Program on the Global Environment

In the early twenty-first century, environmental challenges including deforestation, climate change, pollution, water resources, habitat loss, and the food and energy needs of a growing population are among the most pressing issues facing the world.

Many environmental processes operate at a global scale and, as such, may create large-scale natural and human consequences that cannot be addressed solely from within a single nation. At the same time, locality-specific conditions are always at issue in addressing environmental processes, problems, and possibilities. Critical global environmental issues, then, require both specific area studies knowledge, knowledge that crosses traditional academic divisions such as that between the natural and human sciences, as well as global and international perspectives and cooperation. The Program on the Global Environment was created to address these needs.