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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Nathan J Mantua
SMA 585
Seattle Campus

Climate Impacts on the Pacific Northwest

Knowledge of past/future patterns of climate to improve Pacific Northwest resource management. Topics include the predictability of natural/human-caused climate changes; past societal reactions to climate impacts on water, fish, forest, and coastal resources; how climate and public policies interact to affect ecosystems and society. Offered: jointly with ATM S/ESS/ENVIR 585; Sp.

Class description

Course Goals

In this course, students will:

Understand the multi-faceted context surrounding regional resource management decisions

Examine resource management practices from a "climate perspective"

Identify the causes of societal vulnerability and sensitivity to climate variations

Suggest strategies for increasing societal resilience to climate variations

Work across traditional disciplinary boundaries in order to tackle current real-world environmental policy/management issues.

Course Objectives

As a result of this course, students will be able to:

Identify and diagram (using the Kaje system) the impacts of ENSO, PDO, and climate change on PNW climate, water resources, forests, fish, coasts, and associated human systems and characterize the associated uncertainties.

Locate up-to-date information on climate forecasts, resource forecasts, climate change projections, and climate change impacts.

Recognize trade-offs inherent in natural resource management, especially concerning the impacts of climate variability and change.

Identify the steps necessary for characterizing the decision making environment around a natural resource issue.

Propose an avenue for increasing the use of climate-related information in planning and/or management (generally, and in a specific context) that recognizes and accounts for current understanding of the decision making framework, as well as the uncertainties associated with the climate information.

Demonstrate the ability to communicate complex scientific information, without compromising accuracy, to (a) scientists in other disciplines and (b) lay people.

Identify the features of a productive discussion and lead others in a productive discussion.

Use the Kaje system to create conceptual maps of complex topics.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Lectures and in-class discussions.

Recommended preparation

There are no pre-requisites for this course. The material is appropriate for advanced undergraduates and graduate students with a background in resource policy or natural sciences.

Class assignments and grading

Leading an in-class discussion, weekly essay assignments, and a final white paper and in-class presentation.

Preparation and participation in discussions, leading discussions, weekly essay assignments, and a final white paper assignment and in-class presentation.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
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Last Update by Nathan J Mantua
Date: 03/26/2004