and taped lectures and interviews with various faculty and professionals, you’ll learn about key topics such as the systems approach, climate change and contemporary issues facing infrastructure systems planning.

An important aspect of this initial course is to help students get to know one another through icebreakers, discussion forums, small group exercises and one or two Adobe Connect sessions.

IPM 503: Infrastructure Finance

Instructors: Feiyang Sun

Credits: 3

This course is focused on infrastructure planning and finance and on the relationship between infrastructure planning and budgeting. Study the conceptual economic framework of infrastructure finance, capital programming, the government setting, budgeting approaches and taxes. This course also covers assessment and prioritization of infrastructure investments in changing economic climates, development of capital improvement programs, collective decision making, and alternative project delivery forms such as public-private partnerships and design-build contracts.

IPM 504: Applied Geospatial Analysis

Instructor: Kelly Stone

Credits: 3

Over the last two decades, geographic information systems (GIS) have emerged as powerful tools to perform complex spatial data analysis. These systems are widely used in hazard and emergency management and for climate change applications. In this course, students gain theoretical and practical skills needed to use GIS for analyzing spatial phenomena on the urban and regional scale. Learn to define and answer advanced spatial questions and resolve complex spatial analytical problems, knowledge that is needed to make well-informed decisions as a strategic planner.

IPM 505: Climate Change & Infrastructure

Instructors: Mary Roderick

Credits: 3

This course focuses on the impacts of climate change on critical infrastructure systems. Start with an exploration of climate change that provides a basic understanding of its scientific causes. Study the effects of climate change on each of the six major infrastructure systems highlighted in the program curriculum: energy, water, food, transportation, public health and communications. Explore what leading countries, cities, utilities and nongovernmental organizations are doing to address climate change issues.

IPM 506: Energy Systems

Instructors: Tim Larson

Credits: 3

This course explores the supply and delivery of carbon-based fuels, including petroleum, natural gas and coal balanced with content that explores the benefits of renewable energy sources. Examine energy resources, the generation and delivery of energy to meet demand, and emerging federal and global policies on climate change and their potential impacts on energy demands and supply. The course also reviews the history of energy regulation, exploring its influence on utility business practices. Students will gain a better understanding of the complex societal challenges that produces safe and reliable energy infrastructure and the need to adapt to changing energy markets.

IPM 508: Risk Assessment & Business Continuity

Instructor: Scott Preston

Credits: 3

Organizations are discrete business and government units, links in chains that make up larger infrastructures and partnerships. This course provides an introduction into the ways organizations ensure they will survive disasters. Learn the concepts and tools used to survive, and apply them to a range of government and private systems, including energy, water, food, transportation, public health and communications. The course will take full advantage of recent developments in the dynamic field of crisis management, including lessons learned through the 9/11 hearings and the 2010 British Petroleum oil spill.

IPM 509: Communications & Cyber Infrastructure Systems

Instructor: Chuck Benson

Credits: 3

The networking of control systems for critical infrastructures – such as the power grid, gas and electric pipelines, and water systems – has had unintended consequences. The enormous potential for disruption of these networks poses a major threat to our society. This course covers the complexities and subtleties of telecommunication and computer infrastructures and their interrelationship with other critical infrastructures. It also examines these systems' vulnerabilities to environmental damage, hackers and terrorists. Explore ways to maintain confidentiality, integrity and availability of data both before and after disasters strike.

IPM 510: Water Systems

Instructors: Mary Roderick

Credits: 3

This course emphasizes water as a systems element and how the supply of water is dynamic. Explore how water, especially fresh water, is a chemically unique and limited resource. Students learn about these special properties, how distribution of water is changing as our climate changes and what the consequences are of these changes. Gain insight into intergovernmental policy, programs and relationships and their effect on water and water supply, as well as how to apply risk management and risk reduction techniques to water problems.

IPM 511: Food Systems

Instructor: Shannon Tyman and Branden Born

Credits: 3

Food systems are one of the least examined infrastructures. Planners must better understand the systems that provide food to localities, states, the nation and the world, especially with regard to disaster response and food system resilience. This course will address the food system – including land use, production, marketing and distribution; access and equity issues; and waste disposal – and will explore links to urban and regional planning. Focus on understanding the complexity of the food system and its inherent relationships and tradeoffs, including the roles of the private and public sectors.

IPM 512: Public Health Systems

Instructor: Nicola Marsden-Haug

Credits: 3

This course focuses on the intersection of private and public health systems that are most relevant for coping with critical events. The course looks at the history of public health, the underlying science of epidemiology as a driver of public health decision making, and examines the distinct cultures of private health care, public health and emergency services with emphasis on the interrelation and existing communication channels between the sectors and how they coordinate in times of emergency. Government funding and issues of balancing ongoing public health needs against emergency preparedness is covered as well as how the public health system might adapt for future climate induced scenarios.

IPM 513 and 515: Capstone Project

Instructor: Marty Curry and Keith Harris

Credits: 6

Capstone A: Research Design
Capstone B: Implementation

Over the course of two quarters, students will combine their learning from all courses to produce a major project related to critical infrastructures. This project can be focused on research or presented in the manner of a case study. Students are encouraged to select a problem from real life and analyze it using the background they develop in the program's core courses, along with the skills taught in the methods courses and knowledge from the systems courses. Students will work closely with the instructor and projects will be individual, but they will exchange critiques with other students during project development.

IPM 514: Transportation Systems

Instructor: Robin Mayhew

Credits: 3

This course explores transportation systems as infrastructures vulnerable to adverse impacts of human-caused and natural events. Examine essential systems that move both people and freight on land, water and in the air. The course covers current and emerging federal policy, along with the complicated relationship between the public and private transportation sectors. Case studies will explore what makes for a resilient transportation system that has fewer negative impacts and lower probability of system failure from natural disasters, accidents, climate change and other stresses.

IPM 516: Community Resilience

Instructor:  Bob Freitag

Credits: 3

This course introduces students to resilience thinking and provides opportunities to apply a resilience lens to stressed communities from varying perspectives. This lens helps foster long-term environmental sustainability and anticipates extreme episodic and chronic events. You’ll learn to apply resilience concepts to real-world communities and infrastructures threatened by a variety of hazards, and in the process you’ll gain practice in developing and supporting policies, programs and projects that enhance overall resilience. This course employs a case study approach, including the examination of residential communities and the infrastructures of transportation, energy and water.

URBDP 526: Planning for Floodplain Management Communities

Instructor: Bob Freitag

Credits: 3

This course focuses on ways to live with and cope with flooding. Students will examine coastal and riverine floodplain services, values and assets within the context of ecosystem services; determine risks and opportunities associated with flooding and floodplains; advance identified strategies and explore benefits and adverse impacts resulting from these strategies; and gain a better appreciation for coastal and riverine floodplains.

URBDP 549: Hazards Mitigation

Instructor: Bob Freitag

Credits: 3

This course surveys the field of planning for managing risks of natural hazards — earthquakes, floods, coastal/meteorological hazards and human-caused technological hazards and terrorism. It covers pre-event mitigation through building and land-use controls; disaster preparedness; post-event response, recovery and mitigation of future hazards. The curriculum emphasizes hazard mitigation as a long-term strategy for achieving community resilience.