Establish the School of Climate, Environment, and Society

The School of Climate, Environment, and Society will advance integrative research, education, and engagement to understand and sustain Earth’s natural and human systems amidst profound global change.

Biology students doing field research in Nahant
All students, regardless of their major, will be able to register for courses within the school. Clark expects that the school will open in Fall 2025.

The School will bring together scholars and practitioners from the Graduate School of Geography, the Department of Sustainability and Social Justice, the Department of Economics, the George Perkins Marsh Institute, and the Center for Geospatial Analytics, and engage faculty from disciplines across the University to address the most urgent and profound global issue of our time.

Further, the School will create a channel for Clark – through teaching, research, and external partnerships – to expand and amplify our impact on direct efforts to assess and slow climate change. It also will generate new and expanded course offerings and degree programs related to climate science, environmental studies and policy, biodiversity, and sustainability, among other critically important areas.

At the core of the school’s focus are these five interconnected imperatives:

  • Sustainable and Climate‐Resilient Development: How can we improve the quality of life of people around the world in ways that protect Earth’s future, recognizing the ways that people make decisions in their daily lives?
  • Governance, Equity & Justice: How can global, national, and local policies and institutions ensure that the most vulnerable communities will not bear the greatest cost of our changing Earth system?
  • Urban Systems & Livelihoods: How can we build green, resilient, and livable cities to ensure the flourishing of humans and nature in urban spaces?
  • Socioeconomic Systems & Sustainability Transitions: What are the social and economic transformations necessary to slow climate change and adapt to a changing Earth system, and what is necessary to promote widespread adoption of new perspectives and behaviors?
  • Earth Systems, Conservation & Ecosystem Services: How are human actions endangering planetary systems, and what are the alternative pathways that conserve natural systems and sustain vital ecosystem services?

The School of Climate, Environment, and Society will deliver existing disciplinary and interdisciplinary programs in related fields, along with new interdisciplinary programs designed to attract new students, address critical and emerging world issues, and grow career opportunities.

$10M pledge advances School of Climate, Environment, and Society

This gift enables the University to begin the process of establishing the new School — first, by recruiting a new dean to lead it.

Read the message from President David Fithian

Abby Beilman gathering water samples in Coal Mine Brook