Berkeley Center for Green Chemistry

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Education is at the center of our three-part mission and is practiced through our core and associated courses, and the guidance of our graduate research fellows through our management of the SAGE IGERT program.

Our core courses: Greener Solutions (fall), Greener Solutions Translations, and Introduction to Green Chemistry: An Integrated Approach to Sustainable Energy(spring),  are available to the entire UC Berkeley student population of graduate and upperclass undergraduate students.

PB HLTH 290 Greener Solutions

Green chemistry seeks to promote the design and adoption of safer, more efficient chemicals, products and processes.  In order for greener materials to be widely used, a number of design and selection challenges must be addressed. The Greener Solutions course is an opportunity for students to apply their disciplinary expertise to address a research question relevant to a host organization that is actively addressing these challenges.  

Teams of students  work with an host organization on a topic related to the design, manufacture, use, and/or marketing of safer chemicals in products, materials or manufacturing operations. This interdisciplinary, project-based class is intended for graduate students in public health, chemistry, environmental studies, engineering, architecture, business and law who are interested in working in a team setting to help a host organization answer a specific research question related to green chemistry and sustainable design.  

Student teams typically prepare a final report and present their findings on campus and to the host organization. While the class lectures, discussion and assignments support the technical aspects of the project, significant emphasis is placed on developing the requisite process-oriented skills: gathering information, working in teams, and communicating effectively.

Independent Study Greener Solutions Translations

Students wishing to continue, refine or extend the work done in the fall Greener Solutions course have the opportunity to pursue independent study under the tutelage of the course instructors during the following spring. This work could range from the writing of a journal article to the conducting of experiments suggested by the fall work.

CHEM C234 Introduction to Green Chemistry: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Sustainability

Meeting the challenge of global sustainability will require interdisciplinary approaches to research and education, as well as the integration of this new knowledge into society, policymaking, and business. This participatory, case-based course presents an interdisciplinary intellectual framework for understanding the challenges presented by shifting our energy resources toward renewable technologies. Green Chemistry is introduced within the context of clean energy technologies, examining the impact of material selection. Students carry out group projects to investigate the tradeoffs inherent in designing clean energy technologies, examining the impact of material selection from the perspective of technical performance, health and environmental impacts, and relevant legal and economic drivers and barriers. As a result they gain an understanding of the social and technical factors that can promote or impede the adoption of green energy solutions.

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