Skip over navigation

STEP Courses: 2012-2013

WWS 571C Topics in Development: Global Challenges of Infection, Burden and Control (Fall 2012)

Bryan T. Grenfell; Adel A. Mahmoud


An exploration of the biological, public health and global dimensions of infectious disease. The basic features of human-microbe interactions by examining several viral, bacterial and parasitic infections are analyzed.. Emphasis includes biology, burden of illness and domestic and global forces shaping the expanding threat. Control strategies, including chemotherapy, vaccines and environmental changes; and the role of international organizations such as WHO, UNICEF, and GAVI and the major philanthropies, are considered

WWS 581C Topics in Economics: Energy Economics (Fall 2012)

Amy B. Craft


This course examines the economics behind many issues related to energy use, including the investment and use of renewable and non-renewable resources, energy conservation, deregulation of energy markets, transportation, and energy independence. Current policy options will be discussed

WWS585B Topics in STEP: Living in a Greenhouse: Technology and Policy (Fall 2012)

Robert Socolow


This course will focus primarily on the challenge of modifying the global energy system to reduce projected global carbon dioxide emissions to the atmosphere. Students pursue both science/technology and policy in each of five two-week units: 1)underlying carbon cycle science, ways the world has organized to learn more & to communicate results; 2) Energy efficiency, patterns of demand, lifestyles, energy & poverty; 3) Fossil fuels, abundance & depletion, energy security; 4) Carbon capture & storage, policies enabling commercialization, risk assessment; 5) Non-carbon energy in its two forms, nuclear power & renewable energy. Final two weeks are devoted to student reports

WWS 591F Policy Workshop: US/China Nuclear Weapons Relatonship (Fall 2012)

Frank von Hippel


US and Chinese nuclear-weapon policy communities find it difficult to understand each other. In the US, some see China as content with the current situation in which China¿s small non-alert strategic nuclear force is seen as sufficient to prevent nuclear threats by the US nuclear superpower. Others fear that China could decide to ¿race to nuclear parity.¿ The purpose of this workshop is to better understand the influences of the US and Chinese strategic offensive and defensive programs on each other. The final report will make recommendations to both sides to prevent the US fears of a Chinese nuclear buildup from becoming self-fulfilling.

WWS 591G Policy Workshop: Climate change:Methane Mitigation Strategies (Fall 2012)

Denise Mauzerall


This workshop will identify cost-effective domestic and international methane emission reduction strategies, policies and funding mechanisms to inform current efforts to substantially reduce global methane emissions over the next ten years. Examples of mitigation strategies to be examined include: reduction of leakage from methane extraction via hydrofracking and leaking gas transmission lines, reductions of methane emissions from rice paddies and cows, recovery of methane from coal mining, landfills, etc

WWS 556d Topics in IR: Protection Against Weapons of Mass Destruction (Spring 2013)

Frank Von Hippel and Zia Mian


Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the only significant security threats to the U.S. and its allies have been from nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. Historically, the US focus has oscillated between protection via nonproliferation and disarmament agreements, and via civil and missile defense. The course assesses the threats, both approaches to protection, and linkages made between policies on WMD and perceptions of "conventional" military threats

WWS 586a Topics in STEP: Biotechnology Policy (Spring 2013)

Lee Silver


This course provides in-depth analysis of selected topics in biotechnology that are currently the focus of intense debate in the public and policy arenas. Topics include genetic modification of plants and animals, genetic testing in human populations, stem cells, cloning, and advanced reproductive technologies. Each topic is examined from the perspective of potential commercial applications, risk/benefit analysis, impact on individuals and society, the viewpoints of supporters and detractors, and the political response in the U.S. and other countries

WWS 586d Topics in STEP: Global Environmental Governance (Spring 2013)

Michael Oppenheimer


Examines international law and governance in the context of environmental problems, given the great variety of domestic approaches among nations, and the resulting challenge to global trade and regulatory regimes. Considers the need for regulation under conditions of scientific uncertainty in issues such as climate change, bovine growth hormones, GMOs, fisheries management, biodiversity conservation, and ozone depletion. Explores the efficacy of diverse regulatory approaches, mechanisms for scientific advice to policy makers and participation by business firms and NGOs. Considers intersections between environmental regulation (both domestic and international) with trade, investment, and multilateral development and aid programs. Class location alternates between NYU and WWS

WWS 591G Policy Workshop: Climate change:Methane Mitigation Strategies (Fall 2012)

Michael Schwartz


In recent years much attention has been focused upon the development of early stage, advanced clean energy technologies. Although such technologies may well be strategically significant in the long term, transitioning the US from its existing legacy fossil platform to a clean energy future will be measured in decades not years. In the intervening period, massive capital commitments will be made in fossil energy including oil/natural gas production, midstream infrastructure (such as pipelines), natural gas electric generation, environmental compliance investments in coal generation and commercial renewable energy technologies such as wind and PV solar.

Developing strategies to guide these investments requires integration of technology, public policy and commercial structuring including project financing. This course is designed to provide a broad understanding of the key sectors that comprise the US energy industry including commercial technologies, market drivers, regulatory and public policies and sources of financing, financing metrics and risk analysis as the basis for students to develop and present an investment strategy for a US energy company

WWS 594j Agriculture and Climate Change: Food for a Hot and Hungry Planet (Spring 2013)

Tim Searchinger , session II


By some estimates, agriculture contributes 30% of world greenhouse gas emissions, including its role in tropical deforestation. Reducing these emissions while producing the additional food needed for an expected 9 billion people in 2050 represents one of the great challenges of our age. This concentrated half semester course will explore the sources of agricultural emissions, agriculture's role in shaping world land use, the locations and causes of world hunger, and technical and policy options for meeting this challenge

WWS594l The Political Economy of Global Energy (Spring 2013)

G. Luciani , session II

WWS 594o Risk Analysis (Spring 2013)

Amy Craft, session I