SENS 245 Globl Climate Chg-Alaska (ANR)

Prerequisites: GSTR 210 and instructor permission.

"Global climate change is one of the dominant environmental challenges facing the human species. While effects of changes are apparent worldwide, the rate of warming and the magnitude of associated physical and biological effects are greatest in the arctic and subarctic regions. Alaska thus provides clear examples of climate change trends and effects, while serving as a harbinger of the future of lower latitude regions.
This course begins with several days of intensive study of basic climate science and an introduction to the natural history of Alaska. The class then flies to Fairbanks, Alaska to begin three weeks of travel and study including observations of the current effects of climate change (e.g., receding glaciers, melting permafrost, methane releases from lakes, and forest death). Conversations with naturalists, regulatory officials, indigenous leaders, politicians, and other stakeholders will illustrate the diversity of opinions regarding the proper societal responses to climate change. The course will include discussion of coastal/marine changes on the Kenai Peninsula, and inland changes at Wrangell-St. Elias and Denali national parks. "


1 Course Credit