The earth’s climate affects practically every physical, ecological, and biological system on the planet. The increasing occurrence of irregular climate patterns as a result of greenhouse gas emissions coming from human-generated activity means uncertain changes in precipitation amounts, storm frequency and intensity, and temperature ranges. These changes in turn affect local weather patterns, seasonal shifts, growing seasons and conditions, ice melt rates and amounts, sea and air temperatures, incubation and gestation rates, migration patterns, disease patterns, and any other number of variables we as a global society have come to anticipate and have built into our planning calculus.
Mitigation of further climate changing activity is possible and necessary with strong leadership and decisive action, but adaptation to changing conditions is critical, as the time to avoid change has passed. Building resilience into cities, systems, and institutions has become the call for action and demands an incredible amount of collaboration across organizational and functional boundaries. CLiGS is exploring and advancing innovative strategies being implemented to build climate resilience domestically and around the world.
NR 5114 Global Issues in Natural Resources (3 credits)
The purpose of this course is to build competencies in sustainability professionals to think globally about sustainability challenges and their career, to situate their own professional work in a global context, to better understand sustainability situations and tools for examining them, and to practice team/collaborative project management and problems solving skills. The course is organized into 4 broad areas of focus: the global Anthropocene, sustainability case analysis, leadership, and cultural competencies. This course is designed to support the International Field Experience (IFE) scheduled for the same semester.
NR 5884 Climate Adaptation (3 credits)
NEW FOR FALL 2019! This course enables students to develop adaptation plans at varying geographic and temporal scales built around an understanding of the key components of vulnerability: the sensitivity, exposure, and adaptive capacity of natural and human systems. These key drivers of climate vulnerability will be used, along with socio-political and policy analysis, to develop adaptation plans that are informed by science, policy, and societal considerations. Throughout the course, we will tackle the importance of characterizing and incorporating uncertainty (epistemic, stochastic, and response uncertainty) into our adaptation planning and we will explore risk informed decision-making under conditions of uncertainty. We will also examine our understanding of the limits of adaptation and how adaptation opportunities will be constrained under various climate change scenarios.
- Paul F. Wagner
- Offered: Coming Soon
NR 5884 Climate Change Policy (3 credits)
This course focuses on institutional responses to climate change at the international, national and sub-national levels, including the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Kyoto Protocol, and U.S. climate policymaking under the Clean Air Act and state and regional initiatives. Both mitigation and adaptation approaches will be addressed, as well as climate geoengineering.
NR 5884 Climate Change Science (3 credits)
As average global temperatures continue to rise, it is imperative to not only understand the science behind climate change, but also its potential ramifications and impacts. Using scientific research, this course begins by exploring the why, how, and when behind climate change. Contemporary readings will be used to spark discussion and debate surrounding the potential implications of climate change, with topics ranging from natural disasters to human health. The course will culminate in a “Congressional Briefing” students will prepare synthesizing their knowledge of the subject, as well as proposing a political solution.
NR 5884 Coastal & Marine Systems (3 credits)
Approximately 3 billion people, or half of the world’s population, live within 200 kilometers of a coastline. That figure is projected to increase dramatically by 2025. Coastal areas represent complex socio-ecological systems that provide valuable ecosystem services to people and the planet, but these ecosystems are under increasing stress with growing coastal urbanization and other anthropocentric impacts and demands. Coastal management is concerned with protecting, conserving, and managing coasts and coastal resources and requires an interdisciplinary approach to understanding and negotiating often-competing interests. In this course, we will be exploring the socio-ecological systems that comprise coastal areas or zones, as well as the pressures affecting their health and resilience. We will then examine some strategies being developed around the world to manage coastal areas for social, economic, and environmental sustainability.
NR 5884 International Environmental Law & Policy (3 credits)
International environmental law has been perhaps the most dynamic sector of international law over the past 30 years, growing from a mere handful of agreements 30 years ago, focused primarily on pollution of the marine environment and the conservation of migratory birds and marine mammals, to over 700 agreements today, addressing a multitude of serious environmental issues, including depletion of the climate change, ozone layer, regulation of trade in endangered species and prevention of transboundary air pollution. Additionally, there has been steadily increasing impetus for expanding the purview of international environmental law, including causes of action for transboundary environmental harm and recognition of the rights of future generations to a healthy environment. This course will seek to provide an overview of the status of international environmental law in the 21st Century, including the sources of international law, mechanisms to assess and facilitate implementation of and compliance with international environmental law, and assessment of effectiveness of international environmental law and methods to enhance its effectiveness.
NR 5884 Landscape Systems and Strategies (3 credits)
The cumulative effects of global trends such as increasing population, expanding cities, improving living standards, accelerating climate change, shifting agriculture, and moving coastlines combine with local pressures on individual landscapes. Over the next century, these keystone processes will fundamentally alter landscapes across the globe creating new challenges for productivity, sustainability, resilience, and adaptability. Landscapes are definable frames of human activities and natural systems, ranging from highly altered, such as urban or agricultural lands, to predominately natural, such as wild or resource lands. We rely on landscape organization for essential social and ecosystem services. The imperative for sustainability requires that we develop conservation, development, and governance processes that treat landscapes with a long view. This course looks at the big picture, by examining the challenge of planning large landscapes for both the intermediate and long term. The objective is to construct a vision for unseen, yet sustainable, landscapes.
*Available in Fall, Spring, and Summer I (12 week, on odd-numbered years)
NR 5884 Transboundary Resource Management (3 credits)
Boundaries are created by humans to define ownership, sovereignty, and jurisdiction, as well as to confer rights, responsibilities, and accountability at all levels—individual, local, regional, national, and international. However, natural resource systems do not conform to and are not contained by political, cultural, and economic boundaries, causing conflicts of varying scale. This course examines transboundary resource management through diverse lenses: global markets; state power; transnational communication and transportation systems; logistics and supply systems; resource royalties; and increasingly sophisticated and complicated international and transnational legal structures. Students will improve critical and creative thinking skills, as well as gain a more nuanced understanding of cultural, social, geographic, and political contexts.
With over a billion people moving into the global middle class over the next century, India’s decisions, successes, and failures will have global consequences, making India a game-changer in the worldwide struggle for sustainable development. We will collaborate with partners to study source water protection projects in rapidly-developing Hyderabad, learn about water and sanitation in urban informal settlements, and travel to Delhi to visit with premier organizations addressing climate mitigation challenges in India.
Program Fee: 3 credit hours graduate tuition + $3300 project fee (covers lodging, in-country transportation, meals, translations services, etc.) + airfare.
IFE Travel Dates: TBA
Prerequisite: NR5114 or approval by Dr. Kieran Lindsey
- Bruce Hull
- Offered: Spring