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.

Information for Prospective Concentrators

Watch this video for a faculty message about choosing ESPP as a concentration. Visit the Board of Tutors page to find a list of ESPP faculty which includes their home department, research interests, and email address. ESPP faculty are happy to be contacted via email by prospective students.

Note drop-in office hours listed on our home page, please stop by one of these sessions with questions. Happy to meet other times that may be more convenient: please email Lorraine at maffeo@fas.harvard to arrange an alternate time. 

Still not sure? Reach out to one of our current students to hear first hand about ESPP!  Watch this video for a student message about choosing ESPP as a concentration The current concentrators listed below all agreed to be contacted by prospective students to answer questions about ESPP and share their stories and interest.


Emilly Fan '22
Email: e_fan@college.harvard.edu
House: Quincy
ESPP interests: the intersection between the public and private sectors in meeting decarbonisation goals. I am particularly interested in clean energy, sustainable development, and U.S./China/New Zealand climate policy. Outside of class, I have been involved with the Harvard Undergraduate Clean Energy Group and the Office for Sustainability. Happy to chat!



Nathan Oalican '22

Email: noalican@college.harvard.edu

House: Adams

ESPP Interests: Energy markets and renewables integration, plant biology, and urban design/ecology. ESPP has allowed me to better understand and appreciate the world around me from research pursuits in the Harvard Forest and backpacking trips in the Sierras to the urban fabric of Tokyo. Happy to talk anytime!



mwhitten_150.jpgMorgan Whitten ‘21

Email: morganwhitten@college.harvard.edu

House: Adams


ESPP Interests: I love all things ESPP but am particularly interested in the sustainable development and the impact of climate change on conflict and migration. I’d be happy to talk about classes, cities, hiking, beekeeping, or anything else.


Alumni 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

ESPP Senior Thesis Poster Presentations

Tuesday, December 7, 2021 from 3:00-4:00pm 

Aubree Muse "Allocating Risks and Costs of Climate Change’s Destabilization of the Electric Utility Industry: A Case Study of the California Camp Fire and Pacific Gas and Electric Bankruptcy"

Lincoln Sorscher "Humor’s Efficacy in Communicating Climate Change Messaging"
Morgan Whitten "Wir Haben es Satt: Meaning-Making in a Crisis to Promote Transformations to Sustainability"

Harvard University Center for Environment (HUCE) 26 Oxford Street, Room 429

Drop-In Office Hours (Zoom)

Drop-In  Zoom office hours 
with Lorraine Maffeo, Program Administrator
Wednesday, December 1 and December 8 from 9:30-10:30am 
Other times available by appointment 

Fall 2021 Courses

ESPP 77 Technology, Society and Environment (S. Jasanoff)
MW 10:30-11:45am 

ESPP 90G The Law and Policy of Climate Change: Influencing Decision Makers (A. Joroff)
W 6-8:30pm  

ESPP 90K Applied Environmental Policy Analysis: Air Pollution, Solar Geoengineering and Environmental Justice (D. Keith)
Tu 3-5:30pm 

ESPP 90N Addressing the Global Climate Crisis: Challenges for Both Developed and Developing Economies (M. McElroy)
Th 3-5:30pm 

Featured News

President Bacow Reviews Harvard Climate Actions

President Bacow Reviews Harvard Climate Actions

September 9, 2021

In a letter to the community this afternoon addressing climate change, President Lawrence S. Bacow described what “Harvard has done and will do to ensure that our community is fully engaged in the critical work ahead.”

The appearance of such a letter was perhaps not surprising in the current global context of wildfires and hurricanes, heatwaves, and deluges and droughts—as well as continued student, faculty, and alumni interest in climate-change research and policy initiatives, and continued advocacy of divesting fossil-fuel assets from the endowment investment portfolio...

Read more about President Bacow Reviews Harvard Climate Actions
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