Courses: 2010-2011 Academic Year

Educating the next generation of environmental leaders is one of the many ways Duke's Nicholas Institute helps bridge the gap between science and policy. During Duke's 2010-2011 academic year, staff members are aiding in this mission by teaching courses across campus. For more information on these courses, visit

Spring 2011

Hands-on Energy Modeling With NEMS

This course is a practical introduction to complex energy modeling using Duke’s version of the Department of Energy’s National Energy Modeling System, or NI-NEMS. Students will learn how to perform their own analysis using the modeling tool, including but not limited to, changing assumptions, interpreting how results are affected, and presenting scenario analysis results in a meaningful way. This graduate-level course is listed with the Nicholas School of the Environment (ENV 301.08).

Instructors: Etan Gumerman, senior policy analyst at the Nicholas Institute and Nicholas School Professor Dalia Patino Echeverri.

Environmental Policy Making in NC

Intended for graduate students and advanced undergraduate students, the course is discussion-based and designed to evaluate the policy and political realities of how environmental law develops at the state level utilizing North Carolina as the primary example. The class is cross-listed in the Sanford School of Public Policy and the Nicholas School of the Environment (PUBPOL 264S.05/ENV 298S.82).

Instructors: Bill Holman, director of state policy at the Institute, and Amy Pickle, senior attorney for state policy.

Putting Ecosystem Services Markets into Practice

Listed with the Nicholas School of the Environment, this graduate-level course focuses on the growing field of ecosystem services. Through exploration of research and case studies on the topic, students assess how ecosystem services markets could add to existing conservation and management efforts (ENV 298.86).

Instructors: Lydia Olander, director of the Ecosystems Services Program at the Nicholas Institute and Nicholas School Professor Dean Urban.

Environmental Life-Cycle Analysis

Graduate students will be provided an introduction to the various life-cycle inventory and life-cycle assessment tools used by scientists such as material flow analysis, life-cycle inventory and DOE simulation models. The course will go over limitations of the models, data and applications. It is cross-listed with the Nicholas School of the Environment, Pratt School of Engineering and the Fuqua School of Business (ENV 298.92).

Instructor: Jay Golden, director of the Duke Center for Sustainability & Commerce at the Nicholas Institute.

Energy, Environment and the Law

This graduate-level course examines the legal framework governing energy production and consumption in the United States, the major environmental issues associated with the nation’s energy sectors and policy approaches for balancing energy needs with environmental protection. It is listed with the Nicholas School of the Environment (ENV 298.233).

Instructor: Jonas Monast, director of the Nicholas Institute’s Climate and Energy Program.

Climate Change Economics & Policy

This course looks at the economic characteristics of the climate change problem, assesses national and international policy design and implementation issues, and surveys the economic tools necessary to evaluate climate change policies. It is cross-listed with the Sanford School of Public Policy and the Nicholas School of the Environment (PUBPOL 264.25/ENV 298.123).

Instructor: Billy Pizer, faculty fellow at the Nicholas Institute and associate professor in the Sanford School of Public Policy.