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2014 course offerings that will apply toward a Climate Change Studies minor

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Climate Change and Society - Course Descriptions

The climate change and society area provides students with the opportunity to evaluate the social, political, economic, and ethical dimensions of climate change on the local, national, and international levels.

farmerClimate Change Ethics and Policy, NRSM 449E, 3 cr (Natural Resources Science Management). Offered fall. Same as ENST 449E and CCS 449E. This course focuses on the ethical dimensions of climate change policy. It will cover the following major topics: (1) climate change, personal and collective responsibilities, (1) ethics, climate change and scientific uncertainty, (2) distributive justice and international climate change negotiations, (3) intergenerational justice and climate change policy.

Climate and Clean Energy Policy, ENST 367/CCS 395. Offered spring. This course provides an in-depth introduction to climate and clean energy policy processes at various levels of government.  Although the focus of the course will be primarily domestic, i.e., students will examine local, state, tribal, regional and federal climate policies and programs, some attention will be devoted to the international governance. The course will use a policy process framework for students to understand and analyze policy approaches for addressing and responding to global climate change, including policies to promote the development of so-called clean energy, mitigation and adaptation strategies, and policy formulation and implementation processes. 

Communication, Consumption, and Climate, COMM 379, 3 cr (Communication Studies). Offered spring. (professor on sabbatical and course will not be taught spring 2015). Analyzes consumption as a communication practice, investigates discourses that promote consumption, and explores how communication shapes perception of consumptionís climate impacts.

Climate and Society, NRSM 426, 3 cr (Natural Resources Science Management). Offered spring odd numbered years. This course examines the social, economic, and political aspects of climate change, with a focus on both international and domestic processes and examples. Students will explore the social aspects of climate change at multiple scales, from individual behavior to global governance. The course will draw on multiple disciplinary perspectives within the social sciences to examine the socioeconomic impacts of climate change, and the social and political sides of mitigation and adaptation. The course provides a window into the complex interactions between scales, actors, and society and environment.

Environmental Sociology, SOCI 470, 3 cr (Sociology). Offered fall. This course introduces a subfield of sociology, namely, the interconnectedness of society and the environment or how people influence, and are influenced by, environmental conditions. We examine this interconnectedness from the perspective of people not only as individuals but as social institutions and social movements. In doing so, we explore both micro-level factors, such as beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors, as well as macro-level factors, such as the distribution of political and economic power and cultural social control. As a 400-level course that focuses on many complex environmental social problems, especially climate change, this course is reading intensive.

International Environmental Economics and Climate Change, ECNS 445 3 cr (Economics). Offered autumn even numbered years. Same as CCS 445. Prereq., ECNS 201S (microeconomics). Students will be introduced to the economics of various policy approaches towards climate change and other international environmental issues such as trans-boundary pollution problems, international trade and the environmental, and the pollution haven hypothesis.

talking to a farmerSustainable Climate Policies: China and the USA, PSCI 324, 3 cr (Political Science). Offered summer, first session (not 2014). Same as CCS 324. Open to Juniors and Seniors only. Explores historic, current, and future greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions of the United States and China, reasons why both are the two largest CO2 emitters, and prevailing national and subnational government policies and nongovernmental actions that affect emissions mitigation and adaptation. The principal constraints on and opportunities for policy change in both countries will be identified and critically analyzed within a climate-stabilization and issue-bundling framework. Attention to improved and feasible local, regional, national, or transnational GHG-mitigation or climate-change adaptation policies.

Sustainable Cities, GPHY 421 3 cr (Geography). Offered spring. The course is a discussion of sustainability efforts in cities around the world. Topics include, for example, urban sprawl and smart growth, alternative energy, public transportation, integrated waste management, integrated water management, green architecture, and urban forestry and agriculture. We will discuss how sustainable cities of today are, and how serious they take the concept of urban sustainability. We will cover examples such as Amsterdam, Austin, Beijing, Berlin, Chattanooga, Chicago, Copenhagen, Curitiba, Portland, San Francisco, Santa Fe, and Seattle. We will also discuss experiments of sustainable urban design such as Arcosanti, Masdar, and New Urbanism. Facing the problems of current urban environments, we have to find an answer to the questions: what is the future of our cities, and is there a model for a sustainable city? What about our dreams, but what about reality?


Society, Economy and Environment of the Mekong Delta, NRSM/GPHY/ANTY/ENST 395, 3 cr. Offered wintersession in Vietnam, convenes with NRSM 395 Climate Change Effects and Adaptation in the Mekong Delta. Integrated together, these two, three-credit courses make the six credit Vietnam study abroad program. The goal of the program is to explore the Mekong Delta as a case study of potential social, economic and environmental impacts of climate change in a tropical, developing country context. Adaptation strategies and mitigation opportunities will be emphasized, and comparisons will be made with the North American context. Visit here for more information.