InTeGrate Modules and Courses >Earth's Thermostat
 Earth-focused Modules and Courses for the Undergraduate Classroom
showLearn More
These materials are part of a collection of classroom-tested modules and courses developed by InTeGrate. The materials engage students in understanding the earth system as it intertwines with key societal issues. The materials are free and ready to be adapted by undergraduate educators across a range of courses including: general education or majors courses in Earth-focused disciplines such as geoscience or environmental science, social science, engineering, and other sciences, as well as courses for interdisciplinary programs.
Explore the Collection »
How to Use »

New to InTeGrate?

Learn how to incorporate these teaching materials into your class.

  • Find out what's included with each module
  • Learn how it can be adapted to work in your classroom
  • See how your peers at hundreds of colleges and university across the country have used these materials to engage their students

How To Use InTeGrate Materials »
show Download
The instructor material for this module are available for offline viewing below. Downloadable versions of the student materials are available from this location on the student materials pages. Learn more about using the different versions of InTeGrate materials »

Download a PDF of all web pages for the instructor's materials

Download a zip file that includes all the web pages and downloadable files from the instructor's materials

Summary

Climate change is one of the most critical issues facing society today. The 2013 IPCC report states that warming of the climate system is unequivocal, yet the the underlying solar, atmospheric, cryospheric, and oceanic processes governing Earth's climate remain poorly understood by the public at large. Our module seeks to bridge this gap in knowledge by helping students understand Earth's energy balance and climate, its sensitivity to changes in its drivers, and how it interacts with Earth's other systems with a data- and model-driven approach.

Strengths of the Module

  • Students work with with real geoscience data to investigate changes in Earth's climate and the factors affecting Earth's energy balance.
  • Students build a conceptual model to predict how Earth's climate would respond to a catastrophic volcanic eruption in the module capstone.
  • Students interpret and create graphs and maps of key climate variables to evaluate patterns, trends, and physical processes.
  • Students become truly engaged in group work, looking at real data, and developing stories/explanations of what the data suggest.
  • The interactive engagement encouraged by these activities make them exciting learning experiences for both students and instructor.
NGSS Logo Very Small

These materials have been reviewed for their alignment with the Next Generation Science Standards. At the top of each page, you can click on the NGSS logo to see the specific connections. Visit InTeGrate and the NGSS to learn more about the process of alignment and how to use InTeGrate materials to implement the NGSS.

NGSS in this Module

This module includes six units and an optional activity in which students use systems and systems models to develop concepts about Earth's energy balance and how it influences climate systems. Students analyze and interpret authentic data from a variety of sources to develop concept digrams, infer cause and effect, and communicate information. A final capstone project tasks students with designing a conceptual model that estimates the climatic and societal implications of a future, large scale volcanic eruption.

A great fit for courses in:

  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth Science
  • Environmental Science
  • Environmental Studies
  • Global Change
  • Meteorology
  • Physical Geography
  • Sustainability Science


Instructor Stories: How this module was adapted
for use at several institutions »



      Next Page »

Already used some of these materials in a course?
Let us know and join the discussion »

Considering using these materials with your students?
Get pointers and learn about how it's working for your peers in their classrooms »

These materials are part of a collection of classroom-tested modules and courses developed by InTeGrate. The materials engage students in understanding the earth system as it intertwines with key societal issues. The collection is freely available and ready to be adapted by undergraduate educators across a range of courses including: general education or majors courses in Earth-focused disciplines such as geoscience or environmental science, social science, engineering, and other sciences, as well as courses for interdisciplinary programs.
Explore the Collection »