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Learning Objectives

  • Represent the field of biomimicry in the world through demonstrated thought leadership
  • Build a network of collaborators in biomimicry from various disciplines
  • Integrate biomimicry thinking into any opportunity resulting in biomimetic outcomes
  • Summarize the fundamentals of the fields of biology, design, engineering and business and their relevance to biomimicry
  • Integrate Life’s Principles into a wide array of applications
  • Facilitate the integration of biology into design using biomimicry thinking
  • Guide design and engineering processes towards sustainability
  • Apply systems thinking to challenges and opportunities
  • Communicate and work across disciplines to facilitate the practice of biomimicry
  • Interpret observations in nature with a functional lens
  • Create and perform outstanding biomimicry presentations
  • Create and execute meaningful learning experiences on biomimicry

The MS program expands on the coursework for the Graduate Certificate in Biomimicry. Of the 15 credits associated with the Certificate program, 13 are eligible for credit towards the MS.

Curriculum

Core Courses (13 credits required)

Prerequisite: Essentials of Biomimicry (BMY 501) | Discover the core values that define biomimicry and its true practice: Ethos, Emulate, (Re)Connect. 1 credit

Life’s Principles (BMY 502) | Investigate life’s operating conditions on Earth and the universal rules for surviving and thriving. Students learn the value of these principles as design guidelines. 4 credits

Biology Taught Functionally (BMY 503) | For non-biologists and biologists alike, this course introduces function as the starting point for discovering biomimetic value. Learn to work with biologists and biological research to translate concepts into strategies for human application. 4 credits

Biomimicry Thinking (BMY 504) | This course teaches the methodology for incorporating biomimicry into any design process. Students learn the steps to defining a taxonomy of design principles and creating innovative functional solutions. 4 credits

Elective Courses (11 Credits Required)

Biomimicry and Design (BMY 511) | Understand the role of designers in the practice of biomimicry. Students learn to approach challenges with a design mind, distill a design challenge, understand user needs, and build bridges between biology and design. 3 credits

Biomimicry and Engineering (BMY 512) | Understand the role of engineers in the practice of biomimicry. Students learn about engineering specialties—what constrains engineers work under, what materials they work with, and how to integrate biomimicry principles into sustainable engineering designs. 3 credits

Biomimicry and Business (BMY 516) | Understand the role of business in the practice of biomimicry. This course challenges participants to question conventional ways of conducting business by addressing business topics from the biomimicry point of view. 3 credits

Human-Nature Connection (BMY 517) | Understand biomimicry as a continuation of an ancestral connection with nature. Topics include establishing the evolutionary, personal, and socio-cultural influences on the different expressions of this connection. 2 credits

Topic: iSites Biomimetic Nature Journaling (BMY 598) | Kickstart a lifelong practice of nature journaling with a biomimetic intention. This course provides tutorials for drawing techniques, materials selection, and development of observation skills. 1 credit

Topic: Communicating Biomimicry (BMY 598) | Know how to communicate the value of biomimicry in the field, in the boardroom, with media, and in labs. Students learn to develop visual, written, and auditory presentations and to customize those for different kinds of audiences and situations. 1 credit

Topic: Teaching Biomimicry (BMY 598) | Know how to teach the practice of biomimicry to a variety of audiences across disciplines, venues and situations. Students learn how to create and execute meaningful learning experiences in biomimicry through a variety of exercises, trainings and feedback. 1 credit

Topic: Facilitating Biomimicry (BMY 598) | Know how to facilitate the practice of biomimicry across disciplines and within organizations. Students will assemble course deliverables into a portfolio demonstrating their facilitating skills in a variety of real-world situations. 1 credit

Topic: Biomimicry Ethos (BMY 598) | Explore the natural pathway that leads from experiencing and understanding life, to connecting with life, to committing to care for life. Students will be able to articulate how the practice of biomimicry embodies and advances the core tenets of sustainability. 1 credit

Practicum Courses (6 Credits Required)

Biomimicry Case Study Practicum (BMY 580) | Dive deep into the business case for biomimicry by preparing an in-depth analysis of a specific biomimicry example. Each student identifies, researches, and writes a case study from the business perspective. 2 credits

BioBrainstorm Practicum (BMY 580) | Practice the tools and techniques of biomimicry. Student teams identify challenges and discover relevant strategies from the biological literature. They summarize the scientific findings, build a taxonomy, and learn how to present the biological intelligence in a context that is relevant to design. 2 credits

Biomimicry Genius of Biome Practicum (BMY580) | Practice the tools and techniques of location-specific biomimicry. Student teams identify biomes of interest and research strategies from the biological literature for those unique ecosystems. They summarize the scientific findings, build a taxonomy, and learn how to present the biological intelligence in a context that is relevant to place-based design. 2 credits

Virtual Design Lab Practicum (BMY 530) | Dive deep into the biomimicry tools and resources presented during the program. Through dedicated time and mentorship with instructors, students apply the practice of biomimicry individually to projects of their choice. 2 credits

Academic Calendar

Full Course Descriptions and Academic Course Calendar [Download as PDF]

ms-biomimicry-academic-calendar-web

 

Add the In-Person Component to Your Training

Students in the MS in Biomimicry program also are invited to apply for Biomimicry 3.8’s Biomimicry Professional program—a hand-picked cohort of biologists, designers, engineers, sustainability professionals and business people who meet in various locations around the world for intensive, hands-on training sessions complementing the online coursework.

Successful completion of the MS degree and six in-person sessions qualify students for Biomimicry Professional Certification from Biomimicry 3.8.

Application for the Biomimicry Professional program is open only to successful applicants for the MS program. Both the MS program and Biomimicry 3.8’s program must be completed together to earn the Biomimicry Professional Certification from Biomimicry 3.8.

Instructors

  • Dayna Baumeister, Professor of Practice (biology & biomimicry), SOLS
  • Erin Leitch, Adjunct Professor (design), SOLS
  • Juergen Gadau, Professor (biology), SOLS
  • Karen Allen, Adjunct Professor (biology), SOLS
  • Laurel Anderson, Associate Professor (business), W.P. Carey School of Business
  • Marie Zanowick, Adjunct Professor (engineering), SOLS
  • Prasad Boradkar, Associate Professor (design), Herberger School of Arts and Design
  • Ted Pavlic, Research Scientist (engineering), School of Sustainability
  • Thomas Baumeister, Professor of Practice (conservation psychology & biology), SOLS
  • Tirupalavanam Ganesh, Associate Research Professor (engineering & education), Ira P. Fulton Schools of Engineering
  • Ximin He, Assistant Professor (materials science), Ira P. Fulton Schools of Engineering
  • Zeynep Arhon, Adjunct Professor (business), SOLS

Possible Outcomes for Graduates

  • Obtain meaningful and gainful employment in the rapidly emerging global market for biomimics
  • Initiate or transform your own consulting practice into the field of biomimicry
  • Engage and lead others within your current company/organization to begin practicing and demonstrating world-class examples of biomimicry
  • Incorporate biomimicry into existing or new education endeavors to help bring forth the next generation of biomimics.

Alumni

Graduates of the two-year Biomimicry Professional Certification include

Chris Allen, MBA
Former CEO of Biomimicry Group, working full-time on applying biomimicry to the built environment with projects globally.

Karen Allen, MS
Faculty with Biomimicry 3.8. Freelance consultant biologist and full-time biomimic.

Melina Angel
Founder of Biomimicry Quebec and Biomimicry Columbia. Representing Canada in ISO process for biomimetic standards.

Zeynep Arhon, MBA
Faculty with Biomimicry 3.8. Founder of biomimicry-oriented, international marketing firm.

Alessandro Bianciardi, MS
Founder of Biomimicry Italy, bringing biomimicry to UNEP. Pursuing PhD in biomimetics in Italy.

Jamie Dwyer, MA, MS
Full-time biomimic with Biomimicry 3.8.

Marsha Forthofer, MEng.
Director of Biomimicry Research for Kimberly-Clark Worldwide

Clarie Janisch, MEng.
Founder of Biomimicry South Africa, working full-time with government agencies to implement biomimicry.

Lindsay James, MBA
Co-founder of Biomimicry Chicago and VP of Restorative Enterprise (based on biomimicry) for Interface, Inc.

Erin Leitch
Faculty and full-time biomimic with Biomimicry 3.8.

Theresa Millard, MA
Founder of Biomimicry Iberia. Brings biomimicry projects to her former company Kohler, and works in Spain and Morocco on place-based bio-inspiration.

Saskia van den Muijensberg, MBA
Co-founder of Biomimicry Netherlands, landed major Green Deal project with Dutch government to establish biomimicry in Netherlands.

Doug Paige, MA
Launched a new biomimicry PhD program in 2012 with the University of Akron & Cleveland Institute of Art. Awarded a grant to run a student project on the Cuyahoga river bulkheads using biomimicry.

Amy Coffman Phillips, MA
Co-founder of Biomimicry Chicago, initiating the “Prairie Project” based on biomimicry. Started her own biomimicry company called ‘B-Collaborative’, co-designing a resilience workshop for organizations.

Sara el Sayed, MS
Started her own company Dayma, which leads youth biomimicry expeditions in Egypt.

Marie Zanowick
Faculty with Biomimicry 3.8. Works full-time for EPA to bring biomimicry to EPA, Forest Service, and Park Service.

To apply to the MS program in Biomimicry, go to ASU Online.

This program is open to students from around the world. International students, please note: When asked to provide your visa on the application form, please enter ‘JN’ for the Biomimicry graduate programs.