Minor/Certificate in Sustainability — Courses

Summer 2019 Curriculum

ERG’s minor and certificate require a minimum of 15 total units of coursework, which can be completed in one or two summers. 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 the fall for greater flexibility. All other courses will be offered during the summer only and are unique to summer. Information about instructors is available by visiting our Summer Instructors page.

In 2019 all courses, including online courses, will take place during Session C, June 24 – August 16. The full program description and requirements to complete the program can be seen on the Summer Sustainability Minor/Certificate main website.

Register 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.

  • Energy and Society ONLINE COURSE (4 units – 8 weeks)
    ENERES W100/PUBPOL W184 (class #15695, 15706)
    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.
  • Climate Change Economics (4 units – 8 weeks)
    ENERES 176/ENVECON 176/IAS 176 (class #15317, 15547, 15549)
    Instructor: Samuel 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.
  • Ecology and Society (3 units – 8 weeks)
    ENERES 101 (course #14544)
    Instructor: Amber Kerr
    Tuesday, Thursday 2-5 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 #15319)
    Instructor: Thomas Powell
    Tuesday, Thursday 10 AM-12 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 #14995)
    Instructor: TBD
    Monday, Wednesday, Friday 3-5 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 (3 units – 8 weeks)
    ENERES 174 (class #15910)
    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.
  • Zero Energy Building (2 or 4 units – 8 weeks)
    ARCH 149 (class #15642)
    Instructor: Brendon Levitt
    Monday, Wednesday 6-9 PM
    Offered in summer only. 

    • This course is an introduction to zero energy building accessible to students and professionals in all fields and backgrounds. The course will focus on the central role that buildings play relative to energy production and demand, exploring how and why buildings use energy, ways of reducing consumption, and methods for supplying and storing energy in a sustainable fashion. The 2-credit section will entail 6 hours of class time and 2-4 hours of homework per week including reading and short written or design responses that indicate how an existing building could be retrofit to reduce energy use. The 4-credit section will entail 6 hours of class time and 6-10 hours of homework per week including a phased term project that consists of an energy audit of an existing building and a report on the value of energy-efficient measures. Projects will focus on parametric methods of simulating and analyzing benefit and value in terms of cost, comfort, and energy.

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