Courses: 2013-2014 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 2013-2014 academic year, staff members are aiding in this mission by teaching courses across campus. For more information on these courses, visit

Spring 2014

The U.S. Federal Fisheries Management Framework: Case Studies and Theory
This course was designed by staff of the Nicholas Institute to provide graduate students with an interactive, participatory introduction to federal fisheries management. The class will also investigate current trends and emerging issues in U.S. federal fisheries management, focusing on the design and implementation of catch share programs and the transition toward ecosystem-based fishery management. (ENV 590.36)

Instructor: Katie Latanich, program manager, and John Henderschedt, executive director, Fisheries Leadership & Sustainability Forum. 

Climate Change Economics and Policy
Students enrolled in this course will explore the economic characteristics of the climate change problem, assess national and international policy design and implementation issues, and survey the economic tools necessary to evaluate climate change policies. (ENVIRON 590.44)

Instructor: Billy Pizer, faculty fellow, the Nicholas Institute.

Putting Ecosystem Services Markets into Practice
Ecosystem Services, the benefits nature provides to people, are often undervalued. As a result, these benefits are being degraded or lost at a rapid pace. Through guest lectures and published and gray literature, this class will assess how environmental markets and trading can help society value ecosystem services and improve outcomes, as well as how ecosystem services can be detrimental to sustainability and conservation goals if not well designed and implemented. (ENVIRON 590.86)

Instructor: Lydia Olander, director of the Ecosystem Services Program, the Nicholas Institute.

Energy, Environment, and the Law
This course will use current case studies to examine the legal framework governing energy production and consumption in the United States, the environmental issues associated with the nation’s energy sectors, and policy approaches for balancing energy needs with environmental protection. Classes will focus on the application of the major environmental laws to energy challenges, including the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, and the Oil Pollution Act. (ENVIRON 985)

Instructor: Jonas Monast

State and Environmental Policy
This discussion-based course will introduce students to the unique environmental policy challenges facing state governments and look at the policy and political realities of how U.S. environmental law develops at the state level. (PUBPOL 590.15)

Instructors: Amy Pickle, director of the State Policy Program, and Kay Jowers, senior policy associate, the Nicholas Institute.

Fall 2013

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. (Law 234.01)

Instructor: Jonas Monast
Statistics for Policy Makers
This course will ensure that students are both critical consumers and effective producers of statistical evidence presented in support of policy arguments and that they receive hands-on training in the creation of convincing statistical reports—from manipulating large datasets to conducting sensitivity analysis and presenting results. (PUBPOL 812) 
Instructor: Billy Pizer, faculty fellow at the Nicholas Institute and associate professor in the Sanford School of Public Policy

U.N. Climate Change Negotiation Practicum

Students enrolled in this advanced graduate-level course are working with a set of stakeholders to extend their capacity and influence in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. (ENVIRON 593.165)

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

Applied Environmental Policy Entrepreneurship

This graduate-level course will review a wide range of current environmental policy issues, providing students the opportunity to apply a variety of tools to resolve real-world impasses. Each class will begin with an issue overview by an outside expert. The class will then break into groups to discuss possible policy solutions and the information needed to implement the recommended policy solutions. Classes will conclude with a student-moderated discussion of ideas, resulting in a unified series of recommendations to that day's presenter. (ENVIRON 590.75)

Instructor: Christopher Galik