​Stephen Pacala, the Frederick D. Petrie Professor in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and former director of the Princeton Environmental Institute (PEI), developed the undergraduate Environmental Studies course, ENV 200 A-F: “The Environmental Nexus,” to examine a collection of global environmental crises. This course addresses multiple dimensions of these issues, including scientific, political, social and ethical aspects and will be accessible to all majors and classes. The course was taught for the first time in Spring 2017.

“When today’s undergraduates reach the peaks of their careers, four global environmental problems involving our climate, food, biodiversity and water also will approach their peaks,” Pacala said. “The world will need to deal with the environmental nexus of climate change, biodiversity loss, and challenges to our supplies of food and fresh water.”

By engaging high numbers of students from multiple disciplinary backgrounds, the faculty of ENV 200 hope to create the largest possible conversation within the University about climate change and other pressing environmental challenges.

In addition to the lectures, each student enrolls in one of six (6) different sections designed to fulfill a range of distribution requirements including: science and technology with laboratory (STL); science and technology without laboratory (STN); quantitative reasoning (QR); ethical thought and moral values (EM); literature and the arts (LA); and social analysis (SA).

Course lectures and discussions in Spring 2018 will be led by Pacala along with:

  • Lori Gruen, the Laurance S. Rockefeller Visiting Professor for Distinguished Teaching in the Center for Human Values;
  • Robert Nixon, the Thomas A. and Currie C. Barron Family Professor in Humanities and the Environment and professor of English and the Princeton Environmental Institute; and
  • Marc Fleurbaey, the Robert E. Kuenne Professor in Economics and Humanistic Studies and professor of public affairs and the University Center for Human Values. Several additional faculty, researchers and outside experts also participate in the course.

ENV courses, including The Environmental Nexus, are posted on the registrar’s website.


An Introduction to the Environmental Nexus and ENV 200