ANTH 572 / F&ES 869
Disaster, Degradation, Dystopia
An advanced seminar on the long tradition of social science scholarship on environmental perturbation and natural disasters, the relevance of which has been heightened by the current global attention to climate change. The course is divided into three main sections. The first consists of central questions and debates in the field: social dimensions of natural disasters; the discursive dimensions of environmental degradation, focusing on deforestation; and the current debate about the relationship between resource wealth and political conflict, focusing on the "green war" thesis. The second section focuses on anthropological and interdisciplinary approaches to climate change and related topics, encompassing canonical anthropological work on flood and drought; cyclones, El Niño, and interannual cycles; ethno-ecology; and risk. Additional lectures focus on interdisciplinary work. The final section of the course consists of the classroom presentation of work by the students and teaching fellow. Three-hour lecture/seminar. Enrollment limited to twenty.
EMD 548 / ARCG 362 / ARCG 762 / EVST 362 / F&ES 726 / G&G 362 / G&G 562
Observing Earth From Space
A practical introduction to satellite image analysis of Earth's surface. Topics include the spectrum of electromagnetic radiation, satellite-borne radiometers, data transmission and storage, computer image analysis, the merging of satellite imagery with GIS and applications to weather and climate, oceanography, surficial geology, ecology and epidemiology, forestry, agriculture, archaeology, and watershed management.
Environmental Governance & Justice Practicum
The course will cover how the practical and theoretical methods used in environmental policy and planning can assist city, county, and state governments address the immediate and long-term sustainability challenges posed by global and local environmental change (such as climate change). Particular attention will be focused on social institutional practices, and how race, class, and gender impacts environmental participation and justice in the distribution of natural resources, such as water and air. Students will examine social theories of nature, as well as a range of policy responses to address environmental inequities. An emphasis is placed on disadvantaged communities in the United States. In the course, urban and sociological theories will be complemented by real-world environmental controversies that require group collaboration to produce in-class presentations, role-playing negotiation case simulations, and the completion of client policy memos with regional and local policymakers that engage students critically with the course material.
Global Public Goods & Cooperation: International
David A Deese
Some of the most urgent and difficult challenges in international politics can be understood as "global public goods." All countries, peoples, and generations need clean air, international security, and freedom of air and sea navigation worldwide. In either their harmful (public "bads") or beneficial (public goods) form, these needs demand action on behalf of societies worldwide. From managing global warming and international financial crises to preventing global epidemics or widespread disruption of the Internet, global public goods require actors to bargain, coordinate, and collaborate in efforts to implement effective responses. In most cases this involves governments, international organizations, civil society, and considerable tough bargaining to solve collection action problems. This seminar investigates the nature of public goods and collective action in order to help understand these pressing challenges, possible responses to them, and how politics both limits and opens opportunities for policy formation. It begins with prevalent theories about the production of public goods, from the local to transnational and global, and analysis of their governance. It then studies in depth three case studies—providing international financial stability, eliminating or containing infectious diseases, and mitigating global climate disruption. It concludes by examining the implications of rising socioeconomic inequality in major countries worldwide. The final two weeks are dedicated to presentations and discussion of each student's research project.
F&ES 648 / REL 902
Ethics and the Climate Crisis
Matthew T Riley
The purpose of this course is to provide an introduction to core questions and moral frameworks in environmental ethics as they relate to climate change. The course explores how scholars, activists, and religious leaders have created and refined ethical responses to environmental problems. To develop a deeper understanding of not only the promise of environmental ethics, but also its efficacy and theoretical underpinnings, the course invites students to critically assess the effectiveness of these strategies and to be analytical in the examination of proposed solutions. Moreover, students in this course will explore how various ethics and worldviews arose historically in conversation with environmental philosophy and in response to contemporary environmental concerns. Special attention will be given to understanding, critically assessing, and applying the fundamental methodology that undergirds environmental ethics as read through the lens of Christian ethics and religious moral reasoning. This course will simultaneously allow students to take stock of contemporary issues related to global climate change including but not limited to: the moral status of ecosystems; biodiversity loss; the relationship between race, gender, poverty, and the environment; and intersections with other issues such as animal welfare, economics, and agriculture. No prior experience in environmental ethics, climate science, or religious ethics is required. Participants will be encouraged to be exploratory, inquisitive, and interactive in their learning. This course will include a visit to the YDS garden and a session at the Yale University Art Gallery.
Meets January 23 - February 27. Environmental issues are closely tied to ethical considerations such as the impacts on public health, future generations, less industrialized nations, and nonhuman entities. This course is designed to provide a broad overview of topics related to ethics and the environment including perspectives of environmental ethics (e.g., anthropocentrism), environmental justice, environmental economics, and climate change. The intersection of ethics and the environment could be studied from multiple disciplines such as philosophy, history, anthropology, medicine, or environmental science. All perspectives and backgrounds are welcome in this course. The purpose of this class is not to distinguish "right" from "wrong" but to encourage critical thinking and discussion on the ethical consequences of environmental decisions and to provide a better understanding of key topics on ethics and the environment. This course is conducted as a combination in-person/online class over a six-week period. Graded credit/fail for graduate students.
Environmental Law & Policy
Introduction to the legal requirements and policy underpinnings of the basic U.S. environmental laws, including the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, and various statutes governing waste, food safety, and toxic substances. This course examines and evaluates current approaches to pollution control and resource management as well as the "next generation" of regulatory strategies, including economic incentives and other market mechanisms, voluntary emissions reductions, and information disclosure requirements. Mechanisms for addressing environmental issues at the local, regional, and global levels are also considered.
A survey of fluid dynamics with application to circulation in the ocean and atmosphere, as well as mantle and core. Mathematical models are used to illustrate the fundamental dynamical principles of geophysical fluid phenomena such as convection, waves, boundary layers, flow stability, turbulence, and large-scale flows. The course aims to provide a general theoretical framework for understanding the structure and circulation of the ocean, atmosphere, and Earth's interior.
Courses Open to Both Graduate and Undergraduate Students
Practicum in Climate Change, Sustainability, and Public Health
This course is one of the options available to students to fulfill the practice requirement for the M.P.H. degree. In this course, interdisciplinary student teams carry out applied research or practice projects in the area of climate change, sustainability, and public health. Each team works with a sponsoring organization (e.g., unit within Yale, local health department, state agency, community organization, other non-governmental organization). As a prerequisite for enrollment, this unique Spring Term course requires participation in the Fall Term Climate Change, Sustainability, and Public Health Leadership Training Workshop, a partnership between the Climate Change and Health Initiative, the Global Health Leadership Institute, and the Office of Sustainability. In September, students apply to join a team, and in November the selected students participate in this weekend workshop that provides training on leadership, strategic problem solving, and policy/applied research implementation. Teams use these skills to further conceptualize and plan their projects. These established student teams then implement their projects in this Spring Term course, which affords the opportunity to apply concepts and competencies learned in the workshop and in the classroom to this important area of climate change, sustainability, and public health. This course should be of interest to students across Yale School of Public Health and the University.
Seminar in Climate & Energy
Cary S Krosinsky, Michael Oristaglio
This seminar course will study the risks and opportunities of climate change from a quantitative perspective. Topics will range from the use of high-resolution regional climate models to better quantify the short-term effects of global warming on local communities, to the global prospects for public and private financing to decarbonize the world’s energy systems. We will look at examples from around the world, including: the development of very-high resolution regional climate models to assess climate impacts by the Climate Program Office of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Canadian Centre ESCER, and the UK Met Office; the pricing of carbon in different ways, such as the carbon tax in British Columbia, the carbon market in China and the Yale Carbon Charge; the financing of the German Energiewende; and the overall energy investment analysis made by the International Energy Agency (IEA) for its World Energy Outlook.
APHY 100 / ENAS 100 / EVST 100 / G&G 105 / PHYS 100
Energy Technology and Society
Daniel E Prober
The technology and use of energy. Impacts on the environment, climate, security, and economy. Application of scientific reasoning and quantitative analysis. Intended for non-science majors with strong backgrounds in math and science.
ARCG 226 / EVST 226
Global Environmental History
The dynamic relationship between environmental and social forces from the Pleistocene glaciations to the Anthropocene present. Pleistocene extinctions; transition from hunting and gathering to agriculture; origins of cities, states, and civilization; adaptations and collapses of Old and New World civilizations in the face of climate disasters; the destruction and reconstruction of the New World by the Old. Focus on issues of adaptation, resilience, and sustainability, including forces that caused long-term societal change.
ECON 452 / EP&E 300 / GLBL 302
Contemporary Issues in Energy Policy
Overview of challenges in the global energy framework generated by concerns about energy security and climate change; public policies necessary for addressing these issues. Potential contributions and limitations of existing, improved or transitional, and advanced technologies.
Intergenerational Social Justice
David G Leslie
An in-depth study of how the emerging body of intergenerational perspectives on
rights and just social action is bringing critical weight to bear on more conventionally
accepted viewpoints on the nature of justice. Exploration of how developing thoughts
such as intergenerational accountability and obligations to future generations are
dealing with potentially catastrophic crises such as climate change, overpopulation, and
species extinction risk.
EP&E 497 / EVST 247 / PLSC 219
Politics of the Environment
Historical and contemporary politics aimed at regulating human behavior to limit damage to the environment. Goals, strategies, successes, and failures of movements, organizations, corporations, scientists, and politicians in conflicts over environmental policy. Focus on politics in the U.S., including the role of public opinion; attention to international regulatory efforts, especially with regard to climate change.
EVST 211 / G&G 211 / HIST 416 / HSHM 211
Global Catastrophe since 1750
William J Rankin
A history of the geological, atmospheric, and environmental sciences, with a focus on predictions of global catastrophe. Topics range from headline catastrophes such as global warming, ozone depletion, and nuclear winter to historical debates about the age of the Earth, the nature of fossils, and the management of natural resources. Tensions between science and religion; the role of science in government; environmental economics; the politics of prediction, modeling, and incomplete evidence.
EVST 245 / F&ES 245 / PLSC 146
Global Environmental Governance
The development of international environmental policy and the functioning of global environmental governance. Critical evaluation of theoretical claims in the literature and the reasoning of policy makers. Introduction of analytical and theoretical tools used to assess environmental problems. Case studies emphasize climate, forestry, and fisheries.
Global Warming: Climate Physics
Lectures on the basics of global warming and presentations and discussions of some of the classic papers that combined have led to our current understanding of global warming. The knowns and the unknowns of global warming; the paper trail of cutting-edge climate science through time, from the late 1800s to the present.
Ethics of Climate Change
Alexandre Gajevic Sayegh
The response of the United States to global climate change and questions of climate justice. The importance of bridging the gap between theories of climate justice and real world climate policy. Topics include the effort to fairly mitigate and adapt to climate change; the responsibility to act upon climate change by countries and individuals; and how economics, environmental, and social sciences should contribute to the conceptualization of action-guiding moral and political theories.
Climate Change and Public Health
This course takes an interdisciplinary approach to examining relationships between climate change and public health. After placing climate change in the context of the Anthropocene and planetary health and exploring the fundamentals of climate change science, the course covers impacts of climate change on public health, including heat waves; occupational heat stress; air pollution; wildfires; aeroallergens; vector-borne, foodborne, and waterborne diseases; water scarcity; food security; migration; violent conflict; natural disasters; and health benefits of climate change mitigation. The course integrates climate justice issues and adaptation strategies into the discussion of specific topics. The course is reading-intensive and makes ample use of case studies, with a focus on critical reading of the literature and identifying research gaps and needs.
Multifunctional Carbon Sequestering Agroforestry
This course examines carbon-sequestering agriculture practices and their potential to provide solutions to a range of social and environmental problems from climate justice to land degradation. It introduces a global toolkit of practices old and new, and profile-promising plant species. A key group of species explored is perennial staple crops, a group of trees and other long-lived plants providing protein, carbohydrates, and fats for human consumption. We explore industrial ecological applications of perennial crops for materials, chemicals, and energy. While many tropical species and systems are already implemented on a large scale, the course also closely views cold-climate developments. Participants are introduced to the farm business planning challenges of production in regenerative integrated systems. Diverse strategies for implementation are presented, including policy, grassroots, and consumer-driven options. Field trips explore temperate and tropical agroforestry systems.
Diverse Voices: Environmental Leaders on Climate Change and the Environment
The movement to solve climate change and achieve a more sustainable economy in the twenty-first century will require the work of a broad range of people working across many different fronts. This course asks students to consider the widening range of voices engaged in these challenges across the United States and how the environmental movement can better reflect all segments of American society. It is co-taught by a group of diverse leaders tackling environmental challenges through advocacy, policy making, academic research, and business.
F&ES 814 / MGT 563
Energy System Analysis
This lecture course offers a systems analysis approach to describe and explain the basics of energy systems, including all forms of energy (fossil and renewable), all sectors/activities of energy production/conversion, and all energy end-uses, irrespective of the form of market transaction (commercial or noncommercial) or form of technology (traditional as well as novel advanced concepts) deployed. Students gain a comprehensive theoretical and empirical knowledge base from which to analyze energy-environmental issues as well as to participate effectively in policy debates. Special attention is given to introducing students to formal methods used to analyze energy systems or individual energy projects and also to discuss traditionally less-researched elements of energy systems (energy use in developing countries; energy densities and urban energy use; income, gender, and lifestyle differences in energy end-use patterns) in addition to currently dominant energy issues such as climate change. Active student participation is required, including completion of problem sets. Participation in extra-credit skill development exercises (presentations, fact-finding missions, etc.) is encouraged. Invited outside speakers complement topics covered in class.
Land Use Planning
Land use control exercised by state and local governments determines where development occurs on the American landscape, the preservation of natural resources, the emission of greenhouse gases, the conservation of energy, and the shape and livability of cities and towns. The exercise of legal authority to plan and regulate the development and conservation of privately owned land plays a key role in meeting the needs of the nation's growing population for housing and nonresidential development and in ensuring that critical environmental functions are protected from the adverse impacts of land development. This course explores the multifaceted discipline of land use planning and its associated ecological implications. Numerous land use strategies are discussed that provide practical tools for professionals to use to create sustainable buildings, neighborhoods, and communities. The focus of this seminar is to expose students to the basics of land use planning in the United States and to serve as an introduction for the F&ES curricular concentration in land use. Guest speakers are professionals involved in sustainable development, land conservation, smart growth, and climate-change management. Classes include discussions on the trajectory for professional careers.
Creating Science Narratives for Solutions
This course surveys, studies, and practices strategies toward effective climate and environmental science-based messaging with an eye toward public policy engagement and public interest. Students learn of new and emerging interdisciplinary research and theory in narratology, psychology, education, and cultural, social, and media sciences to help build skills they then practice in partnership with professional stakeholders on projects related to climate and energy policy, goals, and planning across the public and private sectors.
GLBL 572 / F&ES 628
Resilience in Developing Countries
Resilience in the last decade has moved from a peripheral ecological idea to a central concept in major world debates e.g. Sustainable Development Goals, Climate change Adaptation, Resilient infrastructure and ecosystems. What makes a person or a community resilient to the impacts of climate change? How has the resilience approach been operationalized in the fields of sustainability, disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation? What are the limitations and critiques of resilience thinking, and how might this concept evolve in the future? As development and government agencies increasingly adopt the resilience approach, students interested in pursuing careers across a range of business, environmental and development sectors will increasingly find themselves faced with these questions. This course will prepare students to understand the theory of resilience and operationalize it in a given context.
Courses Open to Both Graduate and Undergraduate Students
CENG 373 / ENVE 373 / F&ES 773
Air Pollution Control
Drew R Gentner
An overview of air quality problems worldwide with a focus on emissions, chemistry, transport, and other processes that govern dynamic behavior in the atmosphere. Quantitative assessment of the determining factors of air pollution (e.g., transportation and other combustion-related sources, chemical transformations), climate change, photochemical “smog,” pollutant measurement techniques, and air quality management strategies.
G&G 322 / G&G 522
Physics of Weather and Climate
The climatic system; survey of atmospheric behavior and climatic change; meteorological measurements and analysis; formulation of physical principles governing weather and climate with selected applications to small- and large-scale phenomena.
EVST 201 / G&G 140
Atmosphere, Ocean & Environmental Change
Ronald B Smith
Physical processes that control Earth's atmosphere, ocean, and climate. Quantitative methods for constructing energy and water budgets. Topics include clouds, rain, severe storms, regional climate, the ozone layer, air pollution, ocean currents and productivity, the seasons, El Niño, the history of Earth's climate, global warming, energy, and water resources.
EVST 311 / G&G 331
Environmental Communication for Public Policy
Analysis, assessment, and application of narrative strategies to the communication of climate and energy science toward public policy engagement and action. Emerging interdisciplinary theory and research in narratology, sociology, and psychology, as well as cultural, education, and media sciences.
EVST 320 / F&ES 320
International Environmental Law
Examination of how nations negotiate, establish, and implement international environmental law and how the United Nations and other international agencies function. Simulated negotiations; discussion of diplomatic negotiations regarding climate change that occur during the term.