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University Bulletin
Undergraduate Degree Programs

These course descriptions are not being updated as of August 1, 2016. Current course descriptions are maintained in LionPATH.

Geography (GEOG)

GEOG 438W Human Dimensions of Global Warming (3) Human dimensions of climate change: human causes, human consequences, and policy implications of global warming.

GEOG 438W - Human Dimensions of Global Warming (3)

(BA) This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements.


Geography 438W, the Human Dimensions of Global Warming, covers both the human causes and consequences of what many people view as the most significant problem facing society. Humans cause climate change primarily by emitting heat-trapping greenhouse gases through everyday activities associated with industrialized society (such as energy production and consumption, transportation, and manufacturing) and land transformation (such as agriculture and deforestation). People experience the consequences of climate change directly through reduced resources (such as food, fiber, forests, and fisheries) or increased natural hazards (such as droughts, floods, and intense storms). They also experience the consequences indirectly through such mechanisms as higher prices for food or larger insurance premiums. GEOG 438W does not address the physical science of climate change; instead, it concentrates on social science issues surrounding the topic.

GEOG 438W has two goals: (1) to develop understanding of a set of issues related to the human dimensions of climate change; (2) to develop and apply communication skills by discussing and writing about the topic. The specific content of the course will change with the instructor, but the focus on the human causes and consequences of climate change and on skill-development in writing will be constant.

Students will be evaluated on both the course goals: (1) understanding of the human dimensions of climate change; (2) application of communication skills. Although exact procedures for determining grades will vary with instructor, the basis for grades will always include a combination of written exams based on lectures and readings, regular written assignments with instructor feedback, and in-class discussion and participation.


General Education: None
Diversity: None
Bachelor of Arts: Social and Behavioral Science
Effective: Spring 2012
Prerequisite: EARTH 002, GEOG 010 orMETEO 003;GEOG 030

Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.

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