Research & Teaching

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.

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

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.

Students learn the basic principles and methods of life cycle assessment (LCA) as standardized in the international standards ISO 14040 and 14044. They explore and master the presented concepts using a professional grade LCA software tool that is provided free of charge.

This course offers case studies on achieving higher sustainability performance from ecotourism businesses and policy leaders in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

A research seminar on how core theories of sustainability science provide a framework for improving the well-being of present and future generations in ways that conserve the planet's life support systems.

This course explores the relationship between humans and nature, as it has been formulated, expressed and transmitted in Buddhist thought and philosophy over the millenia, and into this current century.

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.

This course deals with major changes in climate and environment affecting humans, and the various ways in which Near Eastern societies have endured, mastered, or destroyed themselves, from an ecological perspective.

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.

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.

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,

This proseminar introduces MLA II and MDes Urbanism, Landscape, Ecology (ULE) students to a range of disciplinary theories and methods.

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

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.

This seminar will explore wildlife law and policy, with a focus on high-profile wildlife conservation disputes, including current controversies surrounding international whaling, captive marine mammals, endangered wolves, and dwindling polar bear populations.

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 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

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

Readings (mainly from the scientific literature) and discussion of what defines and theoretically underpins the field of conservation biology - though discussion is on the current version of the field, readings will span its development over the last 50+ years.

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

(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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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 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).

This seminar examines the implications of biotechnology for sustainability. Using case studies, it focuses on policy approaches for maximizing the benefits of biotechnology and minimizing their risks.

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

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.

A presentation of topics that are of current interest in marine ecosystems. Emphasis on identification and quantification of biological and environmental factors important in the regulation of community structure.
Prerequisite: OEB 118 or OEB 157.

Prerequisite: Permission of instructor

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.

This course examines how natural and anthropogenic changes in the earth system are affecting the composition and the functioning of the world’s land and ocean ecosystems.

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.

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.

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.

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.

A focused inquiry on the interactions of life and environment through geologic history. This term we will focus on mass extinctions, their causes and evolutionary consequences.

Forests cover nearly one third of the earth's land surface area. They provide a vast range of products and services to human civilization, and are important for economic and cultural reasons. This class will provide students with an introduction to the biology and ecology of forest ecosystems.

There are no results for this search. Please try to widen your search criteria in the filter.

Harvard University
Center for the Environment

NEW! Address: 26 Oxford Street, 4th Floor, Cambridge
Email: huce@environment.harvard.edu
Phone: (617) 495-0368

Connect with us

Follow HUCE to stay updated on energy and the environment at Harvard and beyond.

Subscribe to our mailing list