Consortium for Energy Policy Research at Harvard

ENERGY POLICY-RELATED COURSES OFFERED AT HARVARD

Academic Year 2016-2017

-January 2017 Harvard courses

-Spring 2017 Harvard courses

-Spring 2017 MIT courses

-Fall 2016 Harvard courses

-Fall 2016 MIT courses

 

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 requirements:

--My Harvard (This 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)

See also the following helpful resources:

Harvard University

January 2017 Harvard courses

Environmental Law and Policy Clinic
Harvard Law School
Wendy B. Jacobs
Winter 2017
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
Harvard Kennedy School
Mark Fagan
Winter 2017
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 (1:00-5:00) 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 videotaped 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.
Course Notes: Course meets January 11-15, 9:00am-6:00pm.

Natural Resources Law
Harvard Law School
Winter 2017
Description: This course is a survey course on Natural Resources Law. Topics covered include Wildlife and Biodiversity, Living Marine Resources, Rangelands, Protected Lands, Water, Forests, Ecosystem Services and Energy Resources. The course also addresses international regimes for management of natural resources and issues raised by regulation of natural resources on private lands (focusing on constitutional takings doctrine).

 

Spring 2017 Harvard courses

Behavioral Economics, Law and Public Policy
Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard Kennedy School, and Harvard Law School
Cass Sunstein
Spring 2017
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.
Course Notes: Also offered by the Law School as 2589 and the Economics Department as Ec 2050. Permission of the instructor is required. To apply, please send a statement of interest and your resume to Ashley Nahlen anahlen@law.harvard.edu.

[The] Climate-Energy Challenge: See alphabetized under “The.”

Climate Solutions Living Lab
Harvard Law School
Wendy B. Jacobs
Spring 2017
Description: This is a new course with a limited number of seats to be filled by students from multiple disciplines (law, business, engineering, policy, public health) who will together design and study practical solutions for reducing the use of fossil fuels in the U.S. and abroad. The course will focus on solutions that could potentially help low-income, under-served populations improve their living conditions with power generated by renewable sources of fuel as well as identifying innovative legal and financing pathways for such projects. Together, we will identify potential projects, analyze their feasibility from multiple perspectives (economic, technological, legal, health, etc.), and select several projects for further scrutiny and development of implementation pathways. For example, we may consider innovative projects that may be of interest to Native American communities in the U.S., indigenous Mexican communities, and other low-income or isolated communities. We will also consider projects that could help Harvard and other institutions meet their greenhouse gas reduction goals. Together, we will develop the appropriate screening criteria to apply to projects we identify. For example, projects selected should be replicable and scalable and could include (1) mechanisms for innovative renewable energy solutions in inner-city public schools; (2) studying ways to create markets for displacing dirty, mined natural gas with captured biogas with a view to the use of biogas at Harvard’s own steam plant; (3) using big data to redesign traffic flow around key intersections in Boston to optimize GHG emissions reductions and public health for nearby sensitive and underserved inner-city populations; and (4) studying the carbon offset and renewable energy procurement markets. We will break into teams for intensive analyses of and development of implementation pathways for projects that survive the screening process. Students in this class will learn how projects proceed from concept through screening, design, financing, environmental review, challenges, and permitting.
This course is practical, highly interactive, and hands-on. Faculty from other Harvard graduate schools, including Public Health and SEAS will be involved. In addition to lectures and regular team meetings, there will be field work (e.g., data collection, meetings with technology developers, discussions with government representatives). Lectures will provide background on pertinent topics including the science of greenhouse gases (GHG) and air pollution, atmospheric chemistry, the health impacts and other co-benefits of GHG emission reductions, the laws pertaining to air pollution, electricity markets and their regulation, the siting, permitting and financing of projects, and, data collection techniques (including chemistry, data analysis, and GIS methods). Law students will learn about key elements of the practice of environmental law, including mechanisms for raising and resolving controversies, identifying the environmental 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.

Consulting with Clients for Sustainability Solutions Capstone
Harvard Extension School
William O’Brien
Spring 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 utilized 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 Appliances, Utah Center for Affordable Housing, and Amazon.

Prerequisites: Students must be in their final semester as candidates in the Master of Liberal Arts, sustainability or ecosystems. They must have completed all the course work for the program, including completion of the analytical skills requirement. They must have earned a satisfactory score on the test of critical reading and writing skills or a B or higher grade in the alternative expository writing course. Finally, students must have their consulting topics pre-approved by Mr. Will O'Brien. For approval, please submit the capstone approval form to Mr. O'Brien by November 1. Students should not delay as there is much to discuss to ensure a successful capstone. Students who do not meet these requirements are dropped from the course.
Notes
On campus only.

Controversies in Climate, Energy, and the Media: Improving Public Communication
Harvard Kennedy School
Cristine Russell
Spring 2017
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 climate change and extreme weather; science and climate denialism; the natural gas revolution and fracking; energy, climate and development; renewable energy; 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 a 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.

Earth Resources and the Environment
Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences
John Shaw
Spring 2017
Description: An overview of the Earth's energy and material resources, including conventional and unconventional hydrocarbons, nuclear fuels, alternative/renewable energy resources, metals, and other industrial materials. The course emphasizes the geologic and environmental factors that dictate the availability of these resources, the methods used to identify and exploit them, and the environmental impacts of these operations. Topics include: coal and acid rain; petroleum exploration, drilling, and production, shale gas/oil, photochemical smog, and oil spills; nuclear power and radioactive hazards; alternative energies (solar, hydroelectric, tidal, geothermal power), metals and mining.
Course Notes: Course includes three hours of laboratory work each week and three field trips. EPS 109 is also offered as ES 109. Students may not take both for credit. Undergraduate engineering students should enroll in ES 109. This course fulfills the EPS sub-discipline requirement of Oceans and Atmosphere(s). This course, when taken for a letter grade, meets the General Education requirement for Science of the Physical Universe. Given in alternate years.
Recommended Prep: EPS 21, ES 6, EPS 22, an equivalent course, or permission of the instructor.

Economic Analysis of Public Policy
Harvard Kennedy School
Joseph Aldy
Spring 2017
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.
Course Notes: Prerequisites: API-101 or equivalent. Students may receive credit for both API-102 and API-110 or API-112 only if API-102 is taken first.
Class Notes: 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. Review Session: Friday 10:15-11:30am (L130)
Course Requirements: Prerequisite: API-101

Energy and Climate Law and Policy
Harvard Law School
Jody Freeman
Spring 2017
Description: This course provides an introduction to U.S. energy law and policy. The first portion of the course introduces the nations 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 and Climate: Vision for the Future
Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Michael McElroy
Spring 2017
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.
Course Notes: Students who have taken Science A-52 may not take this course for credit.
Recommended Prep: Students are expected to have a background of high school algebra and trigonometry.

Energy and the Environment
Harvard Extension School
Petros Koutrakis
Spring 2017
Description: This course examines the relationship between energy and the environment in our global society. It analyzes the driving forces that influence the production and consumption of energy to evaluate their impacts on environmental quality, human health, and social equity. At the end of this course students are able to understand and assess the pros and cons of conventional and renewable energy systems, issues surrounding new transportation technologies, energy intensity of food production, effects of supply chain management and international commerce in energy security, energy management in buildings, and the mechanisms needed to evolve into sustainable energy operations in the green economy for the twenty-first century. Topics include natural gas, fracking, the concept of clean coal, carbon sequestration and storage projects, the rise of solar and wind power, biofuels production, hybrid and electric vehicles, sustainable transportation technologies, green buildings, and energy used in organic farming.

Prerequisites: High school biology and chemistry.
Notes: On campus with online option. Optional sections to be arranged.

Energy: Be the Change
Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences Freshman Seminar
Mara Prentiss
Spring 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 possibility of coming to pass.
Course Requirements: Course open to Freshman Students Only

Energy Science
Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Lene Hau
2017 Spring 2017
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.
Recommended Prep: Physics 15a (or 16), 15b,c or 11a,b. Pre/co-requisite Physics 143a or Chemistry 160 or equivalent.

Energy Storage System Analysis
Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences
David Keith
Spring 2017
Description: Thesis research.

Energy Technology
Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Michael Aziz
Spring 2017
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.
Course Notes: Students may not take both Engineering Sciences 231 and Engineering Sciences 229 for credit.
Recommended Prep: One semester of college-level calculus-based physics and familiarity with chemistry at the high school advanced placement level.

Environmental Economics and Policy Seminar
Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Robert Stavins and Martin Weitzman
Spring 2017
Description: Selected topics in environmental and resource economics. Emphasizes theoretical models, quantitative empirical analysis, and public policy applications. Includes invited outside speakers. Students must complete both parts of this course (parts A and B) within the same academic year in order to receive credit.
Notes: Graduate-level course in microeconomic theory.

Environmental Law and Policy Clinic

Harvard Law School
Wendy Jacobs
Spring 2017
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.

The Fluid Earth: Oceans, Atmosphere, Climate, and Environment: See alphabetized under “The.”

Fundamentals of Environmental Economics and Policy
Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences and Harvard Kennedy School
Robert Stavins
Spring 2017
Description: Provides a survey, from the perspective of economics, of environmental and natural resource policy. Combines lectures on conceptual and methodological topics with examinations of public policy issues.
Prerequisite(s): Recommended: Ec 10a and Ec 10b or permission of instructor.
Notes: Optional writing Requirement: This course offers an optional writing requirement which if completed will satisfy the concentration writing requirement. Offered jointly with the Kennedy School as API-135.

Green Politics and Public Policy in a Global Age
Harvard Kennedy School
Muriel Rouyer
Spring 2017
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.

[The] Impact of Buildings on Health, Productivity, and Sustainability: See alphabetized under “The.”

Introduction to Environmental Science and Engineering
Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Elsie Sunderland Patrick Ulrich
Spring 2017
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.
Course Notes: This course, when taken for a letter grade, meets the General Education requirement for Science of the Physical Universe.
Recommended Prep: The course presumes basic knowledge in chemistry, physics, and mathematics at the high school level

Management, Finance, and Regulation of Public Infrastructure in Developing Countries
Harvard Kennedy School
Henry Lee
Spring 2017
Description: This course explores efforts to manage, finance, and regulate the transportation, telecommunication, water, sanitation, and energy infrastructure systems in developing countries. Issues to be discussed include public-private partnerships, the fundamentals of project finance, contract and discretionary regulation, and managing the political 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 assome developed countries, including the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia.
Class Notes: Review Session: Friday 10:15-11:30 (Starr)

Public Policy Approaches to Global Climate Change
Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences Freshman Seminar
Richard Cooper
Spring 2017
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.
Prerequisite(s): Course open to Freshman Students Only

The Climate-Energy Challenge
Harvard Extension School
Daniel Schrag and Andrew Laakso
Spring 2017
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.
Notes
This course is taught via live web conference.

The Fluid Earth: Oceans, Atmosphere, Climate, and Environment
Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Ann Pearson and Peter Huybers
Spring 2017
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.
Course Notes: Course includes a weekly three-hour lab to be arranged. This course fulfills the EPS sub-discipline requirement of Oceans and Atmosphere(s). This course, when taken for a letter grade, meets the General Education requirement for Science of the Physical Universe. Formerly offered as EPS 22. Students who have taken EPS 22 cannot take EPS 50 for credit.

The Impact of Buildings on Health, Productivity, & Sustainability
Harvard Chan School
Joseph Allen
Spring 2017
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.

Survey of Energy Technology
Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Michael Aziz
Spring 2017
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.
Course Notes: This course must be taken Sat/Unsat. Cannot be used for SEAS concentration credit. Students may not take both Engineering Sciences 229 and Engineering Sciences 231 for credit.
Recommended Prep: Calculus of a single variable, one semester of college-level physics, and familiarity with chemistry at the high school advanced placement level.

Sustainable Development
Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences
William Clark
Spring 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.
Course Notes: This course, when taken for a letter grade, meets the General Education requirement for Societies of the World.
Class Notes: Weekly mandatory section meetings.

Water Resources Development and Management: Technology, Economics, Institutions
Harvard Kennedy School
Kenneth Strzepek
Spring 2017
Description: This course offers a multidisciplinary exploration of the engineering, economic, and institutional principles involved in water system development and management. The course is divided into two parts:. Part I is a presentation of the fundamental science, engineering, and economics of water resource systems and how these characteristics have shaped water policy. The fundamentals are broken up into three sections: 1) Water Supply: Harnessing the Natural Systems: Basic hydrology, water resources systems; 2) Water Demand: How we use water: biophysical and economic drivers; and 3) Water Management: Balancing Supply and Demand: water law, policy, institutions & conflicts-Locally, regionally and transboundary. Part II is a comparative analysis of a series of transboundary river basins, focusing on how policy and institutions have influenced the development and management of these basins. The foundational principles of Water Supply, Demand and Management will be used as a lens to analyze the policies of each basin. The basins will be of similar hydro-climatic characteristics but will be from contrasting social, political and economic settings -- e.g. (Nile, Colorado, Amu Darya and Indus) and (Parana, Danube, Mekong and Zambezi)-in order to highlight how such settings condition effective management approaches. The course uses a combination of classic lectures, live and remote interaction with water resource policy and decision makers, group exercises and policy roundtables. Early in the semester interdisciplinary teams of 3 or 4 members will be formed to work together on simulation and gaming assignments and a final team project related to a water policy or water development issue.

MIT Spring 2017 courses

 

D-Lab: Energy
MIT
S.L. Hsu
Spring 2017
Description: Provides a project-based approach that engages students in understanding and addressing the applications of alternative energy technology in developing countries. Focuses on compact, robust, low-cost systems for generating electrical power. Includes projects such as micro-hydro, solar, or wind turbine generators along with theoretical analysis, design, prototype construction, evaluation and implementation. Students will have the opportunity for an optional spring break site visit to identify and implement projects. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments. Enrollment limited by lottery; must attend first class session.

Energy Economics and Policy
MIT
C. Knittel
Spring 2017
Description: Analyzes business and public policy issues in energy markets and in the environmental markets to which they are closely tied. Examines the economic determinants of industry structure and evolution of competition among firms in these industries. Investigates successful and unsuccessful strategies for entering new markets and competing in existing markets. Industries studied include oil, natural gas, coal, electricity, and transportation. Topics include climate change and environmental policy, the role of speculation in energy markets, the political economy of energy policies, and market power and antitrust. Two team-based simulation games, representing the world oil market and a deregulated electricity market, act to cement the concepts covered in lecture. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments. Limited to 60.

Energy Systems and Climate Change Mitigation
MIT
J. Trancik
Spring 2017
Description: Explores the contributions of energy systems to global greenhouse gas emissions and the potential levers for reducing emissions. Lectures and projects focus on decomposing contributions to greenhouse gas emissions, with emphasis on technology related variables such as per unit cost and carbon intensity of energy. Reviews other performance attributes of energy technologies. Student projects explore pathways for realizing emissions reduction scenarios.

Energy Technology and Policy: From Principles to Practice
MIT
J. Deutch
Spring 2017
Description: Develops analytical skills to lead a successful technology implementation with an integrated approach that combines technical, economical and social perspectives. Considers corporate and government viewpoints as well as international aspects, such as nuclear weapons proliferation and global climate issues. Discusses technologies such as oil and gas, nuclear, solar, and energy efficiency. Limited to 100.

Engineering, Economics and Regulation of the Electric Power Sector
MIT
I. Perez-Arriaga
Spring 2017
Description: Provides an in-depth and interdisciplinary look at electric power systems, focusing on regulation as the link among engineering, economic, legal, and environmental viewpoints. Topics include electricity markets, incentive regulation of network utilities, retail competition, tariff design, distributed generation, rural electrification, multinational electricity markets, environmental impacts, future of utilities and strategic sustainability issues under both traditional and competitive regulatory frameworks. Background in policy, microeconomics, or engineering desirable.

Global Climate Change: Economics, Science, and Policy
MIT
R.G. Prinn
Spring 2017
Description: Introduces scientific, economic, and ecological issues underlying the threat of global climate change, and the institutions engaged in negotiating an international response. Develops an integrated approach to analysis of climate change processes, and assessment of proposed policy measures, drawing on research and model development within the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change. Graduate students are expected to explore the topic in greater depth through reading and individual research. 12.340 recommended.

Introduction to Sustainable Energy
MIT
M.W. Golay
Fall 2016
Description: Assessment of current and potential future energy systems. Covers resources, extraction, conversion, and end-use technologies, with emphasis on meeting 21st-century regional and global energy needs in a sustainable manner. Examines various renewable and conventional energy production technologies, energy end-use practices and alternatives, and consumption practices in different countries. Investigates their attributes within a quantitative analytical framework for evaluation of energy technology system proposals. Emphasizes analysis of energy propositions within an engineering, economic and social context. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments. Limited to juniors and seniors.

Philosophical History of Energy
MIT
B.L. Trout, A. Schulman
Spring 2017
Description: Philosophic and historical approach to conceptions of energy through the 19th century. Relation of long standing scientific and philosophic problems in the field of energy to 21st-century debates. Topics include the development of thermodynamics and kinetic theories, the foundation of the scientific project, the classical view of energy, and the harnessing of nature. Authors include Bacon, Boltzmann, Carnot, Compte, Descartes, Gibbs, Plato, Aristotle, Leibniz, Kant, Hegel, Mill, Peirce, Whitehead, and Maxwell. Key texts and controversies form topics of weekly writing assignments and term papers.
B. L. Trout, A. Schulman

Planning, policy, and technology for energy access in developing countries
MIT
I. Perez-Arriaga, R. Stoner, Y. Borofsky
Spring 2017

Descripton: Taught by Prof. Ignacio Perez-Arriaga, Dr. Robert Stoner, and e4Dev co-founder Yael Borofsky, this new course is intended to help students understand the complex challenges of enabling universal energy access. Students will learn about the technical, political, and social trade-offs inherent in designing energy solutions, particularly for very poor, sometimes remote communities. 
We will discuss several aspects of energy poverty, including electrification, cooking, and heating and review the range of low-cost technologies being developed to meet these needs. Students will make extensive use of optimization models to plan on- and off-grid energy systems and learn how to use these models within the social, political, regulatory, and financial constraints that may not be easily modeled. 
The knowledge acquired in this course will prepare students to meaningfully contribute to research, technology deployment, and policymaking, as well as for future careers in industry, government, consulting, or multilateral development organizations. 
There are no pre-requisites for this course. It is open to both graduate and undergraduate students.  
Have questions? Email Yael at yeb@mit.edu

 

 


Fall 2016 Harvard courses

China's Energy Economy: Perspectives from the Past: Challenges for the Future
Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Michael McElroy and Xinyu Chen
Fall 2016
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.

Climate Change: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability
Harvard Kennedy School
Kenneth Strzepek
Fall 2016
Description: This module will prepare students to engage in the policy debate surrounding the adaptation to the risks of an uncertain future climate in the industrialized and developing nations.   A background into the science and analytics of estimating the impacts and vulnerability of natural, social and economic systems to climate change with an emphasis on the uncertainties will be presented. The core concepts related to adaptation to uncertain impacts and vulnerabilities and the broad categories of adaptation needs and options will be discussed. With this background we will explore the policy implications of adaptions and impacts especially on infrastructure design and financing with a focus on developing countries. The emerging concept of Climate Resilient Development and Climate Resilient Infrastructure Investment will be presented. The alternative policies for allocation and dispersing of adaptation funds will be debated. The course will take the students through the summary for policy makers of four key documents: (1) The 3rd National Climate Assessment, released by USGCRP 2014; (2) IPCC Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability; (3) World Bank: Economic of Adaptation to Climate Change; (4) World Bank: Enhancing Climate Resilient of Africa's Infrastructure.   The full technical volumes will be reference documents and be used to delve deeper on key issues. Guest lectures from analysts who produced these documents to policymakers that must struggle with their messages will be featured alongside case studies and simulations exercises.

Climate Policy Past, Present, and Future
Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Gernot Wagner
Fall 2016
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.
Notes
Prerequisite Ec 10.

[The] Climate-Energy Challenge: See alphabetized under “The.”

[The] Consequences of Energy Systems: See alphabetized under “The”

Consulting with Clients for Sustainability Solutions Capstone
Harvard Extension School
William O'Brien
Fall 2016  
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 utilized 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.

Prerequisites: Students must be in their final semester as candidates in the Master of Liberal Arts, sustainability or ecosystems. They must have completed all the course work for the program, including completion of the analytical skills requirement. They must have earned a satisfactory score on the test of critical reading and writing skills or a B or higher grade in the alternative expository writing course. Finally, students must have their consulting topics pre-approved by Mr. Will O'Brien. For approval, please submit the capstone approval form to Mr. O'Brien by July 15. Students should not delay as there is much to discuss to ensure a successful capstone. Students who do not meet these requirements are dropped from the course.

Contemporary Issues in Oil and Gas Law: Fracking, Takings, Pipelines, and Regulation
Harvard Law School
Katherine E. Konschnik
Fall 2016
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.

Electricity Market Design
Harvard Kennedy School
William Hogan
Fall 2016
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.
Course Notes: Prerequisite: API-102, IGA-410 or equivalent. Permission of the instructor required.

Energy in Architecture
Harvard Graduate School of Design
Billie Faircloth
Fall 2016
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 Policy: Technologies, Systems, and Markets
Harvard Kennedy School
Henry Lee
Fall 2016
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 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, climate change and global energy politics will be covered, as well as the energy challenges facing India and China. 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. 

Energy Simulation
Harvard Graduate School of Design
Holly Samuelson
Fall 2016
Description: The best intent does not always lead to the best performing design, as intuition and rules of thumb often fail to adequately inform decision making. Therefore, designers of high-performance architecture increasingly turn to analytical tools to eliminate some of the guesswork. This course explores the use of energy simulation in pursuit of high-performance architectural design. The American Institute of Architects encourages designers to embrace energy simulation starting early in the project. In this course, students will learn to meet that challenge, producing meaningful and timely results that add value to the early-design process. Both studio-based and research-based students are encouraged to participate.

Energy Storage System Analysis
Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences
David Keith
Fall 2016
Description: Thesis research.

Environmental Law
Harvard Law School
Richard Lazarus
Fall 2016
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, and the history of the emergence of modern environmental law in the United States. The second part of the course reviews several specific federal environmental statutes. The statutory review combines a close examination of several statutes – including 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 climate change law, 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 Jacobs
Fall 2016
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.

Environmental Politics
Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Sheila Jasanoff
Fall 2016
Description: An introduction to the history, organization, goals, and ideals of environmental protection in America. Examines the shifts in emphasis from nature protection to pollution control to sustainability over the past hundred years and develops critical tools to analyze changing conceptions of nature and the role of science in environmental policy formulation. Of central interest is the relationship between knowledge, uncertainty, and political or legal action. Theoretical approaches are combined with case studies of major episodes and controversies in environmental protection.
Notes: Offered in alternate years with ESPP 77. This course, when taken for a letter grade, meets the General Education requirement for United States in the World.

[The] Geopolitics of Energy: See alphabetized under “The.”

Innovation in Energy
Harvard Business School
Forest Reinhardt, Joseph Lassiter, and Richard Vietor
Fall 2016
Description: 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)
More information
http://www.hbs.edu/coursecatalog/1164.html

International Climate Change Policy after Paris
Harvard Kennedy School
Robert Stowe
Fall 2016
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 Technology and Society
Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences Freshman Seminar
Venkatesh Narayanamurti
Fall 2016
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 Notes: There are no prerequisites, but an interview may be required to have a balanced distribution of students spanning interests in the natural sciences, arts and humanities and social sciences.
Course Requirements: Course open to Freshman Students Only

Land Use and Environmental Law
Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard Graduate School of Design
Jerold Kayden
Fall 2016
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.

Physics and Chemistry: In the Context of Energy and Climate at the Global and Molecular Level
Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Frank Keutsch
Fall 2016
Description: A solution to the problems set by the intersection of global energy demand and climate feedbacks requires the teaching of physics and chemistry in that context. Core topics include thermodynamics, free energy, entropy, acid-base and oxidation-reduction reactions, electrochemistry, electromagnetic induction, circuit theory, AC and DC circuits, the nature of photons and of electromagnetic radiation, photochemistry, materials, catalysis, kinetics, molecular bonding, and biological processes for energy conversion and storage.
Course Notes: ES 135 is also offered as EPS 135. Students may not take both EPS 135 and ES 135 for credit. Undergraduate engineering students should enroll in ES 135.
Recommended Prep: Physical Sciences 1, or Physical Sciences 11, or permission of instructor.

Physics for Future Presidential Advisors
Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences
John Doyle
Fall 2016
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.
Course Notes: This course, when taken for a letter grade, meets the General Education requirement for Science of the Physical Universe.
Recommended Prep: Physics 15a, b, c, and mathematics at the level of Mathematics 21a. Physics 143a and 181 are very helpful, and may be taken concurrently.

Physics of Climate
Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Zhiming Kuang
Fall 2016
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.
Recommended Prep: Applied Mathematics 105 (may be taken concurrently); Physics 15 or Physical Sciences 12a,b; or permission of the instructor.

Powering the U.S. Electric Grid
Harvard Law School
Ari Jacob Peskoe
Fall 2016
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 grids 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, well watch an industry evolve and speculate on where it may be headed.
Note: This reading group will meet on the following dates: 9/22, 9/29, 10/13, 10/20, 10/27, 11/10.

Seminar on Environmental Economics and Policy
Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Robert Stavins and Martin Weitzman
Fall 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.
Prerequisite(s): API-109 OR API-110
Notes: Review Session: Friday 2:45-4:00pm (L382) Please note, this is one half of a yearlong course. Students enrolled in the fall section will automatically be enrolled in the spring section. Also offered by the Economics Department as Ec 2690hf.

Sustainable Real Estate
Harvard Graduate School of Design
Jesse Keenan
Fall 2016
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.

The Climate-Energy Challenge
Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Daniel Schrag
Fall 2016
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.
Class Notes: If student interest exceeds the course limit, a random lottery will be conducted. See the course website for more details.

The Consequences of Energy Systems
Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Daniel Schrag
Fall 2016
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.
Course Notes: This course is a requirement for the Graduate Consortium on Energy and Environment.
Recommended Prep: College level chemistry and physics and permission of instructor.

The Geopolitics of Energy
Harvard Kennedy School
Meghan O'Sullivan
Fall 2016
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 U.S. Energy Revolution and its Implications
Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences Freshman Seminar
James H. Stock
Fall 2016
Description: How we produce and use energy has major implications for the economy, energy security, and climate change. 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 10% reduction in U.S. carbon dioxide emissions, and economic growth. This course examines the changing U.S. energy landscape, energy security, U.S. climate policy, and the connection between these issues and our own lives. The conceptual framework is economics (but no prior economics is assumed), a powerful tool for understanding market failures and for designing government policies that are efficient, effective, and appropriate. The course starts by looking at our – your – energy and carbon footprint, how much it can change, and how it connects with broader issues of energy markets, energy security, and climate change. The course then dives into three current policy issues: biofuels, the mining of coal from public lands, and the regulation of CO2 emissions from fossil-fuel fired power plants. In each case, critics complain that these policies are expensive, ineffective, and/or have unintended consequences, while others complain that they don’t go far enough given the magnitude of the challenge posed by climate change, and we will evaluate these arguments.
Course Requirements: Course open to Freshman Students Only

Theories of Landscape as Urbanism, Landscape as Infrastructure: Paradigms, Practices, Prospects
Harvard Graduate School of Design
Pierre Belanger
2016 Fall
Description: Responding to contemporary urban patterns, ecological pressures and decaying infrastructures, this course brings together a series of influential thinkers and researchers from the design commons across North America to discuss different methods, models and measures of large scale, long range design for the 21st century. Organized around a sequence of weekly topics and readings, guest presentations focus on the future of the region that, with the predominance of landscape ecology and the revival of geography worldwide, challenge the laissez-faire dogma of neo-liberalist economics, Fordist forms of civil engineering, and Euclidean planning policies that marked the past century. From Geddes to Gottmann, Mackaye to Mumford, Olmsted to Odum, the first part of the course re-examines a series of influential plans, projects, and practitioners to trace a cross-section through the history of urbanization in North America and the industrialized world to chart the trajectory of an emergent regional paradigm. Foregrounding the nascent reciprocity between ecology, economy and energy, the second part of the course opens a horizon on pressing issues facing cities today to recast the infrastructural and geopolitical role of landscape as operating system for future urbanism. Drawing from an array of contemporary projects and historic public works, the course concludes with student-led presentations of mapping projects that focus on transboundary watershed regions throughout the world; regions where, according to the United Nations, more than 60% of the world population will be living by the year 2030. Foreshadowing the preeminence of ecology in cities and infrastructures, the motive of the course is to construct a clear, multivalent discourse on the field of landscape as it becomes the locus of intellectual, ecological and economic change of significance, globally. The course is only open to the following students: MLA I students in their third semester, MLA IAP students in their 1st semester, MLA II students in their 1st semester, and incoming students in the Urbanism, Landscape, Ecology MDesS track. Other interested students may only audit the course with the permission of the instructor.

The U.S. Energy Revolution and Its Implications: See alphabetized under “The.”

 

MIT Fall 2016 courses

Energy Ventures
MIT
W. Aulet, T. Hynes, F. O’Sullivan
Fall 2016
Note: “You must pre-register and participate in Sloan's Course Bidding to take this subject”
Description: Project-based approach to innovation and venture creation in the energy sector. Explores how innovation and entrepreneurial concepts apply (or do not apply) to the significant opportunities in the industry. Working in teams, students create new ventures specifically for the energy sector. Lectures guide teams through key elements of their projects. Concurrent enrollment in 15.933 recommended.

Environmental Law, Policy, and Economics: Pollution Prevention and Control
MIT
N. Ashford, C. Caldart
Fall 2016
Description: Introduction to important issues in contemporary environmental law, policy, and economics. Discusses the roles and interactions of Congress, federal agencies, state governments, and the courts in dealing with environmental problems. Topics include common law, administrative law, environmental impact assessments required by the National Environmental Policy Act, and legislation and court decisions dealing with air pollution, water pollution, the control of hazardous waste, pollution and accident prevention, the production and use of toxic chemicals, community right-to-know, and environmental justice. Explores the role of science and economics in legal decisions, and economic incentives as an alternative or supplement to regulation. Analyzes pollution as an economic problem and a failure of markets. Introduction to basic legal skills: how to read and understand cases, regulation, and statutes; how to discover the current state of the law in a specific area; and how to take action toward resolution of environmental problems. Students taking the graduate version are expected to explore the subject in greater depth.

Global Environmental Negotiations
MIT
N.E. Selin
Fall 2016
Description: Practical introduction to global environmental negotiations designed for science and engineering students. Covers basic issues in international negotiations, such as North-South conflict, implementation and compliance, trade, and historical perspective on global environmental treaties. Offers hands-on practice in developing and interpreting international agreements through role-play simulations and observation of ongoing climate change negotiating processes. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.

 Strategic Opportunities in Energy
MIT
H.B. Weil, A.J.M. Meggs
Fall 2016
Note: “You must pre-register and participate in Sloan's Course Bidding to take this subject.”
Description: Introduces the energy system in terms of sources and uses, market characteristics, and key metrics. Provides frameworks for understanding the structure and dynamics of the sector and the drivers of the energy future. Opportunities resulting from demand growth, supply challenges, environmental constraints, security of supply, technology breakthroughs, and regulation are analyzed from the perspectives of both established players and entrepreneurs. Student teams engage in projects that evaluate a segment of the energy landscape and develop a strategic prospectus for a new business opportunity.

 

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