Photo: Kristin Timm

RAP: A unique program

RAP students have tremendous cohesion, despite the diversity of research foci. RAP students spend their first year sharing office space in the same building and quickly become familiar with disciplinary jargon and biases (even though most of us think we are objective). This is an important step to communicating across disciplines.

RAP brings together students and faculty from many different departments, institutes, and programs. Many RAP participants have suggested that the constant opportunity for dialogue among RAP students with different academic and cultural backgrounds contributed as much to their graduate education as any course or research experience.
RAP encourages and fosters students to take a "systems" approach to research that explores the interactions of social, economic, and ecological components through a holistic lens. Hence, RAP students are given the academic freedom to solve complex real world problems using the best tool available, and without the limitations of commonly accepted tools within single disciplines.


Students and faculty of RAP come together through interdisciplinary inquiry to address issues of sustainability.

Courses are team taught by natural and social scientists who together develop transdisciplinary frameworks for understanding the dynamics of social-ecological systems. Students self organize reading groups.

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