Energy and the Environment

Our Vision

Energy presents one of the biggest challenges we face as we seek more sustainable ways to provide society with goods and services. Energy is an essential input to nearly every human activity, but extraction and utilization of energy resources have profound effects on the environment. Society's desire to access energy resources, which are distributed unevenly, raises geopolitical issues and energy security concerns. Addressing these challenges and understanding the ramifications of various energy alternatives requires both a systemic and multidisciplinary perspective, which can be obtained through the MEM Specialization in Energy and the Environment.


Specialization Coordinator

Kenneth Gillingham

Kenneth Gillingham

Professor Gillingham is an associate professor of economics at Yale University, with a primary appointment at the School of the Environment and secondary appointments in the Department of Economics and School of Management. He is also a faculty research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research. In 2015-2016, he served as the Senior Economist for Energy and the Environment at the White House Council of Economic Advisers. His research focuses on energy markets and uses a variety of approaches ranging from structural econometric modeling to field experiments to energy-economic system modeling and economic theory. Topics of interest include energy efficiency, new energy technologies, and sustainable transportation. Recent publications have focused on the adoption of solar photovoltaic technology, market failures in household energy efficiency, and the rebound effect in transportation. On-going research includes field experiments on solar and energy efficiency adoption and econometric models of the effects of policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation. Other research covers the modeling of energy innovation and technological change, both at the micro-level and in the large-scale energy-climate models used to examine the effects of climate change mitigation policies. His work has been published in top-tier journals such as Science, Nature, PNAS, Marketing Science, Quantitative Economics, Journal of the Association of Environmental & Resource Economists, Journal of Environmental Economics & Management, and the Review of Environmental Economics & Policy.

Prior to joining the Yale faculty, he worked at the California Air Resources Board, White House Council of Economic Advisers, Stanford Energy Modeling Forum, Resources for the Future, and Joint Global Change Research Institute of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.  He also the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship to New Zealand.  His Ph.D. is from Stanford University, where he studied management science & engineering and economics. Before beginning a career as an economist, he was a wilderness ranger in Wyoming and New Hampshire. See full profile →

Teaching Faculty

Faculty who are currently teaching courses within this specialization.

Michelle L. Bell

Mary E. Pinchot Professor of Environmental Health

Marian Chertow

Associate Professor of Industrial Environmental Management, Director of the Program on Solid Waste Policy, and Director of the Industrial Environmental Management Program

Daniel C. Esty

Hillhouse Professor of Environmental Law and Policy, jointly with Yale Law School; Director of the Center for Environmental Law and Policy

Bradford S. Gentry

Senior Associate Dean of Professional Practice; Frederick K. Weyerhaeuser Professor in the Practice of Forest Resources Management and Policy; Co-Director of the Center for Business & the Environment

Kenneth Gillingham

Associate Professor of Environmental & Energy Economics

Thomas E. Graedel

Clifton R. Musser Professor Emeritus of Industrial Ecology, Professor Emeritus of Chemical Engineering

Timothy G. Gregoire

J. P. Weyerhaeuser, Jr., Professor of Forest Management

Daniel Gross


Edgar Hertwich

Executive Fellow

Robert Klee


Matthew J. Kotchen

Professor of Economics

Xuhui Lee

Sara Shallenberger Brown Professor of Meteorology

Jonas Meckling

Associate Professor of Energy and Environmental Policy at UC Berkeley

Robert O. Mendelsohn

Edwin Weyerhaeuser Davis Professor of Forest Policy; Professor of Economics; and Professor, School of Management

Narasimha Rao

Associate Professor of Energy Systems

Lawrence Reilly


Jonathan Reuning-Scherer

Senior Lecturer in Statistics

James E. Saiers

Clifton R. Musser Professor of Hydrology

Karen C. Seto

Frederick C. Hixon Professor of Geography and Urbanization Science

Ronald Smith

Damon Wells Professor of Geology & Geophysics, and Mechanical Engineering and Forestry & Environmental Studies; Director Center for Earth Observation

Stijn van Ewijk

Postdoctoral Associate

Yuan Yao

Assistant Professor of Industrial Ecology and Sustainable Systems

Peter Yost


Julie Zimmerman

Senior Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, Professor of Green Engineering, Assistant Director for Research at Center for Green Chemistry and Green Engineering