The concentration in Environmental Science and Public Policy is designed to provide a multi-disciplinary 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.

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Latest News

Martin Weitzman

ESPP Remembers Marty Weitzman, 1942-2019

September 3, 2019

The Environmental Science and Public Policy community is deeply saddened by the sudden loss of Martin L. Weitzman, a former Board of Tutors member and recently retired Harvard University economist. He served as a Fellow of the Econometric Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and co-led the Harvard Seminar in Environmental Economics and Policy for more than 25 years. His contributions to environmental economics were considered brilliant, and his impact on...

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Alumni & Student Spotlight

Danny Bicknell
Danny Bicknell - The J-Term sailing trip aboard the Sea Education Association's Corwith Cramer served as a capstone experience to the knowledge gained through the diverse ESPP course offerings.

Danny Bicknell '13

The J-Term sailing trip aboard the Sea Education Association's Corwith Cramer served as a capstone experience to the knowledge gained through the diverse ESPP course offerings.


Basil Williams '14

The intimate size of the program has encouraged me to form relationships with both professors and students with whom I share common interests and passions.

Hannah Morrill '14

The social side of ESPP appealed to me more when I decided to be an ESPP concentrator but over the last three years, I have appreciated the importance of the scientific aspects and enjoyed the challenge of getting to grips with them.

Jakob Lindaas '13

From the fun-loving and awesome classmates that became close friends, to the great TFs that became mentors, to the Professors who took us under their wing and helped cultivate passions, to our wonderful administrator Lorraine who cared about everyone and made everything run smoothly, the people I was so fortunate to be around definitely made ESPP the right choice for me!

Julia Mason '13

ESPP is valuable because it brings together different types of thinking and knowledge necessary to address complex global problems, and the people who are passionate about solving them.

Ethan Addicott '14

The small, focused ESPP classes have afforded me the opportunity to interact with guest lecturers from across the globeexperts in innovation and technology, genetically modified organisms, environmental health, particulate air pollution, superfund sites, and indoor air quality. In addition to their work, these experts discussed their experiences and career paths, providing advice that was as valuable as the cutting-edge research they shared with us. 

Isabella Wechsler '13

The ESPP concentration gave me a series of frameworks to think about change, and through an emphasis on case studies and success stories, taught me that the most overwhelming obstacles can be tackled despite their daunting scope.

Lisa Coffman

Lisa Coffman '97, Attorney, United States Courts

I would encourage students to treat ESPP not as a program that teaches you material/facts, but as a program that teaches you how to think about problems and how to learn about new ones.

Juliet Lamb

Juliet Lamb '05, Ph.D. Candidate, Clemson University

I have encountered many other graduate students and professionals in conservation biology who do not have any academic background in policy or law. In a field as integrative and interdisciplinary as fisheries and wildlife biology, I feel that I am at a huge advantage in having a solid understanding of the economic, legal, and governance aspects of conservation in addition to its scientific components.

Jaclyn Hatala Matthes

Jaclyn Hatala Matthes '07, Assistant Professor, Dartmouth College

I found the process of developing, researching, and writing a Senior Thesis and the mentorship that I received during this experience particularly enjoyable, and it inspired me to pursue a career in environmental research.

Joseph Lynch '98, Orthopedic Surgeon, U.S. Navy

For those pursing medicine, ESPP was an ideal concentration as it facilitates completion of the typical "pre-med" requirements, but more importantly it affords an opportunity to explore one's talents in the sciences as applied to other fields.

Claire Broido Johnson '95, Chief of New Markets and Services, Next Step Living, Inc.

I have worked in the energy and environment space since I graduated from Harvard undergrad, and I think my undergraduate education was incredibly helpful in preparing me for my current position.

Upcoming Events

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New ESPP Head Tutor: Professor N. Michele Holbrook

Missy HolbrookPlease join us in welcoming back Professor N. Michele Holbrook as the interim ESPP Chair and Head Tutor. Professor Holbrook is Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology and Charles Bullard Professor of Forestry in the Department of Organismic & Evolutionary Biology. We know the ESPP community looks forward to her leadership!

ESPP Fall 2019 Courses

Visit our ESPP Courses page for the full course descriptions.

ESPP 77. Technology, Environment, and Society
Course ID Number: 109882
Sheila Jasanoff
Mondays and Wednesdays, 10:30-11:45am. Location: TBA

ESPP 90N. Future Energy Economies: Perspectives from the Past: Challenges for the Future
Course ID Number: 123858
Michael McElroy and Shaojie Song
Wednesdays, 3:00-5
:45pm. Location: TBA

ESPP 90X. Current Issues in U.S. Environmental Law
Course ID Number: 156676
Shaun Goho
6:00-9:00pm. Location: TBA