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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Jody W Deming
GEN ST 197
Seattle Campus

Freshman Seminar

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.

Class description

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

Recommended preparation

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


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.
Last Update by Jody W Deming
Date: 03/03/2008