Search all undergraduate classes at MIT that count toward the Environment & Sustainability Minor.

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Big Plans and Mega-Urban Landscapes


Explores the physical, ecological, technological, political, economic and cultural implications of big plans and mega-urban landscapes in a global context. Uses local and international case studies to understand the process of making major changes to urban landscape and city fabric, and to regional landscape systems. Includes lectures by leading practitioners. Assignments consider planning and design…

Biogeochemistry of Natural and Perturbed Systems


Presents the fundamentals of chemical cycles in the environment and their interactions with microbial populations. Students investigate the natural cycling of carbon, oxygen, and nutrients in the oceans and on land. Also emphasizes anthropogenic perturbations to natural dynamics and how the environment is reshaped by human activities. Students work in teams to develop and conduct…

Climate Science


Introduction to climate studies, including beginnings of the solar system, time scales, and climate in human history; methods for detecting climate change, including proxies, ice cores, instrumental records, and time series analysis; physical and chemical processes in climate, including primordial atmosphere, ozone chemistry, carbon and oxygen cycles, and heat and water budgets; internal feedback mechanisms,…

Cultural Geographies of Germany: Nature, Culture, and Politics


Examines the relationship between nature, geography, and power in 20th- and 21st-century German culture. Familiarizes students with a series of themes in literature, science, engineering, urban planning and everyday life that have played a central role in German national imaginaries and concepts of citizenship. Engaging specific examples and historical, ethnographic, literary and visual material, students…

D-Lab Schools: Building Technology Laboratory


Focuses on the design, analysis, and application of technologies that support the construction of less expensive and better performing schools in developing countries. Prepares students to design or retrofit school buildings in partnership with local communities and NGOs. Strategies covered include daylighting, passive heating and cooling, improved indoor air quality via natural ventilation, appropriate material…

D-Lab: Design


Addresses problems faced by underserved communities with a focus on design, experimentation, and prototyping processes. Particular attention placed on constraints faced when designing for developing countries. Multidisciplinary teams work on long-term projects in collaboration with community partners, field practitioners, and experts in relevant fields. Topics covered include design for affordability, manufacture, sustainability, and strategies for…

D-Lab: Development


Issues in international development, appropriate technology and project implementation addressed through lectures, case studies, guest speakers and laboratory exercises. Students form project teams to partner with community organizations in developing countries, and formulate plans for an optional IAP site visit. (Previous field sites include Ghana, Brazil, Honduras and India.) Recitation sections focus on specific project…

D-Lab: Smallholder Agriculture


Provides an overview of the scientific, social, and economic context of smallholder farmers in developing countries. Covers the scientific basis and environmental impacts of agriculture, the dynamics of smallholder farming, social and business systems, and the experience of farmers themselves. Lectures, guest experts, experiential activities, and semester projects with community partners contribute to learning objectives.

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