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ENVS 195 OL4 is closed to new enrollment.

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View Summer 2020 Courses

Environmental Studies: Climate: Past, Present, Future

ENVS 195 OL4 (CRN: 61975)

3 Credit Hours

For crosslists see: GEOL 195 OL1 GEOL 195 OL2 ENVS 195 OL5

About ENVS 195 OL4

If you want to understand the science behind climate – what controls it today, how it has changed in the past, and how it may change in the future - this class is for you. In this class, you will learn the science of climate, climate change, and climate prediction. You will understand how Earth’s rocks, oceans, atmosphere and vegetation influence climate and how climate changes naturally. You will appreciate the impact of people who for thousands of years were subtly altering Earth’s climate. Then came the industrial revolution and now human-induced climate changes are easily detectable and wreaking havoc with society - the result of burning of fossil fuels and wholesale land clearance. Using climate models, you’ll look into a warming world predicting the climate of Earth centuries and millennia into the future. Taken for three credits it iis a non-lab science elective fulfilling that distribution requirement with no prerequisites. Taken for four credits, it fulfills the laboratory science requirement.

Instructor

Notes

Dates: July 13 - August 7, 2020; Lecture portion of the Course; Students wishing to take the 4-credit version, with lab should sign up for ENVS 195 OL5. This section will fulfill the 3 credit natural science requirement without a laboratory. Cross listed with GEOL 195 OL1

More Information

Section URL

Section Description

Understand ocean, atmosphere, and land systems regulating Earth’s climate while learning how climate has changed over time. Discover how humans have altered Earth’s climate and how climate is likely to change in the future. Learn the impact of climate on societies through time. 3 credits, non lab (natural science); 4 credits, lab (natural science) Faculty: Paul Bierman, pbierman@uvm.edu Chris Halsted, chalsted@uvm.edu Class URL: http://www.uvm.edu/~uvmclime/ Human-induced climate change has become the most pressing environmental issue of our times. If you want to understand the science behind climate – what controls it today, how it has changed in the past, and how it may change in the future - this class is for you. In one semester, you will learn the science of climate, climate change, and climate prediction. You will understand how Earth’s rocks, oceans, atmosphere and vegetation influence climate and how climate changes naturally. You will appreciate the impact of people who for thousands of years were subtly altering Earth’s climate. Then came the industrial revolution and now human-induced climate changes are easily detectable and wreaking havoc with society - the result of burning of fossil fuels and wholesale land clearance. Using climate models, you’ll look into a warming world and predict the climate of Earth centuries and millennia into the future. Taken for 3 credits, it is a non-lab science elective fulfilling that distribution requirement. Taken for 4 credis, it fulfills the laboratory science requirement. The credit hours for both classes reflect hours of class time and hours of time reading/writing outside of class in preparation for class. For the lab class, we base the additional credit on time spent doing lab activities and preparing lab reports. Overall Learning Objectives. We have four overall goals for this class. Using a combination of lecture, demonstrations, videos, and activities (and for 4 credits, laboratories) we strive for you to: 1. Be able to explain fundamental controls on Earth’s climate including energy balance, ocean circulation, and atmospheric composition 2. Understand how and on what timescales Earth’s climate changed in the past 3. Describe and provide evidence for human impacts on the climate system 4. Predict how climate is likely to change in the future based on human impacts and what we as a global society can do to mitigate those impacts Specific Learning Objectives: For each class of the semester, we have 3-5 specific learning objectives. We will organize classes around these objectives, and we will focus class assessments (quizzes) on mastery of these learning objectives. Specific learning objectives are included in the opening slide of each lecture and can be downloaded from: http://www.uvm.edu/~uvmclime/

Section Expectation

This is a class about learning and finding out just how much fun and how interesting climate science can be. We have several simple and straightforward expectations of you as a student in this class: 1. We expect you to respect your classmates and faculty at all times when they voice opinions that may differ from yours. This is a class that could raise emotions. Please respect your peers' feelings. If you cannot conduct yourself respectfully, you will be asked to leave the on-line class. 2. We expect full attendance; attendance will figure into your grade via the key terms you will submit after each class. 3. We expect you to participate in the class by asking questions in the online discussion. We expect you to participate out of class by reading all assignments (web, podcast, book) before the class at which they are due. 4. We expect complete academic honesty. We expect that you will neither give nor receive information on the quizzes and that assignments you hand in are your own work. You will sign an honor statement for each quiz, exam and paper. Violations of this trust and our community will be handled in strictest way possible. Cheating will not be tolerated. In the past, cheating students have failed our classes, and several have been asked to leave UVM for a semester. 5. We expect you to read this class syllabus, the class schedule, and the class FAQ carefully and inform yourself about the class, the assignments, and their due dates. It is your responsibility to know what assignments are due and when. We also have high expectations of ourselves as faculty. We will come to class prepared every time with the most interesting and informative slides, videos, and demonstrations we can muster. We will have assignments graded within a week and turned back to you. We will grade as objectively and fairly as possible using rubrics that you can check. We will treat every student with respect, and we will do our best to maintain a fair and balanced learning environment in the classroom so that everyone’s opinion is valued.

Evaluation

We will use a variety of means to assign grades. Your grade will be based on weekly quizzes, your key word submission, and three summative assignmens. There are no exams. There are no make-ups and no extra credit assignments available. Quizzes 30%. Daily 10-minute quizzes will be given every day. Each quiz will cover the assignments and lecture for the day prior to the quiz (including readings, assigned webpages, and assigned podcasts). You will be allowed to drop two quizzes, either your lowest or the zero that results if you miss a quiz. There will be no make up quizzes. Quizzes will be done online. Quizzes are open book and open note and open lecture. Class Attendance 10%. We expect your attendance in all classes and will take attendance using the submission of 10 key terms per lecture on Blackboard. These need to be submitted the day you watch the lecture – they are your study guide! You will be excused for at two missed submissions. Written assignments 60%. There will be a paper at the end of the semester in which you will express yourself creatively; it will incorporate revisions of several paragraph-length essays you will write at the end of the first three sections of the course – you will be expected to revise and meld these paragraphs into a coherent final essay. The paper will be graded both for content and for the clarity of writing. We do not grade on the basis of effort. HINT! Passing this class is simple…watch every lecture, do every reading, prepare lists of key terms, and spend the time needed to organize your ideas and study before quizzes and before you write assignments. LOGISTICS and CLASS STRUCTURE You will need reliable broadband access to succeed in this class and a computer capable of streaming video as well as doing word processing and reading webpages. There will be classes Monday-Friday for four weeks. Expect to spend about an hour listening to a lecture and perhaps 30 minutes collating key terms. Readings will take on average 1 hour a day and the quiz will take 5 minutes. Each of the four writing assignments should take several hours. Each class will begin with a statement of the learning objectives for the day. We will use a mix of lecture, video, and demos to accomplish those goals. We will post all lectures and you will be expected to view them before taking the daily quiz. We will ask you to compile and submit key terms at the end of each lecture – these will be used for attendance. These key terms will be collated and posted and make a great study tool. READINGS There is one REQUIRED book for this class and there will be a class note packet distributed to all participants. There will be on-line readings assigned for many classes. The Madhouse Effect, How Climate Change Denial Is Threatening Our Planet, Destroying Our Politics, and Driving Us Crazy, Michael E. Mann and Tom Toles, https://cup.columbia.edu/book/the-madhouse-effect/9780231177863 Other assignments will be posted to the class web site including webpages and podcasts. When assigned, these are required and will be included on the quizzes. OURS IS AN INCLUSIVE CLASSROOM We are committed to the creation of a virtual classroom where everyone will be treated with respect and dignity and where all individuals are provided equitable opportunity to participate, contribute, and succeed. All students are welcome in ENVS/GEOL 195 regardless of race/ethnicity, gender identities, gender expressions, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, disabilities, religion, regional background, Veteran status, citizenship status, nationality and other diverse identities that we each bring to class. The success of our inclusive classroom relies on the participation, support, and understanding of you and your peers. We encourage you to speak up and share your views, but also understand that you are doing so in a learning environment in which we all are expected to engage respectfully and with regard to the dignity of all others. Any student who has difficulty affording groceries or who lacks a safe and stable place to live and believes this may affect their performance in the course is urged to contact any of us who are teaching for help. If you have any questions or concerns do not hesitate to raise them with us. We are here to help you learn!

Meetings

to

Location

Online (View Campus Map)

Important Dates

Note: These dates may change before registration begins.

Deadlines
Last Day to Add
Last Day to Drop
Last Day to Withdraw with 50% Refund
Last Day to Withdraw with 25% Refund
Last Day to Withdraw

Resources

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