IHP Climate Change: The Politics of Food, Water, and Energy

Program Sites

Please note that in order to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, program locations can vary from year to year.

  • United States: California

    (2 weeks)

    The program begins in the San Francisco Bay Area, where students examine basic climate science both globally and regionally. Students also explore the fossil fuel industry and California’s burgeoning renewable energy sector involving wind, solar, and geothermal energy. The program looks at the health of San Francisco Bay and examines the politics and economics of aquaculture. South of the city, students study the state’s massive agricultural sector, both organic and chemical based. Students also meet activists struggling to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

  • Vietnam: Ho Chi Minh City, Mekong River Delta, Hanoi

    (4 weeks)

    Students pass through Ho Chi Minh City, the largest city in Vietnam, on their way to Can Tho, the main city in the Mekong River Delta, which is a site of major rice and fish production and is, in many ways, the heart of the Vietnamese economy. The Delta, along with being economically important, is very vulnerable to rising sea levels caused by anthropogenic climate change and is threatened upstream by massive dam building. In the Delta, students stay with local families, meet farmers, spend time in an eco-reserve, and possibly tour a new wind farm. Next, the group travels north to Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital city, to meet with NGOs and government officials and to tour sites like a major hydro-electric dam and to visit the Red River Delta.

  • Morocco: Rabat, Casablanca, the Atlas Mountains

    (4 weeks)

    Students are based in the port city of Rabat, Morocco’s capital and political and diplomatic center, and travel to other important sites within the country. They visit Casablanca, Morocco’s largest city and economic center, and have an excursion to the Atlas Mountains, where they study issues around water and development. Further north, in Tetuan, students visit a major wind farm.

  • Bolivia: Cochabamba, La Paz, Lake Titicaca

    (5 weeks)

    Students are based in Cochabamba, one of Bolivia’s most socially progressive cities and, in 2000, the location of successful protests against the privatization of water. They take excursions to La Paz, Bolivia’s seat of government, and Lake Titicaca, which, since 2000, has experienced consistently receding water levels because of changes in climate. Bolivia is a politically complex country; on one hand it has very strong social movements, has elected the first indigenous president in the world, and has passed a new constitution that recognizes the “rights of Mother Earth.” On the other hand, Bolivia’s economy is still structurally dependent on mining and exporting natural gas.

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Credits: 16

Duration: Fall or Spring, 15 weeks

Program Sites:
USA, Vietnam, Morocco, Bolivia

Prerequisites: Coursework in political science, economics, and/or environmental science recommended. Learn More...

Student Evaluations

View Student Evaluations for this program:

About the Evaluations (PDF)

Fall 2013 Evaluations


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PO Box 676, 1 Kipling Road
Brattleboro, VT 05302 USA

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