Massachusetts Institute of Technology

the Massachusetts institute of Technology (MIT) is a private, coeducational research university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. MIT has five schools and one college, containing 32 academic departments, with a strong emphasis on scientific and technological research. MIT is one of two private land-grant universities, as well as a sea-grant and space-grant university. The mission of MIT is to advance knowledge and educate students in science, technology, and other areas of scholarship that will best serve the nation and the world in the 21st century.

William Barton Rogers founded MIT in 1861, in response to the increasing industrialization of the United States. Although based upon German and French polytechnic models of an institute of technology, MIT's founding philosophy of "learning by doing" made it an early pioneer in the use of laboratory instruction, undergraduate research, and progressive architectural styles. As a federally-funded research and development center during World War II, MIT scientists developed defense-related technologies that would later become integral to computers, radar, and inertial guidance. After the war, MIT's reputation expanded beyond its core competencies in science and engineering into the social sciences, including economics, linguistics, political science, and management. MIT's endowment and annual research expenditures are among the largest of any American university. MIT graduates and faculty are noted for their technical acumen (63 Nobel Laureates, 47 National Medal of Science recipients, and 29 MacArthur Fellows), entrepreneurial spirit (a 1997 report claimed that the aggregated revenues of companies founded by MIT affiliates would make it the 24th largest economy in the world), and irreverence (the popular practice of constructing elaborate pranks, or hacking).

The Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences offer several undergraduate and graduate courses of study in the geophysical sciences: geology, geophysics, geochemistry, geobiol-ogy, atmospheric science, oceanography, climate, planetary science, and astronomy. More specifically, the Program in Atmospheres, Oceans, and Climate oversees a broad curriculum, with emphasis in three areas of study: Atmospheric Sciences, Climate, and Oceanography.

programs and initiatives

The MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change is as an interdisciplinary organization, founded in 1991, that conducts research, independent policy analysis, and public communication on issues of global environmental change. The Joint Program combines the capabilities of two pre-existing MIT research centers: the Center for Global Change Science (CGCS) and the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research (CEEPR). It brings together an interactive group of faculty, staff and student researchers. Resources of the parent centers are strengthened by links to the Marine Biological Laboratory's Ecosystems Center in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, the MIT Climate Modeling Initiative, and other MIT environmental programs.

The MIT Joint Program's work is focused on the integration of natural and social science aspects of the climate issue, to produce analyses relevant to ongoing national and international discussions. Cooperative efforts engage it with leading research institutions and nonprofit organizations worldwide. Financial support is provided by an international group of sponsors from government organizations, foundations, and industry. The Program's cornerstone is the MIT Integrated Global System Model (IGSM) of economic and environmental change. The IGSM is a comprehensive research tool for analyzing potential anthropogenic global climate change and its social and environmental consequences. The IGSM includes consideration of climate science, technical change, and economic and social science, in an interacting set of computer models designed for study of the sensitivities and uncertainties that are crucial to policy evaluation.

MIT's Climate Modeling Initiative (CMI) is a collaborative effort among scientists in the Center for Global Change Science of MIT, to develop a state-of-the-art model of the atmosphere and ocean for study of Earth's climate. CMI is developing a new generation of climate model utilizing improved process models, which exploit our latest understanding of ocean, land, atmospheric and bio-geochemical processes, and new developments in algorithms, computing technology, and software design.

The Center for Global Change Science (CGCS) at MIT was founded in January 1990, to address fundamental questions about climate processes with a multidisciplinary approach. In July 2006, the CGCS became an independent center in the School of Science. CGCS's goal is to improve the ability to accurately predict changes in the global environment.

The CGCS seeks to better understand the natural mechanisms in ocean, atmosphere, and land systems that together control the Earth's climate, and to apply improved knowledge to problems of predicting climate changes. The Center utilizes theory, observations, and numerical models to investigate climate phenomena, the linkages among them, and their potential feedbacks in a changing climate. CGCS builds on existing programs of research and education in the Schools of Science and Engineering at MIT. The interdisciplinary organization fosters studies on topics as varied as oceanography, meteorology, hydrology, atmospheric chemistry, ecology, biogeochemical cycling, paleocli-matology, applied math, data assimilation, computer science, and satellite remote sensing. The CGCS sustains a program of basic scientific research on the natural processes controlling global climate, with a concentration on the cycles, circulations and interactions of water, air, energy, and nutrients in the Earth system. The Center's research effort is focused primarily on five fundamental components of the global climate system.


There are several suggested academic undergraduate programs leading to Bachelor of Science (S.B. or B.S.) degrees at MIT that can effectively accommodate interests in climate and environmental studies. The Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences (EAPS), and its Program on Atmospheres, Oceans and Climate (PAOC) offer degrees in Physics of Atmospheres & Oceans and Environmental Science, both of which expose students to a wide range of Earth science topics, while allowing the flexibility to choose a specific area of focus. Similarly, the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) degree in Environmental Engineering provides a solid understanding of, and ability to apply the fundamentals of, the physical, chemical and biological sciences, treatment and control, economics, and public policy, as they relate to environmental engineering. A bachelor's degree from either EAPS or CEE provides an excellent foundation for graduate study and research in both basic and applied environmental science and engineering disciplines. Terrascope provides opportunities for first-year students to explore basic science and engineering concepts through the study of Planet Earth. Both major and minor degree programs

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