Global Change and YOU!
Our planet is currently undergoing a level of abiotic and biotic change that is unprecedented in recent history. There is widespread consensus in the scientific community that much of this change is anthropogenic. This course introduces students to the most recent data on climate change and inferred causes and consequences of that change. Throughout the course, we will explore the ways in which humans influence these changes and also the ways in which these changes will impact humans. The focus of the course is on the science of climate change, namely the carbon cycle, human energy consumption, food production, water use, and population growth and how they are linked to biodiversity loss and social justice issues such as unequal access to resources, differential impacts of climate change around the world, and climate refugees. We will examine the impacts of climate change on the personal, interpersonal, community, institutional, and global levels. Students will leave this course with an understanding of the issues of climate change, its drivers and impacts, and better equipped to have hard conversations about challenging issues.
We will also take two 1-day trips on two separate weekends in September or October to ecosystems close to campus to examine climate impacts on our ecosystems. Students will be evaluated via class participation, writing assignments, a final project, and presentation. Students who successfully complete this seminar will satisfy the Scientific Perspective core requirement.
Cat Cardelus is an ecologist and studies the human impacts on forest ecosystems.