Educating the next generation of environmental leaders is one of the many ways Duke's Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions helps bridge the gap between science and policy. During Duke's 2018-2019 academic year, staff members are aiding in this mission by teaching courses across campus. For more information on these courses, visit

Fall 2018

Duke University

Transformation of the U.S. Electric Power Sector 
Graduate and professional students will explore power sector trends, from rapid deployment of renewables and natural gas, to the use of block chain and micro-grids. Instructors will place these trends in historical context and describe state and federal policies and regulations; emerging and increasingly affordable technologies; and evolving customer demands that are driving fundamental changes on the grid. Students will employ critical thinking skills and scenario planning to evaluate policy alternatives and envision the grid of the future. Through robust class discussion and three policy projects, students will gain a deeper understanding of the legal and economic underpinnings of the industry, and propose creative solutions to ensure an affordable, reliable, and increasingly clean power supply. (ENERGY 790.03)

​Instructors: Brian Murray, faculty affiliate at Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions and director of the Duke University Energy Initiative; Kate Konschnik, director of the Climate and Energy Program at the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions; Jim Rogers, retired chairman and CEO, Duke Energy; and Norman Bay, senior fellow, Duke University Energy Initiative and Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions.

Renewables and the World's Poor
This graduate-level course focuses on the glaring human need to bring electric power to the 1.2 billion people in the world that lack it. The class will look at the differentiated challenge between rural and urban systems, and the technologies that can solve the unique challenges of each developmental situation. It will also investigate the impediments to progress, and explore the different business models and technologies that are being used to tackle the challenge. The class will culminate by asking the students to help design the most appropriate model for deploying power technologies in a range of world regions. (ENERGY 790.02)

​Instructors: Tim Profeta, director of the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, and Jim Rogers, retired chairman and CEO of Duke Energy.

U.N. Climate Change Negotiation Practicum
Duke University’s U.N. Climate Change Negotiations Practicum is a hands-on course that explores international climate change negotiations and climate policy under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). 

Now in its ninth year, the Bass Connections-affiliated course provides students with an opportunity to develop a comprehensive understanding of the issues at the heart of global climate change — from adaptation and mitigation to the political dynamics of the UNFCCC negotiations process. Students engage in independent coursework, classroom discussions, and guest lectures throughout the semester, all in preparation to attend the annual U.N. climate change negotiations, which takes place this year in Katowice, Poland. Interested students may subscribe to the newsletter for more information about the course.

Instructors: Billy Pizer, faculty fellow at the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, and Jonathan Wiener, professor, Duke School of Law, and graduate students Adam Fischer and Ryan Callihan.

Energy Law
This course provides an introduction to U.S. energy law through the examination of the legal framework governing electricity production and the extraction and use of energy sources. It is designed to provide an overview of key topics in energy law so that students develop a foundational understanding of energy law and policy. (LAW 327/ENERGY 727) 

Instructor: Amy Pickle, director, State Policy Program at the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions.

Water Resources Planning and Management
This course is intended to give students a first exposure to ideas of planning and management of organizations related to water resources. The course will develop a basic framework for strategic planning for environmental organizations with specific applications to water resources. It will provide some tools for forecasting future water conditions, as well as emerging tools for forecasting uncertain water conditions. Finally, it will expose students to approaches in water management, particularly adaptive management and scenario forecasting. (ENVIRON 740) 

Instructor: Martin Doyle, director, Water Policy Program at the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions.

Spring 2019

Spring course information is forthcoming.