Skip over navigation

About STEP

Princeton University's Program in Science, Technology and Environmental Policy (STEP) is based in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs with strong ties to the Princeton Environmental Institute. The program offers a certificate for students enrolled in the Woodrow Wilson School's M.P.A. or M.P.P programs and studies leading to a Ph.D. Many aspects of science and technology policy debates have been tackled with the tools of political and economic analysis that are the traditional strong suits of the Woodrow Wilson School. In addition to providing a systematic introduction to the field of policy analysis, the goal of the STEP program is to develop a deeper understanding of current scientific, technological, and environmental issues and potential local, national and international policy responses.  We provide inter-disciplinary training that facilitates communication between technical experts and policy makers. 

Increasing numbers of students in the School generally, and in the STEP program in particular, have a primary interest in environmental science and technology policy, including global climate change, air pollution, negotiated environmental accords, biodiversity, environmental economics, environmental justice, and the connection between the environment and development. Research in these areas and others such as biotechnology and nuclear-weapons policy is facilitated by the Program's ties with the Princeton Environmental Institute, the Departments of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Molecular Biology, and Geosciences, the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, the Program on Science & Global Security, and the Office of Population Research.

Upcoming Events

February 17th, 2017 -  Princeton Studies Food and STEP sponsor an all day conference
" Changing Climate, Changing Appetites." (link)

March 6th, 2017  -  "Building Resilience in the Face of Uncertainty."
Alice Hill

April 10th 2017 - "How Energy Choices Affect Exposures to Bioaccumulative Pollutants at the Local and Global Scales "
Elsie Sunderland



Thirty U.S. based scientists send a letter to EPA Administrator Pruitt correcting his assertion of March 9th that there is "tremendous disagreement" about whether carbon dioxide from human activities is a "primary contributor to the global warming that we see."

STEP- PEI student, Jane Baldwin, is awarded top student paper at the 8th annual conference of the American Meteorological Society, January 26, 2017.

link to Baldwin:
link to AMS:

STEP PhD student, Maya Buchanan wins Outstanding Student Paper Award from American Geophysical Union for the Second Year in a Row

Denise Mauzerall and Michael Oppenheimer discuss the Paris Climate Agreement


David Wilcove:

China's Grain-for-Green Program overwhelmingly plants monoculture forests and therefore falls dramatically short of restoring the biodiversity of China's native forests, which contain many tree species. In its current form, the program fails to benefit, protect and promote biodiversity.


Tim Searchinger: " Do Biofuel Policies Seek to Cut Emissions by Cutting Food?"  Searchinger points to gains in reducing carbon through biofuels are tightly linked to potentially higher food costs that surpress consumption in the poor to report their carbon gains.