Minor/Certificate in Sustainability — Courses

Summer 2020 Curriculum

ERG’s minor and certificate require a minimum of five courses and 15 total units of coursework, typically completed over two summers (or for a UC Berkeley student, a summer and a fall semester). All minor or certificate students must take EITHER Energy and Society (ENERES W100/ PUBPOL W184) or Climate Change Economics (ENERES 176/ENVECON 176/IAS 176). UC Berkeley undergraduates may elect to take either of these in the summer or fall for greater flexibility. All other courses will be offered during the summer only and are unique to summer. Information about instructors is available on our Summer Instructors page (may be subject to change).

In 2020  all courses, including online courses, will take place during Session C, June 22 – August 14. The full program description and requirements to complete the program can be seen on the Summer Sustainability Minor/Certificate main website.

Register early for classes to hold your place!

To receive updates on the Sustainability Minor/Certificate program, please complete the Energy and Resources Group email list sign-up form.


Summer courses may also be viewed on the UC Berkeley Course Catalog and Class Schedule.

  • Business, Sustainability, and Society (3 units – 8 weeks) ***New course***
    ENERES 190 Seminar in Energy, Environment, Development and Security Issues (class #15700)
    UGBA 192T Haas Topics in Corporate Social Responsibility (class #15701)
    Instructor: David Rochlin
    Monday, Wednesday, Friday 10 PM-12 PM

    • As corporations have grown in influence, concerns over their impact on people and the planet have also grown, pushing sustainability, corporate social responsibility, and the wider impact of business into the spotlight. This course focuses on business ethics, supply chains, resource constraints, labor issues, innovation, and environmental externalities, as well as the internal challenges, competitive pressures, external stakeholders, and other issues that businesses must consider while trying to act responsibly. This course is a collaboration between the Energy and Resources Group and the Haas Center for Responsible Business and may be taken as ENERES 190 or Haas UGBA 192T.
  • Climate Change Economics (4 units – 8 weeks)
    ENERES 176 (class #12932, #13564, #13575)
    Instructor: Sam Evans
    Monday, Wednesday, Friday 12 PM-2 PM
    Lab section: Tuesday, Thursday 12 PM-2 PM
    Offered in summer and fall — you may complete this course before or after summer session if you are a UC Berkeley student.

    • Climate change is caused by a large variety of economic activities, and many of its impacts will have economic consequences. Economists have studied climate change for more than two decades, and economic arguments are often powerful in policy decisions. This course will introduce students to these arguments and equip them with the tools to participate in discussions of climate change policy through an economic lens.
  • Energy and Society ONLINE COURSE – ASYNCHRONOUS (4 units – 8 weeks)
    ENERES W100 (class #13578, 13580)
    Instructor: Daniel Kammen
    Offered in summer and fall — you may complete this course before or after summer session if you are a UC Berkeley student.

    • This course is designed to provide you with the methods, tools and perspectives to understand, critique, and ultimately influence the management of technical, economic, and policy choices regarding the options for energy generation and use. We will focus equally on the technical, socioeconomic, political, and environmental impacts of energy. This course is asynchronous, meaning that students can view the weekly recorded lecture modules at a time convenient to them.
  • Ecology and Society (3 units – 8 weeks)
    ENERES 101 (course #13512)
    Instructor: Amber Kerr
    Monday, Wednesday, Friday 2-4 PM
    Offered in summer only. 

    • This course introduces students to the many ways in which our lives are intertwined with the ecosystems around us. Topics include ecological limits to growth, climate change and other threats to biodiversity, the value of ecosystem goods and services, the ecology of disease, ecotoxicology, the evolution of cooperation in ecosystems, industrial ecology, and the epistemology of ecology.
  • Environmental Classics (3 units – 8 weeks)
    ENERES 170 (class #15490)
    Instructor: Thomas Powell
    Tuesday, Thursday 2-4 PM
    Offered in summer only. 

    • What is the history and evolution of environmental thinking and writing? How have certain ‘environmental classics’ shaped the way in which we think about nature, society and progress? What is their relevance today? This course will use books and papers from the last 6 decades that have had a profound impact on academic and wider public thinking — primarily in the USA — about the environment and society in historical context.
  • California Water (3 units – 8 weeks)
    ENERES 171 (class #13579)
    Instructor: Julian Fulton
    Tuesday, Thursday 9 AM – 12 PM
    Offered in summer only. 

    • The story of water development in California provides compelling examples of water politics, the social and environmental consequences of redistributing water, and the relationships between water uses, energy, and climate. This course provides the historical, scientific, legal, institutional, and economic background needed to understand the social and ecological challenges of providing water for California’s growing population, agricultural economy, and other uses – all of which are made more complex by climate change.
  • Water and Sanitation Justice ONLINE COURSE – ASYNCHRONOUS (3 units – 8 weeks)
    ENERES W174 (class #13582, 13583)
    Instructor: Isha Ray
    Offered in summer only. 

    • This online  course will explore the many manifestations of water and sanitation justice and injustice on multiple interlocking scales (i.e. local, national, transnational) while illustrating analytical ideas connecting to a range of social processes including urbanization and infrastructure development, deprivation and exclusion, privatization of land and water, and claims for human rights. This course is asynchronous, meaning that students can view the weekly recorded lecture modules at a time convenient to them.

If you do not choose to complete the minor or certificate but wish to take individual ERG summer courses, you may enroll through Cal Central (for UC Berkeley students) or the visiting Student Portal (for summer-only students).

Please contact Energy and Resources Group for more information:

310 Barrows Hall