Jody W Deming
GEN ST 197
Small-group discussion with faculty representing a wide spectrum of academic disciplines. Topics and approaches vary. Instructor may introduce research techniques or findings, concentrate on readings in his/her area of interest, or illustrate problems and alternatives related to the study of a particular academic discipline. Credit/no-credit only. Offered: AWSp.
The Arctic Ocean is undergoing remarkably rapid changes, beyond all predictions, as a result of global warming. The continuing loss of sea ice, at a rate of 72,000 square kilometers (28,000 square miles) per year, means that all forms of ice-dependent life, from microbes to polar bears, will be challenged to adapt to new conditions or face extinction. In this seminar, we will explore the past, present and future of Arctic change and its impacts on organisms, ecosystems, and human society. The instructor's experiences aboard icebreaking vessels, as recently as this winter as part of the International Polar Year, will provide context for exploring the changing Arctic.
Student learning goals
Realize the importance of interdisciplinary thought and deed.
Realize the importance of international collaboration in science.
Recognize the differences between conclusions drawn from observations versus models
Recognize the differences between media and scientific treatment of information.
Think critically about how actions in one part of the planet affect remote locations, in terms of the environment, its ecosystems and the people dependent on them
Have sufficient knowledge of the Arctic to follow events into the future, regardless of your undergraduate major.
General method of instruction
Weekly discussion periods, prefaced by instructor-provided information
Curiosity and a willingness to read
Class assignments and grading
Reading between discussion periods (of selected scientific works and of media reports), active participation in those discussion periods
Credit/no credit only