November 30, 2012

Staff to Teach Spring Courses at Duke

Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, Nov. 30, 2012

CONTACT: Erin McKenzie 
(919) 613.3652

DURHAM, N.C. -- 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 spring semester, staff members are aiding in this mission by teaching three courses across campus:

Current Issues in Energy Policy

The class will explore the current U.S. energy policy debate, building up the Nicholas Institute's ongoing research and stakeholder engagement. It will cover the recent history of federal energy policy, existing state and federal environmental regulations affecting energy production and consumption and new federal policy proposals that may emerge early in 2013. (ENVIRON 590.103)

Instructor: Jonas Monast, director of the Climate and Energy Program at the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions

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 at the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions

Understanding Energy Models and Modeling

This graduate-level course aims to nurture basic modeling literacy by focusing on the "bottom-up" and "top-down" energy models commonly used for economic, environmental and technology assessments. Students will gain practical experience searching for relevant modeling data, constructing scenarios and running the NEMS energy model. Students will gain a working knowledge of NEMS and CGE model mechanics and experience asking the types of questions needed to evaluate the quality of modeling results. (ENVIRON 715L)

Instructors: Etan Gumerman, senior policy analyst at the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, and Martin Ross, senior research economist at the Nicholas Institute and Tim Johnson of the Nicholas School of the Environment

For more information on these courses, visit