Past 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.

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 412 / F&ES 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. 

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.

ENVE 327 / F&ES 327 / F&ES 711 / G&G 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.

F&ES 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.

F&ES 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.

F&ES 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.

F&ES 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.

G&G 602
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.

rev. 01.17.17