Faculty offer training on critical environmental issues

Climate Change Course Launches New Professional Education Program

August 13, 2014

BERKELEY – With the environmental, social, and economic impacts of climate change at the forefront of the global dialogue, UC Berkeley is launching professional education programs for the public on these time-critical topics, starting with The Economic Impact of Climate and Energy Policy on Public and Private Sectors, a three-day certificate course now open for enrollment.

The intensive training brings together 11 University of California faculty to analyze the bottom-line economic impacts of recent climate and energy legislation in several different sectors, and study the recent trajectory of research and policy to formulate adaptation strategies for industry, government and non-profit concerns.

The distinguished roster of instructors for the course includes Berkeley faculty across multiple disciplines, including Max Auffhammer, associate professor of agricultural and resource economics and a lead author on the most recent report from the Nobel Prize—winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change; and Dan Kammen, energy and resources professor, another IPCC member who advised two presidential administrations and recently served as “energy czar” for The World Bank.

“The economic repercussions of recent California and federal climate change policies have a direct impact on both the public and private sectors,” said program organizer Mio Katayama Owens. The course is designed to engage with policymakers, businesses, national and international NGOs and other organizations that will feel the impacts of climate change and energy policies, she said. “These policies have economic implications. Governments and business should be asking: how can we build sustainable and climate-resilient economies?”

The pilot course launches the new International and Executive Programs (IEP), which aim to utilize expertise in Berkeley’s College of Natural Resources (CNR) on topics such as natural resource economics; energy; and environmental science, policy and management, to share critical leading-edge research with professionals in both the public and private sectors through intensive short-term seminars and certificate programs–expertise previously accessible exclusively to undergraduate and graduate students admitted to UC Berkeley.

“The IEP functions as a mechanism for linking academic and professional entities,” explains J. Keith Gilless, CNR dean. “We will provide exceptional education and training to working and aspiring professionals who seek to lead their industry through innovation and research-based insights.”

Additional IEP programs are already in the works, Owens says. A collaboration with the CNR-based Geospatial Innovation Facility is planned for May 2015–a one-day symposium followed by a three-day training in spatial data science, geographic information systems, and web-based mapping that analyzes and visualizes data about environmentally and economically important geographic areas.

Gilless, a forest economics professor also co-teaching the October climate change course, says IEP will have a platform for all program participants to connect with each other, much like the College’s well established Beahrs Environmental Leadership Program. “We hope to build a global network of informed professionals making a difference in policy and practice, and becoming the environmental leaders of the professional sector,” he said.

To enroll, go to iep.berkeley.edu.