Climate Change Ecology
PBIO 275 (3 credits)

23 May to 17 June 2022; Asynchronous
Instructor: Brian Beckage (Brian.Beckage@uvm.edu)
Office Hours (remote by appointment)



Course Description


Course Goals


Grading


Readings


Videos


Schedule



----> GETTING STARTED <----



Course Description

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Global Change Ecology will provide an introductory survey of global climate change: its causes, mechanisms, and impacts. We will consider a wide range of concepts including the physics of climate change, impacts on ecological communities, and human drivers of climate change. We place global climate change in the broader context of the Earth system, and will adopt a systems approach to understanding climate change.


Course Goals

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    Course objectives

  1. The student will be able to list and describe the natural and human drivers of climate change.
  2. The student will be able to describe the primary ecological impacts of climate change and analyze how these ecological impacts can feed back to the climate system.
  3. The student will be able to apply a systems perspective to analyzing the relationships between the human, natural, climate components of the Earth system.

Class Structure. Students will achieve class objectives through readings, videos, and online discussions. Readings will be from the course texts, scientific papers, and online sources. Students will be assessed using exercises, quizzes, online discussions, and a final exam.

  1. Readings. Students will complete assigned readings and participate in discussion of reading materials.

  2. Videos. We will watch a variety of videos that reinforce and supplement the assigned readings. These will include full length documentaries, and shorter video presentations. The online discussions and assigned exercises will integrate material from the readings and videos.

  3. Exercises. Students will complete assigned exercises that reinforce concepts presented in the readings and videos.

  4. Assessments Quizzes will assess student understanding of assigned readings and videos. A final exam will be cumulative.


Grading

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Student grades will be based on the following components:

Grading for Undergraduate students

Grading for Graduate students

  1. Participation in discussions through Yellowdig: 25% of course grade.
  2. Exercises on assigned materials: 20% of course grade.
  3. Quizzes on assigned materials: 25% of course grade.
  4. Final exam: 30% of course grade.
  1. Participation in discussions through Yellowdig: 25% of course grade.
  2. Exercises on assigned materials: 15% of course grade.
  3. Quizzes on assigned materials: 20% of course grade.
  4. Final exam: 30% of course grade.
  5. Research paper: 10% of course grade.

Readings

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Students will also be assigned readings from the following set of books (below). These books will be required for this class and are available in the university bookstore or as otherwise noted below.

  1. Rosenblum,Erica Bree. Global Change Biology. 2021. 416 pages, 12 chapters. Link to book
  2. Hannah,Lee. Global Change Biology, Third Edition. 2022. 481 pages, 22 chapters over 7 sections. Link to book
  3. Emanuel, K., 2018. What we know about climate change. MIT Press. ISBN: 9780262535915 Link to book.
  4. Meadows, D.H., 2008. Thinking in systems: A primer. Chelsea Green Publishing. ISBN: 9781603580557. Link to book on Amazon.
  5. Krauss, Lawrence M. 2021. The Physics of Climate Change. Kindle version available on 26 Jan 2021; hardcopy available in early Feb. Link to book on Amazon.


Videos

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We will watch a variety of documentaries and other videos. These include

  1. An Inconvenient Truth (97 mins)
  2. The Great Global Warming Swindle (74 mins)
  3. A Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash (83 mins)
  4. Planet of the Humans (100 mins)

GETTING STARTED

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  1. Review the course objectives and course texts above.
  2. Go to the course Schedule
  3. Start Module 1 by watching the introductory video, then complete the assigned tasks for that module, moving from left to right, ending with a quiz.
  4. Complete 2 modules per week. After completing module 8 at the end of week 8, take the final exam. If you are taking the class for graduate credit, then you must turn in a research report in addition to the final exam.