Two new higher-education initiatives in the Pacific Northwest promise expanded opportunities for those interested in communications and natural resources and environmental issues.

The University of Washington, Seattle, says it is planning to launch “the largest environmental college in the world” in the fall of 2009. Plans call for its new College of the Environment to have nearly 100 faculty and more than 1,100 students, with an annual budget of more than $60 million.

On Bainbridge Island, just off the Seattle coast, the Bainbridge Graduate Institute announced a 21-credit graduate certificate “designed to help you launch a writing career, or to refocus an existing career, on techniques of communicating with general audiences about socially responsible and environmentally sustainable practices.”

The 12-month certificate program is aimed at journalists and writers, public information officers, and business and government representatives dealing with the media and public.

Among specific courses being offered are classes for writing for general audiences, for news and feature writing, and for creative nonfiction writing.

The program director for the project is Deborah L. Illman, earlier an associate editor with the American Chemical Society’s Chemical & Engineering News and until recently with the University of Washington’s science & technology news and nonfiction writing program. Additional information about the Bainbridge courses is available online.

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