Susan Kaspari: Using Understanding Our Changing Climate in Climate Variability and Climate Change at Central Washington University
About this CourseUpper division and graduate students. Students were from geological sciences, environmental sciences, and biology.
Kaspari GEOL 441_541 syllabus (Acrobat (PDF) 199kB Jul8 19)
This module was used in an upper division- graduate level Geoscience course. The stakeholder analysis was conducted as a jigsaw activity with three groups conducting the stakeholder analysis for the Maldives, Bangladesh, and Southern California. The groups then presented to the class on the impacts and options for mitigating sea level rise. Ran as a jigsaw activity, the students saw the stark difference in the impacts of sea level rise on Bangladesh and Maldives in contrast to Southern California. This led to an interesting and lively conversation about who is causing climate change and sea level rise, who is being most impacted, and who is responsible for mitigating the impacts of climate change. Working with the data in subsequent units gave the students a variety of surprising insights into the way to climate-ice-water system behaves.
My Experience Teaching with GETSI MaterialsI conducted Unit 1 as a jigsaw activity. Units 2 and 3 I conducted as presented. Unit 4 I modified so that the students focussed exclusively on the GPS data, and didn't use the GPS detrended data.
Relationship of GETSI Materials to my Course
The course is 10 weeks (quarter system). The module was implemented in Weeks 6 and 7. Prior to that, we had covered the Earth's Radiation Budget, Ocean-Atmosphere Circulation, Reconstructing Climate and Natural Climate Change, Anthropogenic Climate Change, and Observed Changes. We then transitioned to this module for the following two weeks.
AssessmentsI used the assessments that we had created when developing the module. A challenge was transferring the modules over to Canvas. I've provided some feedback on the assessments as we have been going through revisions. I did not receive much feedback from the students on the assessments.
OutcomesThe two greatest outcomes of the module are:
- The module puts a face to climate change and sea level rise. For many students sea level rise is somewhat abstract. Through the stakeholder analysis and stakeholder memo, students gained a much broader view of how sea level rise is impacting key stakeholders, and the challenges in mitigating sea level rise.
- Many students were not well informed about the causes of sea level rise. Using geodetic data, the students discover the relative contributions of thermal expansion, glacier and ice mass loss, and changes in land water storage to sea level rise. Many students were surprised by the results.