Academy

OCW Courses for ClimateX

MIT OpenCourseWare is a free and open publication of course material from across the entire MIT curriculum. It's an incredible learning resource for climate action. This page presents some highlights specially selected for ClimateX from OCW's Climate Change and Sustainability course list, organized by:

Climate science

Mitigation technologies

Governance, economics and adaptation

Humanities perspectives

 

Climate Science

For ClimateX, the MITx on edX course 12.340x Global Warming Science is highly recommended. This free online resource has extensive video lectures, interactive concept questions and climate models. The residential MIT version of 12.340 Global Warming Science is typically taken by MIT undergraduates during their junior year.

The following OCW climate science courses complement 12.340x Global Warming Science as preparation and for further study.

1.018J Ecology I: The Earth System

Fundamentals of ecology, considering Earth as an integrated dynamic system.

  • Level/Prerequisites: Introductory, no prerequisites
  • As taught by: Edward DeLong, Penny Chisholm (Fall 2009)
  • Content highlights: Lecture slides, problems with solutions, sample student projects

12.003 Atmosphere, Ocean and Climate Dynamics

Introduction to the physics of circulation in the ocean and atmosphere, with special focus on processes that control the planet’s climate.

  • Level/Prerequisites: A precursor to 12.340 Global Warming Science, taken by sophomores after completing 18.02SC Multivariable Calculus and 8.01 Physics I.
  • As taught by: Raffaele Ferrari (Fall 2008)
  • Content highlights: Simulations and visualizations: lab demo videos and links to web-based applets

5.60 Thermodynamics & Kinetics

In-depth study of the energy behavior of materials. Foundational subject for climate science and energy studies.

12.009J Theoretical Environmental Analysis

Theoretical models connecting the physical and biological worlds, the comparison of theory to observational data, and associated mathematical methods.

  • Level/Prerequisites: A follow-up to 12.340 Global Warming Science, and a required subject for all EAPS undergrads in their senior year. Prerequisites are 18.02SC Multivariable Calculus8.01 Physics I, and 18.03SC Differential Equations is a co-requisite.
  • As taught by: Daniel Rothman (Spring 2015)
  • Content highlights: Detailed lecture notes, problems with supporting MATLAB files (but no solutions)
 

Mitigation Technologies

22.081J Introduction to Sustainable Energy

An engineering approach to current and potential future energy systems which could meet regional and global energy needs in a sustainable manner. Learn a quantitative framework for evaluating and analyzing energy technology system proposals in the context of engineering, political, social, economic, and environmental goals.

  • Level/Prerequisites: Taken by juniors and seniors, presumes a GIR foundation in physics, chemistry, and calculus.
  • As taught by: Michael Golay et al (Fall 2010)
  • Content highlights: Extensive lecture slides, problem sets and exams with some solutions

2.627 Fundamentals of Photovoltaics

Understand the science, engineering implementation, and market and social forces driving this key solar energy technology.

  • Level/Prerequisites: Taken by juniors, seniors, and graduate students; presumes a GIR foundation in physics, chemistry and calculus.
  • As taught by: Tonio Buonassisi (Fall 2013)
  • Content highlights: Tutorial videos, lecture videos, complete lecture slides, videos of student project presentations

4.42J Fundamentals of Energy in Buildings

A design-based first course for architects in energy and thermo-sciences, with applications to sustainable energy-efficient architecture and building technology.

10.626 Electrochemical Energy Systems

Electrochemical energy conversion and storage, with applications to batteries, fuel cells, and supercapacitors. Emphasizes principles and mathematical models.

  • Level/Prerequisites: Taken mostly by graduate students, although some undergraduates also take it. Prerequisites include 5.60 Thermodynamics & Kinetics and additional study of heat and mass transfer.
  • As taught by: Martin Bazant (Spring 2014)
  • Content highlights: Extensive lecture notes, problem sets, exams with some solutions

22.033 Nuclear Systems Design Project

Senior capstone project course that designed a novel power plant integrating emission-free electricity with carbon sequestration and fossil fuel displacement.

EC.701J D-Lab I: Development

Work with developing country communities on micro-level technological improvements that lead to better quality of life of low-income households.

  • Level/Prerequisites: Taken by undergraduates of all backgrounds. No prerequisites.
  • As taught by: Amy Smith, Bish Sanyal, Victor Grau Serrat (Fall 2009)
  • Content highlights: Extensive lecture notes, student project reports

EC.711 D-Lab: Energy

Hands-on project-based course on small-scale sustainable energy technology for developing countries.

  • Level/Prerequisites: Taken by undergraduates of all backgrounds. No prerequisites.
  • As taught by: Amy Banzaert, Amit Gandhi (Fall 2011)
  • Content highlights: Lecture videos, lab videos, student project presentation videos
 

Governance, Economics and Adaptation

15.023J Global Climate Change: Economics, Science, and Policy

Scientific, economic, and ecological issues underlying the threat of global climate change, and assessment of proposed policy measures. Draws on research and model development within the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change.

  • Level/Prerequisites: A graduate-level survey course
  • As taught by: Henry Jacoby, Ronald G Prinn, Mort Webster (Spring 2008)
  • Content highlights: Lecture notes

15.031J Energy Decisions, Markets, and Policies

A thorough survey of the choices and constraints regarding sources and uses of energy by households, firms, and governments.

  • Level/Prerequisites: An undergraduate course taken by juniors and seniors. 14.01 Principles of Microeconomics is a prerequisite.
  • As taught by: Richard Schmalensee (Spring 2012)
  • Content highlights: Lecture videos, lecture and recitation notes

11.165 Infrastructure and Energy Technology Challenges

A seminar on efforts in developing and advanced nations and regions to create, finance, and regulate infrastructure and energy technologies.

  • Level/Prerequisites: An undergraduate course taken by juniors and seniors. 14.01 Principles of Microeconomics is a prerequisite.
  • As taught by: Karen R. Polenske, Apiwat Ratanawaraha (Fall 2011)
  • Content highlights: Selected lecture slides, reading list, discussion questions

ESD.864 Modeling and Assessment for Policy

Using scientific information and quantitative models to inform policy decision-making. Issues include public perception of quantitative information, methods for dealing with uncertainties, and design choices in building policy-relevant models.

  • Level/Prerequisites: Graduate level, assumes some familiarity with concepts of science, technology and policy such as ESD.10 Introduction to Technology and Policy
  • As taught by: Noelle Selin (Spring 2010)
  • Content highlights: Lecture slides (especially Lectures 7 and 8), assignments and quizzes with solutions, sample student projects

11.941 Urban Climate Adaptation

Examines the challenges that cities will face and strategies they can use to prepare for the impacts of climate change. Particular attention to global disparities, needs of vulnerable populations and resource constrained locales, and ways to achieve equity in climate-readiness.

  • Level/Prerequisites: Graduate
  • As taught by: JoAnn Carmin (Spring 2011)
  • Content highlights: Reading list, sample student work
 

Humanities Perspectives    

21H.421 Introduction to Environmental History

Influence of climate, topography, plants, animals, and microorganisms on human history since 1500, and the reciprocal influence of people on the environment.

  • Level/Prerequisites: Undergraduate, no prerequisites
  • As taught by: Harriet Ritvo (Spring 2011)
  • Content highlights: Reading list, discussion questions, lecture materials

STS.038 Energy and Environment in American History: 1705-2005

A historical survey of how America has become the world's largest consumer of energy. Energy and its relationship to politics, diplomacy, the economy, science and technology, labor, culture, and the environment.

  • Level/Prerequisites: Undergraduate, no prerequisites
  • As taught by: Peter Shulman (Fall 2006)
  • Content highlights: Reading list, discussion questions

CMS.361 Networked Social Movements: Media & Mobilization

A collaborative inquiry into the relationships between social movements and the media.

  • Level/Prerequisites: Undergraduate juniors and seniors, graduate students. No prerequisites
  • As taught by: Sasha Costanza-Chock (Spring 2014)
  • Content highlights: Reading list, sample student work

STS.034 Science Communication: A Practical Guide

How to communicate science effectively in real-world contexts, especially for complex and challenging topics such as climate change.

  • Level/Prerequisites: Undergraduate, no prerequisites
  • As taught by: Peter Shulman (Fall 2006)
  • Content highlights: Selected lecture slides, reading list, discussion questions

MITx Courses in Climate Science

  • Global Warming Science on EdX (12.340x)
    • An online self-paced course taught by Kerry Emanuel, MIT Professor of Atmospheric Science; Dan Cziczo, MIT Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry; and David McGee, MIT Assistant Professor of Earth, Atmospheric, & Planetary Sciences.
    • The course is currently archived. You can review the videos, but problem sets and exams are closed. Request that MITx run another session

Other MIT Resources


Beyond MIT

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Policy and Governance

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