Robin Elizabeth Spayde
B CUSP 116
Addresses an important social issue through an interdisciplinary perspective; builds creative and critical skills of writing, analysis, and quantitative reasoning; and explores, through scientific methods, one aspect of the natural world. Offered: W.
This course will include a general overview of the greenhouse effect, carbon footprinting, sustainability, and the debate about anthropogenic climate change. We will cover scientific facts about global warming and the methods used to arrive at those conclusions. We will also touch on the climate policy challenges we face in an increasingly modernizing world.
Student learning goals
Calculate relative greenhouse gas impacts in the modern world.
Discuss the basis for the climate change debate; how science, modeling, and interpretation shape the arguments.
Approach arguments for or against anthropogenic climate change critically.
Present a researched, written discussion of a small component of this debate, this includes both quantitative data and qualitative description.
General method of instruction
Lecture, project workshops, and one research paper.
No prerequisites necessary. Come as you are.
Class assignments and grading
The workshop assignments will include researched activities, critical readings, and simple calculations. There may be occasional quizzes that will be weighted as a workshop scores. There will be one take-home midterm exam, and one research paper due at the end of the term.
We will construct the research paper in several graded assignments over the course of the term. We will focus on gathering information from credible sources, making connections between those sources, and using those ideas to support the student's independent thesis. This project will be on a climate topic of the student's choice, and the final draft will take the place of a final exam.
Grades are distributed between workshop/homework scores, a take-home midterm exam, and the final research paper.