Course Modules and Materials

Part of the InTeGrate Gustavus Adolphus College Program Model

Modules Developed to be Embedded in Pre-existing Courses

Below is a list of the teaching materials developed and faculty and courses involved with developing and implementing those new teaching materials as part of the project. The modules ranged from 50 minutes to 2 hours (two class periods), and were embedded within courses in nine different departments.

The Economics of Climate Change: An Introduction (Economics/Management)

Course: Introduction to Macroeconomics
Instructors: Rita Ray (Economics/Management) & Laura Triplett (Geology)
Course Level: 100
Module: Introducing the economic concept of 'tragedy of the commons' using global warming
The host instructor's goals were to: 1) introduce diversity of topics and research in Economics (i.e., "it's not just about making and managing money"), 2) introduce concept of tragedy of the commons, and 3) explore effects of climate change on economic activities of developed and developing countries. This module consists of readings for students to do before class, lecture and activities during one 1-hour class period, and some follow-up in a subsequent class period.

Scientific Debate and the Nature of Certainty (Religion or Philosophy)

Course: Faith, Religion & Culture
Instructors: Mary Gaebler (Religion) & Laura Triplett (Geology)
Course Level: 100
Module: Scientific Debate and the Nature of Certainty
The host instructor's goals were to: 1) explore how scientific knowledge is similar to/different than other kinds of knowledge, 2) explore how different people identify and react to a moral imperative, and 3) have students consider how they themselves would identify and react to a moral imperative. This module consisted of readings for students to do before class, lecture and activities during two 1-hour class periods, and a choice to write a term paper on the subject of climate change.

Monsoons, Climate Change and the People of the Sahel (Anthropology)

Course: Nomadic Cultures
Instructors: Annika Ericksen (Anthropology) and Jim Dontje (Environmental Studies)
Course Level: 100
Module: Monsoons in a Changing Climate

The host instructor's goals were to 1) explore how the monsoon rains 'work' in general and, specifically, in the African Sahel, 2) explore how changes in the monsoon are related to climate feedbacks, and 3) illustrate the effect of monsoon changes on the people who live in the Sahel and political stability of the region. Students prepared for the lesson through readings done before class. The lesson (50-80 minutes) includes a presentation and a class discussion.

Climate Change and Migratory Behavior: What does Climate Change Mean for the Monarch? (Psychological Sciences)

Course: Introduction to Neuroscience
Instructors: Mike Ferragamo and Jan Wotton (Psych. Sciences) and Julie Bartley (Geology)
Course Level: 200
Module: Climate Change and Migratory Behavior

The host instructors' goals were to 1) explore the relationship between climate and migration, 2) to describe climate projections, their basis, and associated uncertainty, and 3) to discuss the effects of substantial climate change (climate departure) on migratory behavior of the monarch butterfly. Prior to class, students learned about the neuroscientific basis of migratory behavior in monarch butterflies. The lesson (50 minutes) was an interactive lecture that assessed students' prior knowledge about climate change, introduced the idea of climate departure, and culminated in a discussion of possible effects on monarch butterflies.

Exercise in a Warmer World: Climate Change and Consequences (Health & Exercise Science)

Course: Personal Fitness
Instructors: Bonnie Reimann and others (Health & Exercise Science) and Jim Dontje (Environmental Studies)
Course Level: 100
Module: Exercise in a Changing Climate

The host instructor's goals were to 1) consider ways in which human health and exercise are linked to climate, 2) establish some basic climate literacy. The lesson (30 minutes) includes a pre-recorded video available to students online, and questions they answer afterward.

A Sense of Place & Environment in Virginia Woolf's Orlando (English)

Course: British Literature I
Instructors: Deborah Downs-Miers (English) and Michele Koomen (Education)
Course Level: 100
Module: Global Climate Change: Orlando: A Biography by Virginia Woolf

The host instructor's goals were to 1) consider whether 'nature' (or climate) is a character in the novel, 2) teach about observations of climate change through phenology 3) analyze the importance of climate setting in the author's experience of and portrayal of the place. Students prepared for the lesson through reading Orlando before class. The lesson (50-80 minutes) includes a presentation and a class discussion.

Climate Change & Social Justice: Case Studies from Other Countries (Religion)

Course: Religion & Ecology
Instructors: Deborah Goodwin and Chris Johnson (Religion) and Jeff La Frenierre (Geography)
Course Level: 100
Module: Global Climate Change: Understanding the Science / Understanding the Impacts

The host instructor's goals were to 1) explore the evidence for and mechanism of climate change, 2) Discuss the impacts of warming, 3) discuss the reasons for and answers to widespread societal distrust of the conclusions of climate science, and 4) through case studies, describe the particular impacts of climate change on humans living in vulnerable regions. This mini-module was divided into two 50-minute class sessions - the first addressed the evidence for and science of climate change; the second addressed the human and societal impacts of the consequences of climate change.

Climate Change and the Arctic (Scandinavian Studies)

Course: Nordic Colonialisms
Instructors: Ursula Lindqvist (Scandinavian Studies), Jeff Jeremiason (Chemistry) and Julie Bartley (Geology)
Course Level: 100
Module: Climate Change and the Arctic

The host instructor's goals were to 1) describe and explain the changes occurring in the arctic and the local and global impacts of these changes, and 2) explore the impacts of these changes on people and ecology of the arctic region, with particular attention to the impacts on reindeer and the indigenous peoples of the arctic. In this 50-minute lesson, students engaged in an active lecture format that introduced them to key concepts of feedback and the mechanisms of climate change, as well as the reasons for accelerated warming in arctic regions. The end of the 50-minute session introduced the particular challenges for Nordic indigenous peoples. Students in this course would continue this discussion beyond this introductory lesson.

The Rhetorical Role of the Environment and the End of the World in Sci-Fi (English)

Course: Science Fiction
Instructors: Deborah Downs-Miers (English) and Laura Triplett (Geology)
Course Level: 200

The host instructor's goals were to 1) analyze the rhetorical role of environmental doomsday scenarios in sci-fi novels 2) explore how authors portray 'the human condition' through environmental catastrophe, and 3) teach some climate literacy principles while leaving students with a sense of hope. Students prepared for the lesson through readings done before class. The lesson (50-80 minutes) includes guided class discussions.

Scientific Certainty and Climate Departures (Biology)

Course: Vertebrate Biology
Instructors: Jon Grinnell (Biology) and Tom Huber (Physics)
Course Level: 300
Module: Teaching Scientific Certainty: Climate Change and Impact on Biodiversity

The host instructor's goals were to 1) describe scientific certainty and the role of expert analysis in understanding natural phenomena, and 2) to explore the idea of climate departure as a framework for understanding ecological change, particularly in vertebrates of North America. The 50-minute lesson introduced a unit on vertebrate range and ecology that culminated in students assessing the likely threat to a vertebrate in a particular region, using the climate departure framework as a starting point.

How to Move Past Hopelessness to Action (Geology)

Course: Global Climate Change
Instructors: Laura Triplett (Geology) and Mary Gaebler (Religion)
Course Level: 200

The host instructor's goals were to 1) explain the different kinds of knowledge, 2) help students analyze what their 'ultimate concern' is and why they care about climate change, and 3) help students develop a sense of hope and agency in the face of grim climate projections. The lesson (45 minutes) includes a lecture and class discussion.