About the Program

In accordance with the Duke Climate Commitment, the Climate Scholars Program focuses on diverse perspectives of the climate crisis and aims to provide undergraduate students across all majors with a faculty-mentored research experience.

Climate Scholars have the opportunity to consider the complexity of global climate disruption through interdisciplinary study. Scholars will build their study on a foundation of climate science after taking two courses in the Earth and Climate Science (ECS) division, followed by faculty-mentored independent research. Research projects are an in-depth exploration of a climate-related project in any school, division, or department at Duke University. Examples of research projects might include:

  • tracking the impact of heat waves on health in Durham;
  • modeling and projecting water resource availability in response to both extreme flooding and drought, as well as policy and technology changes, across the Western US; or
  • considering how low-lying communities in Central America are adapting to and will be affected by sea level rise.

Climate Scholars will be active participants in their faculty mentor’s lab group and will attend seminars, as well as social events in the climate community, to make connections with faculty, graduate students, staff, and other like-minded undergraduates. Scholars will also have the opportunity to host an interdisciplinary gathering with experts and activists from across campus and the community to discuss intersecting climate related projects and interests.

Climate Scholars are expected to either develop their research project into honors thesis during their senior year (which may potentially result in publication) or, for students interested in pursuing careers in the corporate or non-profit sectors, complete an internship related to their field of study.