Building on the twin pillars of science and policy, the Program was founded in 1991 as a joint effort of two distinct groups: the MIT Center for Global Change Science (CGCS) and the MIT Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research (CEEPR).
Under the mantle of the Joint Program, experts from natural and social sciences, energy technology, and political and policy analysis, are united to study global environmental change with a concentration on climate.
Environmental Policy Research
The CGCS is an independent center in the School of Science with participants drawn also from the School of Engineering. The
center builds on a foundation of over a half-century of work on weather and climate at MIT. Participants include meteorologists, oceanographers, atmospheric chemists, hydrologists, ecologists, and satellite specialists. The center is devoted to research on long-standing scientific problems that impede the ability to make accurate prediction of changes in the global environment. A key CGCS component also contributing to the Program is the Climate Modeling Initiative. It is applying fundamental work on climate processes, and global model construction, to studies of the science of climate prediction and its limits.
The CEEPR conducts policy research on energy, natural resources, and environmental issues, involving economists with expertise in energy and environmental quality, decision analysts, energy technologists, and scholars of politics and the policy process. Created in the 1970s, it is a shared effort of the Sloan School of Management, the Economics Department and the MIT Energy Initiative.
Administrative support is provided by a combination of personnel dedicated to the Program and portions of the effort of staff who also serve roles in the Program's two parent centers. In this way the work of the Program is well supported with a minimum administrative overhead.
Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL)
The resources of the parent centers are strengthened through cooperative efforts that have been formed with groups outside the Institute. In particular, a long-term alliance with the Ecosystems Center at the Marine Biological Laboratory brings to the Program specialists in terrestrial ecosystem science.
With these combined capacities, the Joint Program has expertise spanning the necessary disciplines, including economics, energy, agriculture, engineering and technology, hydrology, atmospheric chemistry, climate, oceans, ecosystems, and land use.
The Joint Program also collaborates with other MIT groups who are working on related areas, such as problems of energy, water resources, mobility, systems modeling, and international affairs, for example:
- The Darwin Project
- ECCO2-Estimating the Circulation & Climate of the Ocean
- Carbon Capture and Sequestration Technologies at MIT
- Parsons Laboratory for Environmental Science and Engineering
- Earth System Initiative
- Sloan Automotive Laboratory
- Center for International Studies
- Center for Transportation and Logistics
- Earth Resources Laboratory
- Center for Technology, Policy and Industrial Development
- Oceans at MIT