SES 5369: Climate Change Resilience and Adaptation

Through the lens of climate change, this foundation course surveys the intellectual development of resilience and adaptation in the social, natural and applied sciences. Through a critical reading and analysis of central bodies of literature, students are provided a conceptual and empirical basis for exploring applied practices and policies advanced in the name of climate change adaptation. The practice component of the course focuses on community resilience in urban planning and policy, technical resilience in civil and systems engineering, multi-hazard risk assessment in disaster risk management, and adaptation mainstreaming in the public and private sectors. This range of applications reflects the opportunities for a diversity of actors to engage in new forms of practice that synthetically negotiate and mediate various socioeconomic and biophysical forces. Positioned within an emerging field of study, this course identifies many of the key unanswered questions that are critical for future conceptual and empirical development. With a focus on environmental change and the built environment, students will develop a critical understanding of relevant public policies and institutions, design and engineering techniques, economic strategies and planning models. The course pedagogy balances lectures, seminar readings and case study reviews to link theory with practice. Students may select their final course evaluation to be based on either be a final exam or a paper. The intent is to utilize the course as a means of research support for students across the university who may be incorporating aspects of resilience and adaptation scholarship into their existing theses, dissertations and peer-review manuscripts. This course is open to masters and doctoral students at the KSG, HSPH, FAS, MIT and Tufts.








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  • [Course titles in brackets] indicate that the course is not scheduled to be taught during the 2019-2020 academic year, but may be offered in an alternate year.
  • An asterisk (*) before a course number indicates that a student must obtain the instructor's permission in order to enroll in the course.

Harvard University
Center for the Environment

Address: 26 Oxford Street, 4th Floor, Cambridge
Phone: (617) 495-0368

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