IHP Climate Change

The Politics of Land, Water & Energy Justice

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

At a Glance




Relevant previous coursework recommended

Courses taught in



Feb 7 ‎– May 23

Program Countries

Morocco, Nepal, Peru

Program Base

Morocco, Peru, Nepal

Critical Global Issue of Study

Climate & Environment

Climate & Environment Icon

Development & Inequality

Development & Inequality Icon


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 three 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’s Atlas Mountains, 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 Nepal, you will be uniquely located in a country that is vulnerable to climate change but has numerous initiatives to tackle this global challenge. The course here will offer a chance to interact with experts and institutions working across the Himalayan Belt. 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 spring 2022.


  • Examine the complex nexus of food, water, and energy systems in Nepal.
  • In Morocco, see how energy and agriculture policy impact local communities.
  • Learn traditional ecological knowledge and food systems in the Peruvian Andes.


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

Program Sites

Morocco: Rabat, Marrakech, the Atlas Mountains

(5 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 see one of the largest solar power plants in the world.

Nepal: Kathmandu

(4 weeks)

With a predominantly agrarian society in fragile mountain ecosystems, Nepal has one of the highest climate change vulnerability profiles in the world. You will develop your understanding of the region’s mountain people, their livelihoods, and the relevance of Himalayan ethnic identities and language endangerment to matters of equity and environmental security. Learn about the biophysical and socioeconomic impacts that melting glaciers, shifting rainfall patterns, droughts, and floods are having on both highland and downstream agrarian communities. Examine how Nepal’s relationship to the global climate financing mechanism affects its climate policies, focusing on adaptation and transition to a low-carbon economy.

Peru: Paracas, Cusco/Sacred Valley, Puerto Maldonado

(5 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 main 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 practices, and how these topics intersect with the challenges brought about by climate change.

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.



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
(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
(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
(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, Nepal, and Peru.

Fieldwork Ethics and Comparative Research Methods

Fieldwork Ethics and Comparative Research Methods – syllabus
(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


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
Academic Director, Peru
Yanik Shrestha

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.

    See Full Breakdown

    Explore a Day in the Life of an IHP student!

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