What will I learn?


Applying a design lens to address global ocean threats and propose sustainable solutions.

The ocean is overexploited, underprotected, and out of mind. Marine ecosystems - on which global and human health rely - are degrading rapidly from the cumulative effects of climate change, pollution, overfishing, and habitat destruction. Multidisciplinary problem solving is required to address social, ecological, and economic dimensions and tackle today’s greatest oceans threats. In this course, you will learn to combine marine science, policy, emerging tech, empathy, and rapid experimentation.

For example you will:

  • Apply different design approaches to ocean problems that vary in scale from human centered design to systems thinking.

  • Create inclusive and diverse human systems that protect our ocean and address the intricate relationship between human society and environmental health

  • Use emerging tech on problems like illegal, unregulated, and unreported fishing

  • Scale up solutions you create using policy as a tool

This class is co-hosted by the d.school and the Center for Ocean Solutions and the teaching team has backgrounds in design, marine science, and law.

Whether you are a divemaster or have never been to the ocean, we want you to to join us!

Learn With

Teaching Team

Kevin Chand

Lesley-Ann Noel

Erika Woolsey

Tessa Forshaw


Any questions?

How can I contact the teaching team?

Email lesley@dschool.stanford.edu, kevin@dschool.stanford.edu, or erika@dschool.stanford.edu


  • Winter 2019

  • DESINST 250

  • 3 Units

  • Letter Grade or Credit/No Credit

  • T/Th 1:30 - 3:50pm

  • Studio 2


Apply by Friday, Nov 30 2018

Accepting 20-25 students.

Open to Graduate Students, Undergraduate Students, Fellows, and Post-docs.