GEOG W 8: Living with Global Warming

Course Details

GEOG W 8 meets the General Education (GE) requirement in Area C and also the University writing requirements.

The current course, GEOG W 8, has three main objectives:

  • To provide students with opportunities to discover the complex relationships involved in Global Warming and its physical as well as geopolitical, economic social and environmental consequences.

  • To provide students with opportunities to examine the influence of humans and their activities on climate.

  • To introduce students to the concept of Climate Modeling and initiate them to this approach through the use of a variety of modeling tools.

Interactive Webinars (required attendance 75% of the time) – Meet Monday through Thursday

Reading assignments and submissions before each lecture - Students must read the material from the book or on-line pertaining to the upcoming lecture topic. They must then submit some answers to questions posed on the class website. These submissions count for 10%of the final grade.

In-class discussions (on-line) - discussions in pairs about graphics presented, controversial topics, looking at different sides of issues

There is a weekly lab with varying lab assignments due one week from the date they are assigned. There is a total of 9 labs, counting for 30% of the final grade. The activities in this lab involved the use of a 1-D radiative transfer model (SBDART) developed as a research tool by the instructor and her research team (Ricchiazzi et al., 1998) around which she has developed a user-friendly click and point user interface. This model allows students to explore how the Earth radiation components vary with various forcing (e.g., greenhouse gases, aerosol). Results from a 3-D model are used to explore feedback processes. Human impacts (population, energy usage, energy type) are also explored with a third modeling element (HIDES). These labs count for 20% of the final grade.

To fulfill the writing requirements of this course, students must write four editorials. Guidelines on how to write an editorial are provided. These essays count for 20% of the final grade.

The mid-term has two components, an SBDART experimentdone as a pair and counting for 5%of the final grade and an on-line testcounting for 20% of the final grade.

The final exam also has two components, a 5-7 page papers done in pair describing research and analysis carried out on a particular topic. The research should include methods learned in the lab and provide the connections with the theory learned in lectures. This paper will count for 20% of the final grade. The second component done individually will be a concept map and will count for 5%of the final grade

Reading Material
Book used in support of the class: Climate Change– What the science tells us by Charles Fletcher - Editor Wiley (2013). Other required reading material will be available on-line.

Office Hours
The instructor and TA's will answer students' e-mails, hold live chats with students during online office hours and threaded discussion forums on Gaucho Space. The instructor and TA will hold live online chats with students using the Adobe Connect software. The schedule of these sessions will be posted on GauchoSpace.

Thank you for your interest in this course. This search result is from a tentative course list. The course shown may not be offered this summer. Please see the Schedule of Classes in early April for the final course list.