Environmental Science and Public Policy

The concentration in Environmental Science and Public Policy (ESPP) is designed to provide a multidisciplinary introduction to current problems of the environment. It is founded on the premise that the ability to form rational judgments concerning many of the complex challenges confronting society today involving the environment requires both an understanding of the underlying scientific and technical issues and an appreciation for the relevant economic, political, legal, historical, and ethical dimensions. All students have to satisfy a core of requirements in the physical, biological, and social sciences and mathematics. Depending on preparation, students may be encouraged to substitute more advanced courses for these requirements. In consultation with their concentration advisor, students also develop an individual plan of study for a series of advanced courses around a particular field of specialization. Through their field of specialization, students develop expertise in a particular field of study relating to the environment.*

In the junior year, students take one or more seminars to complement their field of specialization. The seminars are envisaged as a central integrating component of the concentration. The seminars cover a number of current environmental issues, comprehensively and in depth. They are taught by faculty from a number of departments in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and from several of the professional schools, including the Kennedy School of Government, the School of Public Health, and the Graduate School of Design and the Business School. Topics covered change from year to year, but have included policy issues relating to environmental health, ecology and land use, renewable energy, conservation and biodiversity, and environmental crises, climate change and population flight. Departmental Website