Join Terrascope!

How to join:

Rank Terrascope as your first choice on the MIT Advising Application here and you are good to go! Form closes June 15th!


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Class of 2024

The Birds + The Bees: The Everyday Biodiversity Crisis

We often hear about biodiversity crises in the Amazon rainforest, the Arctic and other places far from home (for most of us). But biodiversity crises are happening all around us, from a rapid decline in songbird populations to the disappearance of bee colonies and beyond. These trends, and the ecological shifts that accompany them, have serious and far-reaching consequences. Your task will be to develop ways to understand and reverse, or at least mitigate the effects of, these important ecosystem changes.

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.

Topic Page from brochure_terra2024

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!).