Bruce Douglas: Using Understanding Our Changing Climate in EAS A476 CLIMATE CHANGE SCIENCE at Indiana University-Bloomington
About this CourseUpper division course intended for majors within the department as well as students from other science majors.
The Understanding Our Changing Climate module provided a deep plunge into sea level change, a subject matter commonly discussed with only passing details of the real societal impact. The GETSI module was used within a climate change science course that covered a traditional range of topics that provided a general framework for the module. The module was taught over a two-week interval following the mid-term exam and provided a change in the routine of the course. The material was presented by a guest faculty member as the module was not part of the normal topics included in the course.
The change in classroom routine also allowed for extensive time to be dedicated to the plotting, analysis and interpretation of a range of geodetic data that provided complementary views of ice mass loss from the Greenland ice sheet.
My Experience Teaching with GETSI MaterialsThe module was used essentially as designed with only minor modifications to address the relatively short class meeting times. With only limited class time more of the work had to be done outside of class. This was addressed by making sure the students knew how to approach each of the required calculations or plots so they would be able to work independently to complete each of the units.
Relationship of GETSI Materials to my Course
As a result of course scheduling, the Understanding Our Changing Climate module was used as an insert into a course being taught by another faculty member from the same department. The course material in the course titled Climate Change Science provided an excellent survey of appropriate background material (e.g. global circulation patterns, temperature distributions, Milankovitch Cycles and solar radiation and wavelengths, El, Nino, sunspots, aerosols, albedo and land use, and the Hydrologic Cycle) within which to teach the Changing Climate module. The students spent 9 weeks on the regularly scheduled material followed by a mid-term exam. At this point the next two weeks were spent working through the Changing Climate module. The Stakeholder report that is the culmination of unit 5 was assigned to be turned in during the last week of the semester. This two-week interval coincided with the material being covered in the normal schedule of the course that focused on various portions of IPCC Reports.