The Workshops in Applied Earth Systems Management and in Applied Earth Systems Policy Analysis are a key part of the curriculum in the Environmental Science and Policy program. The purpose of the workshops is to teach students how to integrate knowledge and organize an effort to solve a sustainability problem. Students enroll in the workshop while completing the program’s Core Curriculum, and they are expected to integrate and apply the knowledge they have acquired in natural science, social science, policy studies, and management to problem-solving. In all three semesters, students work in groups under the supervision of a faculty member.

The summer and fall semester workshops emphasize management issues. Students explore a piece of proposed, but not yet enacted, state, federal, or local environmental law (or a treaty or U.N. resolution), and develop a plan to implement and manage the new program. In the summer, the workshop focuses on the science aspects of the management problem, while in the fall students work to complete the operational plan for implementing the program. In the spring semester, new groups are formed and students work on projects for real world governmental or nonprofit clients. The students complete the workshop by writing a report that analyzes an actual environmental policy or managerial problem faced by their client.