ESPP Spring 2018 Courses

ESPP 90D. Planetary Health: Understanding the Human Health Impacts of Accelerating Environmental Change
Course ID Number: 16367
Samuel Myers, Christopher Golden
Wednesdays, 3:00-5:30pm. Location: HUCE, Room 429, 26 Oxford Street, 4th Floor

Rapid human population growth and even more rapid growth in consumption are driving a transformation of most of Earth’s natural systems including its climate system, its oceans, land cover, biogeochemical cycles, biodiversity, and coastal and fresh water systems.  These systems underpin global food production, our exposure to infectious disease and natural hazards, even the habitability of the places where we live.  We will explore the global human health impacts of this transformation of natural systems.

ESPP 90E. Conservation Biology
Course ID Number: 19675
Aaron Hartmann
Wednesdays, 2:45-5:15pm. Location: Geo Museum, Room 375, 24 Oxford Street, 3rd Floor

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: 18341
George Baker
Thursdays, 2:00-5:00pm. Location: HUCE, Room 440, 26 Oxford Street, 4th Floor

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.

ESPP 90Y. World Food Systems and the Environment
Course ID Number: 13705
N. Michele Holbrook, Robert Paarlberg, Forest Reinhardt
Mondays, 2:45-5:15pm. Location: HUCE, Room 440, 26 Oxford Street, 4th Floor

This seminar examines the world’s systems for the production and distribution of food as they relate to the earth’s physical, chemical, and biological systems.  Using scientific readings, papers about economics and politics, and cases about firms, we consider agriculture and food from scientific, public policy, and business strategy perspectives and in relation to environmental issues such as greenhouse gas emissions, carbon and nitrogen cycles, water and soil conservation (including erosion, pollution, and salinization), and the use of genetically modified organisms.  Geographic and topical coverage will be broad:  the Americas, Europe, Asia, and Africa; as well as water, seeds, fertilizers, animal protein, trade and development. We expect to have numerous guests from the scientific community, government, and business. Some backgroundin biology, government or economics is useful, but not required.