Introduction to the Human Dimensions of Global Change

Emma Archer, Billie Turner II, Clark University, Graduate School of Geography, Clark University,Graduate School of Geography

This module provides students with a broad overview of the human dimensions of global environmental change. The complexity of global change is reduced to four basic and interactive parts: human actions that initiate changes in the structure and operation of the biosphere; the consequences of these actions on terrestrial ecology; the combined effects of the two on potential climate change; and human responses to global change, with a focus on climate change. The module has five broad objectives: to provide an overview of the problem and study of global environmental change, to demonstrate the complexity of this change and its origins in society and nature, to demonstrate the interconnections of its basic human and natural components, to involve students in activities that demonstrate the complexity and interconnectivity of the subject and its basic components, and to illustrate to students the extent to which they may affect and may be affected by aspects of global environmental change. The module activities draw out the linkages and the human components of the topic and raise broader questions about the concept of global change as a whole. Students actively engage with the material through role-playing, group discussions, map interpretation, creative writing, debates, and data analysis and interpretation.

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Subject: Geoscience:Atmospheric Science:Climate Change, Environmental Science:Global Change and Climate:Climate Change:Anthropogenic causes, Greenhouse gas emissions, Impacts of climate change, Geoscience:Atmospheric Science:Climate Change:Impacts of climate change, Biology, Geoscience:Atmospheric Science:Climate Change:Greenhouse gas emissions, Anthropogenic causes
Resource Type: Activities:Project
Grade Level: High School (9-12), College Lower (13-14)
Theme: Teach the Earth:Course Topics:Atmospheric Science, Teach the Earth:Incorporating Societal Issues:Climate Change, Teach the Earth:Course Topics:Environmental Science