Join Terrascope!

How to join:

Rank Terrascope as your first choice on the MIT Advising Application here and you are good to go! Form open from June 1st – June 15th!


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Class of 2025 — Moving Stuff Around

Can long-distance transport be made sustainable and equitable?

Our daily lives are built on the global transport of freight—from raw materials to consumer goods—by sea, land and air, a process that involves significant emission of greenhouse gases and that can harm communities near transport hubs. We often hear about the “First Mile” and the “Last Mile” of the transport chain, but the effects of the “Middle Many Miles” can be much greater. Your task will be to develop sustainable, equitable alternatives to current methods and systems of long-range transport, and to estimate the potential impact of your solutions.

Shipping vessel sailing through a canal
Aerial view of a rail yard
Freight cargo waiting to be loaded onto an airplane

Terrascope Academic Year:

In the fall class (Subject 12.000 “Solving Complex Problems”), Terrascope students work in teams to develop solutions and present them to a panel of decision-makers and experts. In the spring semester there are two optional classes. In Subject 2.00C/1.016/EC.746 (“Design for Complex Environmental Issues”) students design and prototype specific technologies that address aspects of the problem. In Subject SP.360, “Terrascope Radio” students create a radio program that communicates their ideas to the general public.


Conditions permitting, a spring-break trip enables students to travel to see first hand the problem they have been working on all year. Students meet people who would be affected by their proposed solutions and see the problem in fuller context. The trip is a unifying experience for the entire Terrascope community, strengthening connections across generations of students and among students, faculty, staff and alumni.


Students will gain new knowledge from the Terrascope experience, but more importantly, they will emerge uniquely prepared to tackle complex problems in interdisciplinary, student-led teams.

Do you have questions?  Ask us!

Reach out to the Terrascope team:  Director, David McGee; Lecturer, Ari Epstein; and Administrator, Elise Chambers.  Feel free to email all of us at the address: terrascope [at] mit [dot] edu or call and leave a voicemail at 617-253-4074 (we’ll call you back!).