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Examines recent and ongoing discoveries that show how the natural sciences are revolutionizing understanding of the human past across temporal and geographic boundaries. Topics include how archaeology, history and science illuminate and are illuminated by Jomon Pottery, ancient and medieval coins,...
For many Long Islanders, the devastation caused by Superstorm Sandy was a wakeup call, adding urgency to a nascent discussion about Long Island's vulnerability to storm surge, sea level rise, and heavy rain events that regularly overwhelm an antiquated sewer system. But when Sandy struck, Long...
How have humans shaped the environment and how has the environment shaped humans throughout their (pre)history? We will explore key theories and case studies and students will further explore these questions through independent research.
This course explores state-of-the-art research, tools and measurements used to investigate and predict climate change through ongoing studies at the Harvard Forest’s 3,000-acre outdoor laboratory in Petersham, MA. The seminar consists of three weekend long field trips (Friday evening-Sunday) to the...
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.
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. Core topics include thermodynamics, free energy, entropy, acid-base and oxidation-reduction reactions, electrochemistry, electromagnetic...
This course examines our changing view of the Earth and the environment from the 19th century to the present, highlighting the interrelatedness of science, society, and culture. Our changing understanding of the Earth - as our home planet has become older, more dynamic, and more vulnerable to human...
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. Energy options available for China’s future will be discussed, including opportunities for clean-coal technology,...
The exhuberant and delicate tropical nature of Brazilian territory was ravaged by the predatory practices of colonialism and its aftermath. Contemporary culture is trying to come to terms with this ruthless past.
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 climate community. Specifically...
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. The likely impacts of continued greenhouse gas emissions will be explored, emphasizing the scientific uncertainties associated with various...
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. We address the full life cycle of each energy resource, including its origins, methods used to explore for and exploit it, how it is...
This course is for anyone who would like to learn how to design and launch a new product with the lowest environmental footprint. Students acquire many tools and skills in the course: how to do market intelligence (technological benchmarking and reverse engineering), how to incorporate real...
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. Dynamics of renewable resources (...
Modernization of the US visual environment as directed by a nobility creating new images and perceptions of such themes as wilderness, flight, privacy, clothing, photography, feminism, status symbolism, and futurist manipulation as illustrated in print-media and other advertising enterprise.Note:...
The seminar will consider how individual people and groups in the past thought about and planned for the future. Specific topics can include the history of: insurance; speculation; engineering and unintended environmental consequences; climate change; population growth (or decline) and social...
From the digital revolution to bio informatics, from global warming to sustainability, and from national security to renewable energy, technology plays a critical role in shaping our lives. In this course, the students will be exposed to applied science and engineering concepts that span...
Consistent access to cheap energy resources has been the defining factor of economic success and development. Securing access and an affordable price has driven and continues to drive global competition among the greatest energy consuming powers while energy producers, on the other hand, attempt to...
The course provides an historical account of the evolution of the modern energy system, from early dependence on human and animal power, to the subsequent use of wind and water, to more recent reliance on fossil fuels—coal, oil and natural gas—and even more recently to the development of the...
This course examines the relationship between energy and the environment in our global society. It analyzes the driving forces that influence the production and consumption of energy to evaluate their impacts on environmental quality, human health, and social equity. At the end of this course...
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. Consideration is given to chemical, physical and biological hazards, and the criteria for the evaluation of...
This course examines the political challenges posed by global warming from both an empirical and a normative perspective. Drawing on a broad array of readings, we investigate why the global community has done so little to combat climate change; what kinds of domestic and international institutions...
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. This course examines the long run and short run prospects...
Europeans “discovered” America in search of foodstuffs, specifically spices. And food has been central to the American experience from the starving time in early Virginia to the problem of obesity in the United States today. But what is American about American food? How have individual food choices...
This course concentrates on photographing the landscape, both urban and natural, from the point-of-view of an environmental journalist. Students are required to shoot outdoors each week at various times during the day, in the pre-dawn light, and at night. Topics and homework exercises include light...
We need an army of skilled change managers to navigate the complexity and urgency of our global environmental crisis. To inspire and enable people of all persuasions to engage in effective sustainability leadership, as part of an existing or new career path, this course enhances individual change...
This course covers the chemistry and physics underlying molecular phenomena in the world around you. Starting from a single electron, we will build up to atoms, molecules, and materials. We will study interactions of molecules through thermochemistry, equilibria, entropy and free energy, acids and...
This generation inherited transportation systems that have an impact on climate change and cause a number of negative health effects. We want students to understand the existing transportation systems and the environmental and health impact of each. From this knowledge, students can choose to use...
Human activity has changed the atmosphere and altered terrestrial and marine ecosystems on a global scale for the first time in history. 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...
This course introduces students to the science of climate change, drawing attention to the latest research and evolving pattern of scientific data on climate that has emerged in recent years. In addition, emphasis is given to analyzing the social changes and adaptations that human communities have...
Over the past half century, human rights law and environmental law have made great strides largely independently of one another. This clinical seminar will explore a growing field that seeks to bring the two together. Students will examine how the separate legal frameworks intersect and analyze the...
Many important marine fish stocks are over-harvested and their futures are in doubt. Other human activities, such as pollution and anthropogenic climate change, are also affecting the stability and productivity of marine ecosystems. This course will ask what we need to know about the causes and...
Introduces students to the fluid Earth, emphasizing Earth’s weather and climate, the carbon cycle, and global environmental change. Course begins with the physical concepts necessary for understanding the structure, motion and energy balance of the atmosphere, ocean, and cryosphere, and then...
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. Pays special attention to the relation between space, place and the planet,...
This course is a sequel to Human Ecology, GHP 253-fall II. It will be run as a semi-seminar course with about 1/3 lecture, 2/3 student-led discussions and reports. Themes: The Eco-social Distress Syndrome, a multidimensional imbalance between our species and the rest of nature against the...
The Geopolitics of Energy examines the intersection between international security, politics, and energy issues. The course begins with the recognition that energy has long been a major determinant of power in the international system and that every shift in global energy patterns has brought with...

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  • [Course titles in brackets] indicate that the course is not scheduled to be taught during the 2014-2015 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.

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Email: huce@environment.harvard.edu
Phone: (617) 495-0368

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