Courses and Academic Resources at Yale

Millstone Power Plant

Case study: The Future of Nuclear in Connecticut

The Future of Nuclear in Connecticut is a case study about the controversial topic of the role of nuclear power in climate change mitigation.

Fall 2017

Graduate Courses

CHEM 505 - Alternative Energy

Gary W Brudvig

Design principles for molecular components of alternative energy devices. Climate change and our alternative energy future. Light energy conversion, energy transfer, and charge separation in photosynthesis. Dioxygen evolution in photosystem II. Biofuels: bioethanol, biodiesel, hydrogenase. Interaction of light with semiconductors. Fast spectroscopy to probe interfacial electron transfer. Computational design and characterization. Solar cells for electricity, photo-catalysis, biomimetic water oxidation. Hydrogen economy. Team-taught.

ECON 739 - Climate Change Economics

Robert O Mendelsohn, William D Nordhaus

The course reviews several modern valuation studies that are central to the estimation of the economic damages from climate change. The aim is to train students to deal with quantitative economic analysis and modeling. Students form teams of two and choose a study; gather the data and methods of that study from the authors or a journal; and then reproduce the published results. The teams study the theory and empirical analysis, gather the data and modeling to replicate the results, and determine how sensitive the results are to the assumptions and specifications. The course meets every other week for the entire year to give students time to analyze their studies and present their results. Prerequisites: econometrics and relevant courses in economics.

EHS 547 - Climate Change and Public Health

Robert Dubrow

This course takes an interdisciplinary approach to examining relationships between climate change and public health. After placing climate change in the context of the Anthropocene and planetary health and exploring the fundamentals of climate change science, the course covers impacts of climate change on public health, including heat waves; occupational heat stress; air pollution; wildfires; aeroallergens; vector-borne, foodborne, and waterborne diseases; water scarcity; food security; migration; violent conflict; natural disasters; and health benefits of climate change mitigation. The course integrates climate justice issues and adaptation strategies into the discussion of specific topics. The course is reading-intensive and makes ample use of case studies, with a focus on critical reading of the literature and identifying research gaps and needs. This course should be of interest to students across Yale School of Public Health and the University.

F&ES 540 - Global Environmental Governance

Detlef Sprinz

This course provides an overview of global environmental policy and the management of long-term environmental policy challenges. Concepts include international negotiations, compliance, and effectiveness, while the empirical domains encompass the three major global conventions on climate change, biodiversity, and desertification. Using a portfolio approach to examinations, students prepare a range of individual and group assignments.

F&ES 606- Modeling a Dynamic World

Alark Saxena

The human and natural systems of the world we live in are dynamic, adaptive, and constantly interacting. Many of us are engaged in understanding and finding solutions to complex challenges, such as eradicating chronic poverty, stopping resources degradation, improving institutional governance, or adaptating to global climate change, that very often arise due to interactions between these systems. The dynamic and complex adaptive nature of such challenges necessitates newer theories, methods, and tools that can conduct interdisciplinary analysis beyond traditional disciplinary approaches. Systems approach and thinking have moved from being an in vogue concept on the periphery to being fundamental to analysis in a variety of disciplines. At the same time, modeling and simulation, while used in a variety of engineering and management related disciplines, have gained significant ground in both complexity and sustainability science. This course, while introducing theory associated with systems and sustainability science, is focused on providing hands-on fundamentals on modeling and simulation techniques originating in system dynamics. It engages in such questions as: What is a system? What is systems thinking? Why do we need systems thinking for sustainability science? What are models? How do we develop models? What is simulation? Why do we need modeling and simulation? What platforms, tools, and techniques can we learn to conduct modeling and simulation-based analysis?

F&ES 628 Understanding & Building Resilience

Alark Saxena

Resilience in the past decade has moved from a peripheral ecological idea to a central concept in major world debates: e.g., sustainable development goals, climate change adaptation, resilient infrastructure and ecosystems. What makes a person or a community resilient to the impacts of climate change? How has the resilience approach been operationalized in the fields of sustainability, disaster risk reduction, and climate change adaptation? What are the limitations and critiques of resilience thinking, and how might this concept evolve in the future? As development and government agencies increasingly adopt the resilience approach, students interested in pursuing careers across a range of business, environmental, and development sectors will increasingly find themselves faced with these questions. This course prepares students to understand the theory of resilience and operationalize it in a given context.

F&ES 772 - Social Justice in Food System

Kristin Reynolds

This course explores social justice dimensions of today’s globalized food system and considers sustainability in terms of social, in addition to environmental, indicators. We develop an understanding of the food system that includes farmers and agroecological systems; farm and industry workers; business owners and policy makers; as well as all who consume food. Based on this understanding, we examine how phenomena such as racism, gender discrimination, structural violence, and neoliberalization surface within the food system both in the United States and globally, drawing examples from agriculture, labor, public health, international governance bodies, and NGOs. We examine how contemporary policy debates surrounding global issues such as immigration and climate change affect social and environmental justice in the food system at multiple scales. We discuss conceptual frameworks, including food justice and food sovereignty, that farmers, activists, critical food scholars, humanitarian agencies, and policy makers are using to create food systems that are both sustainable and just. Throughout the term we explore our own position(s) as university-based stakeholders in the food system. The course includes guest speakers, and students are encouraged to integrate aspects of their own academic and/or scholar-activist projects into one or more course assignments.

F&ES 824 - Environmental Law & Policy

Alejandro E Camacho

This course is an introductory survey of environmental common law and the major federal environmental statutes, including the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act, and hazardous waste and toxic substance laws. It explores foundational issues of statutory and regulatory analysis, ethics, politics, and economics in these various legal contexts. The course also considers various themes of environmental problems, including scientific uncertainty, risk, and risk perception. Given the breadth of the environmental law field, the course focuses on analyzing regulatory structure (i.e., the variety of existing and potential regulatory mechanisms for protecting and regulating usage of the environment) rather than either a superficial overview of every possible environmental topic or comprehensive analysis of only a few environmental statutes. The course also integrates a skills component that explores issues in statutory interpretation, legal ethics, federalism, and standing through several hypothetical problems as practiced from the perspective of environmental groups, government agencies, and regulated entity clients. Scheduled examination.

F&ES 835 - Sem: Land Use Planning

Jessica Bacher

TLand use control exercised by state and local governments determines where development occurs on the American landscape, the preservation of natural resources, the emission of greenhouse gases, the conservation of energy, and the shape and livability of cities and towns. The exercise of legal authority to plan and regulate the development and conservation of privately owned land plays a key role in meeting the needs of the nation's growing population for housing and nonresidential development and in ensuring that critical environmental functions are protected from the adverse impacts of land development. This course explores the multifaceted discipline of land use planning and its associated ecological implications. Numerous land use strategies are discussed that provide practical tools for professionals to use to create sustainable buildings, neighborhoods, and communities. The focus of this seminar is to expose students to the basics of land use planning in the United States and to serve as an introduction for the F&ES curricular concentration in land use. Guest speakers are professionals involved in sustainable development, land conservation, smart growth, and climate-change management. Classes include discussions on the trajectory for professional careers.

F&ES 977 - Narratives to Networks: Systems Communication

Paul Lussier

This course surveys, studies, and practices strategies toward effective climate and environmental science-based messaging with an eye toward public policy engagement and public interest. Students learn of new and emerging interdisciplinary research and theory in narratology, psychology, education, and cultural, social, and media sciences to help build skills they then practice in partnership with professional stakeholders on projects related to climate and energy policy, goals, and planning across the public and private sectors.

Courses Open to Both Graduate and Undergraduate Students

ANTH 391 / ANTH 791 / ARCG 391 / ARCG 791 - Paleoclimate & Human Response

Roderick McIntosh

The recursive interaction of climate change with human perception and manipulation of the landscape. Mechanisms and measures of climate change; three case studies of historical response to change at different scales.

ANTH 409 / ER&M 394 / EVST 422 / F&ES 422 / F&ES 878 - Climate & Society Past to Present

Michael Dove

Discussion of the major traditions of thought, both historic and contemporary, regarding climate, climate change, and society; focusing on the politics of knowledge and belief vs disbelief; and drawing on the social sciences and anthropology in particular.

GCENG 373 / ENVE 373 / F&ES 773 - Air Pollution Control

Drew R Gentner

An overview of air quality problems worldwide with a focus on emissions, chemistry, transport, and other processes that govern dynamic behavior in the atmosphere. Quantitative assessment of the determining factors of air pollution (e.g., transportation and other combustion-related sources, chemical transformations), climate change, photochemical “smog,” pollutant measurement techniques, and air quality management strategies.

EVST 143 / PLSC 142 / PLSC 676 - Global Climate Governance

Detlef Sprinz

An overview of global climate governance, including overarching conceptual frameworks, a variety of empirical subdomains, interlinkages with other policy fields, and modeling central challenges encountered in global climate governance. Students prepare a range of individual and group assignments throughout the term.

Undergraduate Courses

ARCG 226 - Global Environmental History

Harvey Weiss

The dynamic relationship between environmental and social forces from the Pleistocene glaciations to the Anthropocene present. Pleistocene extinctions; transition from hunting and gathering to agriculture; origins of cities, states, and civilization; adaptations and collapses of Old and New World civilizations in the face of climate disasters; the destruction and reconstruction of the New World by the Old. Focus on issues of adaptation, resilience, and sustainability, including forces that caused long-term societal change.

ECON 465 / EP&E 224 / GLBL 330 - Debating Globalization

Ernesto Zedillo

Facets of contemporary economic globalization, including trade, investment, and migration. Challenges and threats of globalization: inclusion and inequality, emerging global players, global governance, climate change, and nuclear weapons proliferation.

EVST 201 / G&G 140 - Atmosphere, Ocean & Environmental Change

Ronald B Smith

Physical processes that control Earth's atmosphere, ocean, and climate. Quantitative methods for constructing energy and water budgets. Topics include clouds, rain, severe storms, regional climate, the ozone layer, air pollution, ocean currents and productivity, the seasons, El Niño, the history of Earth's climate, global warming, energy, and water resources.

EVST 311 / G&G 331 - Environmental Communication for Public Policy

Paul Lussier

Analysis, assessment, and application of narrative strategies to the communication of climate and energy science toward public policy engagement and action. Emerging interdisciplinary theory and research in narratology, sociology, and psychology, as well as cultural, education, and media sciences.

rev. 08.31.17 

Spring 2018

Graduate Courses

ENAS 673 / ENVE 473 - Air Quality Energy

Drew R Gentner

The production and use of energy are among the most important sources of air pollution worldwide. It is impossible to effectively address the impacts and regulation of air quality without understanding the impacts and behavior of emissions from energy sources. Through an assessment of emissions and physical/chemical processes, the course explores advanced topics (at the graduate level) on the behavior of pollutants from energy systems in the atmosphere. Topics include traditional and emerging energy technology, climate change, atmospheric aerosols, tropospheric ozone, as well as transport/modeling/mitigation.

EPH 555 - Practicum in Climate Change, Sustainability, and Public Health

Robert Dubrow

This course is one of the options available to students to fulfill the practice requirement for the MPH degree. In this course, interdisciplinary student teams carry out applied research or practice projects in the area of climate change, sustainability, and public health. Each team works with a sponsoring organization (e.g., unit within Yale, local health department, state agency, community organization, other non-governmental organization). As a prerequisite for enrollment, this unique Spring Term course requires participation in the Fall Term Climate Change, Sustainability, and Public Health Leadership Development Workshop. In September, students apply to join a team, and in November the selected students participate in this weekend workshop that provides training on leadership, strategic problem solving, and policy/applied research implementation. Teams use these skills to further conceptualize and plan their projects. These established student teams then implement their projects in this Spring Term course, which affords the opportunity to apply concepts and competencies learned in the workshop and in the classroom to this important area of climate change, sustainability, and public health. This course should be of interest to students across Yale School of Public Health and the University.

FES 614 - Environmental Governance Justice Practicum

Michael Mendez

The course will cover how the practical and theoretical methods used in environmental policy and planning can assist city, county, and state governments address the immediate and long-term sustainability challenges posed by global and local environmental change (such as climate change). Particular attention will be focused on social institutional practices, and how race, class, and gender impacts environmental participation and justice in the distribution of natural resources, such as water and air. Students will examine social theories of nature, as well as a range of policy responses to address environmental inequities. An emphasis is placed on disadvantaged communities in the United States. In the course, urban and sociological theories will be complemented by real-world environmental controversies that require group collaboration to produce in-class presentations, role-playing negotiation case simulations, and the completion of client policy memos with regional and local policymakers that engage students critically with the course material.

FES 736E - Environmental Ethics

Michelle Bell

Meets January 23 - February 27. Environmental issues are closely tied to ethical considerations such as the impacts on public health, future generations, less industrialized nations, and nonhuman entities. This course is designed to provide a broad overview of topics related to ethics and the environment including perspectives of environmental ethics (e.g., anthropocentrism), environmental justice, environmental economics, and climate change. The intersection of ethics and the environment could be studied from multiple disciplines such as philosophy, history, anthropology, medicine, or environmental science. All perspectives and backgrounds are welcome in this course. The purpose of this class is not to distinguish "right" from "wrong" but to encourage critical thinking and discussion on the ethical consequences of environmental decisions and to provide a better understanding of key topics on ethics and the environment. This course is conducted as a combination in-person/online class over a six-week period. Graded credit/fail for graduate students.

Courses Open to Both Graduate and Undergraduate Students

FES 726 / EVST 362 / EMD 548 / ARCG362 / GG362 / GG 562 / ARCG 762 - Observing Earth From Space

Ronald B Smith

A practical introduction to satellite image analysis of Earth’s surface. Students develop a theoretical foundation and practical skills for satellite remote sensing; gain an understanding of Earth’s surface, ocean, and atmosphere, including natural processes and human impacts; and establish familiarity with remote-sensing products and their applications. Topics include the spectrum of electromagnetic radiation, satellite-borne radiometers, data transmission and storage, computer image analysis, the merging of satellite imagery with GIS and applications to weather and climate, oceanography, surficial geology, ecology and epidemiology, forestry, agriculture, archaeology, and watershed management. Classroom lectures are supplemented with laboratory exercises and short showcases on remote-sensing platforms and data products. Weekly labs and problem sets; midterm exam; course project. Prerequisites: college-level physics or chemistry, two courses in geology and natural science of the environment or equivalents, and computer literacy.

GG 322 / GG 522 - Physics of Weather and Climate

Trude Storelvmo

The climatic system; survey of atmospheric behavior and climatic change; meteorological measurements and analysis; formulation of physical principles governing weather and climate with selected applications to small- and large-scale phenomena.

Undergraduate Courses

ANTH 473 / ARCG 473 / EVST 473 - Climate Change Societal Collapse

Harvey Weiss

The coincidence of societal collapses throughout history with decadal and century-scale drought events. Challenges to anthropological and historical paradigms of cultural adaptation and resilience. Examination of archaeological and historical records and high-resolution sets of paleoclimate proxies.

APHY 100 / ENAS 100 / EVST 100 / GG 105 / PHYS 100 - Energy Technology and Society

Daniel E Prober, Julie Paquette, Michael Oristaglio

The technology and use of energy. Impacts on the environment, climate, security, and economy. Application of scientific reasoning and quantitative analysis. Intended for non-science majors with strong backgrounds in math and science.

EPE 497 / EVST 247 / PLSC 219 - Politics of the Environment

Peter Swenson

Historical and contemporary politics aimed at regulating human behavior to limit damage to the environment. Goals, strategies, successes, and failures of movements, organizations, corporations, scientists, and politicians in conflicts over environmental policy. Focus on politics in the U.S., including the role of public opinion; attention to international regulatory efforts, especially with regard to climate change.

GG 323 - Climate Dynamics

Alexey Federov

A survey of fluid dynamics with application to circulation in the ocean and atmosphere, as well as mantle and core. Mathematical models are used to illustrate the fundamental dynamical principles of geophysical fluid phenomena such as convection, waves, boundary layers, flow stability, turbulence, and large-scale flows. The course aims to provide a general theoretical framework for understanding the structure and circulation of the ocean, atmosphere, and Earth's interior.

PLSC 338 - Ethics of Climate Change

Alexandre Gajevic Sayegh

The response of the United States to global climate change and questions of climate justice. The importance of bridging the gap between theories of climate justice and real world climate policy. Topics include the effort to fairly mitigate and adapt to climate change; the responsibility to act upon climate change by countries and individuals; and how economics, environmental, and social sciences should contribute to the conceptualization of action-guiding moral and political theories.

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Past Courses

Graduate Courses

ANTH 572 / FES 869 - Disaster, Degradation, Dystopia

Michael Dove

An advanced seminar on the long tradition of social science scholarship on environmental perturbation and natural disasters, the relevance of which has been heightened by the current global attention to climate change. The course is divided into three main sections. The first consists of central questions and debates in the field: social dimensions of natural disasters; the discursive dimensions of environmental degradation, focusing on deforestation; and the current debate about the relationship between resource wealth and political conflict, focusing on the "green war" thesis. The second section focuses on anthropological and interdisciplinary approaches to climate change and related topics, encompassing canonical anthropological work on flood and drought; cyclones, El Niño, and interannual cycles; ethno-ecology; and risk. Additional lectures focus on interdisciplinary work. The final section of the course consists of the classroom presentation of work by the students and teaching fellow. Three-hour lecture/seminar. Enrollment limited to twenty.

FES 645 - Global Public Goods; Cooperation: International

David A Deese

Some of the most urgent and difficult challenges in international politics can be understood as "global public goods." All countries, peoples, and generations need clean air, international security, and freedom of air and sea navigation worldwide. In either their harmful (public "bads") or beneficial (public goods) form, these needs demand action on behalf of societies worldwide. From managing global warming and international financial crises to preventing global epidemics or widespread disruption of the Internet, global public goods require actors to bargain, coordinate, and collaborate in efforts to implement effective responses. In most cases this involves governments, international organizations, civil society, and considerable tough bargaining to solve collection action problems. This seminar investigates the nature of public goods and collective action in order to help understand these pressing challenges, possible responses to them, and how politics both limits and opens opportunities for policy formation. It begins with prevalent theories about the production of public goods, from the local to transnational and global, and analysis of their governance. It then studies in depth three case studies—providing international financial stability, eliminating or containing infectious diseases, and mitigating global climate disruption. It concludes by examining the implications of rising socioeconomic inequality in major countries worldwide. The final two weeks are dedicated to presentations and discussion of each student's research project.

FES 648 /  REL 902 - Ethics and the Climate Crisis

Matthew T Riley

The purpose of this course is to provide an introduction to core questions and moral frameworks in environmental ethics as they relate to climate change. The course explores how scholars, activists, and religious leaders have created and refined ethical responses to environmental problems. To develop a deeper understanding of not only the promise of environmental ethics, but also its efficacy and theoretical underpinnings, the course invites students to critically assess the effectiveness of these strategies and to be analytical in the examination of proposed solutions. Moreover, students in this course will explore how various ethics and worldviews arose historically in conversation with environmental philosophy and in response to contemporary environmental concerns. Special attention will be given to understanding, critically assessing, and applying the fundamental methodology that undergirds environmental ethics as read through the lens of Christian ethics and religious moral reasoning. This course will simultaneously allow students to take stock of contemporary issues related to global climate change including but not limited to: the moral status of ecosystems; biodiversity loss; the relationship between race, gender, poverty, and the environment; and intersections with other issues such as animal welfare, economics, and agriculture. No prior experience in environmental ethics, climate science, or religious ethics is required. Participants will be encouraged to be exploratory, inquisitive, and interactive in their learning. This course will include a visit to the YDS garden and a session at the Yale University Art Gallery.

FES 682 - Multifunctional Carbon Sequestering Agroforestry

Eric Toensmeier

This course examines carbon-sequestering agriculture practices and their potential to provide solutions to a range of social and environmental problems from climate justice to land degradation. It introduces a global toolkit of practices old and new, and profile-promising plant species. A key group of species explored is perennial staple crops, a group of trees and other long-lived plants providing protein, carbohydrates, and fats for human consumption. We explore industrial ecological applications of perennial crops for materials, chemicals, and energy. While many tropical species and systems are already implemented on a large scale, the course also closely views cold-climate developments. Participants are introduced to the farm business planning challenges of production in regenerative integrated systems. Diverse strategies for implementation are presented, including policy, grassroots, and consumer-driven options. Field trips explore temperate and tropical agroforestry systems.

FES 703 - Climate and Society

Nadine Unger, Xuhui Lee

This is an applied climate science course with the aim to provide a broad working knowledge of the Earth's atmospheric environment. The course deals with pollution and resource issues pertinent to a career in environmental management. Topics include climate system components; climate resources for agriculture; forestry and renewable energy; air pollution and meteorology; anthropogenic drivers of atmospheric and climate changes; climate data resources; the scientific basis of greenhouse gas inventories; and atmospheric models to aid decision making. Biweekly assignments consist of problem sets, data manipulation, inventory scenarios, and model simulations. Students develop skill sets for handling atmospheric data and interpreting atmospheric models. Students also gain experience with state-of-the-art greenhouse gas inventory systems and the latest IPCC climate model products. Three hours lecture. Group project.

FES 718 - IPCC AR5 Assessment

Nadine Unger

This weekly seminar is structured to read and evaluate key chapters from the IPCC AR5 Working Group I 2013 report ( The report will impact environmental and economic decisons for years to come and has already received substantial public attention. The purpose of the seminar is to familiarize the next generation of international environmental leaders with the latest advances in climate science. Seminar responsibilities include active participation in weekly meetings and the leadership of one chapter discussion. Guest lectures and Skype interviews with lead authors of the report.

FES 810 - Diverse Voices: Environmental Leaders on Climate Change and the Environment

Peter Crane

The movement to solve climate change and achieve a more sustainable economy in the twenty-first century will require the work of a broad range of people working across many different fronts. This course asks students to consider the widening range of voices engaged in these challenges across the United States and how the environmental movement can better reflect all segments of American society. It is co-taught by a group of diverse leaders tackling environmental challenges through advocacy, policy making, academic research, and business.

FES 814 / MGT 563 - Energy System Analysis

Arnulf Grubler

This lecture course offers a systems analysis approach to describe and explain the basics of energy systems, including all forms of energy (fossil and renewable), all sectors/activities of energy production/conversion, and all energy end-uses, irrespective of the form of market transaction (commercial or noncommercial) or form of technology (traditional as well as novel advanced concepts) deployed. Students gain a comprehensive theoretical and empirical knowledge base from which to analyze energy-environmental issues as well as to participate effectively in policy debates. Special attention is given to introducing students to formal methods used to analyze energy systems or individual energy projects and also to discuss traditionally less-researched elements of energy systems (energy use in developing countries; energy densities and urban energy use; income, gender, and lifestyle differences in energy end-use patterns) in addition to currently dominant energy issues such as climate change. Active student participation is required, including completion of problem sets. Participation in extra-credit skill development exercises (presentations, fact-finding missions, etc.) is encouraged. Invited outside speakers complement topics covered in class.

FES 855 - Climate Change Mitigation in Urban Areas

Karen Seto

This class provides an in-depth assessment of the relationships between urbanization and climate change, and the central ways in which urban areas, cities, and other human settlements can mitigate climate change. The course explores two major themes: (1) the ways in which cities and urban areas contribute to greenhouse gas emissions and climate change; and (2) the ways in which urban areas can mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. Class topics parallel the IPCC 5th Assessment Report, Chapter 12, Human Settlements, Infrastructure, and Spatial Planning, and include spatial form and energy use, land use planning for climate mitigation, urban metabolism, and local climate action plans. The class format is reading-, writing-, and discussion-intensive. Students are taught how to synthesize scientific literature, write policy memos, and develop effective oral presentations on the science of climate change mitigation in urban areas.

FES 976 - Cities in Hot Water: Planning for a Changing Urban Climate

Xuhui Lee, Brad Gentry and others

This capstone class works with the City of New Haven as a partner to analyze and make recommendations for how city planners and engineers should prepare for the impacts of a changing climate. Higher temperatures and stronger storms are the two most severe climate stresses predicted to impact the Northeastern part of the US. The situation is further worsened in urban centers owing to the urban heat island effect and concentrated storm water runoff. Students will be divided into teams, with each team consisting of members with complementary skills. Each team will work closely with city partners, as well as staff in the Yale Office of Sustainability, the Community Alliance for Research and Engagement in the School of Public Health and the Urban Resources Initiative in the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

GG 602 - Paleoclimates

Mark Pagani

A study of the dynamic evolution of Earth's climate. Topics include warm (the Cretaceous, the Eocene, the PETM, the Pliocene) and cold (the "snowball Earth") climates of the past, glacial cycles, abrupt climate changes, the climate of the past thousand years, and the climate of the twentieth century.

Courses Open to Both Graduate and Undergraduate Students

ECON 412 / FES 776 - International Environmental Economics

Joseph S Shapiro

Introduction to international and environmental economics and to research that combines the two fields. Methods for designing and analyzing environmental policy when economic activity and pollution cross political borders. Effects of market openness on the environment and on environmental regulation; international economics and climate change. 

ENVE 327 / FES 327 / FES 711 / GG 327 - Atmospheric Chemistry

Nadine Unger

The chemical and physical processes that determine the composition of the atmosphere; implications for climate, ecosystems, and human welfare. Origin of the atmosphere; photolysis and reaction kinetics; atmospheric transport of trace species; stratospheric ozone chemistry; tropospheric hydrocarbon chemistry; oxidizing power, nitrogen, oxygen, sulfur, and carbon cycles; interactions between chemistry, climate, and biosphere; aerosols, smog, and acid rain.

G&G 746 - Seminar in Climate Energy

Cary S Krosinsky, Michael Oristaglio

This seminar course will study the risks and opportunities of climate change from a quantitative perspective. Topics will range from the use of high-resolution regional climate models to better quantify the short-term effects of global warming on local communities, to the global prospects for public and private financing to decarbonize the world’s energy systems. We will look at examples from around the world, including: the development of very-high resolution regional climate models to assess climate impacts by the Climate Program Office of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Canadian Centre ESCER, and the UK Met Office; the pricing of carbon in different ways, such as the carbon tax in British Columbia, the carbon market in China and the Yale Carbon Charge; the financing of the German Energiewende; and the overall energy investment analysis made by the International Energy Agency (IEA) for its World Energy Outlook.

Undergraduate Courses

ECON 331 - Econ of Energy Climate Change

William D Nordhaus

The essentials of energy and environmental economics, with applications. Analysis of core topics in public goods, intertemporal choice, uncertainty, decision theory, and exhaustible resources. Applications include energy security, nuclear power, the relationship between nuclear power and nuclear proliferation, and climate change.

ECON 452 / EPE 300 / GLBL 302 - Contemporary Issues in Energy Policy

Ioannis Kessides

Overview of challenges in the global energy framework generated by concerns about energy security and climate change; public policies necessary for addressing these issues. Potential contributions and limitations of existing, improved or transitional, and advanced technologies.

EPE 301 - Intergenerational Social Justice

David G Leslie

An in-depth study of how the emerging body of intergenerational perspectives on rights and just social action is bringing critical weight to bear on more conventionally accepted viewpoints on the nature of justice. Exploration of how developing thoughts such as intergenerational accountability and obligations to future generations are dealing with potentially catastrophic crises such as climate change, overpopulation, and species extinction risk.

EVST 211 / GG 211 / HIST 416 / HSHM 211 - Global Catastrophe since 1750

William J Rankin

A history of the geological, atmospheric, and environmental sciences, with a focus on predictions of global catastrophe. Topics range from headline catastrophes such as global warming, ozone depletion, and nuclear winter to historical debates about the age of the Earth, the nature of fossils, and the management of natural resources. Tensions between science and religion; the role of science in government; environmental economics; the politics of prediction, modeling, and incomplete evidence.

EVST 245 / FES 245 / PLSC 146 - Global Environmental Governance

Benjamin Cashore

The development of international environmental policy and the functioning of global environmental governance. Critical evaluation of theoretical claims in the literature and the reasoning of policy makers. Introduction of analytical and theoretical tools used to assess environmental problems. Case studies emphasize climate, forestry, and fisheries.

EVST 320 / FES 320 - International Environmental Law

Nicholas Robinson

Examination of how nations negotiate, establish, and implement international environmental law and how the United Nations and other international agencies function. Simulated negotiations; discussion of diplomatic negotiations regarding climate change that occur during the term.

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The Healthy Pizza Project

Pizza is ubiquitous, especially in New Haven. A favorite food at lunchtime meetings and seminars and at other Yale events, pizza is high in calories, saturated fat, and sodium, and also has a high greenhouse gas footprint. A group of students in Professor Robert Dubrow's Climate Change and Health Practicum worked to develop a pie that is healthier and has a lower greenhouse gas footprint. After performing nutrient, carbon footprint, and cost analyses on a range of pizza recipes, their final message for ordering pizza from local vendors was simple: avoid meat toppings, order vegetable toppings, and ask that the cheese be cut in half.