MEM Specialization in Climate Science,
Adaptation and Mitigation


Global and regional climate change is the major environmental challenge of the 21st century. The purpose of the Climate Science, Adaptation and Mitigation Specialization is to give students a rigorous understanding of the physical aspects of the Earth’s climate system, the vulnerability of socio-economic and natural systems to climate change, negative and positive consequences of climate change, and options for adapting to it. This specialization will give students the skills to assess different options for mitigating climate change.

The Climate Science, Adaptation and Mitigation Specialization will be of interest to those MEM students who seek employment and opportunities to influence decision-making on climate change issues in many spheres ranging from private industry and civil society groups to state and local governments as well as national government and international institutions. Graduates work on a wide range of climate-related issues, including food security, carbon forestry, carbon market strategies, carbon offset project development, and international negotiations. Students who wish to engage with multilateral development agencies and financiers, transnational environmental organizations, public agencies, industry, consulting firms, or grass-roots environmental groups are well-advised to follow this specialization. Recent FES graduates with a focus on climate change are currently working at USAID, IFPRI, The World Bank, UNDP, Vestas Wind, the Inter-American Development Bank, Flagship Ventures, and WRI.


Climate Science

Social Ecology Engineering and Technology Economics, Law and Policy Public Health and Climate Change


Students intending to specialize in this area are recommended to take Climate Change: Impacts, Adaptation and Mitigation. Gaining sufficient depth and breadth would also require at least one course from the Climate Science section and at least three courses chosen from the remaining sections of this specialization (i.e., Social Ecology; Engineering and Technology; Economics, Law, and Policy; and Public Health and Climate Change). Students seeking further counsel on selecting courses within this area should speak with their academic advisor or the Faculty Coordinator of the Climate Science, Adaptation, and Mitigation Specialization.

Faculty Coordinator: Nadine Unger

Specialization Faculty: Robert Bailis, Michelle Bell, Arnulf Grubler, Xuhui Lee, Robert Mendelsohn

1 Offering has prerequisites, an enrollment cap, or requires permission from the instructor prior to registration.
2 A capstone course.
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