Global Climate Change and Earth History

Robert MacKay, Science Programs, Washington State University-Vancouver


This course introduces students to Global Change Science through lecture presentations, classroom discussions, assigned readings, and activities designed specifically to complement lecture topics. The course is designed to increase student understanding and appreciation of Earth as an evolving ecosystem.

Course URL:
Course Type: Upper Level
Course Size:

Course Format:
Lecture only

Institution Type:
University with graduate programs, including doctoral programs

Course Context:

The is a 300 level general science distribution course with no prerequisites. Approximately 30% of the students are environmental science majors and 70% are from the general student body.

Course Content:

Topics will include: Systems Science; The sun, atmosphere, Oceans, Solid Earth, and Biosphere; The integrated climate system; climates of the past, present and future; Ice Ages, Global Warming, and Ozone Depletion.

Course Goals:

  1. Students will become familiar with Earth as a system and learn to communicate effectively about Earth's changing climate using an "Earth System" perspective.
  2. Students will learn fundamental terminology, principles, and relationships related to Earth's climate system.
  3. Students will make appropriate use of written, oral, and visual communication skills while communicating their understanding of concepts and issues related to the Earth's climate system.
  4. Students will take responsibility for your own learning.
  5. Develop the ability to work and think independently.
  6. Develop the ability to work and think within a team or larger group.
  7. Students learn how to create graphs (x-y scatter plots and bar graphs) and use graphs (x-y scatter plots, bar charts, and contour plots) to display or extract information related to the atmospheric sciences.
  8. Students develop their online skills by making extensive use of online resources to acquire information, visualize data and concepts, and analyze the behavior of simple models related to the Earth system.



Global Climate Change and Earth History (Acrobat (PDF) 131kB May9 12)

References and Notes: