Venice Environmental Studies Program (Summer)

The City of Venice, Italy is home to innumerable and priceless artifacts and treasures of western heritage and also a frequently cited example in heated debates about the impact of climate change. This makes Venice a unique, exciting, and dynamic location to explore a variety of critical issues related to climate change.

Through two complementary courses this program introduces the main processes driving change in the Venice lagoon and examines the challenges faced by the international community in developing and implementing policies to address its potential impacts.

The dual focus of the program will examine both the scientific underpinnings of climate change and sea level rise, and their effects on the economy and society. What types of policies are likely to be effective in addressing the impact of climate change, both on humans and on the environment? The curriculum will use the history of the Venice lagoon, as well as its more recent modifications, to illustrate the issues connected with human-driven changes in coastal bays and estuaries, sea level rise, and natural environmental dynamics.

No background in Italian language is required and all courses are taught in English.

Program Curriculum

CAS EE 348: Monitoring and Management of Coastal Wetlands, Lagoons and Estuaries (4 credits)

Introduction to processes driving change in coastal environments – climate change, sea level rise. History and recent modifications of Venice lagoon will be studied through both remote-sensing and on-site observations with hands-on projects. Syllabus

CAS EE 349: Global Climate Change: Science, Economics and Policy (4)

Examines climate change and its policy challenges to the international community. Studies scientific basis, effects on economy and society, national interests in implementing policy. Euro-Mediterranean area case studies, including visits to Venice-area wetlands to see policy in action. Syllabus

Program Details

Program Dates
  • Summer Term: early June – late July
  • Upon successful completion of the program, students earn eight Boston University credits.
  • Students are placed in apartment-style residences in central Venice.
Application Deadlines
  • Summer Term: March 1 

Download a description of the summer Venice Environmental Studies Program.

Program Staff

The Boston University Venice Environmental Studies Program is administered by staff at Boston University. A program manager oversees the admissions and pre-departure procedures, and maintains contact with students prior to their arrival in Venice. The Boston office also houses administrative personnel who are responsible for everyday operations.