Centers & Initiatives
A principal purpose of the metadiscipline of environmental humanities is to promote the cultural transformations necessary for reducing ecological devastation and anticipating an increasingly uncertain and potentially traumatic future. The Harvard Global Institute Environmental Humanities Initiative (HGI EHI), currently in its seed grant phase, is developing a multifaceted interdisciplinary research program focused on how human communities from earliest times to the present, within and across national borders, grapple with ecological challenges.
The Planetary Health Alliance is a consortium of universities, NGOs and other partners with a shared mission—supporting the growth of a rigorous, policy-focused, transdisciplinary field of applied research aimed at understanding and addressing the human health implications of accelerating change in the structure and function of Earth’s natural systems. Members of the Alliance work together in the three intersecting domains of research, education, and policy and facilitate the flow of knowledge and practice between these domains.
Launching in the spring of 2017 with the Harvard University Center for the Environment, Harvard's Solar Geoengineering Research Program (SGRP) will produce research that advances solar geoengineering’s science and technology frontier, publishing high-impact papers, and disseminating ideas that are taken up by other researchers and government research programs. SGRP will take an active stance on research with a unique mandate to develop new path-breaking technologies that might improve solar geoengineering’s effectiveness and reduce its risks. SGRP will use Harvard’s unique convening power to bring together scientists, environmental leaders, and government officials to discuss the technology and its governance.
Other Harvard Programs
The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University is the oldest public arboretum in North America and one of the world's leading centers for the study of plants. We provide and support world-class research, horticulture, and education programs that foster the understanding, appreciation, and preservation of trees.
The goal of research in atmosphere, ocean, and climate dynamics at Harvard is a better understanding of Earth's weather and climate on time scales from a few days to millions of years. Climate seminars are held monthly during the academic year.
Part of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, research areas include atmospheric chemistry and atmospheric and climate dynamics. A weekly seminar series is held on Fridays at noon.
This project examines the trade, economic development and environmental policy dimensions of a global biofuel industry.
The Center for Geographic Analysis at Harvard University was founded in 2006 as a university-wide technology platform in the Institute for Quantitative Social Science, building on the foundation already created by the Harvard Geospatial Library and the Harvard Map Collection. The Center supports research projects and courses needing spatial analysis.
The mission of the Center is to help people understand that our health, and that of our children, depends on the health of the environment, and that we must do everything we can to protect it. To fulfill its mission, the Center organizes a number of programs for physicians, scientists, policymakers, the media, and the general public.
The objective of the Center is to encourage fundamental research in history, economics, and related disciplines. It also encourages the participation of historians and economists in addressing issues of public importance. In conjunction with its counterpart Centre at King's College, Cambridge, the Harvard Center undertakes research projects and organizes workshops, seminars, and exchanges of faculty and graduate students.
The Center for International Development (CID) works to generate shared and sustainable prosperity in developing economies. The CID actively creates, applies and integrates knowledge from across Harvard University to advance understanding of development challenges and solutions.
The Harvard Center for Risk Analysis (HCRA) is a multidisciplinary group of faculty, research staff, students, and visiting scholars who work together to improve decisions about environmental health. We conduct state-of-the-art research, educate the next generation of leaders in risk analysis and related disciplines, and encourage public discourse about risk topics.
The Center for Tropical Forest Science (CTFS) was established to improve our understanding of tropical forests by promoting long-term research in large permanent forest plots. The data obtained from our standardized studies of forest diversity and dynamics provides valuable information for helping to determine forest management and conservation strategies.
The China Project is a research program focused on China’s atmospheric environment, collaborating across the schools of Harvard University and with Chinese universities. It conducts interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed studies on air pollution and greenhouse gases in China, from the root causes in the demand for and supply of energy powering its economy, to the chemistry and transport of pollutants in the atmosphere, to their impacts on human health and the economy.
The Consortium for Energy Policy Research at Harvard is dedicated to advancing Harvard’s energy policy research and fostering collaboration across the University in cooperation with Harvard’s Future of Energy initiative. Additionally, its website is a resource for locating Harvard faculty, fellows, programs, events, and publications related to energy policy.
The CFS supports physiological and biomechanical laboratory-based research of animal performance, seeking to understand how animals operate in their natural environment. Field-based physiological ecology studies are supported by an adjoining 65 acres of pasture and wooded vegetation and 650 acres of Harvard-owned land in the Town of Concord's Estabrook Woods.
The overarching objective of the Energy Technology Innovation Policy (ETIP) research group is to determine and then seek to promote adoption of effective strategies for developing and deploying cleaner and more efficient energy technologies, primarily in three of the biggest energy-consuming nations in the world: the United States, China, and India.
The Environment and Natural Resources Program (ENRP) is the center of the Harvard Kennedy School's research and outreach on public policy that affects global environmental quality and natural resource management.
The Environmental Law and Policy Clinic is offering students even more opportunities to do a wide variety of hands-on, environmental legal and policy work. Under the leadership of Director and Clinical Professor Wendy Jacobs, the Clinic has expanded to offer local, national and international projects covering a broad range of environmental issues.
The Food Literacy Project cultivates an understanding of food from the ground up. Education focuses on four integrated areas of food and society: agriculture, nutrition, food preparation and community. Ultimately, the project goal is to promote enduring knowledge, enabling consumers to make informed food choices.
The Food Law Lab was founded in the Fall of 2013 by Professor Jacob Gersen as a center for coordinated and directed research in the emerging field of food law. The Food Law Lab is currently situated within the Petrie-Flom Center, and works closely with the Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic.
The Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies (HCPDS) is at the cusp of the rapidly evolving field of population health. Capitalizing on the profundity of expertise across the University, the HCPDS brings together faculty, students, and researchers from a wide array of disciplines including epidemiology, economics, demography, sociology, statistics, and population genetics.
The objective of the Education and Research Center is to give occupational safety and health professionals the opportunity to develop public health perspectives, a sensitivity about political climates, and the skills and knowledge needed to identify and prevent occupational impairments, disease, and injuries through control or elimination of harmful occupational exposures.
Based at the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, the Harvard Electricity Policy Group (HEPG) provides a forum for the analysis and discussion of important policy issues facing the electricity industry.
The Harvard Environmental Economics Program develops innovative answers to today's complex environmental issues, by providing a venue to bring together faculty and graduate students from across the University engaged in research, teaching, and outreach in environmental and natural resource economics and related public policy.
The Harvard Environmental Policy Initiative (EPI) works to make law respond more effectively to environmental challenges, through legal analysis and collaborative problem solving. EPI works in four broad areas: climate change and the Clean Air Act; electricity law and policy; regulation of unconventional oil and gas production; and clean water-climate resilience strategies.
The Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic (FLPC) was established in 2010 to link Harvard Law School students with opportunities to work with clients and communities on various food law and policy issues. The FLPC provides legal advice to nonprofits and government agencies seeking to increase access to healthy foods, prevent diet-related diseases such as obesity and type 2 diabetes, and reduce barriers to market entry for small-scale and sustainable food producers, while educating law students about ways to use law and policy to impact the food system.
From a center comprised of 3000 acres of land, research facilities, and the Fisher Museum the scientists, students, and collaborators at the Forest explore topics ranging from conservation and environmental change to land-use history and the ways in which physical, biological and human systems interact to change our earth.
Harvard Global Health Institute is a university-wide initiative whose mission is to educate and train the next generation of global health leaders, and create and disseminate new knowledge to address the major challenges in global health.
In the Harvard Graduate School of Design Executive Education program, industry and academia’s foremost leaders join with accomplished design and real estate professionals from around the world. In this setting, complex challenges are addressed and innovative solutions are created. In our dynamic learning environment, participants emerge with practical insights and valuable lessons that can be put into action, right away.
The Harvard NIEHS Center for Environmental Health serves as the primary focus for environmental health-related research and training activities in the Harvard School of Public Health, in the Harvard Longwood Medical Area, and more broadly as an integrating umbrella for environmental health research in the Boston health sciences research community.
The Office for Sustainability at Harvard connects people across the University with information, tools, and inspiration for the challenge at hand: making Harvard sustainable for the long term.
The goal of the project is to help identify key design elements of a scientifically sound, economically rational, and politically pragmatic post-2012 international policy architecture for global climate change. We will draw upon leading thinkers from academia, private industry, government, and non-governmental organizations to construct a small set of promising policy frameworks, and then disseminate and discuss the design elements and frameworks with decision makers in the United States, Europe, and around the world.
The Harvard University Herbaria, with more than 5 million specimens, are one of the 10 largest Herbaria in the world in number of specimens, and along with the library, form the world's largest university owned herbarium. A weekly seminar series is held at noon.
The Project on Managing the Atom (MTA) conducts and disseminates policy-relevant research on nuclear weapons, nuclear energy, and nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament.
The Microbial Sciences Initiative (MSI) at Harvard is an interdisciplinary science program aimed at a comprehensive understanding of the richest biological reservoir of the planet, the microbial world. Friday chalk-talks and Thursday evening seminars are held regularly throughout the academic year, along with an annual symposium.
The mission of the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business & Government is to advance the state of knowledge and policy analysis concerning some of society’s most challenging problems at the interface of the public and private sectors.
The Museum of Comparative Zoology (MCZ) at Harvard University is a center for research and education focused on the comparative relationships of animal life. The present-day MCZ collections are comprised of approximately 21 million extant and fossil invertebrate and vertebrate specimens, which continue to be a focus of research and teaching for MCZ, Harvard and outside students and researchers.
Our Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center (NSEC) is a collaboration among Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of California-Santa Barbara, and the Museum of Science (Boston) with participation by Delft University of Technology (Netherlands) the University of Basel (Switzerland), the University of Tokyo (Japan), and the Brookhaven, Oak Ridge, and Sandia National Laboratories.
Through integrated, cross-disciplinary initiatives in research, teaching, training, and public outreach the Program seeks to develop foundational, policy-relevant insights into the nature of science and technology, and the ways in which they both influence and are influenced by society, politics, and culture.
The Regulatory Policy Program serves as a clearinghouse for the Kennedy School faculty’s groundbreaking work on regulation.RPP's research aims to improve global society and the economy by understanding the impacts of regulation and improving the design and implementation of regulatory strategies.
The Rowland Institute at Harvard is dedicated to experimental science over a broad range of disciplines. Current research is carried out in physics, chemistry, and biology, with an emphasis on interdisciplinary work and the development of new experimental tools.
Harvard's Sustainability Science Program harnesses the University's strengths to promote the design of institutions, policies, and practices that support sustainable development. The Program addresses the challenge of sustainable development by:
- advancing scientific understanding of human-environment systems;
- improving linkages between research and policy communities; and
- building capacity for linking knowledge with action to promote sustainability.
In this master’s degree program, students gain insight into critical environmental factors affecting air, water, climate, and ecosystems, in order to evaluate and design practices, technologies, and systems that bring sustainable solutions to communities and organizations.
The Center focuses on several broad policy areas, most notably: public management, innovation, finance, and labor-management relations; urban development, transportation, land use, and environmental protection; education; civic engagement and social capital; and the impacts of information technologies on both government and governance.
The research activities sponsored by the Weatherhead Center range from individual projects and small working groups to major international conferences. They address international affairs in the broadest sense, including international economics, international relations, international security, comparative politics, political economy, and global studies.
The Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering was recently launched with the largest single gift in Harvard's history--$125 million--from Hansjörg Wyss. Inspired by the design strategies that living systems use to adapt and compete for survival, its focus is on high-risk research and technology development, with the goal of creating new materials and devices that will transform medicine and create a more sustainable world.