2008-09 Catalog

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Program Description

Climate Change

CANCELLED Last Updated: 09/11/2008

Spring quarter

Faculty: EJ Zita physics, astronomy, energy, TBA environmental studies

Major areas of study include introductory chemistry, physics, astronomy, earth science, environmental studies and algebra. Lower division credit only.

Class Standing: This lower-division program is designed for 50% freshmen and 50% sophomores.

Over geologic time the Earth has experienced wide fluctuations in climate. The ice ages are one example of extreme climate change. A major factor determining global climate is the intensity of the Sun's energy reaching the Earth. However, climate changes cannot be explained by variations in solar radiation alone. The Sun's energy and its interactions with the land, oceans, and especially the atmosphere, affect the Earth's climate. Scientists agree that the Earth is currently experiencing a rapid warming trend caused by anthropogenic (human-caused) changes in the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

What are greenhouse gases? What are sources and sinks of greenhouses gases, both natural and anthropogenic? What are historical trends and causes of climate change? How much do our daily activities contribute to greenhouse gases? How can we make a difference to global warming? This program will explore such questions through activities such as lectures, discussions, workshops, student research and seminars. We will draw on primary literature whenever possible for a rigorous scientific treatment. Students should be willing to work in teams, engage in self-directed learning, use computers, and learn algebra and quantitative reasoning.

Credits: 16 per quarter

Enrollment: 46

Books: www.tescbookstore.com

Special Expenses: Up to $100 for field trips.

Program is preparatory for careers and future studies in natural science, environmental studies, science writing, public policy and education.

Planning Units: Programs for Freshmen, Environmental Studies, Scientific Inquiry

Program Revisions

Date Revision
September 11th, 2008 This program has been cancelled.