Environmental Studies

Academic Year 2022 – 2023

General Information

Address
Guyot Hall
Phone

Program Offerings:

  • Certificate

Graduate Program Administrator:

Overview

The Environmental Studies Graduate Certificate is offered by the High Meadows Environmental Institute (HMEI), which is the center for environmental research, education, and outreach at Princeton University. The graduate certificate is highly interdisciplinary and allows students from all disciplines to add an environmental dimension to their studies. This provides graduate students an opportunity to complement their disciplinary studies with coordinated interdisciplinary training in the broad field of Environmental Studies. Requirements for the certificate include formal coursework as well as a research effort focused on an environmental topic.

Students wishing to earn a Graduate Certificate in Environmental Studies are encouraged to consult with the faculty adviser for the Graduate Program in Environmental Studies, or the Academic Program Manager to plan a tentative course of study, and to discuss their interests. Because courses must be taken in multiple disciplines, planning of individual programs should take place as early as possible. 

It should be noted that HMEI does not offer graduate degrees. For this reason, students must first gain formal admission to a degree-granting program or department. The certificate does not appear on the official transcript.

Contact Amber Lee, Undergraduate/Graduate Program Manager, for more information about the Graduate Certificate in Environmental Studies.

Program Offerings

This certificate does not appear on transcripts.

Courses

Each certificate student must complete four courses related to the environment, which must be from at least three of the University’s four divisions: humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and engineering. This implies a maximum of two courses from the student’s home division. Because courses must be taken in multiple disciplines, the planning of individual programs should take place as early as possible. In addition, each student must complete independent research related to an environmental issue. This work is typically incorporated as part of the student’s dissertation, although a stand-alone report or paper also is acceptable. Finally, students enrolled in the certificate program are expected to participate in a graduate colloquium or seminar focused on issues related to the environment.

Example of courses from across the four divisions of the university include the following:

ARC 527: Provisioning: Food, Architecture and Urbanization in the Global 20th Century (also ENV 527)
ARC 519: Climate Change, Adaptation and Urban Design
CEE 516: Coastal Flood Hazards and Mitigation
CEE 571/ENV 571: Environmental Chemistry
CEE 587/ENV 587: Ecohydrology
CEE 598/ENV598: Special Topics in Sustainable, Resilient Cities and Infrastructure Systems
CEE 599A/ENV 599: Special Topics in Environmental Engineering and Water Resources: Understanding Hydrology and Environmental Engineering through Teaching                                                                  CHM 544/ENV 544: Metals in Biology: From Stardust to DNA
EEB 528: Topics in Conservation (Half-Term): Sustainable Development
ENV 551:Unpredictability and Extreme Events in Natural and Human Systems                                                                                                    ENG 574/ENV 574/LAS 574: Literature and Society: Global Perspectives on Environmental Justice in Literature and Film
ENG 575: Conflict Shorelines II: Conflict, Settlement, & Environmental Violence
ENV 596/AMS 596/ENG 584/MOD 596:Topics in Environmental Studies: Environmental Humanities: Theory and Practice
GEO 561/ENV 561: Earth’s Atmosphere
HIS 507: Environmental History
POL 562: Theorizing Climate Change (Half-Term)
SOC 581: Urban Sociology: Changing Cities in the Global Age (Half-Term)
SPI 581C: Topics in Economics – Energy Economics
SPI 586D:  Global Environmental Governance
SPI 594S: Climate Change: Science and Policy

A more complete list of acceptable courses is maintained by the Program Manager. Contact Amber Lee, Undergraduate/Graduate Program Manager, for more information about the Graduate Certificate in Environmental Studies.

Dissertation and FPO

Each student must complete independent research related to an environmental issue. This work most typically is incorporated as part of the student’s dissertation, although a stand-alone report or paper is also acceptable.

Additional requirements

Students enrolled in the Graduate Certificate in Environmental Studies are expected to participate in a graduate colloquium or seminar focused on issues related to the environment.

Faculty

  • Director

    • Corina E. Tarnita
  • Executive Committee

    • Ian C. Bourg, Civil and Environmental Eng
    • Allison Carruth, Effron Center Study of America
    • Jacob S. Dlamini, History
    • William A. Gleason, English
    • Katharine B. Hackett, High Meadows Environmental Ins, <i>ex officio</i>
    • Melissa Lane, Politics
    • Reed M. Maxwell, Civil and Environmental Eng
    • Erika L. Milam, History
    • Rob Nixon, English
    • Michael Oppenheimer, Schl of Public & Int'l Affairs
    • Laure Resplandy, Geosciences
    • Daniel I. Rubenstein, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
    • Gabriel A. Vecchi, Geosciences
    • Jerry C. Zee, Anthropology

For a full list of faculty members and fellows please visit the department or program website.

Permanent Courses

Courses listed below are graduate-level courses that have been approved by the program’s faculty as well as the Curriculum Subcommittee of the Faculty Committee on the Graduate School as permanent course offerings. Permanent courses may be offered by the department or program on an ongoing basis, depending on curricular needs, scheduling requirements, and student interest. Not listed below are undergraduate courses and one-time-only graduate courses, which may be found for a specific term through the Registrar’s website. Also not listed are graduate-level independent reading and research courses, which may be approved by the Graduate School for individual students.

CEE 571 - Environmental Chemistry (also ENV 571)

A focus on organic pollutants in the environment through study of the theoretical basis for chemical, physicochemical, and microbiological processes. This foundation is used to explain chemical property estimation methods for phonemena such as phase partitioning, diffusion, and biodegradation. These processes are examined with respect to their implications for remediation technologies.

CEE 586 - Physical Hydrology (also ENV 586)

Problems in surface hydrology, based upon the underlying physics. Precipitation and evapotranspiration; mechanisms of surface runoff generation; propagation of flood waves overland and in channels; and water balance modeling are studied.

CEE 587 - Ecohydrology (also ENV 587)

A description of the hydrologic mechanisms that underlie ecological observations. The space-time dynamics of soil-plant-atmosphere is studied at different temporal and spatial scales. A review is done of the role of environmental fluctuations in the distribution of vegetation. Emphasis is made in the dynamics of soil moisture. The signatures revealing fractal structures in landscapes and vegetation are reviewed as result of self-organizing dynamics. Unifying concepts in the processes responsible for these signatures will be studied with examples from hydrology and ecology.

CEE 598 - Special Topics in Sustainable, Resilient Cities and Infrastructure Systems (also ENV 598)

Advanced studies in selected areas of sustainable, resilient cities and infrastructure systems. Special topics vary according to the instructor's and the students' interests.

CEE 599A - Special Topics in Environmental Engineering and Water Resources (also ENV 599)

Use of probability and statistics for hydrologic mideling and analysis. This methods- based course includes: probability models, including the L- Moment parameter estimation method; estimating bivariate distributions using copulas, time series analysis, spatial data analysis using kriging, as well as principle components ( empirical orthogonal functions, EOF), Monte Carlo simulation and hydrologic forecasting. The course involves readings from the stochastic hydrology literature and hands on computer analysis and simulation.

CHM 544 - Metals in Biology: From Stardust to DNA (also ENV 544)

A course in inorganic physiology and biochemistry, presenting the chemical principles adopted by nature to perform biological functions. Topics include metal ion function in protein and nucleic acid structure, metalloenzyme mechanisms, metal regulation of gene expression, biological energy conversion via ion pumping, storage and mobilization of the elements, and biomineralization.

ENV 596 - Topics in Environmental Studies (also AMS 596/ENG 517/MOD 596)

This topics course offers seminars with a focus on climate change and/or biodiversity. Seminars under this topic examine environmental and societal issues associated with two of the key defining challenges of our time: climate change and/or biodiversity loss. The course uses a multi-disciplinary combination of perspectives and approaches grounded in the Humanities, Sciences, and Social Sciences.

GEO 561 - Earth's Atmosphere (also ENV 561)

Earth's habitability depends on the continual recycling of various gases and even rocks, mainly between the atmosphere, oceans, "solid" earth and biosphere. The atmospheric and oceanic circulations that affect this recycling involve phenomena such as the weather, hurricanes, jet streams, tsunamis, the Gulf Stream, deserts, jungles, El Nino and La Nina. The class discusses how global warming will affect these phenomena.