Consortium for Energy Policy Research at Harvard

ENERGY POLICY-RELATED COURSES OFFERED AT HARVARD, 2017-2018

Fall 2017 | January 2018 | Spring 2018

Please note: This course guide contains abbreviated information for browsing purposes and may not reflect ongoing schedule updates. Please check the listing on "My Harvard" for complete and updated information on courses and enrollment requirements:

  • My Harvard: This site should have the most current information for courses at the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the Graduate School of Design, the Divinity School, the Graduate School of Education, the Harvard Kennedy School, and the Harvard Chan School of Public Health. Log in required.
  • Harvard University Course Catalog: Open access.

See also the following helpful resources:

Know of any additional courses that should be included? Please let us know: cepr@hks.harvard.edu.


 

Fall 2017 Harvard courses

21st Century Energy (See below, under “Twenty-First Century Energy”)

China's Energy Economy: Perspectives from the Past: Challenges for the Future (ESPP 90N)
Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Michael McElroy and Xinyu Chen
Fall 2017
Description: 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, nuclear, wind, hydro, and biofuels. The seminar will discuss tradeoffs implicit in these choices with respect to reconciling competing goals for environmental protection and economic development.

The Climate-Energy Challenge (SCIPHIUNV 29)
Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Daniel Schrag
Fall 2017
Description: 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 predictions, and how this can be understood in the context of risk. In the latter third of the class, the question of how to mitigate climate change will be discussed, including an examination of various options for advanced energy systems.

Climate Policy—Past, Present, and Future (ESPP 90Z)
Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Gernot Wagner
Fall 2017
Description: What’s the right carbon price? What can whale oil and horse manure teach us today? What’s the role of solar geoengineering? The course has two goals: to provide a set of tools to approach these and many other fundamental climate policy questions, and to help us distinguish positive (“what will be”) from normative (“what should be”) analysis. Economics and political economy provide particularly powerful lenses through which to analyze climate policy—past, present, and future.

The Consequences of Energy Systems (E-PSCI 239)
Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Daniel Schrag
Fall 2017
Description: This course provides an introduction to the physical and chemical impacts of energy choices on human society and natural ecosystems. Topics will include the carbon cycle, climate, air and water pollution, impacts of energy systems on health, land use consequences of energy technologies, and nuclear waste and proliferation.

Consulting with Clients for Sustainability Solutions Capstone (ENVR E-599a)   
Harvard Extension School      
William O'Brien
Fall 2017 
Description: 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. Sustainability solutions refers to working with a client either as a member of a team or individually developing and delivering a customized sustainability action plan (SAP). Common client goals are reduction of operating costs, minimization of the environmental footprint, and improvement of environmental sustainability practices. Opportunities are identified and initiatives developed in collaboration with the client for both short and long term. Typical areas of focus include energy efficiency, water conservation, waste reduction, supply chain management, green IT, and transportation. In support of recommended initiatives, SAPs emphasize a process to foster sustainable behavior, outline key performance indicators to measure performance, and build a sustainability capital reserve to capture cost savings for possible future investments. Deliverables for the course are a SAP and a presentation to the client stakeholders. A substantial amount of time during the semester is spent on coaching students regarding how to most effectively work with the clients to address organizational requirements, develop solutions, and present SAPs. Sustainability executives and consultants occasionally serve as guest speakers to share experiences and best practices. The case method is used to provide a participative and realistic forum enabling students to learn about sustainability while also developing the skills to use the knowledge gained. Whether the SAP is developed for a client by a team or an individual, the course structure enables and ensures evaluation of individual student effort through student reflections and a client satisfaction survey. Past clients have included New York City Department of Sanitation, Greater Pittsburgh YMCA, General Electric Applicances, Utah Center for Affordable Housing, and Amazon.

Contemporary Issues in Oil and Gas Law: Fracking, Takings, Pipelines, and Regulation
Harvard Law School
Kate Konschnik
Fall 2017
Prerequisites: None, but familiarity with federal environmental or administrative law may be helpful.
Description: This seminar will explore hot legal issues in oil and gas law including property rights, chemical disclosure, air pollution, induced seismicity, regulation and valuation of public natural resources, and oil and gas pipeline siting. The goal of the seminar is to provide an overview of the issues and to demonstrate how this rich subject interacts with many other areas of law. We will also apply problem-solving skills in our discussions and group exercises, and think about how to represent clients in these settings or craft creative policy solutions and management strategies.

After a brief technical and legal introduction to oil and gas production in the United States, the group will tackle six issues in an informal, interactive setting. Students will be responsible for the readings, to ensure robust class discussions.

Short papers will be required over the course of the semester.


Ecology, Infrastructure, Power
 (ADV 9132)   
Harvard Graduate School of Design   
Pierre Belanger
Fall 2017
Description: 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. From gold to gravel, copper to coltan, iron to uranium, geological resources support every single aspect of human life in the 21st century. In subway tunnels or on suburban streets, in electronic manufacturing or information media, on stock exchanges or in commodity markets, the geological materiality of con-temporary urbanism is inescapable. Where do these materials come from? Where do they go? Who processes them? How are they moved? Often perceived as remote, the sites and systems of resource mining not only expose the scales and states of industrial extraction but they reconfigure the limits of urban economies and extents of patterns of consumption. From land rights on the surface to mineral rights below the surface, every dimension of urban life is mediated by resource extraction. Canada is at the heart of this massive international re-source infrastructure. It is the most active mining nation in the world, with more than half of the globe’s mining companies head-quartered in Canada and listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Over half of the world’s mines are operated, serviced, financed or engineered by Canadians. This raises issues of profound social, logistical, environmental and political relevance that require critical inquiry. Why does extraction dominate? How did this empire emerge? How far does it extend? Who does it impact? Who gains, who loses? What alternatives exist? These are the pressing questions and public debates that face Canada in the next urban century, as it becomes a global resource giant, and planetary staple supplier. Either in the assembly of consumer goods like smartphones or the construction of concrete highways, Canadian life is mediated through mineral extraction: it is our urban, political and cultural ore. Moving into the 21st century, the process of extraction is a project that requires a different method of imagination, new ways of engagement and new forms of representation. If it is to do so responsibly, sustainably, and intelligently, it will have to grapple with the advantages as much as the social challenges of transnational operations, the environmental realities of resource extraction as much as the economic myths of mining cultures. Canada will have to re-examine and re-imagine its imperial role throughout the world for the foreseeable future and the legacy of the next generation. Profiling both the historic and contemporary culture of extraction from a political-ecological lens, the course features a selection of readings and presentations from influential scholars across a range of fields including geography, art, literature, architecture, engineer-ing, science, environment, industry, business and culture. Topics of discussion will be interwoven with profiles of contemporary leaders in business, politics and culture. In addition to this original content, the course will profile historic, unpublished and rare materials from a variety of Canadian archives to re-examine and re-collect the sources, evolutions and transfers of imperial resource roles and colonial logics-from outpost to global storehouse, from empire to empire-that Canada has both occupied and submitted to in the past five hundred years. Finally, the course will result in the production of mapping and multimedia content related to the imaging and imagination of global resources and Canadian operations worldwide in the book and exhibition titled ‘EXTRACTION EMPIRE’ that will be produced and published in collaboration with MIT Press in 2017 to coincide with Canada’s 150th year of Confederation.

Electricity Market Design (API-I66)
Harvard Kennedy School   
William Hogan
Fall 2017    
Description: 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. Assumes some knowledge about the engineering, economics, and regulation of the power sector.

Energy: Be the Change (FRSEMR 27K)
Faculty of Arts and Sciences 
Mara Prentiss
Fall 2017
Description: 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. Importantly, there are many areas where the role of energy is often overlooked.  A large fraction of current geopolitical tensions arise from issues originating in energy consumption, and that fraction may increase as water use and energy use become more closely tied. Too many discussions of energy focus on one feature of the problem, without considering how a change in one area will inevitably ripple out with the power to transform our relationships with each other and with the physical world.  Some of those ripple effects are enormously positive, others are not. The goal of the course will be to choose energy changes that we would like to happen and to form a realistic plan for making that change occur.  An important feature of the discussion will be considerations about what is physically possible; however, the major emphasis will be on trying to understand the connections that will be altered by that change.  Any change, however laudable, inevitably creates both winners and losers. For change to happen, losers must at least be brought to accept the change. One goal of the course will be to establish local and global forums that allow us to learn more about people’s reactions to proposals for energy change so that our proposals for change have a real possiblity of coming to pass.

Course open to Freshman Students Only.

The Energy-Climate Challenge (IGA-411)
Harvard Kennedy School   
John Holdren and Henry Lee
Fall 2017    
Description: 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 goods and services that depend on it. This course will examine the character and magnitude of this challenge and the policy choices germane to meeting it, introducing and applying relevant concepts from environmental science, energy-technology assessment, policy design, and domestic and global politics.

Energy Related Materials and Technologies (ENG-SCI 384)
Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Xin Li
Fall 2017
Description: Graduate. Eligible for cross-registration qith permission of instructor/subject to availability.

Environment, Politics, and Action
Harvard Graduate School of Design
Abby Spinak
Fall 2017 
Description: 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 class will explore environmental planning as an inescapably political and ideological practice and will give you tools to contextualize environmental planning methods in time and place. Starting with a brief survey of the history of environmental planning and its alternatives, we will explore recent planning perspectives that focus on empowering communities to shape their own environmental conditions, including Environmental Justice, Political Ecology, democratic resource management, and other methods of community governance and environmental activism. We will consider how environmental planning ideas spread, how they work in different contexts, and how they have been disruptive and disrupted. We will question the relationship between environmental protection and community empowerment. Finally, we will explore our own politics as planners and designers, in order to be more aware of the assumptions and values that drive the work we do, and to figure out how we can most fairly and equitably live in and with the natural world. This class will be intellectually omnivorous, combining perspectives from planning, environmental history, anthropology, political science, and other fields. We will therefore occasionally interrogate how different fields produce knowledge and use these varied perspectives as data to explore how people experience nature and the built environment.

Environmental Law
Harvard Law School
Richard Lazarus
Fall 2017
Description: 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. The first part of the course considers the character of environmental disputes, the problems inherent in fashioning legal rules for their resolution, the history of the emergence of modern environmental law in the United States, and constitutional law issues that arise in the environmental law context. The second part of the course reviews several specific federal environmental statutes. The statutory review combines a close examination of several statutes – especially the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act – with a more general review of the basis operation of other laws, such as the National Environmental Policy Act and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act. All the statutes serve as illustrations of different regulatory approaches to environmental problems: "command and control," information disclosure, and market-based instruments. The class includes more extended consideration of climate change law and how and why environmental law is routinely whipsawed by shifting Presidential administrations, and class discussion frequently extends beyond court rulings to include the underlying litigation strategies of the parties that led to those rulings.

Environmental Law and Policy Clinic
Harvard Law School
Wendy B. Jacobs
Fall 2017 (also offered in Winter 2018 and Spring 2018)
The Emmett Environmental Law and Policy Clinic (ELPC) offers students an opportunity to do hands-on, meaningful, real-life, and real-time environmental/energy regulatory, policy and advocacy work. Clinic offerings include local, national, and international projects covering the spectrum of environmental, energy and administrative law issues, under the leadership of Director and Clinical Professor Wendy Jacobs. Clinic students work on policy projects and white papers, regulatory and statutory drafting and comments, manuals and guidance to help non-lawyers identify and protect their rights, litigation and advocacy work, including developing case strategies, research and drafting briefs (filed in state and federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court), preparing witnesses and their testimony, meeting with clients and attending and presenting at administrative and court hearings. Our clients include state and municipal governments, non-governmental organizations, advocacy and community groups, and research and policy institutions. The subject matter varies each semester, but often includes climate change migration, citizen science, climate change mitigation and adaptation, offshore drilling and water protection, sustainable agriculture/aquaculture, ethics in the study of human exposure to environmental contaminants, development of legal frameworks for emerging technologies such as carbon capture and sequestration, extraction of natural gas by hydraulic fracturing, " and aiding environmental protection and advocacy groups to identify opportunities and strategies for participating in the review and permitting processes for significant energy infrastructure projects.

Environmental Systems 1 (SCI 6121)
Harvard Graduate School of Design   
Ali Malkawi
Fall 2017
Description: This course is the first of a two-module sequence in Building Technology (6121, 6122) and constitutes part of the core curriculum in architecture. Objectives:To study selected aspects of the physical environment which directly affect people and their buildings, such as climate, weather, solar radiation and heat gain and loss. To Study the means by which environmental factors may be wisely utilized, controlled and modified as an integral part of the architectural design.Content:6121 will undertake the study of human needs, comfort, performance and sense of well being in relation to the physical environments both natural and man made which occur in and around buildings. Recent environmental problems have been traced to the energy and waste products used or created by buildings. These environmental problems make it imperative that architects be familiar with the systems that affect building energy use. Students in this course will become familiar with those elements of a building that contribute to the heat and cooling loads in the building and will be introduced to methods that reduce the energy consumption. Different methods of analysis, evaluation and simulation will be introduced and used. Method:The course will be presented in lecture format on M and W. The course material consists of a required book and assigned provided readings. Grades will be based on homework problems, projects and examinations. Text book:Required Book: Vaughn Bradshaw, Building Control Systems, 3nd Edition, John Wiley and Sons, New York, 2006. Recommended Reference: Stein, Reynolds, Mechanical and Electrical Equipment for Buildings, 12th Edition, John Wiley and Sons, New York, 2015. Grading:50% homework 50% Final exam

Environmental Systems 2 (SCI 6122)   
Harvard Graduate School of Design   
Andrea Love
Fall 2017
Description: This course is the second of a two-module sequence in Building Technology (6121, 6122) and constitutes part of the core curriculum in architecture. The objective of the course is to continue the study of environmental considerations in architectural design. The course will cover building systems and their technologies including the conventional and emerging HVAC systems, renewable energy systems, and other active building systems. It will also introduces daylight and electric lighting in buildings along with manual and computer-based methods for analyzing daylight design. The course also covers fundamental concepts of acoustics and their application in architecture. In this course students will: Learn the fundamentals of HVAC systems in architecture, and practice the schematic design of such systems. Learn the basic principles and applications of daylighting and acoustic considerations in architecture. Continue to develop analytical and creative thinking regarding sustainability and energy issues in building design. The class format includes lectures and workshops. In all classes, the goal is an interactive format, so questions, comments, and other forms of active participation are encouraged. Text book:Required Book: Vaughn Bradshaw, Building Control Systems, 3nd Edition, John Wiley and Sons, New York, 2006.Recommended Reference: Stein, Reynolds, Mechanical and Electrical Equipment for Buildings, 12th Edition, John Wiley and Sons, New York, 2015.

Forms of Energy: Nonmodern
 (SCI 6430)   
Harvard Graduate School of Design   
Kiel Moe
Fall 2017
Description: Offered for the final time at the GSD, the fall 2017 Forms of Energy seminar focuses on Nonmodern Forms of Energy and Design. Nonmodern refers to concepts, forms and formations of energy that are not modern in their constitution. As a gush of goodwill towards more convivial political, scientific and aesthetic ends, designers today need nonmodern agendas for energy that eclipse the aberrant rationality of modern technocratic preoccupations with efficiency and optimization. In the course we will examine a disparate swath of intellectual and scientific history, ranging from the ancients to the contemporary, to construct an understanding of how people in history have attempted to dissipate forms of energy through building. We will look closely at a large range of Nonmodern buildings and landscapes to reveal how they capture and channel energy in often astonishingly effective but, importantly, inefficient ways. This Nonmodern praxis for energy begins with the full implications of the law of thermodynamics for design: the non-isolated propensities and capacities of our far-from-equilibrium world wherein form emerges to dissipate energy in the most powerful ways possible. Whether archaic or contemporary, human or nonhuman, a Nonmodern formation of energy maximizes its intake, transformation, and feedback of matter and energy by design. In contrast to prevalent understandings of energy, we look how the aggregation of small scale systems reinforce large scale systems, and vice versa, through the design and assembly of building. Using an historical and scientific but non-technocratic framework to understand these forms of energy, this course will carefully consider the intellectual, formal and energetic legacy of building paradigms that existed prior, and after, the transformations that occurred during modernization and industrialization. There will be lectures and an emphasis on readings and discussion to develop the topic. Much like The Voynich Manuscript, a semester-long project will use discursive images and objects as part of a codex on nonmodern building.

The Geopolitics of Energy (IGA-412M)   
Harvard Kennedy School   
Meghan O'Sullivan
Fall 2017
Description: The Geopolitics of Energy examines the intersection between international security, politics, and energy. 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 it changes in international politics. IGA-412 explores how countries shape their grand strategies to meet their energy needs, as well as how such actions have implications for other countries and global politics. It looks at pressing contemporary issues related to peak oil, political reform and energy, pipeline politics, and the aggressive pursuit of oil and gas worldwide. The course also looks at new technologies and innovations - such as those making the extraction of shale gas economical or the growth of solar power - and how they are changing patterns of trades and could shape new alliances. Finally, IGA-412 considers the consequences of a successful shift away from petroleum based economies to anticipate how a new energy order will alter global politics in fundamental ways.

The History of Energy (Hist 1910)
Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Ian J. Miller
Fall 2017
Description: 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 history of energy is the history of life, the universe, and everything. All of these statements are true. This seminar is a critical introduction to the roles that energy has played in history and historiography. Using this ubiquitous and fundamental concept, we will explore questions ranging from climate change and capitalism to causality and colonialism in diverse places and times.

Introduction to Technology and Society (FRSEMR 22R)
Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Venkatesh Narayanamurti
Fall 2017
Description: 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 explores concepts in physical sciences that span disciplines and examines broadly how technology shapes society and vice versa.  Through case studies, students will be exposed to the importance of a conceptual understanding of science (including social science) underpinning technology and the tradeoffs necessary in tackling the great challenges facing a global society. The course has a foundation of both physical and social science concepts, sparking interest and encouraging future investigation into how technology and society are interwoven and mutually dependent. Each class will start with a discussion of blog posts of current news related to technology followed by selected areas of deeper engagement and discussion. Students will be involved through individual reflection and small team assignments to address specific problems in, for example, the case of “wiki leaks” and its implications for issues of privacy and diplomacy and open government. The course is designed for physical science students to appreciate not only ‘how things work’ but ‘how the world works’ and for social science, arts and humanities students on not thinking of technology as a ‘black box’.

Course open to Freshman Students Only.

Land Use and Environmental Law (SES 5206)   
Harvard Graduate School of Design   
Jerold Kayden
Fall 2017
Description: 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. At the same time, because use of land in one location affects the interests of neighbors and the general public, and because market mechanisms alone do not always protect or advance such interests, government has adopted land use and environmental laws that affect how land is handled. Expressed through local ordinances, higher-level legislation, constitutions, judicial opinions, administrative regulations, discretionary governmental decision, and private agreements, land use and environmental laws affect the look, character, and composition of areas everywhere. Given the importance of land use and environmental laws to the built and natural environment, it is unsurprising that numerous critiques exist. One asserts that land use laws, especially traditional zoning, are crude implements that fail to address the needs of modern urban and rural environments. A second critique claims that environmental and land use laws have exacted too heavy a toll on market outcomes and affected private property rights in ways that unreasonably hinder the broad economy and unfairly penalize individuals. A third critique highlights the `capture’ of land use and environmental laws by localized business and homeowner interests, often to the detriment of economically less well-off individuals. A fourth critique attacks land use laws for restricting design and architectural creativity. The premise of this course is that non-lawyer professionals in the field-- urban planners, designers, architects and developers-- have a critical role to play in debates and in determining how land use and environmental laws should shape the built and natural environment. No prior legal knowledge is presumed. Students gain a working knowledge of the theories, rationales, implementing institutions, and techniques of land use and environmental law. Particular attention is paid to law’s intended and unintended impacts on the physical pattern of built environments and resulting social and economic outcomes, on the increasing overlap of land use law and environmental law regimes, and on tensions between individual and public rights and responsibilities. The course reviews the following topics: ‘the common law of nuisance’, ‘traditional’ Euclidian zoning and the historic relation between zoning and planning, ‘modern’ zoning (variances, planned unit developments, cluster zoning, special districts, special permits, incentive zoning, transfer of development rights) emerging trends in zoning ( form-based codes, sustainability and climate change adaptation measures, `fast-food? zoning) Constitutional issues and concerns (regulatory takings and exactions, due process, equal protection, free speech) exclusionary zoning and its remedies, inclusionary housing, and the Fair Housing Act growth management laws (phased growth, growth boundaries, capital infrastructure schedules, moratoria ) historic preservation laws and aesthetic zoning, zoning regulation of religious uses, adult entertainment laws, environmental impact review of zoning actions and development projects, other environmental laws and regulations affecting development (air and water pollution laws, wetland laws), environmental justice.

Measuring and Mitigating Scope 3 Greenhouse Gas Emissions (ENVR E-116a)   
Harvard Extension School   
Richard Goode MBA, Executive Director, Ernst and Young - Michael Macrae PhD, Energy Analytics Manager, Campus Services, Harvard University
Fall 2017    
DescriptionThe 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. Waste, water use, and greenhouse gas emissions are still incurred in bringing products and services to consumers, but they are often not fully accounted for. Proper accounting for the emissions that are a known contributor to climate change is coming under increasing scrutiny. This course allows students to investigate the best approaches to measuring and mitigating scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions. Scope 3 emissions, for the purposes of the course, include all indirect emissions that occur in the value chain of a typical organization. Students investigate how to gather data from disparate sources, how to calculate or estimate emissions, and how the procurement of supplies, services, and travel can be managed to mitigate or even reduce scope 3 emissions. The course also investigates scope 3 emissions reduction efforts that are underway at several leading Fortune 500 companies as well as universities and government agencies. Prerequisites: ENVR E-116 is recommended.

Natural Resources Law
Harvard Law School
Robert Anderson
Fall 2017
Description: This is a survey course on Natural Resources Law with an emphasis on federal public land management. Topics covered include Wildlife and Living Marine Resources, Rangelands, Forest Lands, Protected Lands, Minerals, Forests, and Energy Resources. Special attention will be paid to issues of Natural Resource Management on American Indian Lands. The course also addresses state responsibilities for natural resources management (focusing on the public trust doctrine).

Physics of Climate
Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Zhiming Kuang
Fall 2017
Description: 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.

Powering the U.S. Electric Grid
Harvard Law School
Ari Peskoe
Fall 2017
Description: In this reading group, we will explore historic and ongoing legal and policy debates over the fuels that power the U.S. electric grid. We will begin with proposals by the federal government to construct mega-dams in the first half of the twentieth century and continue to current controversies about rooftop solar. The fuels that generate electricity have implications for economic growth and environmental quality (including climate change), and they have unfolded in a complex political environment. To provide context, we will read about the utility industry’s business model, the electric grid’s operations, and the tradeoffs among different energy sources, including fossil fuels like coal and emission-free energy sources like nuclear and wind. Through these debates, we’ll watch an industry evolve and speculate on where it may be headed.

Science, Power, and Politics
 (IGA 513)   
Harvard Kennedy School   
Sheila Jasanoff
Fall 2017
Description: 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. The objective is to expand students' understanding of the ways in which science and technology participate in the creation of social and political order. The seminar is devoted to reading and analyzing works by scholars in STS and related fields who have addressed such topics as the relationship between scientific and political authority, science's relations with the state, science and democracy, scientific and technical controversies, and citizenship in technological societies.

Science, Technology, and Society: Research Seminar
(Fall) (IGA 956Y)   
Harvard Kennedy School   
Sheila Jasanoff
Fall 2017 (also offered Spring 2018)
Description: A year-long research methods seminar in Science and Technology Studies that trains doctoral students (and postdocs) in identifying, analyzing, and writing about significant issues at the intersection of science, technology, and public policy. Students are expected to deepen their knowledge of major STS analytic frameworks, present their own research, read and critique other students' writings, and prepare occasional short analytic pieces for online publication.

Science and Technology in Domestic and International Policy
Harvard Kennedy School
John Holdren
Fall 2017 
Description: 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 who advise them need to be aware of the aspects of S&T that impinge on their domains of responsibility, including the kinds of questions in those domains that science can help address and the potential and limitations of technological approaches to meeting the challenges there. This course explores the interactions of S&T with domestic and international policy, drawing on the relevant scholarly literature and on case studies of current issues in economic policy, health policy, environmental policy, and defense policy.

Seminar in Environmental Economics and Policy (Fall) (API 905Y)   
Harvard Kennedy School   
Robert Stavins and Martin Weitzman
Fall 2017 (also offered Spring 2018)
Description: 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. Students prepare critiques of presented papers and prepare a research paper of their own.

Sustainability Leadership for the Twenty-First Century (ENVR E-117)   
Harvard Extension School   
John D. Spengler and Leith Sharp
Fall 2017
Description: 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 explores what change leadership for sustainability is and guides students to advance their related capabilities, competencies, and strategies. The personal, interpersonal, organizational, and infrastructural dimensions of change leadership for sustainability are addressed. A variety of specific case studies and examples of sustainability in practice, including everything from green building design and renewable energy to environmental purchasing, are explored. Interdependencies between finance, politics, relationships, cognitive processes, capacity building, and technology are discussed. Students leave the course with a deeper experiential knowledge of change management because they are required to complete a project involving a real life change leadership project of their choice. In a world lacking adequate political, judicial, and media leadership we can and must take leadership where we work and live, transforming our organizations en masse, fueling change at all levels of society. This course is designed to empower and prepare anyone who is willing to join in the collective effort to steer our society back on course towards a just and sustainable future.

Sustainable Development (ESPP 11)
Faculty of Arts and Sciences 
William Clark
Fall 2017
Description: Explores contemporary understandings and practical implications of the idea of sustainable development. Investigates the meanings and measures that different groups have given to "sustainable development;" scientific understanding of the complex social-environmental systems we seek to develop sustainably; and lessons on how societies have avoided the "tragedy of the commons" while instituting practical action that advances sustainable development effectively and equitably. Employs case studies in development to meet needs for energy, food, water and health.

Sustainable Real Estate
Harvard Graduate School of Design
Jesse Keenan
Fall 2017
Description: This introductory course surveys the historical foundations, economic logics and underlying physics that underscore the design, development and operations of sustainable buildings. The recurring theme of people, place and profit is redefined within the context of user demand, asset management, site planning, building design and financial acumen. Students trace a narrative of process that begins with market analysis and conceptual design and ends with de-commissioning and recycling. Throughout the course, the central subjectivities and applications of sustainability will be challenged in order to critically evaluate aspects of social, financial, and environmental sustainability. In particular, the course seeks to understand the nature and extent to which empirical science can inform risk-adjusted business decisions. In practical terms, the course is built upon basic technical calculations ranging from material energy transfers to discount cash-flow analysis. These calculations are contextualized against building code benchmarks and exemplified through various technologies and building systems. The course includes a systematic review of various rating systems, building codes and delivery models, as well as the support systems necessary for informing investment and design decisions. At the conclusion of the course, students will have sufficient knowledge to pursue further competencies and accreditations leading to an entry-level practice in sustainable real estate management. For design students, the course defines a fundamental set of operational and economic parameters that shape design decisions and development trade-offs in commercial real estate. Students will be evaluated through the development of a business case based on programmatic requirements set forth in an RFP issued by the U.S General Services Administration (GSA). The business case will be based on an integrated design and financial strategy that includes a pre-tax investment analysis, physical plans and designs, and life-cycle projections. The course will conclude with a presentation of the business case in a format that is intended to simulate the process of making a successful bid to a GSA jury. Sustainable Real Estate is not exclusively about the efficiency of inputs and outputs of market production. It is about the design of material investments in the built environment that promote efficiency and reduce consumption in the advancement of the stability and durability of a broader range of urban ecologies. There are no prerequisite courses required for this course.

Transforming Technologies: Science, Technology, and Social Change (HISTSCI 231)
Faculty of Arts and Sciences 
Naomi Oreskes
Fall 2017
Description: Climate change threatens severe dislocation of our environment, culture and infrastructure, as well as substantial losses to biodiversity and natural beauty. Virtually all experts agree that to avoid extensive disruptive climate change, we must transform our energy system from one based on burning carbon-based fuels to renewables or other energy sources that are net carbon-neutral. This will require a technological transformation. This course examines that challenge in light of past and present transforming technologies. In the first part of the class, we examine past examples of technological transformation, and consider what we might learn from them. In particular, we consider the questions: where do new technologies come from? What has been the role of the free market v. the role of conscious planning? Does technology drive social change or does social change drive technological innovation? Above all, how do we get the technologies we need? Do we get the technologies we need? In the second part we examine the required energy transition to prevent anthropogenic climate change, and the obstacles to it.

Transportation Policy and Planning
Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard Graduate School of Design
Jose A. Gomez-Ibanez
Fall 2017
Description: The course is intended to develop in students an understanding of the management, policy and planning problems that are peculiar to transportation and other types of infrastructure.

Twenty-First Century Energy
Harvard Business School
Martha Crawford Heitzmann ,  Forest Reinhardt ,  Joseph Lassiter
Fall 2017
Description: http://www.hbs.edu/coursecatalog/1164.html
Class Notes: Please visit http://www.crossreg.hbs.edu for additional important information about cross-registration for HBS-MBA courses. Please pay special attention to information about our X/Y schedule (X courses meet on Mon/Tues and some Wednesdays; Y courses meet on Thurs/Fri and some Wednesdays).


 

January 2018 Harvard Courses

Environmental Law and Policy Clinic
Harvard Law School
Wendy Jacobs
Winter 2018 (also offered in Fall 2017 and Spring 2018)
Description: The Emmett Environmental Law and Policy Clinic (ELPC) offers students an opportunity to do hands-on, meaningful, real-life, and real-time environmental/energy regulatory, policy and advocacy work. Clinic offerings include local, national, and international projects covering the spectrum of environmental, energy and administrative law issues, under the leadership of Director and Clinical Professor Wendy Jacobs. Clinic students work on policy projects and white papers, regulatory and statutory drafting and comments, manuals and guidance to help non-lawyers identify and protect their rights, litigation and advocacy work, including developing case strategies, research and drafting briefs (filed in state and federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court), preparing witnesses and their testimony, meeting with clients and attending and presenting at administrative and court hearings. Our clients include state and municipal governments, non-governmental organizations, advocacy and community groups, and research and policy institutions. The subject matter varies each semester, but often includes climate change mitigation and adaptation, offshore drilling and water protection, sustainable agriculture/aquaculture, ethics in the study of human exposure to environmental contaminants, development of legal frameworks for emerging technologies such as carbon capture and sequestration, extraction of natural gas by hydraulic fracturing, "green" infrastructure for management of storm water, and aiding environmental protection and advocacy groups to identify opportunities and strategies for participating in the review and permitting processes for significant energy infrastructure projects.

This winter term clinic is limited to 10 students and is by application only.

Lobbying: Theory, Practice, and Simulations (DPI 351M)
Harvard Kennedy School
Mark Fagan
January 2018
Description: Lobbying is often called the 4th branch of government since this multi-billion dollar industry significantly impacts policymaking. This intensive course provides the opportunity to understand the fundamentals of lobbying while learning firsthand about the lobbying efforts of energy and environmental advocacy groups representing a variety of perspectives. Mornings (9:00-12:00) will be devoted to discussing lobbying basics-history and current size/scale/scope, value proposition, strategies and toolkit, regulations, players, scandals, etc. Lunchtime guest speakers will share perspectives on lobbying from the frontline. The afternoons (1:00-6:00) will be spent learning about the advocacy efforts of local energy and environment NGOs and simulating lobbying meetings on their behalf. The lobbying sessions will be conducted with former state legislators to add realism to the experience. As part of that process the students will (1) determine who to target and the message to deliver; (2) hold the session; and (3) provide follow-up materials. The simulations will be video taped and debriefed with the legislator and the class. At the end of the course the students will have a working knowledge of lobbying practices from the perspective of the "lobbyer" and "lobbyee" as well as gained experience in developing a lobbying deliverable.


 

 

Spring 2018 Harvard Courses

Behavioral Economics, Law and Public Policy
Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard Law School
Cass Sunstein
Spring 2018
Description: 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. There will be some discussion of paternalism and the implications of neuroscience as well.
Instructor permission is required.

Climate Change Debates: The Reading Course (E-PSCI 134)   
Faculty of Arts and Sciences  
Peter Huybers and Eli Tziperman
Spring 2018
Description: 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. Specifically, the course will involve guided reading and discussion of papers that present contentious view points on the science of global change, with the goal of students learning how to scientifically evaluate these claims. During weekly sections, students will review climate topics in further depth and prepare group presentations for subsequent classes.
Prerequisite(s): Recommended: Applied Mathematics 21a,b or equivalent, or permission of instructor.

Climate Change Economics: Analysis and Decisions
 (FRSEMR 70E)   
Faculty of Arts and Sciences   
Martin Weitzman
Spring 2018
Description: 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? What are the basic “models” combining economics with climate science, what are these models telling us, and how do we choose among their varying messages? How are risk and uncertainty incorporated? How do we estimate future costs of carbon-light technologies? How do we quantify damages, including ecosystem damages? Who pays for what? Why are discounting and the choice of discount rate so critical to the analysis and what discount rate should we use? What is the “social cost of carbon” and how is it used? Which instruments (prices, quantities, standards, etc.) are available to control greenhouse gas emissions and what are the strengths and weaknesses of each? What is “climate sensitivity” and why is it, and the feedbacks it incorporates, so important? How should the possibility of catastrophic climate change be evaluated and incorporated? What are costs and benefits of geoengineering the planet to counter global warming? Why has climate change been characterized as “the biggest international market failure of all time” and how might the world resolve the associated free-rider problem?
Course open to Freshman Students Only.

Climate Change Law and Policy
Harvard Law School
Jody Freeman
Spring 2018
Description: This seminar will cover the set of federal laws and regulations that together comprise US policy on climate change, including regulations adopted under the Clean Air Act to control greenhouse gas emissions from cars and trucks in the transport sector and power plants in the electricity sector; rules adopted under the Federal Power Act to encourage the integration of renewable energy and demand response into the nation's electricity mix; rules governing disclosure to shareholders of climate change-related risks under the Securities and Exchange Act; policies that encourage production of natural gas, such as the favorable regulatory treatment of hydraulic fracturing; and various policies mean to encourage nuclear energy. We will also cover the history of failed Congressional efforts to pass federal climate legislation, and the US commitment to international climate negotiations over the course of several presidential administrations (from the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change to the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Accord). In addition to traditional legal materials the reading assignments will include some scientific, policy, and technical materials on topics ranging from carbon capture and storage to autonomous vehicles to geoengineering.

The Climate-Energy Challenge
 (ENVR E-104)   
Harvard Extension School   
Daniel Schrag and Thomas Andrew Laakso
Spring 2018
Description: 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. We discuss measuring ancient temperature and carbon dioxide levels and investigate the basic physics and chemistry that control climate through the lens of climate variations in the geologic past. The likely impacts of continued greenhouse gas emissions are explored, emphasizing the scientific basis for climate change predictions. We explore impacts of climate change on human societies and on natural ecosystems. A major focus of the course addresses the question of how to mitigate climate change, including an examination of various options for advanced energy systems. Each student designs a low-carbon energy system for the US, considering the four basic energy sectors (transportation, industry, residential and commercial, and electricity). During the second half of the course, a large portion of class time focuses on the low-carbon energy system exercise.

Climate Solutions Living Lab
Harvard Law School
Wendy Jacobs
Spring 2018
Description: Prerequisites: By Permission. Please send a statement of interest and CV to wjacobs@law.harvard.edu. This is a multi-disciplinary course; students will work in multi-disciplinary teams. Cross-registrants from SEAS, HBS, HKS, SPH, GSD, and MIT are encouraged to apply.

Exam: No Exam. Class participation and team work are pivotal. There will be short written exercises throughout the semester. The course will conclude with a paper and team presentation describing and advocating for the project your team ultimately chooses to develop. Grading will be based on the quality of class participation, teamwork, exercises, and the final paper and presentation.

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. and reducing emissions of potent greenhouse gases (GHG) from various activities other than energy generation. Together, we will identify potential projects; analyze their feasibility, costs, and benefits from multiple perspectives (economic, technological, legal, health, policy, etc.); and select several projects for further scrutiny and development. Students in this class will learn how projects proceed from concept through screening, design, environmental and public health reviews, financing, challenges, and permitting. This course is practical, highly interactive, and hands-on. Typically, the weekly class will include a short lecture and applied learning via exercises and/or a project team meeting. Some weeks, we will host a guest expert. In addition, outside of class time, tutorials will be offered on specific topics.

Possible projects may include innovative solutions to help low-income, under-served populations improve their living conditions through the use of renewable energy and other measures that reduce reliance on fossil fuels. We will also consider projects that could help Harvard and other institutions (for-profit and non-profit) meet their greenhouse gas reduction goals. We will analyze a variety of possible projects and screen for the projects that are most likely to be replicable, scalable, reliable, and generate significant benefits. The student teams will engage in intensive analyses and development of implementation pathways for projects that survive the screening process. As one example of the type of project you might work on, students last year developed a project to reduce the use of nitrogen fertilizer on corn farms in the Midwest. This project would reduce GHG emissions, reduce contamination of nearby waters, improve public health and worker safety, and reduce costs for farmers, while also ensuring that there would be no adverse effects to the farmers in terms of reduced crop yield.

Faculty from other Harvard graduate schools, including the Kennedy School, T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, will be involved. Lectures will provide background on pertinent topics including the public health and other benefits of GHG emission reductions; electricity markets and their regulation; the laws pertaining to air pollution; the siting, permitting and financing of projects; and data collection techniques. Students will learn about key elements of project development and the practice of environmental law, including mechanisms for raising and resolving controversies, identifying the environmental and health impacts of a project, parsing and applying relevant statutes and regulations, analyzing mechanisms for mitigating project impacts and managing controversies, identifying the permits and approvals needed for a project, and identifying funding sources for project development.

In addition to lectures and team work, there will be opportunities to meet and interact with experts, including economists, financiers, technology and renewable energy developers, government representatives, and leading corporations.

Controversies in Climate, Energy, and the Media: Improving Public Communication (IGA 451M)
Harvard Kennedy School
Cristine Russell
Spring 2018
Description: The media play a unique role in shaping public understanding, policy, and political debate about controversial climate, energy, and environmental issues around the world. However, as mainstream news outlets shrink, the Internet provides a growing global megaphone for confusing and often contradictory information and opinion. This course is designed to help students navigate the rapidly changing media landscape, using examples from current global energy and environmental debates. Media topics include the global impact of Trump Administration policies; science and climate denialism; climate change and extreme weather; energy, climate and development; the future of fossil fuels, renewable energy and nuclear power; and the changing Arctic. Analyses of media coverage will examine how complex policy issues (involving environmental, health and economic risks/benefits) become polarized and how public communication could be improved. Increasingly, all professionals in the public and private sectors—by choice or necessity—need to become better communicators in conventional and social media. Practical communication, writing and media strategies/skills will include an op-ed, class blog and role-play exercise. Guest speakers add real-world perspectives. Lessons from this course apply readily to other public policy issues as well.

Economic Analysis of Public Policy (B Section)
Harvard Kennedy School
Joseph Aldy
Spring 2018
Description: This course builds on API-101 to develop microeconomic tools of analysis for policy problems through various policy applications. The course is broadly focused on evaluating the rationale for government intervention in the economy and evaluating the efficiency, incentive, and distributional effects of government policies.

The B section focuses on applications at the nexus of business and government, including energy policy, competition policy, environmental regulation, financial markets, labor markets, public health and safety, and insurance markets.

Energy and Climate: Vision for the Future (SCIPHUNV 25)
Faculty of Arts and Sciences
[See also online course through Harvard Extension School]
Michael McElroy and Xinyu Chen
Spring 2018
Description: 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 CO2 are higher now than at any time over at least the past 850,000 years, higher arguably than at any time since dinosaurs roamed the planet 50 million years ago. The course will provide a perspective on what we may expect in the way of future climate change if we fail to take action – more violent storms, extremes of precipitation, heat waves, pressures on food production, and an inexorable rise in sea level.  It will survey the energy choices available should we elect to take action to minimize future damage to the climate system.  Special attention will be directed to the challenges and opportunities confronting China and the US, the world’s two largest current emitters.  The overall goal will be to develop a vision for a more sustainable environmental future, one in which energy is supplied not by climate-altering fossils fuels but rather by zero carbon alternatives such as wind, solar, hydro, geothermal, tidal and nuclear.

Energy Policy Analysis (API-164)
Harvard Kennedy School
Joseph Aldy
Spring 2018
Description: 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. The course is offered in support of the Harvard University Center for the Environment (HUCE) Graduate Consortium on Energy and Environment http://environment.harvard.edu/student-resources/graduate-consortium.
Prerequisites: Multivariate calculus. Permission of the instructor required.

Energy Resources and the Environment (SCIPHUNV 31)
Faculty of Arts and Sciences
John Shaw
Spring 2018
Description: 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 used in our economies, and the environmental impacts of these activities. Topics include coal, petroleum (conventional and unconventional), nuclear power, geothermal systems, and renewable energy options (hydro, tidal, solar, wind power). Lectures and labs will introduce students to data and methods used in these energy and environmental sectors.

Energy Science (Physics 129)
Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Lene Hau
Spring 2018
Description: 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. Fundamentals of electrodynamics, statistical/thermal physics, and quantum mechanics are taught as needed to give students an understanding of the topics covered.

Energy Technology (ENG-SCI 231)
Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Michael Aziz
Spring 2018
Description: 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.

Energy within Environmental Constraints (ENG-SCI 137)
Faculty of Arts and Sciences
[See also archived HarvardX course]
David Keith
Spring 2018
Description: This course provides a systematic introduction to the energy system for students in engineering and applied sciences. Students should gain a working understanding of the some of the most important energy technologies, from prime movers--gas turbines, steam cycles, and reciprocating engines--to secondary energies including fuel production and refining technologies and the electricity transmission and distribution system. The course aims at a systematic understanding of the energy system's environmental footprint as a tool to help students who will work to reduce it. Energy is a commodity. One cannot hope to re-shape the energy system to meet environmental constrains without a rough working understanding of energy markets--costs, prices and elasticities of supply and demand. So the course will integrate engineering economics and other applied social sciences into the treatment of energy technologies to enable a system's view of energy.

Environment: China, Japan, Korea (Hist 1610)
Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Ian J. Miller
Spring 2018
Description: The future is not what it used to be. Nowhere is this more evident than in the natural world, where climate change and fading biodiversity, energy anxieties and environmental disasters have undermined the bedrock of history: the assumption of a stable continuity between past, present, and future. This class visits East Asia—China, Japan, and the Koreas, vibrant economies and agents of historical change, to explore the transformation of the natural world in modern times. We will analyze nuclear power plants and cruise rivers, explore industrial ruins and debate public policy as we define Asia’s role in the global environmental future.

Environmental Law and Policy Clinic
Harvard Law School
Professor Wendy Jacobs
Spring 2018 clinic (also offered in Fall 2017 and Winter 2018)
Description: The Emmett Environmental Law and Policy Clinic (ELPC) offers students an opportunity to do hands-on, meaningful, real-life, and real-time environmental/energy regulatory, policy and advocacy work. Clinic offerings include local, national, and international projects covering the spectrum of environmental, energy and administrative law issues, under the leadership of Director and Clinical Professor Wendy Jacobs. Clinic students work on policy projects and white papers, regulatory and statutory drafting and comments, manuals and guidance to help non-lawyers identify and protect their rights, litigation and advocacy work, including developing case strategies, research and drafting briefs (filed in state and federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court), preparing witnesses and their testimony, meeting with clients and attending and presenting at administrative and court hearings. Our clients include state and municipal governments, non-governmental organizations, advocacy and community groups, and research and policy institutions. The subject matter varies each semester, but often includes climate change displacement, citizen science, climate change mitigation and adaptation, offshore drilling and water protection, sustainable agriculture/aquaculture, ethics in the study of human exposure to environmental contaminants, development of legal frameworks for emerging technologies such as carbon capture and sequestration, extraction of natural gas by hydraulic fracturing, and aiding environmental protection and advocacy groups to identify opportunities and strategies for participating in the review and permitting processes for significant energy infrastructure projects.

Ethics of Climate Change (Phil 24)   
Faculty of Arts and Sciences   
Lucas Stanczyk
Spring 2018
Description: 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? How should the costs of mitigation and adaptation be apportioned between countries? Should significant funds be allocated to the study of geo-engineering? We will consider these and other questions in an effort to understand our responsibilities in respect of climate change, with a special focus on the structure of the analytical frameworks that have long been dominant among policymakers.

The Fluid Earth: Oceans, Atmosphere, Climate, and Environment
Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Ann Pearson and Peter Huybers
Spring 2018
Description: This course introduces students to the fluid Earth, emphasizing Earth's weather and climate, the carbon cycle, and global environmental change. The physical concepts necessary for understanding the structure, motion and energy balance of the atmosphere, ocean, and cryosphere are covered first, and then these concepts are applied in exploring major earth processes. Examples from Earth's past history, on-going changes in the climate, and implications for the future are highlighted.

Fundamentals of Environmental Economics and Policy
Faculty of Arts and Sciences and Harvard Kennedy School
Robert Stavins
Spring 2018
Description: Provides a survey, from the perspective of economics, of public policy issues associated with environmental protection and natural resources management. Lectures on conceptual and methodological topics are combined with examinations of specific resource and environmental issues, with particular focus on global climate change economics and policy.

Green Politics and Public Policy in a Global Age (DPI 345M)
Harvard Kennedy School
Muriel Rouyer
Spring 2018
Description: 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. This course focuses on the ways that different democratic polities are tackling green, global concerns, and climate action in particular. What is the role of political systems? What roles can markets and regulation play? At what scale (local, national, federal, or supranational) are green policies most effectively executed? What has been the role of international negotiations regarding environmental and climate action, particularly since the recent Paris agreement? This course will identify the political challenges and dilemmas posed by environmental policies in democracies, discuss the best policy tools in national, sub-national, and international contexts, and focus on the transnational venues of environmental activism and green policies that have developed recently around the world. Specific case studies will be developed in comparative perspective (such as renewable energy, green cities of the world) with regional insights (European Union, Americas, Asia, Africa…) and guest practitioners’ perspectives.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Management (ENVR E-116)     
Harvard Extension School
Richard Goode, Marlon Robert Banta
Spring 2018
Description:  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. Achieving these aspirational targets requires countries to establish policy that decarbonizes the economy. Organizations should start to develop and implement a 2 degrees Celsius strategy by clearly understanding their exposure to climate-related risks and identifying best practices for adapting to new carbon regulation, along with transforming their businesses by deploying sustainable energy practices. Understanding greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, including how to calculate them and the importance of reporting them publicly, is vital to understanding how to identify sources of emission and how to reduce them. This course teaches students how to measure, report, and reduce GHG emissions with an eye toward understanding the roles that energy choices and usage play in reducing emissions.

High Performance Buildings for Health, Comfort and Sustainability (EH 252)
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Joseph Allen, Jose Guillermo, Cedeno Laurent
Spring 2018
Description: It is well-known and oft-repeated in environmental health circles that we spend 90% of time indoors. Because this constitutes the vast majority of our exposure time, and concentrations of many indoor pollutants are actually higher indoors than outdoors, it follows logically that indoor environments influence our health. Buildings have the potential for both positive and negative impacts on this indoor exposure, and can mitigate the burden of outdoor pollutants indoors. Over 40 years of research on the indoor environment has yielded many insights into building-related factors that influence health, well-being, and productivity. To meet challenges related to energy and materials, while simultaneously providing healthy indoor environments, buildings must incorporate sustainability criteria into every aspect of design, construction and operation. By definition, green buildings focus on minimizing impacts to the environment through reductions in energy usage, water usage, and minimizing environmental disturbances from the building site. Also by definition, but perhaps less widely recognized, green buildings aim to improve human health through design of healthy indoor environments. This class will cover basic principles of high performance building design, construction and operation, and impacts on indoor environmental quality, including chemical exposures, light, noise and thermal comfort. One class each week will be dedicated to lectures on these topics, with case studies and experiences from building practitioners that have successfully incorporated sustainability features in historic and contemporary structures. We will also have guests from across the university (Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Graduate School of Design, Harvard Medical School, Harvard University Office of Sustainability). The concepts presented in lectures will be reinforced in the second class each week with field trips, advanced modeling seminars and hands-on measurements of indoor environmental parameters. This course will be a requirement for the planned MPH65 degree track program in Sustainability and Environmental Management.

International Climate Change Policy
Harvard Kennedy School
Robert Stowe
Spring 2018
Description: 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. The module will incorporate research and analysis from the disciplines of political science, international relations, economics, and law. Readings will include primary sources (i.e., the texts of international climate-change agreements), as well as published and unpublished research papers (some from the Harvard Project on Climate Agreements). We will study in some detail the major new international agreement concluded at the U.N. climate-change conference held in Paris in December 2015, as well as subsequent efforts to elaborate the Agreement.  Students will gain familiarity with formal and, to a lesser degree, informal processes through which national governments cooperate to achieve environmental goals. As such, the module will be useful for students considering careers in international governmental organizations (IGOs) or internationally-oriented NGOs—especially those focusing on the environment. Students will gain considerable insight into climate-change policy as such, and the course will be very valuable for students who specifically wish to work in this field. Finally, while this is not a course in legal scholarship or in negotiation, we will read and analyze the texts of international climate-change agreements carefully. Such experience could be of use, again, for those students who wish to work in IGOs.

Introduction to Environmental Science and Engineering
Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Elsie Sunderland Patrick Ulrich
Spring 2018
Description: This course will provide an introduction to environmental science and engineering through case studies of some of the most pressing environmental issues. Course modules will include climate and air quality; food production and environmental impact; availability and quality of water; species biodiversity and ecosystem services; and ecological economics, risk management and environmental policy. Case studies will provide an introduction to the fundamental principles underlying disciplines in environmental research including chemistry, hydrology, soil science, ecology, statistics, and economics. Engineering solutions to societal problems will be discussed in the context of energy availability, air and water pollution control, design of effective monitoring strategies for ecological populations, and metrics used to evaluate the effectiveness of environmental policies.

Management, Finance, and Regulation of Public Infrastructure in Developing Countries (DEV 209)
Harvard Kennedy School 
Henry Lee
Spring 2018
Description: (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. Issues to be discussed include public-private partnerships (PPPs), the fundamentals of project finance, contract and discretionary regulation, stakeholder involvement, and managing the political and strategic context in which infrastructure decisions are made. The course will rely on case material taken from infrastructure programs in developing countries, including Brazil, Mexico, Thailand, Laos, Argentina, Chile, Lesotho, Uganda, Madagascar, and India, as well as some developed countries, including the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia.

Physics for Future Presidential Advisors (Physics 125)
Faculty of Arts and Sciences
David J. Morin
Spring 2018
Description: Uses physics to analyze important technologies and real world systems. Stresses estimation and “back of the envelope” calculations, as are commonly used by research physicists when addressing new problems and analyzing national and international policy issues. New physical concepts are introduced as necessary. Example topics: energy production and storage (solar, nuclear, batteries), nuclear physics, power and weapons, airplanes, spy satellites, rockets, fluids, health effects of radiation, risk analysis, mechanical design and failure, communication, computation, global warming.  Emphasis is on developing physical intuition and the ability to do order-of-magnitude calculations.

The Politics of Climate Change 
Faculty of Arts and Sciences   
Yascha Mounk
Spring 2018
Description: 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 we need to coordinate our response to global warming; whether we should prioritize mitigation or adaptation; and what a just response to climate change might look like.

Public Policy Approaches to Global Climate Change (FRSEMR 44G)   
Faculty of Arts and Sciences  
Richard Cooper
Spring 2018
Description: 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 possible public policy responses to these developments, including actions both to adapt to and to mitigate climate change. What would be the costs of adaptation? Would an investment in mitigating the changes be worthwhile? The seminar will also address the requirements and possibilities for international cooperation in dealing with the problem of global climate change, the solution to which transcends national boundaries and competence. Throughout, the seminar will emphasize the analysis of complex problems in public policy. Members of the seminar will be exposed to concepts of cost-benefit analysis and considerations of uncertainty in decision-making. The seminar will rely on student research.
Course open to Freshman students only.

Science, Technology, and Society: Research Seminar
(IGA 956Y)   
Harvard Kennedy School   
Sheila Jasanoff
Spring 2018 (also offered Fall 2017)
Description: A year-long research methods seminar in Science and Technology Studies that trains doctoral students (and postdocs) in identifying, analyzing, and writing about significant issues at the intersection of science, technology, and public policy. Students are expected to deepen their knowledge of major STS analytic frameworks, present their own research, read and critique other students' writings, and prepare occasional short analytic pieces for online publication.

Seminar in Environmental Economics and Policy  (API 905Y)   
Harvard Kennedy School   
Robert Stavins and Martin Weitzman
Spring 2018 (Also offered Fall 2017)
Description: 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. Students prepare critiques of presented papers and prepare a research paper of their own.

State Energy Law
Harvard Law School
Kate Konschnik and Ari Peskoe
Spring 2018
Description: States play a leading role in forging our nation's energy policy.  State regulatory authority over in-state activities is pervasive, from resource extraction to utility rate-making.  This seminar offers an overview of core state functions, the legal questions they present, and the current policy debates and legal battles over the future of our energy sector.  Across all of these topics, we'll explore how state roles change over time, given federal action in this space, case law, and industry developments.  Topics will include: regulation of electric utilities; pipeline and infrastructure siting; renewable energy and other resource policies; oil and gas production; and, regional and multi-state energy partnerships. 

Survey of Energy Technology (ENG-SCI 229)
Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Michael Aziz
Spring 2018
Description: 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.

The Technology, Economics, and Public Policy of Renewable Energy (ESPP 90S)
Faculty of Arts and Sciences 
George Baker
Spring 2018
Description: 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 for renewable energy. We start by understanding the technology of hydro, solar, wind, and biomass. We then examine the economics of these technologies, and how subsidies and taxes affect their viability. Special attention will be paid to the interaction of technology, economics, and public policy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Address:
Consortium for Energy Policy Research
Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government
John F. Kennedy School of Government
Harvard University
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Belfer 312
Cambridge, MA 02138

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Phone:
617.495.8693