IHP Climate Change

The Politics of Land, Water & Energy Justice

Travel across two continents to witness the causes and social impacts of climate change and examine possibilities for local and global environmental justice.

At a Glance

Credits

16

Prerequisites

Relevant previous coursework recommended

Courses taught in

English

Dates

Aug 30 ‎– Dec 17

Online Component

Aug 30 ‎– Sep 2

On Site Component

Sep 4 ‎– Dec 17

Program Countries

Morocco, Peru

Program Base

Morocco, Peru

Critical Global Issue of Study

Climate & Environment

Climate & Environment Icon

Development & Inequality

Development & Inequality Icon

Overview

Why Study Climate Change?

Explore some of the world’s most productive and vulnerable landscapes to witness how climate change impacts regions differently and how communities are responding to the climate crisis. In different cultural and socio-ecological contexts, you’ll analyze the challenges of working toward more equitable food, water, and energy policies. Examine the problems and possible solutions with researchers, farmers, activists, social entrepreneurs, non-governmental organizations, and policymakers. In Morocco, you’ll meet farmers striving to modernize their agricultural practices and understand how the country, which has few fossil fuels, is embracing renewable energy.  In Peru, you will discuss and envision a world where traditional cultural knowledge and indigenous epistemologies shape the way that we work for a more just and sustainable future.

Explore a Day in the Life of an IHP student!

Photos on this page may depict program sites from previous semesters. Please view the Program Sites section of this page to see where this program will travel in fall 2021.

Highlights

  • In Morocco, see how energy and agricultural policy impact local communities.
  • Visit an organic farm training center near Marrakech and one of the world’s largest solar power plants in Ouarzazate.
  • Learn traditional ecological knowledge and food systems in the Peruvian Andes.
  • Witness how climate change in the Andes also impacts communities and industrial activity in the arid Pacific coastal region of Peru.

Prerequisites

None, although previous coursework in political science, economics, and/or environmental science is recommended.

Program Sites

Online: United States

(4 days)

The program will begin online with sessions on US-based content for the purpose of comparison. Begin looking into theories of environmental justice and how they call into question some of the mainstream approaches to climate solutions. Explore what climate justice means and how it can inform our engagement with the climate crisis through mini-case studies of US-based climate justice movements. With this US-based context, students will be able to make more informed comparisons as they learn about the climate crisis abroad.

Morocco: Rabat, Marrakech, the Atlas Mountains

(7 weeks)

In the port city of Rabat, Morocco’s capital and diplomatic center, examine the complex social and political issues facing this country on the front lines of climate change. Travel to the Atlas Mountains, where you will visit a community working to preserve its local water source and meet with farmers striving to modernize their small-scale agricultural practices. You will visit an organic farm training center near Marrakech, and in Ouarzazate, you’ll visit one of the largest solar power plants in the world.

Peru: Paracas, Cusco/Sacred Valley, Puerto Maldonado

(8 weeks)

Peru encompasses one of the most biodiverse regions in the world with unique and complex vulnerabilities to climate change. Through site visits in each of Peru’s three principle bioregions—the Pacific coast, the Andean highlands, and the Amazonian watershed—you will examine issues related to food security, water scarcity, land conflicts, indigenous rights and knowledge, tourism, and sustainable development.

Please note that SIT will make every effort to maintain its programs as described. To respond to emergent situations, however, SIT may have to change or cancel programs.

Academics

Coursework

Access virtual library guide.

The following syllabi are representative of this program. Because courses develop and change over time to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, actual course content will vary from term to term. The syllabi can be useful for students, faculty, and study abroad offices in assessing credit transfer. Read more about credit transfer.

Please expand the sections below to see detailed course information, including course codes, credits, overviews, and syllabi.

Key Topics

  • How people respond to environmental injustice across nations and continents
  • Government, civil society, and individual action for social change in the climate crisis
  • Combining new technologies and old traditions to create sustainable futures
  • What prevents us from more effectively addressing the climate crisis

The Science and Policy of Climate Change

The Science and Policy of Climate Change – syllabus coming soon
(ENVI3010 / 4 credits)

This course unpacks the basic science of the climate system by examining the state-of-the-art science collated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and through regular engagement with scientists and researchers. The course also aims to critically engage with the science/policy interface. Students examine local, regional, and national mitigation and adaptation strategies as a matter of social policy, and learn about environmental governance mechanisms at local and regional levels, national climate policy frameworks, and global climate change negotiations. They also learn to analyze the multiple discourses on climate change that circulate in national and global policy circuits.

Political Economy and Environmental Change since 1492

Political Economy and Environmental Change since 1492 – syllabus coming soon
(ECON3010 / 4 credits)

This course analyzes the development and history of modern capitalism on a global scale. Topics of consideration within this context include state formation, war, imperialism, technology, energy, environmental change, economic crisis, and “long waves of accumulation.” There is a particular focus on post–World War II developments, including the rise of Keynesianism globally; the role of socialist economies; the political economy of the Cold War; Third World development; the global crisis of profitability in the 1970s, the resultant economic restructuring, and the turn toward neoliberalism; the acceleration of neoliberalism and its deepening crisis; and the possibility of alternative economic models.

Comparative Issues in Food, Water, and Energy

Comparative Issues in Food, Water, and Energy – syllabus coming soon
(SDIS3070 / 4 credits)

This course looks at land, agriculture, water, and energy systems, and the attendant resources upon which these sectors depend. Students visit farms, fishing communities, powerplants, water management sites, and more while examining the political ecology of natural resource sectors using case studies and place-based analysis. Excursions and fieldwork will complement detailed studies of these resource sectors to experience, observe, and understand more concretely the multi-scalar impacts of regional and global forces on the landscapes, communities and economies of Morocco and Peru.

Fieldwork Ethics and Comparative Research Methods

Fieldwork Ethics and Comparative Research Methods – syllabus coming soon
(ANTH3500 / 4 credits)

This course enables students to understand and benefit from field-based learning processes. It provides students with skills related to gathering, analyzing, and interpreting information from a range of sources, maximizing the knowledge provided by local contexts. The course intends to assist students in assessing their own cultural assumptions and in understanding people from different cultures. Students are familiarized with the World Learning/SIT Human Subjects Review Policy. The seminar provides a framework for a qualitative research project involving data collection and comparative analysis to be undertaken in each of the countries visited.

Homestays / Housing

Accommodations

Students’ accommodations will include a mix of hostels, guesthouses, and small hotels/dorms.

Career Paths

Recent positions held by alumni of this program include:

  • Research assistant for the United Nations, conducting work in Ecuador

  • Truman Scholarship recipient, continuing research at the postgraduate level

  • Fulbright recipients, returning to work in the countries the program visits

  • Intern at EcoPeace Middle East, Amman, Jordan

Faculty & Staff

IHP Climate Change: The Politics of Land, Water & Energy Justice

The faculty/staff team shown on this page is a sample of the individuals who may lead your specific program. Faculty and coordinators are subject to change to accommodate each program’s unique schedule and locations.

Nicolas Stahelin, EdD
Program Director
Jawad Moustakbal
Country Coordinator, Morocco
Alex Alvarez, PhD
Country Coordinator, Peru

Discover the Possibilities

  • Cost & Scholarships

    SIT Study Abroad is committed to making international education accessible to all students. Scholarship awards generally range from $500 to $5,000 for semester programs and $500 to $3,000 for summer programs. This year, SIT will award more than $1.5 million in scholarships and grants to SIT Study Abroad students.

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