Become a climate scientist and activist
Climate Change: Inside the Science and Advocacy
What if people could harness innovation and communities to improve the environment? In this course, you become a citizen scientist, equipped to do research and communicate your findings in a way that helps foster change. Learn climate change on a global scale and how this impacts your community. Discover your households’ carbon footprint and what you can do to lessen its impact. Understand the history of the environmental movement, the Paris Agreement and America’s role in climate science.
If you have a passion for the environment, science or political activism, this course is a must for you.
Learn the science behind your changing world and how you can help
First Learn the Science — Then Join the Cause
Discover the impacts of climate change on a global scale, from severe weather to sea level rise and the indigenous people who used to live in your area. Learn how activist groups are addressing these issues.
Understand the Biology Behind Climate Change
Get smart on how climate change has evolved from past to present. Be able to define the biology that makes climate science provable. Study the outcomes of carbon reduction measures.
Discover What Happens When Nature's Clock is Out of Sync
What do shorter winters mean for the health of the planet? Interview adults in your family or community about what the weather was like when they were young. Hear about how climate activists such as Greta Thunberg, Jamie Margolin and Varshini Prakash have impacted the movement.
Meet Your New Neighbors: Species on the Move
Explore how climate change motivates species migration. We’ll focus on the eastern Massachusetts ecosystem and draw wider lessons. Also covered will be how community organizations seek policy change to address these issues through legislation such as the “Green New Deal.”
How to Create a Compelling Green Message
You’ll practice the communication tools that promote change — social media messaging, PR releases, storytelling on platforms such as YouTube and the strategies and tactics that make up an effective plan.
Prepare for a Future in Science or Advocacy
Topics covered offer orientation for potential careers in the sciences, especially as related to climate, biology or environmental engineering. Also provided is a good background for fields such as community organization, education, environmental law or grant writing.
Apply Now for the Next Available Course
All course options, whether 2 or 4 weeks, have the identical educational content, learning materials, and number of assignments. The difference in length of course is to allow flexibility for a student's busy schedule.
Skills You Will Gain From This Course
- You will learn how to back up your point of view with the latest science
- You will know the biological evidence that supports climate science
- You will see how scientific theory applies to your local environment
- You will acquire powerful communication skills with various media platforms
- You will be able to determine if a future in the field is right for you
3 Learning Advantages Designed for You
- 100% asynchronous online, works with your schedule
- 20-25 hours of total instruction and course work, including engaging multimedia, simulations, and curated assignments for which you will receive guidance and support
- Engage with fellow students from around the world
You’ll receive guidance from a mentor who can support you and answer questions as you deepen your learning experience. You can expect:
- Encouragement and direction on all assignments
- Inspiration, motivation and confidence to help you succeed
- Brainstorming and ideation help as you prepare for your final project
The course culminates with a special project that allows you to:
- Demonstrate what you’ve learned in this course
- Get feedback from your mentor on your work
- Use video, audio, text, cartoon, social media to create your campaign
Course Designed By
Professor Colleen Hitchcock, Associate Professor of Ecology
Professor Hitchcock’s academic interests are focused on the role of citizen science in ecological inquiry and conservation biology, specifically relating to studies of biodiversity, conservation, phenology and climate change. She focuses on the power of the public in scientific research and the application of community/citizen science research as a model for learning by students. Hitchcock teaches a wide variety of courses for science and environmental studies majors, as well as for students outside of the sciences.
Professor Sabine von Mering, Professor of German and Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies, and Director of the Center for German and European Studies
Professor von Mering is a core faculty member with the Environmental Studies Program, and Director of the Center for German and European Studies (CGES) at Brandeis. Her co-edited volumes include Right-Wing Radicalism Today: Perspectives from Europe and the US (2013), and International Green Politics (2002). She teaches Human/Nature: European Perspectives on Climate Change, and Your Brain on Carbon.
A recent Brandeis University graduate. He served as the State Policy Lead at Sunrise Boston during which time he lobbied for climate legislation at the Massachusetts Statehouse and gave presentations about climate policy and Massachusetts politics.
Brandeis University graduate with a major in Environmental Studies and minors in Social Justice and Social Policy. She is currently working as the Maine Director for Vote Mob, a progressive youth-led youth voter turnout organization in Maine.
Brandeis University graduate with a B.A. in Environmental Studies and Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies. Currently works for 350 Maine and Maine Climate Action NOW! as their Youth Engagement Coordinator. She also co-founded and facilitates Maine Youth for Climate Justice, a coalition of over 300 Maine youth activists fighting for bold climate action.
How to Apply
It’s easy. No transcripts or letters of recommendation are required. Our application will ask you to provide the following:
- Basic contact information for you and your parent or guardian.
- Why you wish to take this course. You can tell your story through writing, video, photos — any media you prefer. NOTE: Please submit all application materials in English.
Begin the guided process. It should take only a few minutes of your time to answer the questions.Apply Now
Frequently Asked Questions
How will you be graded? What are assignments like? How much time do you get to turn around a project? When do you find out if you're accepted?Answers to Your Questions Here
Want to study on campus?
Brandeis University offers a variety of residential courses throughout the summer that allow Precollege students to engage in the rigors of academics at a world-class university, and join a vibrant community of people interested and engaged in some of the most pressing issues of our time.Learn More About On Campus Study
We offer need-based scholarships in each cohort to students exhibiting high potential who need assistance affording the associated cost. If you would like to be considered for a scholarship but you:
- Haven't applied to the program, complete your application now. The scholarship application is included.
- Applied to the program and didn't fill out a scholarship request, reach out to us at email@example.com for assistance.
- Are unsure about whether or not you applied for a scholarship, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
The University reserves the right to modify the course as may become necessary.