Karl Kreutz

School of Earth and Climate Sciences

Climate Change Institute

University of Maine

Karl is a professor in the School of Earth and Climate Sciences at the University of Maine, and teaches undergraduate courses at the intersection of climate, energy, and environmental change.  He is also a member of the Climate Change Institute, an interdisciplinary research unit organized to conduct research and graduate education focused on variability of Earth's climate, ecosystems, and other environmental systems and on the interaction between humans and the natural environment.

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Course Modules (7)

Systems Thinking part of Systems Thinking
The Systems Thinking Module provides a foundation for systems thinking throughout the InTeGrate materials. Units 1 and 2 of this module are designed to be used early within a course and then reinforced later; Units ...

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Unit 3: Modeling a System part of Systems Thinking
This unit introduces systems modeling, which allows students to quantify and manipulate system components to create system responses. Students use a simple systems model of a bathtub to explore the effect of flow ...

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Unit 4: Feedbacks in a System part of Systems Thinking
Feedbacks are a critical part of many systems. In this unit, students use a systems model to explore the effect of positive (reinforcing) and negative (balancing) feedbacks on system behavior. Model results are ...

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Unit 5: Analyzing Complexity part of Systems Thinking
This unit has students build on a system diagram, to include new knowledge about quantitative values and relationships. They will also write about and discuss what they know about their systems, the questions that ...

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Unit 2: Picturing Complexity part of Systems Thinking
This unit includes an opportunity for students to move from definitions into reading and creating a diagram of a complex system relevant to their course, and then to exploring the connections between the components ...

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InTeGrate Developed This material was developed and reviewed through the InTeGrate curricular materials development process.
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Unit 1: Introduction to Systems Thinking – What is a System? part of Systems Thinking
This unit introduces systems and systems thinking. The unit is easily adaptable to any course and includes an introduction of terminology, motivation for using systems thinking, and practice reading, as well as ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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InTeGrate Developed This material was developed and reviewed through the InTeGrate curricular materials development process.
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Unit 6: Systems Thinking Synthesis part of Systems Thinking
This in-class exercise is an alternative to standard review sessions and models the systems thinking students need to do when working on complex, interdisciplinary issues. Students quiz each other on course ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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InTeGrate Developed This material was developed and reviewed through the InTeGrate curricular materials development process.
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Course (1)

Karl Kreutz: Using Systems Thinking in Global Environmental Change at University of Maine part of Systems Thinking
My course focuses on the reservoir of atmospheric carbon dioxide – what controls it, how it has changed in the geologic past, how it is changing now and the role that humans have played in its evolution, the effects on Earth's energy balance, and potential future climate and environmental implications. Because these processes play out on a range of time and space scales, direct experimentation is difficult in an undergraduate setting. Systems thinking provides an ideal platform for understanding the flow of carbon between reservoirs, and for gaining an appreciation of how important the intersection of earth science and society is with respect to carbon, climate, and energy. Implementing this module made a dramatic difference in the class, improving student learning on everything from global models of the carbon cycle to the formation and flow of methane in our local peat bog.

Conference Presentation (1)

Earth Systems Thinking: An InTeGrate Module That Can Be Used In Any Course part of Rendezvous 2015:Program:Abstracts
One of the themes of the InTeGrate program's pedagogical approach is to foster systems thinking. The concept of systems thinking is addressed in individual InTeGrate modules designed to address specific ...