Campus Partners

Nicholas Institute for Energy, Environment & Sustainability

Duke University is heightening its commitment to accelerate sustainable and equitable solutions to the climate crisis and develop a new generation of climate-literate thought leaders (AKA, you).

The Nicholas Institute for Energy, Environment & Sustainability advances the university’s climate strategy by developing transformative educational experiences; galvanizing and conducting impactful research; and engaging with decision makers at the global, national, state, and local levels.

You can look to us for a robust slate of educational and career opportunities related to energy, climate, and other pressing environmental challenges. We also cultivate a lively interdisciplinary community of undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends—and can help you access a broad network of industry and policy contacts beyond Duke. 

Design Climate

Design Climate is a two-semester, project-based course sequence that equips students with Design Thinking principles and sustainability frameworks for developing triple bottom line start-ups that address complex climate challenges.

In the first semester, 'Design Climate I: Discover' students collaborate with industry or faculty Co-Designers to identify climate challenges, empathize with stakeholders, define opportunities, and ideate solutions. The semester culminates in a presentation of the preliminary startup idea.

'Design Climate II: Develop' continues the journey as teams refine their business models, prototype, test market assumptions, and iterate on their concepts. The spring semester ends with a startup pitch to potential investors.

Throughout the program, students work closely with Co-Designers from relevant market sectors to identify and solve sustainability challenges and gain skills in entrepreneurship, project management, sustainable product development, and climate fundamentals.


Nicholas School Chartered Groups

Nicholas School Student Council

The Nicholas School Student Council (NSSC) of the Nicholas School of the Environment is an advocate on behalf of professional students, representing the interests and concerns of these students to the Duke University and Nicholas School community. It is a group of elected and volunteer-appointed Masters of Environmental Management (MEM) and Masters of Forestry (MF) students that serves as an advisory body to the faculty and administration, and provides a conduit between the student body, faculty, and administration.


Student Groups in Alphabetical Order

Black and Latine Club

The Black and Latine Club is a social student group providing a space to celebrate and educate the Nicholas School community on Black and Latine culture. Additionally, we serve the needs of any student, faculty, or staff that wishes to engage in meaningful activities that build cultural and environmental awareness.

Coding for the Environment

The Coding for the Environment group is dedicated to furthering student knowledge and expertise in data sciences and coding applications for environmental science, economics, energy, and other related topics. The goal of our club is to 1) provide coding workshops, 2) support students in their coursework by holding open hours to ask coding-related questions and 3) bring in speakers who use coding and data sciences for their work in the environmental field. No prior knowledge of coding, modelling, or data science is necessary to join the group, just enthusiasm for learning about data-driven methods.

Diverse & Inclusive Community for the Environment

The Diverse & Inclusive Community for the Environment (DICE) fosters a welcoming community within the Nicholas School so that members of disenfranchised groups/communities will feel that they belong here. This means bridging gaps between peoples of various identities by both acknowledging our differences and also learning to recognize shared interests and experiences.

DICE seeks to empower disenfranchised groups/communities to join the Nicholas School by working to increase the recruitment rates for students of different races, cultures, gender and sexual identities, levels of ability/disability, socioeconomic classes, countries of origin, religions, ethnicities, etc. The group facilitates and encourages deeper discussion through readings, current events, movie screenings, weekly meetings, etc.

Duke Alt Protein Project

The Alt Protein Project chapter of Duke University is a student organization affiliated with the Good Food Institute (GFI). The program seeks to engage students with the alternative protein industry through an academic, professional, and scientific lens. Duke's Alt Protein Project chapter is for any student at Duke interested in the alternative protein space, regardless of background, degree, or area of study.

The organization aims to develop and expand Duke's alternative protein ecosystem by fostering student engagement on campus, in the research triangle, and with the broader alt protein industry. We host alt protein tastings, career events, and a spring conference bringing together industry professionals and students. We also aim to spearhead alt protein research and course offerings at Duke.

Duke Conservation Society


Duke Conservation Society (DCS) is a student group focusing on contemporary conservation issues and solutions. We cover a variety of fields and explore multiple forms of conservation including wildlife, land trusts, market-based, community-based, and policy-based among others. Our vision is to provide a resource for students and future conservationists in finding solutions to our natural world’s most pressing problems.

Duke Environmental Justice Network

The Duke Environmental Justice Network (DEJN) seeks to connect graduate and professional students committed to understanding and addressing environmental injustices. Our mission is to represent a diverse range of expertise and backgrounds to form a cross-cutting network to bridge the gaps between different schools and disciplines around how environmental justice is discussed and incorporated across big Duke.

DEJN has had working groups focused on outreach to local groups, engaging with NSOE leadership, and education and events. This year we hosted local community members and EJ scholars as speakers in events at the intersections of EJ and water, energy, international climate justice, and waste, respectively. We also hosted a book club series of discussions for students in Beaufort.

We want to continue to focus on topics and areas where EJ can be expanded upon with more context and nuance than is sometimes represented in our courses. Additionally, we aim to send students to the North Carolina Environmental Justice Network Summit during years it is hosted as well as other EJ-focused conferences in order to provide an opportunity for engagement with EJ leaders across North Carolina and the United States.

Duke Environmental Law & Policy Forum

The Duke Environmental Law & Policy Forum (DELPF) is a student-run publication, with staff members from the Law School, the Nicholas School for the Environment, and the Sanford School of Public Policy. New journal members, both JD and non-JD, are selected based upon their writing skills, research ability, and interest in both DELPF and environmental policy.

DELPF has retained its interdisciplinary roots and presents scholarship that examines environmental issues by drawing on legal, scientific, economic, and public policy resources. DELPF’s affiliations with the Nicholas School for the Environment, the Sanford School of Public Policy, and the Law School render it uniquely positioned to adapt to the increasingly interdisciplinary nature of environmental law.

Duke Fish


Duke Fish logo

DukeFish is a graduate student sub-unit of the American Fisheries Society at Duke University. Our mission is to promote sustainable fisheries and consumer practices by reaching out to our peers, community members, and local industries through education, outreach, and community participation.

We strive to highlight fisheries research at Duke and beyond through hosting career panels, lectures, and other events for students in the Duke Community. We belong to the Tidewater Chapter of the American Fisheries Society and aim to facilitate active student participation in regional chapter meetings.

Duke Graduate Climate Coalition

The Duke Graduate Climate Coalition (DGCC) is the graduate student branch of Duke Climate Coalition (DCC). The mission of DGCC is to expand the reach of climate, energy, and environmental advocacy to the sizable graduate student population of Duke University, spreading awareness about environmental issues and mobilizing Duke Graduate students to support climate progress at Duke, in the Durham community, and at the national scale.

Overall, DGCC seeks to energize the Duke graduate student community on climate, energy, and environmental issues, directly engaging graduate and professional students in dialogue and activism across all of Duke’s subsidiary schools.

Duke International Society of Tropical Foresters

Duke ISTF aims to facilitate cross-disciplinary discussions and collaborations that explore tropical forest science, protection, conservation, management, and policy. In addition, we intend to serve as a resource for career & professional development, networking, and research & information sharing related to tropical forestry, sustainable land use, and natural resource management in tropical regions. Duke International Society of Tropical Foresters (ISTF) is open to Duke undergraduates, graduates, PhDs, faculty, and staff.

Duke Society for Ecological Restoration Student Association

The Duke Society for Ecological Restoration Student Association (DSER) aims to increase student knowledge and experience of restoration and increase the emphasis on restoration across the broader Duke community. Our planned events include field trips to local restoration sites, work days, career panels, and casual opportunities to get to know each other.

As a chapter of the Society for Ecological Restoration, membership provides access to a network of restoration professionals, resources, and discounts for conferences. Ecological restoration is a multidisciplinary field that links not only ecology and conservation but environmental policy, climate change, community engagement, ecotoxicology, and more.

Duke Society of American Foresters

The Duke University Student Society of American Foresters (SAF) is a professional organization that facilitates student involvement in forestry at the local, regional and national levels by promoting the forestry program at the Nicholas School, sustaining Duke's relationship with other forestry schools, organizing both educational and community service events, and facilitating student attendance at SAF national conferences and meetings.

Duke Student Association of Wetland Scientists

The Duke Student Association of Wetland Scientists (Duke SAWS) is a student-run organization dedicated to wetland ecology, restoration, and conservation at Duke University. The goal is to provide a meeting ground for graduate and non-graduate students interested in all aspects of wetlands. Activities include field trips, seminars, and volunteer events. The club is working in coordination with the Duke University Wetlands Center.

Duke Sustainability Board

Duke Sustainability Board logo

The Duke Sustainability Board (DSB), housed in the Nicholas School of the Environment, promotes awareness of sustainability initiatives and complex environmental issues. We are an organization uniquely positioned to facilitate communication among all clubs in the Nicholas School because we can connect students from various disciplines through a common appreciation of sustainable development.

We seek to provide opportunities for graduate students to learn about environmental trends and how they can reduce their personal impacts. Our mission is to increase knowledge of sustainability efforts, support collaboration between student clubs, and connect students to professionals working across diverse fields. 

Duke Water Network

Duke Water Network (DWN) is a student organization dedicated to connecting Duke students interested in water with each other, community members, and professionals in the fields of water management, science, policy, and business. DWN may organize employer and alumni networking events, trips to explore innovative water management approaches, talks and panels, and other events that fulfil its mission.

Eno Magazine

The mission of Eno Literary Magazine (ENO) is to encourage, promote, and publish artistic forms of expression that inspire a deeper understanding and appreciation for the environment. We aim to inspire artists to create work celebrating nature and to encourage consumers to reflect and act in service of the environment. Eno serves as a lighthouse for intellectual and artistic creativity on behalf of the Nicholas School and Duke University.

Environmental Communication, Outreach, and Education

Environmental Communication, Outreach, and Education (ECOE)'s mission is "To serve as a catalyst and resource for Duke students to grow as environmental educators, science communicators, and volunteers in their community while prioritizing equity, diversity, and inclusion in the field." We do this through professional development and networking events as well as resource sharing, such as connecting students with jobs, service opportunities, and relevant media.

Green Roof and Orchard Workforce

The Green Roof and Orchard Workforce (GROW) is an inclusive, member-driven organization within NSOE. The purposes of our group are to help cultivate and maintain the Green Roof on top of Grainger, have a sustained group of students committed to working in and organizing garden events, and supporting the Nicholas School’s spirit of community outreach and education with social events and opportunities to learn more about gardening and a living green roof! GROW has hosted garden workdays, tea events, and hopes to continue incorporating ways to engage and learn from gardening efforts in Durham.


Duke MEM-MBA Club logo

The MEM/MBA Club is the home for concurrent MEM/MBA (and MF/MBA) students and provides the key link between the Nicholas School, the Fuqua School of Business, and Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina.

The Club’s mission is to support students’ academic transition between their two graduate programs, facilitate social cohesion, and encourage professional development through Duke’s unique hybrid education. The MEM/MBA Club brings students together across all three classes and all three schools through career and academic events.

Nicholas Queer Network

The purpose of Nicholas Queer Network (NQN) is to represent the needs and concerns of students, staff, faculty, and other Nicholas School community members who identify as LGBTQIA+; connect students, faculty, and staff within the LGBTQIA+ community to discuss and raise awareness about the challenges and issues facing queer individuals in our immediate community and the broader environmental field; educate our community and others about such challenges and work towards forward progress to solve these issues; provide opportunities for LGBTQIA+ individuals and allies to support one another through social gatherings and educational programming; and foster an accepting and tolerant atmosphere within the Nicholas School in support of LGBTQIA+ students, faculty, and staff and those individuals who might be working to come to terms with their queer identity.

Nic School Divers

Nic School Divers is a collective of Duke students interested in SCUBA diving! It is our mission to contribute to the empowerment of coastal communities and protection of coastal ecosystems through SCUBA diving. To achieve this goal, we will dedicate ourselves to citizen science and marine conservation efforts in North Carolina and abroad, employing SCUBA diving for good. 

Nicholas School Energy Club

The mission of the Nicholas School Energy Club (NSEC) is to educate Nicholas School students and the broader Duke community about energy issues and provide professional development opportunities in energy through networking events, field trips, socials and conferences.

We coordinate our activities with the Nicholas Institute for Energy, Environment & Sustainability and our partner energy clubs at the Fuqua School of Business, Sanford School of Public Policy, and Duke Law School. The Club serves as a professional development home base for Nicholas School students interested in energy.

Nicholas School Naturalists (Nic Nats)

The Nicholas School Naturalists (Nic Nats) is a natural history and outdoors club within the Nicholas School of Environment. Our outdoor trips, which include hiking, backpacking, climbing, rafting, canoeing, birding, scuba diving, and more, are open to any graduate students within the Nicholas School. The events range from local (around the Triangle) to visiting further away places in North Carolina and the surrounding South-eastern States.

Nicholas School Net Impact

Net Impact Nicholas School student group logo

The Nicholas School Net Impact Chapter is a networking and professional development club that works to educate and equip Nicholas School students to use the power of business to create a more socially and environmentally sustainable world. Students can participate in Nic Net Impact’s various events, workshops, and case competitions throughout the year to develop skills, knowledge, and experience related to creating positive corporate impact and influencing change. Nic Net Impact offers many opportunities to engage impact-driven alumni, professionals and thought leaders from leading corporations, non-profits, and government agencies.

Oceans@Duke Student Club


The Oceans@Duke Student Club fosters collaboration among its interdisciplinary members to examine opportunities for professional development in oceans-related careers and areas of study. Our members tend to have a common fascination with all things “blue” whether it be fisheries management or offshore wind–or both! Here, students engage with Duke University’s leading experts in ocean science, governance and business.

Club members include students from across schools at Duke University. The club is led by the Student Cabinet that plans and executes the Blue Economy Summit and other opportunities for “blue”-interested scholars to gather.

Ocean Policy Working Group

The Ocean Policy Working Group (OPWG) is a graduate student organization that focuses on the political, economic, and cultural dimensions of human interactions with the ocean. The group brings together graduate and professional students from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds to consider the ways in which our areas of study influence our perceptions of the ocean. Although the majority of Ocean Policy Working Group members are Nicholas School students, the interdepartmental nature of the group has enabled students to consider environmental challenges from alternative perspectives.

Out in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math

oSTEM at Duke logo

Duke Out in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (oSTEM) is an LGBTQ+ – affirming organization that aims to provide services and support for students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and to create a dynamic network between students and professionals in industry and academia.

Student Association for Geospatial Analysis

The Student Association for Geospatial Analysis (SAGA) is a graduate student organization for students interested in developing and sharing skills related to geospatial analysis (GA). The mission of SAGA is to provide the graduate students of Duke University with a resource to expand, explore, and build professional skills in the field of Geospatial Analysis. SAGA will serve as an organization to inform students about emerging trends and techniques, as well as to develop skills not taught through the Nicholas School curriculum.

Sustainable Oceans Alliance

Sustainable Oceans Alliance logo

The Duke University chapter of the Sustainable Oceans Alliance (SOA) strives to equip students who have a passion for ocean conservation with the tools to help make a change. Duke SOA aims to enhance the university’s ability to support the needs and interests of students who intend to pursue marine science and conservation, both educationally and professionally.

The Coastal Society


Duke Coastal Society logo

The Coastal Society (TCS) is a national organization of private sector, academic, and government professionals and students. It is dedicated to actively addressing emerging coastal issues by fostering dialogue, forging partnerships, and promoting communications and education.

The Duke University Student Chapter of TCS seeks to fulfill this mission of coastal stewardship through communications, activities, and professional networking options for Duke students. Events and opportunities include: an annual Margaret A. Davidson (MAD) Career & Professional Development Workshop, Coastal Connections for student and professionals, International Coastal Clean-up Day with the local community, Earth Week activities, mock interviews with federal agencies like NOAA, hosting the All Swell? Podcast, partnering with local non-profits for habitat restoration projects, and co-hosting events with other student and professional organizations.

Working Group on the Environment in Latin America

The Working Group on the Environment in Latin America (WGELA) is a collaborative effort between Duke University, UNC, and NC-State undergraduate and graduate students to promote a rich comprehension of environmental issues in Latin America through interdisciplinary collaboration.

WGELA aims to 1) foster a dialogue concerning critical environmental issues affecting Latin America, 2) improve the understanding of the social, historical, political, and cultural contexts in which these environmental issues are embedded, and 3) build capacity among an interdisciplinary and cross institutional group of individuals to address and conduct research on Latin American issues.


Related Groups


FOREM is the official unofficial social organization of the Nicholas School. It is a social professional organization for all Nicholas School graduate students, faculty and staff. Our purpose is to foster an environment in which students can balance their academic and social lives.

Nicholas PhD Advocacy Council (NPAC)

The Nicholas PhD Advocacy Council (NPAC) is a group composed of peer-elected students from the Nicholas School-affiliated PhD programs (ENV, UPE, UPEP, MSC, TOX, EOS) which aims to represent and support the academic and professional interests of all Nicholas School-affiliated PhD students, while fostering a sense of community within the Nicholas School.

NPAC aims to:

  • Strengthen professional and social relationships among students in Nicholas School-affiliated PhD programs (e.g. through professional development activities such as the Graduate Afternoon Seminar).
  • Advocate for the academic and professional interests of Nicholas School-affiliated PhD students.
  • Provide support to program administrators for PhD student needs (e.g. Nicholas School PhD student orientation).
  • Provide representation for Nicholas School-affiliated PhD students to other administrative and advocacy groups (e.g. Nicholas School faculty meetings, Duke Graduate and Professional Student Council).