Under Fire: Intersections of Climate and Conflict


August 3-6, 2020

Droughts in Yemen. Wildfires in California. Floods in Bangladesh. Melting permafrost in Siberia. The shifts in climate that are reshaping the global landscape are impossible to ignore, whether they are in the form of unprecedented temperatures, fluctuating rainfall, or more frequent natural disasters.

The examples of climate and environmental change are influencing patterns of diseases, distribution of resources, and movement of people—and, more directly, affecting basic indicators of human well-being like access to clean water and food. In 2018, the World Bank estimated that Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa, and Southeast Asia will generate 143 million more climate migrants by 2050.

These effects act as “threat multipliers,” exacerbating existing fissures across political, social, and economic dimensions. Destabilization caused by drought, flood, famine, and epidemics aggravate conflicts as individuals compete for key resources. Though experts agree that climate has contributed modestly to the risk of conflict to date, their estimates emphasize that the risk of climate-induced violence will be fivefold if global emissions do not change.

 The intersection of climate and conflict cannot be addressed by one discipline or strategy alone. But where do we begin, as educators, learners, and citizens? Through sessions with experts in climate and conflict and pedagogy, we will, at our annual summer workshop for educators, stitch together first-hand experience, new knowledge, and diverse perspectives to gain a closer to understanding this complex nexus.

Workshop Details

This four-day workshop will take place August 3-6, 2020 on Harvard’s Cambridge campus. Geared toward middle school, high school, and community college educators in the humanities and social sciences (but open to educators in all subjects), this workshop will:

  • feature presentations and regional case studies by scholars, experts, policy-makers and practitioners;
  • explore pedagogy and skill-building techniques to help educators and students better understand the intersections of climate and conflict; and
  • provide an introduction to relevant classroom resources to explore with your colleagues and students.

Educators will receive 35 Professional Development Points for their complete participation in the workshop. Interested educators also have the option of earning two graduate credits from Framingham State University for an additional fee and the completion of a post-workshop assignment.


Participation in this program is determined through an application-based selection process.

Cost of Participation

Please note that the cost of participation is $75 per person. Unfortunately, Global Studies Outreach at Harvard cannot provide financial assistance for travel or lodging to workshop participants.

The Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, with support from a Title VI/National Resource Center Grant from the US Department of Education, is able to offer limited travel reimbursement to educators who reside outside of Massachusetts. If you meet this criteria, and are interested in applying for these funds, please declare this within the workshop application.  

Email globalstudiesoutreach@harvard.edu with any questions or concerns about the workshop.