Research & Teaching

Global leaders will increasingly be called on to navigate the competition between human needs and environmental protection.

In January 1st of 2016 the United Nations officially released the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which officially launched the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which over the next 15 years will drive global activities to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities and reduce clim

(Previously offered as PED-102)  This semester-long course examines how economic theory and rigorous evidence can be harnessed to design development policies that respond to market and political failures in developing economies.

What is the relationship between the natural environment and the design of successful places? How do we know? And how can we mobilize these ideas as planners and citizens?

This course will provide students with an understanding of water that will inform their professional approaches to landscape architecture, architecture, and planning, and contribute to protecting, improving, restoring, and sustaining water resources.

Wildlife, vegetation, soil, air, water, and aquatic ecosystems, together with their human uses, are related to the distinctive, especially spatial, attributes of suburban and urban landscapes.

This course is the first of a two-module sequence in Building Technology (6121, 6122) and constitutes part of the core curriculum in architecture.

The nutritional health of the public begins with food.

Science and technology (S&T) affect—and insights rooted in understanding of S&T therefore are germane to formulating policy about—practically every issue on the agenda of governments: the economy, public health, education, environment, defense, diplomacy and more.  Policy makers and those

The German-speaking world has long been known for its ecological concern and green credentials. Myriad films and novels from the post-1945 period deal with the degradation of the environment and the concomitant threat to human life.

Our eating represents our most consequential engagement with the natural world.

Developing and implementing good solutions to real problems facing human society requires a broad understanding of the relationships between technology innovation, science, manufacturing, design thinking, environment, sustainability, culture, aesthetics, business, public policy, and government.

Developing and implementing good solutions to real problems facing human society requires a broad understanding of the relationships between technology innovation, science, manufacturing, design thinking, environment, sustainability, culture, aesthetics, business, public policy, and government.

Survey of foundations and applications of the modern theory of environmental and natural-resource economics. What are the basic models and what are they suggesting about policy? Externalities, public goods, common property, strategies for controlling pollution.

This course provides an overview of energy policy issues with an emphasis on the analysis necessary to frame, design, and evaluate policy remedies to energy problems. The course is intended for doctoral students interested but not necessarily specializing in energy issues.

This project-based class focuses on the planning and design of sustainable strategies for cities in the developing world, using the city of Hermosillo in northern Mexico as the basis for analysis and action.

Discussions on the contemporary city often focus on the challenges of large metropolitan areas.

In 2006, Nancy Pfund of DBL Ventures, a pioneer in investing for impact, invested in an unknown electric car company called Tesla, under the joint hypothesis that the firm would be the next big thing while making the world a better place.

This course develops the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully market sustainable products and services. At the end of the course students are able to understand the key elements of developing a successful marketing strategy and branding approach for a sustainable market offering.

This course introduces the concepts and practices of sustainable development, clean technology, and energy management.

This course examines the role of corporate responsibility as a strategy to improve products, profits, and brand equity. The idea of corporations as simply wealth-creating organizations with no obligations to the environment is no longer acceptable.

GIS is not just for mapping. As an information system and science, it also provides tools and perspectives for learning what spatial data can tell us about the world and its geography.

This course introduces the concepts and components of a geographic information system (GIS). It also teaches the essential skills of spatial data management, analysis, and visualization through the use of the ArcGIS software package.

This course introduces the concepts and components of a geographic information system (GIS). It also teaches the essential skills of spatial data management, analysis, and visualization through the use of the ArcGIS software package.

This course helps students develop critical thinking, scholarly writing skills, and research abilities while developing their individual thesis proposals.

This course presents a framework, a process, and computational methods for conducting qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods research in the fields of sustainability and environmental management.

Advances in chemistry have brought us products that enhance our lives. But those benefits can come at an environmental cost. This course examines the regulatory and scientific tools we use to steward anthropogenic chemicals within the context of pragmatic business decision making.

This course covers disasters including volcanoes, earthquakes, floods, tsunamis, fires, landslides, hurricanes, famines, pandemic diseases, meteorite impacts, and hurricanes. The course presents basic science, along with detailed case studies of past and present events.

Sustainable finance is a main topic on the international agenda. Financial decisions worldwide are increasingly influenced by the scarcity of resources, the search for profits through efficiency, and climate change. We observe an increasing investment appetite for green bonds.

In recent years, high-performance green buildings have gone from fringe to mainstream.

This course introduces the basic principles of tourism master planning, enabling students to learn how communities, governments, business, and civil society can take a more inclusive and sustainable approach to planning tourism destinations worldwide.

The impact of supply chains to an organization's overall greenhouse gas emissions is becoming an increasingly relevant topic as more and more companies outsource manufacturing, logistics, and other key functions to third parties.

The course is designed as a broad survey covering the most critical topics in environmental economics today. Economics, the science of how scarce resources are allocated, is at the core of many of our most challenging environmental issues, and therefore vitally important.

Trees both provide a background in our landscape and play an important role in the ecosystems of the world. This course explores topics related to the growth patterns of trees, their physiology, and their identification. Basic concepts in ecosystem dynamics and forestry practices are discussed.

The oceans contain 97 percent of the Earth's water, and host the most disparate ecosystems on the planet. This course provides an introduction to deep sea ocean habitats, animals, and microorganisms.

This course provides an introduction to marine organisms and the physical and biological processes that affect them.

In this reading group, we will explore historic and ongoing legal and policy debates over the fuels that power the U.S. electric grid.

In this course, we will explore the development of our modern food production and distribution system and its effects on our environment and planet.  To explore the opportunities for and challenges to achieving a sustainable food system, we will critically review published studies and other asses

As urbanization and internal migration to existing cities has been on the increase, residential high-rise typology became the norm in many countries.

Urban infrastructures are socio-technical systems of facilities and services (i.e. energy, telecommunications, transportation, water, waste management, food distribution, housing) vital to the basic functioning of cities and regions.

The greatest challenge at the intersection of science, technology, and public policy in the 21st century has arisen because society is getting 80 percent of the massive quantities of energy it needs using fuels and technologies that are disrupting global climate and the array of environmental goo

(Previously offered as PED-209) This course explores efforts to manage, finance, and regulate the transportation, water, sanitation, and energy infrastructure systems in developing countries.

A comprehensive study of the major carbon-containing gases in the atmosphere (CO2 and CH4), emphasizing biogeochemical processes in the oceans, land and atmosphere that regulate their global abundances, plus the human-controlled processes and multiple feedbacks that perturb them.

How should governments respond to the problem of climate change? What should happen to the level of greenhouse gas emissions and how quickly? How much can the present generation be expected to sacrifice to improve conditions for future generations?

Our understanding of Earth has changed radically in the last two centuries: after many years of debate, many major questions have come to be seen as largely answered. It is now accepted that the planet formed over 4.5 billion years ago; that the Earth’s surface is made of rigid segments—called pl

Our understanding of the relationship between humans and the environment has been forged in moments of crisis: natural and human-made disasters, technological failures, political disputes, scientific controversies.

This course examines American environmental literature from the period of colonization through the era of climate change.  Our focus will be on how people from an array of different backgrounds experienced and inscribed North American environments.  We will pay particular attention to issues of r

This course will explore the relationship between climate, environment and human evolution. How did hominins and other mammals adapt to global cooling and grassland expansion?

Focuses on the effect of the environment in film. Reads films grouped according to environmental themes (humans, nature and animals, water, consumption, pollution, climate change) side by side with critical articles.

The history of energy is the history of modern political economy. The history of energy is the history of a scientific concept and its technological application. The history of energy is the history of climate change and environmental catastrophe.

The future is not what it used to be.

Confronting the reality of environmental degradation requires more than remote sensing, statistical analysis or institutional restructuring. As images of the changing planet become emblematic of our time, designers are responding with a scrutiny towards amplified scales and extreme events.

Through the lens of climate change, this foundation course surveys the intellectual development of resilience and adaptation in the social, natural and applied sciences.

Landscape architecture projects, at all scales, can involve elements which add to our natural resources.  These restored areas are increasingly shown to provide ?ecological services,?

Description: The Physical Sciences hold the key to solving unprecedented problems at the intersection of science, technology, and an array of rapidly emerging global scale challenges.

How can one optimize the benefits of environmental or social sustainability while generating a higher return on investment in buildings? Where are the opportunities for real estate initiatives that are highly functional, healthy, aesthetically pleasing and financially rewarding?

The primary focus of GSD 6125 is the study of ecological considerations in architectural design. These considerations include the thermal, luminous, and acoustic behavior of buildings.

A survey of theory and applications of DNA technologies to the study of evolutionary, ecological and behavioral processes in natural populations.

This course has a limited number of seats to be filled by students from multiple disciplines (law, business, engineering, design, public policy, and public health). Interdisciplinary student teams will design projects for reducing the use of fossil fuels in the U.S.

Lobbying is often called the 4th branch of government since this multi-billion dollar industry significantly impacts policymaking.

Capitalism organizes society around individual pursuits of material gain. Capitalism seems to have won the great ideological struggle with other ways of organizing society.

This seminar will explore an assortment of issues, ranging from environmental regulation (including climate change) to financial regulation to public health, at the intersection of theory and practice.

This course focuses on the extraordinary growth and success of public and private land conservation in the United States and abroad during the past forty years.

The circular economy is a model that contrasts with the linear approach to production and consumption generally used today (where companies harvest and extract materials, use them to manufacture a product, and sell the product to a consumer—who then discards it when it no longer serves its purpos

The Envision tool for sustainable infrastructure can be used for infrastructure projects of all types, sizes, complexities, and locations to assist the project team achieve higher levels of sustainability.

Zero energy buildings, also known as net zero energy buildings are buildings (or a community of buildings) which produce with on-site renewables the same amount of energy as they consume, on an annual basis.

This course provides extensive background on the history of ecotourism, its role in the development of local economies, its connection to the global tourism trade, its role in the conservation of natural resources, and its context in key case study regions including Central America, Southern Afri

This course examines the historical, social, and political life of nature in its many manifestations--as a source of life and livelihood, as a resource for exploitation, as a heritage to be protected, and as a post-industrial hybrid--in order to understand the variety of human interactions with t

This section gives new History concentrators an introduction to environmental history. Most historians leave the natural world out of the story, but environmental historians regard nature as the inescapable context for human history, including the human impact on nature.

What’s the right carbon price? What can whale oil and horse manure teach us today? What’s the role of solar geoengineering?

Rapid human population growth and even more rapid growth in consumption are driving a transformation of most of Earth’s natural systems including its climate system, its oceans, land cover, biogeochemical cycles, biodiversity, and coastal and fresh water systems.  These systems underpin global fo

This course aims to place current and anticipated changes in climate into the context of past events in Earth's history.  Current variations in temperature, precipitation, and sea level are examined in the context of events such as the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, greening of the Sahara, and

Climate change, urbanization, and conflict mean that global disasters are on the rise.  How should the world respond when disasters force people from their homes?  How can we better help the world’s refugees?  This course examines the past, present, and future of the international humanitarian re

“We shape our buildings, and afterwards, our buildings shape us.” ~ Winston Churchill

This introductory course surveys the historical foundations, economic logics and underlying physics that underscore the design, development and operations of sustainable buildings.

The best intent does not always lead to the best performing design, as intuition and rules of thumb often fail to adequately inform decision making. Therefore, designers of high-performance architecture increasingly turn to analytical tools to eliminate some of the guesswork.

Responding to contemporary urban patterns, ecological pressures and decaying infrastructures, this course brings together a series of influential thinkers and researchers from the design commons across North America to discuss different methods, models and measures of large scale, long range desi

It is well-known and oft-repeated in environmental health circles that we spend 90% of time indoors.

This course focuses on rationales for and methods of government interventions in private markets. We cover various rationales, such as environmental externalities, fiscal externalities, and asymmetric information.

This course will showcase how novel technologies have allowed fascinating new insights into key aspects of our environment. The development of novel instrumentation, driven by technological advances, is revolutionizing the environmental sciences.

This seminar will explore a series of issues at the intersection of behavioral economics and public policy. Potential questions will involve climate change; energy efficiency; health care; and basic rights.

This seminar will explore a series of issues at the intersection of behavioral economics and public policy. Potential questions will involve climate change; energy efficiency; health care; and basic rights.

In the US, energy use creates large political and social tensions and  much emphasis is placed on climate change.  In China, health issues surrounding energy use are emerging as a critical issue.

Climate change is one of the most difficult problems facing humanity. A small sample of questions to be asked and answers attempted in this seminar includes the following. How do we analyze and decide what to “do” about climate change?

Introduces the fundamentals of water biology, chemistry, physics and transport processes needed to understand water quality and water purification technologies. Practical instruction in basic water analyses concluding with a final water treatment project in place of exam.

Atmospheric radiative transfer, including stellar properties, spectroscopy, gray and real gas calculations, Mie theory and scattering, satellite retrievals, and radiative-convective climate modelling.

Study of water as a critical resource and as a factor in Earth surface and near-surface processes. Focus on development of relevant mechanics and physics. Hydrologic cycle, surface and groundwater, evapotranspiration, soil physics.

The module will examine the evolution of multilateral attempts to address climate change. The primary focus will be on mitigation (i.e., emissions reduction), but we will consider policy for adaptation, climate finance, and geoengineering, as well.

An intensive seminar that aims to improve each student’s ability to discover and reason about evidence through the medium of essays. Each section focuses on a particular theme or topic, described on the Expos Website.

An introduction to the biology of mammals. Lectures and laboratories examine the morphology, systematics, natural history, behavior, ecology, evolutionary relationships, and biogeography of all major taxa.

Why do some human beings step forward to defend the non-human?

From the digital revolution to social media, from global warming to sustainability, and from national security to renewable energy, technology plays a critical role in shaping our lives.

This course will be of interest to students who would like to investigate business solutions to three of the major problems of our time: rapid and massive urbanization; increasing scarcity of clean water, clean air, clean power, and effective transport; and the apparent inability of federal gover

Growing income inequality, poor or declining educational systems, unequal access to affordable health care and the fear of continuing economic distress are putting stress on political systems worldwide and challenging the credibility of business.

The world faces challenges stemming from rapid urbanization, increasing pressure on the environment and on basic resources, and the growing difficulty governments face in managing the confluence of these trends.

This seminar introduces students to the major contributions of the field of science and technology studies (STS) to the understanding of politics and policymaking in democratic societies.

This seminar examines the world’s systems for the production and distribution of food as they relate to the earth’s physical, chemical, and biological systems.  Using scientific readings, papers about economics and politics, and cases about firms, we consider agriculture and food from scientific,

The seminar will provide a historical perspective on the development of the Chinese economy with emphasis on the energy sector, including analysis of related environmental problems.

Our interactions with the natural world are increasingly mediated through changes in technology. Technologies create risks, generate solutions, reshape the environment, and alter our perception of the boundaries between nature and artifice.

Fundamental physics and chemistry underlying the science and technology of aerosols. Taught by reference to topical problems in atmospheric chemistry, planetary climates, human health, and technologies of nanofabrication.

In this course a framework of tropospheric chemistry will be generated that requires no previous knowledge of this topic. The goal is to develop an understanding of chemical and physical processes in the troposphere.

Atmospheric radiative transfer, including stellar properties, spectroscopy, gray and real gas calculations, Mie theory and scattering, satellite retrievals, and radiative-convective climate modelling.

A solution to the problems set by the intersection of global energy demand and climate feedbacks requires the teaching of physics and chemistry in that context.

Observations and understanding of ocean physics, from local beach waves to the effects of the oceans on global climate.  Topics covered include wave motions such as ocean surface waves, internal waves, tsunamis and tides; currents, including the wind driven circulation, and the Gulf stream; coast

Fundamental concepts and formalisms of conservation of energy and increase of entropy as applied to natural and engineered environmental and biological systems.

Extraction redefines our understanding of urbanism in the 21st century. If everything we build comes from the ground, then extraction is the process and practice that reshapes our assumptions about urban economies.

Provides an overview of the issues involved in transportation policy and planning, as well as an introduction to the skills necessary for solving the various analytic and managerial problems that are peculiar to this area.

Provides an overview of the issues involved in transportation policy and planning, as well as an introduction to the skills necessary for solving the various analytic and managerial problems that are peculiar to this area.

As a scarce and necessary resource, land triggers competition and conflict over possession, use, development, and preservation. For privately owned land, the market manages much of the competition.

This research seminar is intended for Master in Design Studies (MDES) candidates entering the Urbanism, Landscape, Ecology (ULE) stream as well as Master in Landscape Architecture candidates entering the post-professional (MLA II) Program.

Selected topics in the history of the North American coastal zone, including the seashore as wilderness, as industrial site, as area of recreation, and as artistic subject; the shape of coastal landscape for conflicting uses over time; and the perception of the seashore as marginal zone in litera

The environment is the milieu in which designers and planners operate. It is a messy world of facts, meanings, relations and actions that calls them to intervene - i.e., to make a plan, solve a problem, create a product, or strategize a process.

Environmental issues have become increasingly significant in democratic politics and are now a salient issue of global politics, with climate change occupying central stage today.

Topics in electricity market design starting from the foundations of coordination for competition. Infrastructure investment, Resource Adequacy, Pricing Models, Cost Allocation, Energy Trading, Forward Hedging, Market Manipulation, Distribution Regulation, and Policy for Clean Energy Innovation.

This course focuses on the interplay among states, international organizations (such as the UN, WTO, IMF, and World Bank), multinational corporations, civil society organizations, and activist networks in global governance.

This course focuses on the interplay among states, international organizations (such as the UN, WTO, IMF, and World Bank), multinational corporations, civil society organizations, and activist networks in global governance.

Traditional economic growth theory treats technological change as the residual need to explain observed growth after accounting for capital and labor inputs. Newer economic theories treat technology as endogenous, but they, too, have a rather narrow view of how innovation works.

This course offers a multidisciplinary exploration of the engineering, economic, and institutional principles involved in water system development and management. The course is divided into two parts:.

This course is intended for students interested in geological, hydrologic, biological, and social sciences with an specific focus on wetland environments and resources. In this course, students gain an interdisciplinary overview of physicochemical, biological, and cultural aspects of wetlands.

The course imparts knowledge and skills for planning sustainability projects and developing solutions for organizations of at least 50 employees including small businesses, nonprofits, or local townships.

This is an advanced sustainable design course with technical content that focuses on energy use reduction in existing buildings. Students learn to perform American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Level II Energy Audits.

This course examines future climate change in the context of earth history, and then considers various strategies for what might be done to deal with it.

The climate of our planet is changing at a rate unprecedented in human history. Primarily responsible is the build-up of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere, most notably carbon dioxide emitted in conjunction with the combustion of coal, oil and natural gas.  Concentrations in the atmosphere of

The seminars consist of student presentation of plans for collection and analysis of data, with discussion by students and faculty. Preparatory work is done under tutorial arrangements with members of the faculty.

Most clinical work is done on campus; some placements are available at externship locations (government agencies and nonprofits). Students are carefully matched to their projects/placements by the Clinic Director approximately 4 weeks in advance of the semester.

The Making Rights Real clinic will build on a partnership between Professor White, Harvard law students, and a network of Ghanaian Human Rights / Development organizations which began in 2002.

This seminar will explore the legal regulation of food.

This course is a survey course on Natural Resources Law. Topics covered include Wildlife and Biodiversity, Living Marine Resources, Rangelands, Forest Lands, Protected Lands, Minerals, Forests, and Energy Resources.

This course will introduce students to nutrition and global health problems through exploration of demographic, epidemiological, biological, social, political, and economic determinants of nutritional status.

This course explores specific principles from cognitive science that have important implications for instructional approach and curriculum design.

This course will examine future climate change in the context of Earth history, and then consider various strategies for what might be done to deal with it.

This course will explore the intersection between religious traditions and ecological activism, with special attention to current conversations about "ethical eating." We will consider both the resources that religious traditions provide to ecological activists and the ways these activists have c

How plants are affected by climate - both spatially across the globe and as climate changes over time - is relevant to understanding patterns of plant evolution, ecosystem structure, and the impact of humans on our planet.

This course examines the political challenges posed by global warming from both an empirical and a normative perspective.

This course examines some of the main U.S. environmental laws, the methods of regulation and enforcement represented by those laws, and current controversies regarding their implementation and development.

This course provides a systematic introduction to the energy system for students in engineering and applied sciences.

Physical and chemical processes determining the composition of the atmosphere and its implications for climate, ecosystems, and human welfare. Construction of atmospheric composition models. Atmospheric transport. Nitrogen, oxygen, and carbon cycles.

Physical concepts necessary to understand atmospheric structure and motion. Phenomena studied include the formation of clouds and precipitation, solar and terrestrial radiation, dynamical balance of the large-scale wind, and the origin of cyclones.

The course provides an overview of the energy resources that we use to sustain our global economies, and explores the impact of these activities on our environment.

This course presents a comprehensive approach to water resources management by integrating environmental science (geology, soils, hydrology) and policy (planning and regulatory analysis). It is intended for both students with and without technical backgrounds.

The seminars consist of student presentation of plans for collection and analysis of data, with discussion by students and faculty. Preparatory work is done under tutorial arrangements with members of the faculty.

The course will provide an overview of the solid state device physics and p-n junction operation necessary to understand the operation.

This course will focus on physical principles underlying semiconductor devices: electrons and holes in semiconductors, energies and bandgaps, transport properties of electrons and holes, p-n junctions, transistors, light emitting diodes, lasers, solar cells and thermoelectric devices.

This course provides a cross-disciplinary overview of environmental science and how research contributes to public policy and human health risk assessment through a case study of a global pollution issue: lead biogeochemistry.
Introduction to the mechanics of fluids and solids, organized around earth and environmental phenomena. Conservation laws, stress, deformation and flow. Inviscid fluids and ocean gravity waves; Coriolis dominated large scale flows.

Advanced Water Treatment will give students detailed instruction in emerging technologies for municipal wastewater treatment, industrial wastewater treatment, wastewater reclamation and reuse, desalination, and groundwater remediation.

Principles governing energy generation and interconversion. Current and projected world energy use. Selected important current and anticipated future technologies for energy generation, interconversion, storage, and end usage.

This course is focused on aspects of environmental engineering related to the fate, transport, and control of pollution in surface water ecosystems.

Explores contemporary understandings and practical implications of the idea of sustainable development.

Overview of Occupational and Environmental Medicine including: the diagnosis and management of illnesses following exposure to specific workplace substances, environmental and community hazards, such as asbestos, lead, organic solvents, and vibration; methods of diagnosis of early organ system ef

Reviews the methods used to characterize environmental and occupational exposures. Presents approaches for biologically based exposure assessment matched to epidemiologic designs. Emphasizes evaluation of scientific literature. Course Activities: Students will critique 4 case study papers.

The course will provide a survey of the global food and agribusiness system.

The course provides each participant with a guided immersion in the processes of heuristic question formulation, objective research design, and implementation. Included are hypothesis testing, data collection and analysis, writing, revision, and final dissemination.

The oceans contain 97 percent of the Earth's water, and host the most disparate ecosystems on the planet. This course provides an introduction to deep sea ocean habitats, animals, and microorganisms.

The course provides an overview of environmental impact assessment to design, evaluate, and replicate sustainable projects and programs.

Human activity is changing the atmosphere and altering terrestrial and marine ecosystems on a global scale. Evidence is mounting that these changes may already be having serious effects on human health, and there is growing concern that in coming decades the effects could be catastrophic.

This course helps develop the skills to design, fund, and implement renewable energy projects in the United States and around the world.

This seminar introduces students to the major contributions of the field of science and technology studies (STS) to the analysis of politics and policymaking in democratic societies.

In the face of failures and dysfunction at the national level, there is growing excitement about the welfare- and democracy-enhancing potential of cities. Yet, not all cities are able to realize their promise as engines of economic growth and human development.

North America as an evolving visual environment is analyzed as a systems concatenation involving such constituent elements as farms, small towns, shopping malls, highways, suburbs, and as depicted in fiction, poetry, cartography, television, cinema, and advertising and cybernetic simulation.

The multidisciplinary application of epidemiology, molecular biology and genetics, pathogenesis, drug discovery, immunology and vaccine development, and economic analysis to understanding and combating major threats to human health in developing countries.

This course explores corporate sustainability from the perspective of large, multinational corporations.

This general microbiology course will focus on the genetics, cell biology, and physiology of microorganisms. The goal of this course is to give the students a broad overview of microbial physiology in the context of disease and environmental applications.

Fishes inhabit diverse aquatic environments including deep seas, intertidal zones, coral reefs, polar waters, the vast Amazonian basin, and great East African lakes. A single fish species may occupy diverse environments through extraordinary long distance horizontal and vertical migrations.

This seminar will present an overview of topics in food law and policy, and will examine how these laws shape what we eat. In recent years, increasing attention has been paid to a range of issues impacting the food system from farm to fork to landfill.

The connection between health, well-being, and place is a complex one with many dimensions.

Human activity is changing the atmosphere and altering terrestrial and marine ecosystems on a global scale for the first time in history.

Epigenetics is a fast growing field, with increasing applicability in environmental and epidemiology studies, focusing on the alterations in chromatin structure that can stably and heritably influence gene expression.

This course offers a comprehensive overview of gaseous and particulate air pollutants. It will emphasize pollutant sources, physical and chemical properties, sampling and analysis, chemical transformation, atmospheric transport, fate, and potential for adverse health and environmental impacts.

This course examines application of epidemiologic methods to environmental and occupational health problems.

This course provides a set of tools and skills to identify, evaluate, and improve the sustainability of supply chain operations.

In this course, we explore the development of our modern food production and distribution system and its effects on our environment and planet. We critically review published studies and other assessments that evaluate the environmental and social impact of food-related products and processes.

A comprehensive introduction to global geophysics. This course serves as a bridge between introductory Earth science courses (EPS 21, EPS 22) and higher level courses in EPS.

Do you think you know who Charles Darwin was?  The legend and sober-looking bearded scholar behind the most important paradigm shift in human history?  In this seminar, we will read a selection of Darwin's publications (including parts of Darwin's seminal work, On the Origin of Species), as well

After a review of what is currently known about greenhouse gas emissions’ possible impact on climate and of how such knowledge is acquired, the seminar will explore the possible impact of climate change on social and economic conditions over the next century.  Participants will investigate possib

This course is the second of a two-module sequence in Building Technology (6121, 6122) and constitutes part of the core curriculum in architecture.

Energy is the lifeblood of economic activity, and there is little prospect of this changing. However, the planet’s stores of easily accessed fossil fuels are limited, and the climatological cost of continuing to rely on fossil fuels is high.

A solution to the problems set by the intersection of global energy demand and climate feedbacks requires the teaching of physics and chemistry in that context.

This is an interdisciplinary graduate-level and advanced undergraduate-level course in which students explore topics in molecular microbiology, microbial diversity, and microbially-mediated geochemistry in depth. This course will be taught by faculty from the Microbial Sciences Initiative.

This course is designed to teach an understanding of the basic principles of water pollution and water pollution issues on local, regional and global scales. The course will begin with a discussion of the basic chemical, physical and biological properties of water and water contaminants.

(Previously offered as IGA-944.) Sustainable development—promoting human well-being while conserving the life-supporting services of the natural environment over the long run—has emerged as a central challenge of the 21st century.

The media play a unique role in shaping public understanding, policy, and political debate about controversial climate, energy, and environmental issues around the world.

Understanding the dynamics of complex ecological and environmental systems and designing policies to promote their sustainability is a formidable challenge.

Introduces students to the environmental aspects of nanoscience and nanotechnology. We will study the fundamental physical chemical properties, characterization, environmental implications, and environmental applications of nanoparticles and nanomaterials.

The story of Earth from the inception of the universe at the Big Bang to the revolution in planetary function and capability associated with the rise of human civilization.

This course is designed to provide the tools and foundations necessary to understand the fate and transport of environmental contaminants in various environmental media and to estimate their impact on human exposure.

As a scarce and necessary resource for earthly activity, land triggers competition and conflict over its possession, use, development, and preservation. For privately owned land, the market manages much of the competition through its familiar allocative price-setting features.

Sustainability is presented from the perspective of any organization operating in a community setting. Sustainability includes a concurrent focus on environmental stewardship, social wellbeing, and shared value with external stakeholders.

Introduction to the structure, diversity, and physiology of plants with an emphasis on evolutionary relationships and adaptations to life on land.

An integrated approach to the diversity of life, emphasizing how chemical, physical, genetic, ecological and geologic processes contribute to the origin and maintenance of biological diversity.

Supervised reading and research on topics not covered by regular courses of instruction. Students must complete a registration form, including permission from their faculty sponsor, with the concentration office before course enrollment.

Introduces the fundamental statistical and mapping tools needed for analysis of environmental systems.

Participants discuss recent research in environmental and natural resource economics and present their own work in progress. Students must complete both parts of this course (parts A&B) within the same academic year in order to receive credit.

Provides a survey, from the perspective of economics, of environmental and natural resource policy. Combines lectures on conceptual and methodological topics with examinations of public policy issues. 


Overview of the basic features of the climate system (global energy balance, atmospheric general circulation, ocean circulation, and climate variability) and the underlying physical processes.

North America as an evolving visual environment is analyzed as a systems concatenation involving such constituent elements as farms, small towns, shopping malls, highways, suburbs, and as depicted in fiction, poetry, cartography, television, cinema, and advertising and cybernetic simulation.

The climate of our planet is changing at a rate unprecedented in human history.  Primarily responsible is the build-up of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere, most notably carbon dioxide emitted in conjunction with the combustion of coal, oil and natural gas.  Concentrations in the atmosphere o

Natural disasters, such as earthquakes, hurricanes, and floods, claim thousands of lives and cause tens of billions of dollars in damage each year.

An interdisciplinary exploration of Darwin’s ideas and their impact on science and society. The course links the history of Darwin’s ideas with the key features of modern evolutionary biology.

This course lays out the significance of the international tourism industry, which represents approximately nine percent of the global economy, from economic and environmental management viewpoints.

This course aims to inspire and enable students to lead effective change toward environmental sustainability in a variety of organizational contexts (education, business, government, nonprofit, church, community).

The course provides each participant with a guided immersion in the processes of heuristic question formulation, objective research design, and implementation. Included are hypothesis testing, data collection and analysis, writing, revision, and final dissemination.

With the increased awareness of how business and economic activity impact our planet and societies, we are seeing a boom in entrepreneurial activity premised on social responsibility, environmental friendliness, energy efficiency, and other sustainability-related attributes.

The field of industrial ecology includes advanced tools and methods to assist practitioners seeking to redesign and realign industrial systems and activities to be more ecologically and socially sound.

This course introduces basic concepts in the ecology of individual organisms, their populations, and the biological communities in which they live. Emphasis is on terrestrial plant and animal ecology.

Changing the paradigm of urban development to become healthier and more sustainable requires a common baseline understanding of principles, metrics, and decision-making tools.

On December 12, 2015, the United Nations climate talks in Paris reached a historic milestone when more than 190 countries adopted the first accord that calls on all countries to join the fight against global warming.

This course provides students with a window to the underwater world while we investigate the world's oceans, their habitats, and the diversity of marine life found therein. Topics include the ecology of bays and salt marshes, coral reefs, coastal seas, and the deep sea.

This course surveys the scientific principles of environmental issues and environmental management practices, with attention to the health of both humans and the ecosystem.

This course is required for all incoming master of science students in GHP. It is intended as a broad survey of the main facts, issues, perspectives, methods, results, and conclusions in the areas of global population and health.

This course surveys federal environmental law and serves as a useful introduction both to environmental law’s particular complexities as well as to the skills necessary in mastering any complex area of regulation.

This course reviews the policy landscape around food and farming in rich and poor countries.

The Geopolitics of Energy examines the intersection between international security, politics, and energy issues.

This is an advanced research seminar on selected topics in environmental and resource economics. Emphasizes theoretical models, quantitative empirical analysis, and public policy applications. Includes presentations by invited outside speakers.

Provides a survey, from the perspective of economics, of public policy issues associated with environmental protection and natural resources management.

Provides students with the opportunity to review the epidemiologic basis for associating selected occupational and environmental exposures with health outcomes and to explore how this science might be used to develop and implement regulation of these exposures.

This course offers a general introduction to environmental health from local to global, addressing fundamental topics and current controversies.

This course will examine natural and anthropogenic processes affecting the coastal zone and nearshore environment. Ecological principles and their application to design and planning will be emphasized.

Fall term, four units, required for both MLA 1 and MLA AP students taking the third LA core-studio.

Recognizing that plants are one of the essential mediums of landscape architecture, this class seeks to introduce the student to two basic relationships; the relationship between plants and people (horticulture) and the relationship between plants and the environment (ecology).

Selected topics in the history of the North American coastal zone, including the seashore as wilderness, as industrial site, as area of recreation, and as artistic subject; the shape of coastal landscape for conflicting uses over time; and the perception of the seashore as marginal zone in litera

Non-fossil energy sources and energy storage are important for our future. We cover four main subjects to which students with a background in physics and physical chemistry could make paradigm changing contributions: photovoltaic cells, nuclear power, batteries, and photosynthesis.

Field and laboratory research into the history, biology, ecology, culture, and economic problems of local, regional, and world forests. Individual research projects.
Note: Seminars, conferences, field, and laboratory work at the Harvard Forest, Petersham, Massachusetts.

This course examines how microbes and animals have evolved to maintain function throughout the wide range of extant habitats. Emphasis is on physiological/biochemical evolution in response to environmental conditions, including climate change and life in extreme environments.

The oceans contain 97% of Earth’s water, and host the most disparate ecosystems on the planet. This course provides an introduction to deep ocean habitats, macrofauna and microorganisms.

An introduction to the uses of plants by humans. Topics include the form, structure, and genetics of plants related to their use as sources of food, shelter, fiber, flavors, beverages, drugs, and medicines.

This course examines the relationships of organisms to their environment at the individual, population, and community level.

The course covers micro- and macro-evolution, ranging in its focus from population genetics through molecular evolution to the grand patterns of the fossil record.

Introduces students to international history through the study of commodities ranging from oil, coal, and cotton to potatoes, rum, coffee, and sugar.

This seminar will use mapping as a methodological technique to examine social and environmental issues. Students will be expected to use mapping software to examine spatial data for a location and topic of their choice for their final paper.

Global change ecology is the line of scientific inquiry that integrates the responses of organisms, ecosystems, and their environments with changes in human activity and climate.

Research and writing of the senior thesis under faculty direction. Senior honors candidates must take at least one term of this course while writing a thesis. The signature of the faculty adviser is required.

Conservation biology strives to describe, understand, and forecast biodiversity dynamics by applying ecological and evolutionary theory within the contexts of resource management, economics, sociology and political science.

An introduction to the history, organization, goals, and ideals of environmental protection in America.

Principles governing energy generation and interconversion. Current and projected world energy use. Selected important current and anticipated future technologies for energy generation, interconversion, storage, and end usage.

Introduces the fundamentals of water biology, chemistry, physics and transport processes needed to understand water quality and water purification technologies. Practical instruction in basic water analyses concluding with a final water treatment project in place of exam. 


Basic concepts, principles, and applications of environmental chemistry for students in Earth and environmental sciences.

Study of water as a critical resource and as a factor in Earth surface and near-surface processes. Focus on development of relevant mechanics and physics. Hydrologic cycle, surface and groundwater, evapotranspiration, soil physics.

This course will provide an introduction to environmental science and engineering through case studies of some of the most pressing environmental issues.

Selected topics in environmental and resource economics. Emphasizes theoretical models, quantitative empirical analysis, and public policy applications. Includes invited outside speakers.​

The physical processes responsible for sea level changes over time scales extending from hours to hundreds of millions of years. Long-term sea-level trends: geological observations, physical mechanisms and eustasy, dynamic topography.

This course provides an introduction to the physical and chemical impacts of energy choices on human society and natural ecosystems.

An introduction to low temperature biogeochemistry. We will focus on key biogeochemical elements and look to understand the linkages between the biosphere, atmosphere and hydrosphere.

Chemical transport models: principles, numerical methods. Inverse models: Bayes’ theorem, optimal estimation, Kalman filter, adjoint methods. Analysis of environmental data: visualization, time series analysis, Monte Carlo methods, statistical assessment.

The atmosphere understood as a fluid dynamical system. Observations of atmospheric motions related to weather and climate. Application of the equations of atmospheric dynamics to explaining phenomena such as jet streams, cyclones, and fronts.

The course covers climate dynamics and climate variability phenomena and mechanisms, and provides hands-on experience running and analyzing climate models, as well as using dynamical system theory tools.

Topics in low-temperature geochemistry, oceanography, and climatology will be discussed. Students will read and present journal articles on relevant topics, and will rotate responsibility for leading discussions.
Note: Given in alternate years. 

Atmospheric physics and chemistry: stratospheric and tropospheric transport, photochemistry, and aerosols; stratospheric ozone loss, tropospheric pollution; biogeochemical cycles.

Introduction to biological and organic chemistry of the Earth’s environment. Primary focus on formation, processing, and preservation of organic carbon, with emphasis on paleoenvironmental applications and on processes occurring at the molecular level.

The atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration is now the highest it has been in at least 800,000 years, raising concerns regarding possible future climate changes. This seminar will survey the science of global change from the perspective of scientific debates within the climate community.

Physical concepts necessary to understand atmospheric structure and motion. Phenomena studied include the formation of clouds and precipitation, solar and terrestrial radiation, dynamical balance of the large-scale wind, and the origin of cyclones.

Observations and understanding of ocean physics, from local beach waves to the effects of the oceans on global climate.  Topics covered include wave motions such as ocean surface waves, internal waves, tsunamis and tides; currents, including the wind driven circulation, and the Gulf stream; coast

This course introduces students to the fluid Earth, emphasizing Earth's weather and climate, the carbon cycle, and global environmental change.

Introduces the framework of risk assessment, considers its relationship with cost-benefit, decision analysis and other tools for improving environmental decisions. The scientific foundations for risk assessment (epidemiology, toxicology, and exposure assessment) are discussed.

This course covers applied advanced regression analysis. Its focus is on relaxing classical assumptions in regression analysis to better match what epidemiological data really looks like.

The course will assess the impact of the environment on the onset and exacerbation of cardiovascular diseases. Environmental exposures that have been implicated to impact cardiovascular disease are predominantly air pollution, second hand smoke, noise, and heat.

Starting with the fundamentals of radiation protection, this course then treats in-depth selected topics in occupational and environmental radiation protection (e.g.

Human activity is changing the atmosphere and altering terrestrial marine ecosystems on a global scale. Evidence is mounting that these changes may already be having serious effects on human health, and there is growing concern that in coming decades the effects could be catastrophic.

This course will examine methodological issues associated with the design and execution of studies designed to measure environmental exposure to chemical and biological contaminants.

The course comprises introductory lectures and discussions on key aspects of industrial hygiene and occupational health covering recognition, evaluation and control of health hazards at work.

This course is appropriate for students interested in learning quantitative methods for assessing environmental exposures and hazards.

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