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Environmental Security And Its Engineering Component

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1999 Annual Conference


Charlotte, North Carolina

Publication Date

June 20, 1999

Start Date

June 20, 1999

End Date

June 23, 1999



Page Count


Page Numbers

4.244.1 - 4.244.8

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Paper Authors

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Sean J. Cannon

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John H. Grubbs

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 3151

Environmental Security and Its Engineering Component John H. Grubbs Tulane University and Sean J. Cannon United States Military Academy


This paper provides background related to a study of the concept of Environmental Security (ES) and makes recommendations for a possible curriculum which includes an environmental thread. The original study focused on curriculum development at the United States Military Academy. However, since environmental security encompasses both broad definitions and broad avenues for national decision making, it is the view of the authors that the model should be given to a wider audience. While a notional curriculum for the Military Academy is provided, modifications according to the mission and intentions of academic institutions would render the model useful in a non-military environment. A final point to be emphasized is that there is a need for an engineering component to such a curriculum as well as an engineering proponency.

I. Introduction

The domain of ‘environmental security’ is complicated, loosely defined, and often misunderstood. Yet, the topic has implications critical to our national security and to international stability. Competing nations and organizations, population growth, varied cultural backgrounds (and, thus, perspectives) and the technological gap between developed and underdeveloped nations have all exacerbated the instability of world politics. As environmental stability degrades, the risk of international conflict increases. Certainly, from a military viewpoint, there is great need to understand environmental security (ES). The authors believe that it is important that all sectors involved with international events must understand that environmental security is an ‘interdisciplinary’ requirement.

II. The Military Model: West Point

A 1998 study was undertaken to investigate whether a curriculum could be developed at the different service academies capable of producing graduates who could ‘operate’ comfortably in the ES arena. The pilot study focused on the United States Military Academy at West Point. Two critical concepts needed to be melded together in order to have a starting point for curriculum development. They were:

Cannon, S. J., & Grubbs, J. H. (1999, June), Environmental Security And Its Engineering Component Paper presented at 1999 Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina.

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