Research & Teaching

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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

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

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 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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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:.

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.

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 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 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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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

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.

(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.

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.

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.

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. 


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.

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

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.

Energy is a critical component of every dimension of human society. It is an essential input for economic development, transportation, and agriculture, and it shapes national and international policies in the environmental, national security, and technology arenas.

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.

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.

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

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