Science, Politics, and Environmental Policy (12.385, 11.373[J], 12.885[J]) – Offered fall semester (9 units)


Offered fall semester (9 units)

Examines the role of science in US and international environmental policymaking. Surveys the methods by which scientists learn about the natural world; the treatment of science by experts, advocates, the media, and the public and the way science is used in legislative, administrative and judicial decision making. Through lectures, group discussions, and written essays, students develop a critical understanding of the role of science in environmental policy. Potential case studies include fisheries management, ozone depletion, global warming, smog, and endangered species. Students taking the graduate version complete different assignments. Prereq: Permission of instructor. Units: 3-0-6.

S. Solomon, J. Knox-Hayes

People and the Planet: Environmental Histories and Engineering (11.004, STS.033 [J]) – Offered spring semester (12 units, HASS-E)

Offered spring semester (12 units, HASS-E)

Explores historical and cultural aspects of complex environmental problems and engineering approaches to sustainable solutions. Introduces quantitative analyses and methodological tools to understand environmental issues that have human and natural components. Demonstrates concepts through a series of historical and cultural analyses of environmental challenges and their engineering responses. Builds writing, quantitative modeling, and analytical skills in assessing environmental systems problems and developing engineering solutions. Through environmental data gathering and analysis, students engage with the challenges and possibilities of engineering in complex, interacting systems, and investigate plausible, symbiotic, systems-oriented solutions. Prereq: None. Units: 3-3-6 HASS-E.

J. Knox-Hayes, R. Scheffler, J. Trancik, B. Anthony

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