SPIA at COP28 in UAE and more on Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy

Dec 14 2023
By
Graduate Admissions Office

SPIA sent a delegation of students, staff, faculty, and partners to COP28 in UAE. As our students blog about their experience at COP, we will post the blog updates here. This is a live link and will be updated as new reports from Dubai come in. Please check back!

To get started, please consider reading two reflection pieces on STEP-related summer internships: one on using satellite data to understand groundwater changes and another on regulations on the way to net zero. For the 2-year MPA program, a summer internship between the first and second years is a degree requirement. 

We are just back from COP. It was an exhilarating experience—not only for the tremendous opportunities the convening represents, but also for the opportunity to see the world work in cooperation and common cause, especially on such a complex challenge. 

It was also exciting to run into many SPIA alumni and friends who were at COP for their jobs, each one contributing directly toward this global collective action. SPIA alumni at COP28 included representatives of country delegations, national and international NGOs, a journalist, and members of different academic institutions.

Steven Petric and SPIA friends at COP28 conference

SPIA offers a variety of ways to engage with environmental policy and one of them is through the STEP program—a STEP PhD or the STEP Certificate for the MPA and MPP. 

STEP courses are taught by world-renowned faculty in the natural sciences, engineering, and social sciences, and offers three decades of influential and policy-relevant scholarship.

The STEP PhD is a 5-year doctoral degree program that trains students to conduct policy-relevant research using scientific, engineering, economic, and political tools. Major areas of research include climate change with foci on mitigation and adaptation, decarbonization of energy systems, flood hazards and social vulnerability, air pollution and health, co-benefits of addressing climate change, biodiversity conservation, behavioral psychology in environmental decision-making, and global environmental governance.

To read more on the STEP PhD program, please consider the following four blogs—
i) STEP faculty answer questions
Iii) student spotlight
iii) guide to picking STEP PhD courses, and 
iv) policy research on energy and the environment - second student spotlight

You can also read about current STEP PhD students here.

In addition to the doctoral program, SPIA offers a STEP certificate for students in our MPA and MPP programs. SPIA master’s students can pursue a STEP certificate to develop a deeper understanding of current scientific, technological, and environmental issues, as well as potential local, national, and international policy responses.

Both the STEP PhD and the STEP Certificate programs maintain strong ties with the Center for Policy Research on Energy and the Environment, one of SPIA’s 20 Centers and Programs committed to training leaders in the field of environmental and energy policy.