About the Department of Environmental Studies
Since its establishment in the year 2000 as the Porter School of Environmental Studies, the school has been an active academic center, featuring interdisciplinary research and teaching of environmental issues in Israel. The School is unique in its interdisciplinary approach, and is one of the only schools of its kind in the world to integrate between issues associated with natural and exact sciences, such as engineering, geophysics and zoology, and those which correlate with social sciences and humanities, such as law, philosophy, management and sociology. The School later evolved into the Porter School of the Environment and Earth Studies, with the convergence of 3 major departments - Environmental Studies, Geography and Geophysics. The primary goal is to enrich the existing knowledge of environmental issues, by developing and promoting innovative research and teaching disciplines, and highlighting environmental issues on the academic agenda and in public discourse, both on the national and international levels.
The interdisciplinary approach enables the generation of new scientific disciplines in Israel, which presently revolutionize environmental thinking and action in Israel and around the world. The School develops and integrates environmental thinking with regard to relationships between humans and their surroundings, and maintains research relationships within the Tel Aviv University, with other research institutions – in and outside of Israel, with government ministries, industries, the private and public sectors and civil society organizations.
The department of Environmental Studies offers four advanced degree programs: a research masters program, requiring the submission of a thesis (M.A/MSc); a non-thesis masters; an international masters program taught in English; and a PhD program. All programs emphasize the interdisciplinary nature of environmental research, as taught and researched by the various faculties at the university. Issues addressed by the School include: green architecture, renewable and alternative energy, epidemiology, ecology and nature preservation, environmental ethics, environmental engineering, environmental economics, desertification, environmental law and justice, environmental management, sustainable development and climate change. Graduates of the school – among them researchers, educators, lawyers, decision makers and architects – form the new generation of leaders of environmental discourse and activism.
The department of Environmental Studiesholds a variety of conferences and workshops, enabling a platform for deeper discussion, debate and deliberations, and the dissemination of environmental knowledge both within and outside of the university. Thus the accumulated knowledge is expressed beyond the confines of academia and reaches the places where it is most needed.