Consortium for Energy Policy Research at Harvard

ENERGY POLICY-RELATED COURSES OFFERED AT HARVARD

Academic Year 2015-2016

Please note: This course guide contains abbreviated information for browsing purposes. Please follow links to the Harvard course catalogue for complete information on courses and enrollment requirments.
Harvard University
Fall 2015 courses


The Architecture of Waste
 
Harvard Graduate School of Design   
Andreas Georgoulias, Leire Asensio Villoria 

Fall 2015
Description:
Within many contemporary contexts, it would be fair to affirm that architecture and design have failed to play an instrumental role in the engineering and construction of industrial buildings. However the projected increase for countries such as Sweden, in the construction of industrial buildings within urban contexts to facilitate the transformation towards clean energy practices (such as waste to energy plants), presents an opportunity for a contribution from architects.

This seminar proposes to re-engage architects with waste and Waste-to-Energy facilities. Through the study of built and proposed WTE facilities the seminar will propose novel and effective ways to rethink the relationship of architecture, waste and energy production as they operate over a number of time scales- a (re)planned obsolescence. The course will focus specifically on a range of issues associated with these infrastructures, such as their building typologies, the review of contextual drivers and policies, and considered through the lenses of emerging trends in technology and design, Geographic influences, policies and cultural approaches to waste management and the insertion of renewable energy infrastructure in urban or peripheral environments will be studied. Our primary field of investigation will be in Sweden and the US. We will deliberately study two diverging examples, with on the one hand: northern European countries that obtain close to 50% of their energy mix from WTE and the on the other: the United States which currently only generates 5% of their energy from waste. We hope to explicate the socio-economic and cultural dimensions that, in these two examples, either enable or limit the implementation of a practice of renewable energy generation from a constant and abundant supply: waste.

The course structure covers a broad spectrum of architectural and design issues related to industrial buildings and will include a series of lectures by guest speakers and various stakeholders in the design of WtE facilities (both from the US and Sweden). The course will also involve a field trip to Sweden where we will not only visit a number of state of the art WtE plants but will also benefit from the opportunity to meet and have discussions with designers, engineers, operators and industry representatives.

Learning from the issues covered in the course, students will develop a report that outlines both the strategy and feasibility for initiating hybrid combinations between the industrial infrastructure associated with the waste to energy process and other potential public or private programs as well as functions that may benefit from this synergistic relationship. Strategies for how these structures may be sensitively integrated within dense urban fabrics or locating ways of leveraging the spatial qualities of the infrastructure or byproducts of the energy production process will be projected, studied and evaluated in the course.

This course is part of a three-year sponsored research project at the GSD and it includes a week-long fieldtrip to Sweden. As travel and accommodation expenses are covered by the research budget, the course is limited enrollment.

Behavioral Economics and Public Policy (API-304)
Harvard Kennedy School
Brigitte Madrian
Fall 2015
Description: This course will examine the relationship between behavioral economics and public policy. Individuals frequently make decisions that systematically depart from the predictions of standard economic models. Behavioral economics attempts to understand these departures by integrating an understanding of the psychology of human behavior into economic analysis. The course will review the major themes of behavioral economics and address the implications for public policy in a wide variety of domains, including: retirement savings, social security, labor markets, household borrowing (credit cards, mortgages, payday lending), education, energy use, health care, addiction, organ donation, tax collection and compliance, and social welfare programs.

Biotechnology, Sustainability, and Public Policy (ESPP 90P)
Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Calestous Juma
Fall 2015
Description: This seminar examines the implications of biotechnology for sustainability. Using case studies, it focuses on policy approaches for maximizing the benefits of biotechnology and minimizing their risks. It addresses the following themes: (1) scientific and technological advances in biotechnology and sustainability; (2) social responses to the use of biotechnology; (3) application of biotechnology specific sectors such as agriculture; industry; energy; bioremediation and species conservation; (4) socio-economic impacts; and (5) policy and institutional considerations.

Building Simulation SCI 0645200
Harvard Graduate School of Design
Ali Malkawi
Fall 2015
Description: Simulation is the process of making a simplified model of some complex system and using it to predict the behavior of the original system. During the past two decades, advancements in computer technology made it possible for building simulation to be part of the design process. The course will introduce computational modeling theory, its complexity and techniques. Specific focus will be on how existing computational tools can be used during various stages of the design process. The Blackbox vs transparent simulations use will be explained and learned to illustrate their limitations and potential to design. The course will provide students with 1) An understanding of building simulation methods and their underlying principles 2) Hands-on experience in using environmental computer simulation models.
State-of-the-art computer models for thermal, ventilation (Computational Fluid Dynamics) and solar analysis will be introduced. Innovative techniques on how to use these models in architectural design will be explored. A building will be analyzed throughout the semester in the following areas:

  • Climate and Site Analysis
  • Ventilation and Air Flow
  • Thermal and Energy Systems
  • Design Integration

Catalyzing Change: Sustainability Leadership for the Twenty-First Century(ENVR E-117)
Harvard Extension School
Leith Sharp and John
Spengler
Fall 2015
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 each 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, technology, and more 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 actual 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.

Changing Natural and Built Coastal Environments (SCI 0633700)
Harvard Graduate School of Design
Steven Apfelbaum and Katherine Parsons
Fall 2015
Description: This course will examine natural and anthropogenic processes affecting the coastal zone and nearshore environment. Ecological principles and their application to design and planning will be emphasized. Topics will include coastal wetland development, sediment movement in estuaries and long-shore, natural disturbance regimes including coastal storms, flooding, and erosion. Applications of ecological principles for landscape design, planning, restoration, recreation, management and conservation at regional scales will include stormwater management, hardened coastlines, sediment and toxics management, and marsh restoration.

As a later-sequence ecology course focused on coastal processes and built environment issues, this seminar complements existing GSD emphasis on introductory ecology, terrestrial systems and freshwater wetlands. The course focus on ecologically-sound management of the coastal zone is highly relevant to current/future concerns with sea level rise, stormwater management, energy infrastructure, and waterfront development. Coastal zone management is most fruitfully approached on a regional scale, an approach transferable to other, current design challenges.
Specific expertise brought to the course by Parsons includes long-term studies along US northeast coasts of estuarine ecosystems and biodiversity, toxics and sediment management in urban ports (including metropolitan areas of New York City, Boston, Philadelphia/Wilmington, Baltimore), ecologically-based engineered solutions to habitat loss including islands, coastal wetlands, barrier beaches, and peninsulas. Specific expertise brought to the course by Apfelbaum includes ecologically-sound applications to achieve restoration objectives, stormwater management, and risk assessment. The class will meet weekly at GSD; in addition, there will be two full-day field trips. Evaluation will be based on seminar attendance/participation, a field report, and research paper and presentation.

China’s Energy Economy: Perspectives from the Past: Challenges for the Future (ESPP 90N)
Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Michael McElroy and Xi Lu
Fall 2015
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 (SCIPHUNV 29)
Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Daniel Schrag
Fall 2015
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.

Commodities in International History (Hist 79E)
Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Alison Frank Johnson
Fall 2015
Description: Introduces students to international history through the study of commodities ranging from oil, coal, and cotton to potatoes, rum, coffee, and sugar. Showcases historical writings that transcend geographic, cultural, and political boundaries between East and West, North and South, Atlantic and Pacific as well as methodological boundaries between cultural, economic, business, and environmental history, the history of food, of technology, and of ideas.

The Consequences of Energy Systems (E-PSCI 239)
Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Daniel Schrag
Fall 2015
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 (ENV E-599a)
Harvard Extension School
William O’Brien
Fall 2015
Description: The course imparts knowledge and skills for planning sustainability projects and developing solutions for organizations including small businesses, nonprofits, or local townships. Sustainability solutions refer to working with a client either as a member of a team or individually to develop and deliver a customized, actionable plan with the goals of reducing operating costs, minimizing the environmental footprint, and improving environmental sustainability. Typical areas of focus include energy efficiency, water conservation, waste reduction, supply chain management, green IT, transportation, and a process for organizational change. Opportunities are identified and initiatives developed in collaboration with the client for both the short term and long term. Deliverables include a sustainability action plan and a presentation to the client stakeholders (the leadership team and staff).

Contemporary Issues in Oil and Gas Law: Fracking, Takings, Pipelines, and Regulation
Harvard Law School
Katherine E. Konschnik
Fall 2015
Description: This Reading Group will explore hot legal issues in oil and gas law relating to public health, environmental quality, fair compensation for public natural resources, and eminent domain for public utilities. The goal of the Reading Group is to provide an overview of energy law and to demonstrate how this rich subject interacts with many other areas of law. We will also apply problem-solving skills in our discussions of often contentious topics, and think about how to represent clients in these settings or craft creative policy solutions and management strategies.
We will meet for six two-hour sessions. After a brief introduction to oil and gas activity in the United States, the group will tackle four legal topics--chemical disclosure, royalty transparency on public lands, methane emissions from the natural gas sector, and pipeline siting --in an informal, interactive setting. Students will be responsible for the readings, to ensure robust class discussions.

Culture, Conservation and Design (DES 0333300)
Harvard Graduate School of Design
Susan Snyder and George Thomas
Description: This proseminar addresses theoretical foundations of Critical Conservation as an evolving discipline that bridges between Cultural Meaning, Identity and Context. Its goal is to enable us to understand how we use / misuse the past; how we value the present to make nuanced decisions about conservation and change. Critical Conservation is not about rules and opposition to change but rather, about understanding underlying forces and agendas to more effectively negotiate socially constructed meaning.
The course is organized around three topics:
Conservation, Cultural Meaning & Context addresses the social construction of dynamic cultural meaning associated with places, artifacts and history. It investigates the questions about the past, history, permanence, temporality, obsolescence and authenticity and applies them to how we characterize the identity of places.

  • Conservation, Cultural Identities, Power & Exclusion addresses the role of modernity and tradition in creating personal and group identities that are embedded, transportable and temporal. Issues include history / heritage, nostalgia / tourism, ecological identity / nature. The role of ancestor worship, government use of racial zoning, urban renewal, stigmatization of the other and private use of exclusionary amenities will be examined in relationship to how cultural groups use underlying agendas to manifest power, identity and control of places.
  • Conservation, Values & Regulation addresses the mechanisms of advocacy groups, legislation and regulation to control context by design and identity narratives. Critical Conservation decisions in relationship to the creation of progressive places, a just city, energy efficiency, affordable housing and density will be addressed.

Current Issues in U.S. Environmental Law (ESPP 90X)
Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Shaun Goho
Fall 2015
Description: This course examines some of the main U.S. environmental laws, the methods of regulation and enforcement represented by those laws, and current controversies regarding their implementation and development. Each week's class will be divided between a discussion of key cases and regulations implementing a particular law and an in-depth examination of a case study involving the law under examination.

Eco-entrepreneurship (MGMT E-5445)
Harvard Extension School
William O’Brien
Fall 2015
Description: This course introduces the concepts and practices of sustainable development, clean technology, and energy management. These areas are explored from a global perspective as they affect current and future opportunities and challenges related to the design, development, and commercialization of sustainable products, services, technologies, and new business models. The course explores the nature of the triple bottom line the simultaneous delivery of economic, social, and environmental value and teaches students to apply models, tools, best practices, and frameworks to incorporate social and environmental dimensions into identification and ethical exploitation of business opportunities. The course design enables future entrepreneurs to identify specific green opportunities, develop a business plan, and provide guidance on how to secure funding and operationalize the plans.

Ecology, Infrastructure, Power (ADV 0913200)
Harvard Graduate School of Design
Pierre Belanger
Fall 2015
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? These are fundamental questions to everyone in the world. 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. It is our urban, political and cultural ore.

From underground extraction to surface prospecting to aerial exploration, 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. Located on every continent and every sea in the world, 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.
Producing over 60 minerals and metals, Canada is the most productive mining nation in the world. Of the nearly 20,000 mining projects in the world from Africa to Latin America, more than half are Canadian-operated. Not only does the mining economy employ close to 400,000 people in Canada, it contributed $52.6 billion to Canada’s GDP in 2012 alone. Globally, more than 75% of the world’s mining firms are based in Canada. Seemingly impossible to conceive, the scale of these statistics naturally extends the logic of Canada’s historical legacy as state, nation, and now, as global resource empire.
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 b-comes a global resource giant, and planetary staple supplier. Be it Guatemalan gold, Congolese coltan or Albertan oil, resources are required to support contemporary urban life. 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, from coast-to-coast, from one continent to the next.
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, engineering, science, environment, industry, business and culture. Topics of discussion will be interwoven with profiles of contemporary leaders in business, politics and culture-from Peter Munk and Pierre Lassonde, to David Suzuki and Naomi Klein. 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 for the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2016. Contributors and speakers include the work of award winning photographer Edward Burtynsky and filmmaker Jennifer Baichwal, as well as historic maps by renowned Canadian engineer Sir Sand-ford Fleming and the Hudson’s Bay Company, where media will serve as paradoxical representation, rhetoric

Electricity Market Design (API-166)
Harvard Kennedy School
William Hogan
Fall 2015
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. Prerequisite: API-102, IGA-410 or equivalent. Permission of the instructor required.

Energy in Architecture (SCI 0612200) 
Harvard Graduate School of Design
Kiel Moe
Fall 2015
Description: This lecture course introduces students to energy and environmental issues, particularly those that must be faced by the discipline of architecture. An overview of the basic principles of energy generation and energy use will be provided, and the fundamental climatic precursors and patterns will be discussed. Building design issues in relation to basic energy needs and interior environmental requirements will be briefly outlined, and students will be exposed to the underlying complexity of developing solutions that address a wide range of local and global concerns. In addition, the technological response to interior environmental control will be contextualized within the larger framework of the scientific and socio-cultural influences that shaped the building systems we currently use.

Energy Law and Policy
Harvard Law School
Alexandra B. Klass
Fall 2015
Description: This course provides an introduction to U.S. energy law and policy. The first portion of the course introduces the nation’s primary sources of energy: coal, oil, biofuels, natural gas, hydropower, nuclear, wind, and solar energy. In doing so, it explores the physical, market, and legal structures within which these energy sources are extracted, transported, and converted into energy. The second portion of the course turns to the two major sectors of our energy economy: electricity and transportation. The third portion of the course explores case studies of hot topics in energy law and policy that highlight the complex transitions taking place in the energy system. These topics may include smart grid development, nuclear energy, and risks and benefits associated with hydraulic fracturing and deepwater drilling.

Energy Policy: Technologies, Systems, and Markets (IGA-410)
Harvard Kennedy School
Henry Lee
Fall 2015
Description: Energy is a critical component of every dimension of human society. It is an essential input for economic development, transportation, and agriculture, and it shapes national and international policies in the environmental, national security, and technology arenas. IGA-410 is an introductory energy policy course which introduces students to the policy and economic dimensions of the energy choices to meet societal goals -- both global and domestic. Oil and gas markets, electricity policy, technology innovation, renewable energy, energy efficiency , climate change and global energy politics will be covered. The first part of the course introduces students to quantitative and qualitative analytical tools to assess energy problems and the fundamental concepts of energy policy. The second will use case studies to explore specific challenges, which will allow students to apply the tools acquired in the first segment. Previous exposure to micro-economics is useful, but not required.

Energy Storage System Analysis (APPHY346)
Faculty of Arts and Sciences
David Keith
Fall 2015

Description: Not posted.

Energy within Environmental Constraints (ENG-SCI 137)
Faculty of Arts and Sciences
David Keith
Fall 2015
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.

Environmental Law
 (LAW-2074)
Harvard Law School
Jody Freeman
Fall 2015  
Description: This introductory course will focus on the variety of legal mechanisms we use to address environmental harms such as air and water pollution, global climate change, and habitat destruction. We will focus on the key federal environmental statutes, including the National Environmental Policy Act, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act, and the leading cases in which these statutes have been interpreted by courts. The statutes will be studied in some detail so that students emerge with a basic understanding of their major regulatory provisions. Thematically, the statutes serve as illustrations of different regulatory approaches to environmental problems, from command and control standards to market-based instruments. In addition, we will discuss important matters of policy, including the Obama administration’s efforts to address climate change through the use of Executive Power. The course will also cover developments in Commerce Clause, Takings and Standing jurisprudence which significantly affect federal environmental law; the role of cost-benefit analysis in environmental regulation. Finally, we will discuss the political economy of environmental regulation, specifically the role played by interest groups (both industry and environmental organizations) in producing, implementing and enforcing environmental law.
Students need not be self-identified ""environmentalists"" to be interested in this course. Nearly every area of law is now affected by environmental regulation, including corporate law, real estate and bankruptcy. The legal issues presented by environmental problems offer ample opportunities for students to develop important and transferable legal skills, including statutory interpretation, constitutional analysis and application of administrative law doctrines.
Laptops will not be permitted in class. Regular attendance and participation in class discussion is expected.

Environmental Law and Policy Clinic (LAW-8008)
Harvard Law School
Wendy B. Jacobs
Fall 2015
Description: The Emmett Environmental Law and Policy Clinic (ELPC) offers students an opportunity to do hands-on, meaningful, real-life, and real-time environmental regulatory, policy and advocacy work. Clinic offerings include local, national, and international projects covering the spectrum of environmental 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 is likely to include climate change mitigation and adaptation, offshore drilling and water protection, sustainable agriculture/aquaculture, ethics in the study of human exposure to environmental contaminants, and development of legal frameworks for emerging technologies such as carbon capture and sequestration, extraction of natural gas by hydraulic fracturing, and green infrastructure for management of stormwater.
Please note: Some ELPC students work off-campus with government agencies and nonprofit organizations, while others work on campus at the Clinic on cutting-edge projects and case work. Students are carefully matched to their projects/placements by the Clinic Director.

Environmental Management (ENVR E-101)
Harvard Extension School
John D. Spengler, Joseph Allen, and George D. Buckley
Fall 2015
Description: This course surveys the scientific principles of environmental issues and environmental management practices, with attention to the health of both humans and the ecosystem. Fundamental and emerging topics related to air and water pollution, water use and management, aquatic ecosystems, energy and climate change, biodiversity, toxic substances in the environment, solid waste management, and regulatory strategies for risk assessment and environmental management are examined. A local aquatic field trip is planned on a weekend in the fall with alternatives provided for online students. Other optional site visits are scheduled throughout the semester.

Environmental Crises, Climate Change, and Population Flight (ESPP 90J)
Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Jennifer Leaning and James McCarthy
Fall 2015
Description: War, disaster, drought, or famine force people to flee their land. Climate change is contributing to many of these factors. The humanitarian consequences of population flight, including loss of place and livelihood, are filled with complexity, relating to the extent and permanence of environmental destruction wrought by these crises, people's attachment to their homes and ecosystems, the circumstances of departure, the destinations of refuge, and the possibilities for return. These issues will be examined through case studies and review of literature on forced migration and calamity.

The Geopolitics of Energy
 (IGA-412)
Harvard Kennedy School   
Meghan O'Sullivan

Fall 2015 
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.

Global Political Ecology (ANTHRO 1654)
Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Anand Vidya
Fall 2015
Description: Despite enormous scientific and political efforts, climate scientists and environmental activists have found themselves unable to bring about the political changes that might reverse climate change and environmental degradation. The degradation of the earth’s environment has been caused by humans, but somehow humans have not able to stop or reverse the social processes that cause that degradation. This seminar examines case studies of environmental degradation at multiple scales, from superfund sites in Massachusetts to deforestation in the Amazon to global climate change, to three ends: to explore fundamental questions in social theory about human agency and historical change, to understand why coordinated scientific and political efforts to prevent environmental degradation have tended to fail, and to think through new political and environmental interventions that might succeed. The material that this course covers draws from environmental science, history, political economy, and anthropology, and one of the major tasks of this course is to search for ways to reconcile social scientific and natural scientific theories and methods and to think through ways to apply the results of this reconciliation.

Human Influence on Life in the Sea (SCILIVSY 22)
Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Robert M. Woollacott and James Mccarthy
Fall 2015
Description: 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 effects of anthropogenic change to best protect marine ecosystems and ensure sustainable harvests from the sea.

Introduction to Environmental Health
(EH 201)
Harvard School of Public Health   
Rose Goldman 
Fall 2 2015
Description: This course offers a general introduction to environmental health from local to global, addressing fundamental topics and current controversies. The first part of the course covers core topics that prepare students to more fully understand and address environmental health issues: toxicology, exposure assessment, environmental epidemiology, risk assessment/risk management, air pollution, water pollution, and environmental justice. Using the tools from the first part of the course, students then participate in sessions on occupational health, children's health and the environment, injuries, climate change and health, the built environment/urban sprawl, and debates concerning pesticide use. Students can actively engage with the course material through in-class and online, case discussions, debates, and review of environment-related current events. This course provides an excellent introductory foundation in environmental health for all professional master's degree candidates, whether or not specializing in environmental health. The course fulfills the environmental health requirement for all professional master's degree programs. Activities: Brief graded written assignments (assigned written case analysis and pesticide debate position); final individual case project, in-class, on-line discussions and exercises

Land Use and Environmental Law (SUP-663)
Harvard Kennedy School and Graduate School of Design   
David Karnovsky 
Fall 2015
Description: As a scarce and necessary resource for earthly activity, land triggers competition and conflict over its possession, use, development, and preservation. For privately owned land, the market manages much of the competition through its familiar allocative price-setting features. 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 enacted land use and environmental laws that significantly affect how land is handled. Expressed through local ordinances, higher-level legislation, constitutions, discretionary governmental decisions, administrative regulations, judicial opinions, and private agreements, these laws affect the look, feel, character, and composition of cities, suburbs, and rural areas everywhere. This course introduces students to the content and controversies of land use and environmental laws. No prior legal knowledge is presumed. The purpose of the course is to provide students with a basic understanding of the theories, rationales, techniques, and implementing institutions involved in legally controlling the possession, use, development, and preservation of land. 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 especially when climate change and urban resilience are front and center, and on the tensions between individual rights and asserted socio-economic goals often resolved within the context of constitutional law by the courts. Law's approach is distinguished from those employed by other fields and disciplines. The role of the non-lawyer professional (planner, designer, public policymaker, developer, activist, etc.) in the crafting and implementation of land use and environmental laws is highlighted. Although United States law provides the principal material for the course, comparisons with legal regimes in other countries are regularly made. For better and worse, United States law has been a key reference point for planning and environmental laws worldwide. The legal techniques explored in the course include laws dealing with zoning, subdivisions, growth management, transfer of development rights, exactions and impact fees, form-based codes, environmental impact reviews, wetlands and water, endangered species, clean air, solid and hazardous waste disposal, design review, environmental justice, climate change, historic preservation, energy siting, billboard/sign/cell tower controls, eminent domain, building codes, and private homeowner associations. Course readings are drawn from primary sources, including local ordinances, higher level legislation, constitutions, judicial opinions, and private agreements, and from secondary sources, including law review and journal articles, book excerpts, and professional reports. Assignments include a five-page paper and a final exam.

Meteorological Architecture (STU 0130500) 
Harvard Graduate School of Design   
Philippe Rahm 

Fall 2015
Description:The building industry is one of the main culprits in global warming because the burning of fossil fuels to heat or cool dwellings is the source of nearly 50% of greenhouse gas emissions. Following some resistance and procrastination the whole industry is now mobilized in favor of sustainable development and arguing for improved heat insulation on outside walls, the use of renewable energies, consideration for the whole life cycle of materials and more compact building designs.

It is clear that these steps all have a definite objective, which is to combat global warming by reducing CO2 emissions. But over and above that goal, beyond such socially responsible and ecological objectives, might not climate be a new architectural language, a language for architecture rethought with meteorology in mind? Might it be possible to imagine climatic phenomena such as convection, conduction or evaporation for example as new tools for architectural composition? Could vapor, heat or light become the new bricks of contemporary construction?
Climate change is forcing us to rethink architecture radically, to shift our focus away from a purely visual and functional approach towards one that is more sensitive, more attentive to the invisible, climate-related aspects of space. Slipping from the solid to the void, from the visible to the invisible, from metric composition to thermal composition, architecture as meteorology opens up additional, more sensual, more variable dimensions in which limits fade away and solids evaporate. The task is no longer to build images and functions but to open up climates and interpretations. At the large scale, meteorological architecture explores the atmospheric and poetic potential of new construction techniques for ventilation, heating, dual-flow air renewal and insulation. At the microscopic level, it plumbs novel domains of perception through skin contact, smell and hormones. Between the infinitely small of the physiological and the infinitely vast of the meteorological, architecture must build sensual exchanges between body and space and invent new aesthetical approaches capable of making long-term changes to the form and the way we will inhabit buildings tomorrow.

Public Policy Approaches to Global Climate Change (Freshman Seminar 44G)
Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Richard Cooper
Fall 2015
Description: Reviews what is known about greenhouse gas emissions' possible impact on climate. Explores possible impact of climate change on social and economic conditions over the next century. Investigates 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? Are there possibilities for international cooperation in dealing with the problem?

Research in Environmental Economics (ECON 3680HFA)
Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Robert Stavins
Fall 2015
Description: Participants discuss recent research in environmental and natural resource economics and present their own work in progress. Students must complete both parts of this course (parts A and B) within the same academic year in order to receive credit. Open to doctoral students only.

Science, Power, and Politics (IGA-513)
Harvard Kennedy School and FAS History of Science Department
Sheila Jasanoff 
Fall 2015
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. Undergraduates may enroll only by permission of the instructor.

Science, Technology, and Society: Research Seminar
 (IGA-956Y)
Harvard Kennedy School   
Sheila Jasanoff 

Full Year 2015-2016
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. The seminar is open by permission of the instructor. Those interested in enrolling should email a short statement to the instructor describing their interest prior to the start of classes.

Seminar on Environmental Economics and Policy (API-905Y)
Harvard Kennedy School
Full Year 2015-2016
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. Prerequisites: This course is intended primarily for PhD students in economics, political economy and government, public policy, or related fields with interests in applications in the environmental and natural resource area. Prerequisites include a graduate-level course in microeconomic theory, such as Econ. 2010a, Econ 2020a, API-109, API-110, or permission of instructor. Also offered by the Economics Department as Ec 2690hf.

Supreme Court and Environmental Law (LAW-2662)
Harvard Law School
Richard Lazarus
Fall 2015
Description: This seminar will explore the role of the United States Supreme Court in the shaping of the nations environmental and natural resources laws. Students will review and discuss some of the most significant Supreme Court rulings and Justices, beginning with the nations early years and extending to current times and issues now before the Court. The seminar will also examine the role of advocacy before the Court in environmental cases. Readings will include legal scholarship on the Courts environmental law precedent, the Courts opinions, and in-depth examination of the briefs and oral arguments in significant environmental law Supreme Court cases.

Sustainable Buildings and Communities (ENVR E-119)
Harvard Extension School   
Linda Powers Tomasso and Emil Cuevas-Melendez
Fall 2015
Description: Our built environment has a substantial impact on energy and material use and is a critical determinant of health, comfort, and productivity for occupants. The physical sustainability of the buildings in which we live and work dictates that we address the limits to basic material resources (including the lifecycle impacts from product use) and energy availability as well as to waste and water discharge and exposure to unhealthy building materials. This course introduces students to the principles of sustainable building and their community context. Attention focuses on inputs/outputs of the four main environmental resources energy, water, material and solid waste, and land use and how their usage inter-relates to the well being of occupants and the community. Students become familiar with international standards for sustainable building design, operations, and management that benefit environmental and human health alike. Introduction to comparative rating systems and green building guidelines include Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certifications for buildings and communities, the International Living Future, China 3-Star, Harvard Zofnass Program for Sustainable Infrastructure, Biophilic Cities Network criteria, WELL and New York City's Active Design Guidelines for building interiors. Strategies for sustainable landscape design, lighting, healthy building material use, incorporation of nature, and architectural design for human health are addressed through lectures, readings, and case studies. The weekend unit includes arranged site visits to exemplary green buildings on the Harvard campus and in the Cambridge/Boston area.

Sustainable Buildings: Optimizing the Performance of Existing Buildings 
Harvard Extension School   
Emil Cuevas-Melendez and Doug Livingston
Fall 2015
Description: This is an advanced sustainable design course with technical content that focuses on energy use reduction in existing buildings. Students learn to perform American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Level II Energy Audits. Topics covered include the ASHRAE Level II energy audit process, identifying and calculating energy conservation measures, understanding and optimizing building automation systems, advanced life cycle cost analysis and greenhouse gas calculations, use of energy codes and standards, and financial incentive calculations.

Prerequisites: Basic knowledge of building systems. Basic math skills, experience with unit conversion and energy/cost calculations.

Sustainable Manufacturing and Supply Chain Management Operations 
Harvard Extension School   
Ramon Sanchez
Fall 2015
Description: This course provides a set of tools and skills to identify, evaluate, and improve the sustainability of supply chain operations. It enables students to understand core concepts of industrial and commercial activities so that they are able to design sustainable manufacturing and service operations. Students learn to define green warehousing and distribution activities, plan retrofits and capital investments in current and future productive operations to save energy, select green materials for new products, manage efficient new product introductions by designing sustainable factory operations, and learn how to use continuous improvement techniques and value stream mapping to reduce waste and environmental impacts while reducing costs.

Prerequisites: High school math.

Sustainability and International Business: Challenges, Opportunities, and Strategies 
Harvard Extension School   
Maurie Kelly
Fall 2015
Description: Sustainability in international business is more than simply adopting sustainable practices it has the potential to help companies gain competitive advantage. This course examines the global business environment in the context of sustainability and explores the challenges and opportunities that the new movement toward sustainability offers multinational enterprises and the countries in which they do business. It focuses on the meaning of sustainable development for profit-making global corporations, the effect of sustainability on global corporate development strategies, and how corporations and industries interact with nations to develop relationships and partnerships that support sustainable economic development. We investigate regions of the world such as Africa, Europe particularly Scandinavia Asia, and Latin America to learn about how multinationals are approaching sustainability in these regions. We also look at companies such as Unilever, Goodyear, SAB, Hitachi, Chevron, Coca Cola, and GlaxoSmithKline and study their specific approaches to sustainability. Topics covered in this course include corporate social and environmental responsibility; risk management; governments, investors, and stakeholder expectations; the social and environmental footprint throughout the business value chain; and impacts and opportunities for multinationals in the age of climate change.

Technology, Environment, and Society (ESPP 77)
Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Sheila Jasanoff
Fall 2015
Description: Our interactions with the natural world are increasingly mediated through changes in technology. Technologies create risks, generate solutions, reshape the environment, and alter our perception of the boundaries between nature and artifice. This course draws on major theories of technology and society to inform and deepen our understanding of environmental problems and policy options.

The U.S. Energy Revolution and its Implications (Freshman Seminar 42H)
Faculty of Arts and Sciences
James H. Stock
Fall 2015
Description: The U.S. “energy revolution” --nonconventional oil and gas production (fracking), increasing use of renewable energy, and reduced demand--has contributed to a sharp decline in U.S. oil imports, a changing U.S. 10% reduction in U.S. carbon dioxide emissions, and economic growth. This course examines the energy landscape, energy security, U.S. climate policy, and the connection between these issues and our own lives. Four case studies (biofuels, mining coal on public lands, regulating carbon dioxide emissions from power plants, and university divestment) illustrate the economic considerations, tradeoffs, and legal and political constraints facing U.S. energy and climate policy in practice

{back to top}

 


Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Fall 2015 courses


The MIT Energy Initiative's list of Energy Classes can be found here.



 


SEARCH
Search this site

CONTACT

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

Email:

Phone:
617.495.8693