ESPP Academic Year Courses


ESPP 77. Technology, Environment, and Society
Course ID Number: 109882
Sheila Jasanoff
Mondays and Wednesdays, 10:30-11:45am. Location: HUCE Room 440, 26 Oxford Street, 4th Floor

Our interactions with the natural world are increasingly mediated through changes in technology. Technologies create risks, generate solutions, reshape the environment, and alter our perception of the boundaries between nature and artifice. This course draws on major theories of technology and society to inform and deepen our understanding of environmental crises, problems, possible fixes, and policy options.

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: HUCE Room 429, 26 Oxford Street, 4th Floor

The seminar will provide a historical perspective on the development of the Chinese and Indian economies with emphasis on their energy sectors, including analysis of related environmental problems. Low-carbon energy options will be introduced, including opportunities for nuclear, wind, solar, hydro, and biofuels. Relations to the global energy systems will be discussed. The seminar will discuss tradeoffs implicit in these choices with respect to reconciling competing goals for environmental protection and economic development.

ESPP 90X. Current Issues in U.S. Environmental Law
Course ID Number: 156676
Shaun Goho
6:00-8:30pm. Location: TBA
This course examines federal environmental law in the United States.  It provides an introduction some of the most important environmental laws, the methods of regulation and enforcement represented by those laws, and current controversies regarding their implementation and development.  Each week's class will be divided between a general discussion of the law under examination and an in-depth discussion of a current controversy involving that law, with a particular focus on the Trump administration’s environmental rollbacks.


ESPP 11. Sustainable Development
Course ID Number: 109934
William Clark, Alicia Harley, Michaela Thompson
Mondays and Wednesdays, 10:30-11:45am. Location: HUCE Room 440

Explores contemporary understandings and practical implications of the idea of sustainable development. Investigates the meanings and measures that different groups have given to "sustainable development;" scientific understanding of the complex social-environmental systems we seek to develop sustainably; and lessons on how societies have avoided the "tragedy of the commons" while instituting practical action that advances sustainable development effectively and equitably. Employs case studies in development to meet needs for energy, food, water and health.

ESPP 90E. Conservation Biology
Course ID Number: 119814
Mark Margres
9:00-11:30am. Location: HUCE Room 429
The major goal of conservation biology is to preserve and recover populations and ecosystems through evidence-based assessment, analysis, and management. This course will integrate ecological and evolutionary theory into resource management, economics, sociology, and political science to explore conservation strategies, the value of ecosystem services, and the challenge of decision-making under conflicting interests. Case studies will include major contemporary issues such as the preservation of foundational taxa (e.g., corals on tropical reefs, trees in rainforests), management of genetic diversity, defining recovery targets, and ecosystem-based management. A local field trip within New England will be arranged.

ESPP 90S. The Technology, Economics, and Public Policy of Renewable Energy
Course ID Number: 127572
George Baker
3:00pm-5:45pm. Location: HUCE Room 429
Energy is the lifeblood of economic activity, and there is little prospect of this changing. However, the planet's stores of easily accessed fossil fuels are limited, and the climatological cost of continuing to rely on fossil fuels is high. This course examines the long run and short run prospects for renewable energy. We start by understanding the technology of hydro, solar, wind, and biomass. We then examine the economics of these technologies, and how subsidies and taxes affect their viability. Special attention will be paid to the interaction of technology, economics, and public policy.