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

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Climate Change Solutions - Course Descriptions

StudentsThe climate change solutions area creates opportunities for students to study and engage in solutions to global climate change. Course options range from studies of clean energy technology and sustainable business to internships and other applied coursework that engages students in solutions to climate change. Students choose six credits from the following courses, with at least one course taken in category A, which requires practical application.

Category A

Climate Change: Internship/Service Learning, CCS 398, 2-4 cr. Offered spring. Prereq. consent of instructor. This course gives students an opportunity to gain hands-on, "real world" experience working with a local, regional, national or international group to address climate change. Students gain supervised, practical work experience with specific projects and organizations; create a network of professional contacts; and have opportunity to apply ideas and approaches studied in the Climate Change Studies minor. Internship options are made available mid-November for student selection and typically involve six hours of work during the spring semester.

Climate Change Practicum, CCS 391, 2-4 cr. Offered autumn and spring. Prereq. consent of instructor. Students design and implement a capstone project involving creative solutions to climate change. Project proposal, narrative activity log, documentary report, and public presentation required. Honors credit available.

Environmental Citizenship, ENST 476, 3 cr (Environmental Studies). Offered spring. Open to juniors and seniors only or by permission of instructor. Develops environmental citizenship through student-initiated projects informed by principles of social marketing. Students will work in small teams and choose from two types of environmental citizenship projects that support: (1) environmentally responsible (sustainable) choices and behaviors of individuals; or (2) sustainable policies or programs of the university, local government, or business.

Energy Internship, NRGY 298, 2 cr (Energy Technology). Offered every term. Same as CCS 298. Prereq., M 121, and consent of instructor. Extended classroom experience providing practical application of classroom learning through on the job training in a student's field of study. This experience increases student skills, prepares them for initial employment, and increases occupational awareness and professionalism.

Category B

WindmillIntroduction to Sustainable Energy II, NRGY 102, 3 cr (Energy Technology). Offered spring at the Missoula College campus, largely on-line course. Same as CCS 102. This course is a survey of renewable energy systems and technologies. The course addresses the physical and technical aspects of wind, solar, geothermal, hydro, tidal, biological, and wave energy systems. Consideration is also given to the engineering, economic, social, environmental, and political factors that determine implementation and sustainability. Spring only.

Issues in Sustainability, BGEN 160S, 3 cr (Business: General). Offered autumn and spring at the Missoula College campus, either on-line or lecture-based. Same as CCS 160S. This literature-intensive course is intended to expose the student to a variety of essays addressing the balance of economic development with the principles of sustainability and social equity. The student is offered an introduction to sustainability concepts, natural systems/cycles and environmental economics. Natural capitalism and triple bottom line maximization is explored, along with the role of corporations and small businesses in sustainable development. A survey of issues surrounding corporate social responsibility and sustainability-driven innovation will be conducted.

Sustainable Cities, GPHY 421, 3 cr (Geography). Offered autumn. This 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?


Climate Change Field Studies, CCS 352, 3 cr. Offered summer. This is a twelve-day interdisciplinary field course focused on climate change impacts and adaptation in the Crown of the Continent. Through site visits and meetings with key decision-makers, students gain knowledge of projected impacts to the region due to climate change (water availability, wildfire, beetle kill, biodiversity), the impacts to various sectors of human society (land management, food and water security, economic stability, and livelihoods), and different mitigation and adaptation responses. Course registration through Continuing Education—see Nicky Phear for application.

Student looking at the mountainsCycle the Rockies: Energy and Climate Change in Montana, NRSM 321, 3 cr (Natural Resources Science Management) and ENST 311, 3 cr (Environmental Studies). Offered summer through the Wild Rockies Field Institute. This course takes place on a 4-week, 700 mile bicycle tour of Montana. Students traverse the state while studying the ecological, social, and economic issues associated with energy production and use. Montana offers prime examples of current energy production facilities, from traditional fossil fuel energy sites to wind, solar, geothermal, biofuels, and hydroelectric power. This course examines the effects of energy production and climate change while meeting with people deeply involved in energy and climate issues. Course registration through Continuing Education—contact the Wild Rockies Field Institute for more information and an application.

Energy Practicum, NRGY 195, 2 cr (Energy Technology). Offered summer only. Prereq., NRG 101, or consent of instructor. Prereq. or coreq., M121. The practicum provides students with a hands-on field experience in developing a novel energy technology. Students will work in teams to design, build, and test energy technologies of their choosing. In addition to promoting creativity and task completion, this course increases students’ occupational awareness and professionalism by exposing them to local energy industry leaders and giving them the opportunity to present their work to their peers.


Climate Change Effects and Adaptation in the Mekong Delta, NRSM/GPHY/ANTY/ENST 395, 3 cr. Offered wintersession in Vietnam, convenes with NRSM 395, Society, Economy and Environment of 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.