199 AMS Climate Studies at Sacramento City College

Tuesday, 8 January 2013
Exhibit Hall 3 (Austin Convention Center)
Michael Hunter, Sacramento City College, Sacramento, CA

Sacramento City College is a Community College, in California's Central Valley, with a large proportion of minority and low-income students. I have been able to serve AMS's Climate, Weather (since Fall 2003), and Ocean Studies (Since Fall 2007) courses with AMS's Climate Studies Diversity Project Workshop as I was able to do with both of AMS's Weather and Oceans offerings.

Why this course: Global warming will hurt California Central Valley students: Sacramento City College╒s large proportion of minority and low-income students. This region is faced with an increase in natural hazards due the warming of the local climate. Increased night-time summer temperatures, increased danger of floods, loss of seasonal irrigation water for the local agricultural economy, and coastal sea water rise that endanger out local wetlands, are a few of the looming threats. The short-, and long-, term problems that lie ahead will hurt the local economic base (and, in turn the entire California economy), lower property values, and especially stress those with low incomes and job skills. A very large proportion of my AMS Weather, Oceans, and Climate Studies students will be negatively affected relative to the general population. I will outline plans to alert these especially vulnerable students, and their families of the importance of Earth System sciences education. The hope is that they will become proactive in furthering their education, and gaining relevant, and valuable, job-skills.

The basic contents of the original / official curriculum course proposal are below: Course Description: Geography 305: Global Climate Change: Sacramento City College (Los Rios Community College District)

This course explores the history and mechanisms of climate change in Earth╒s past, as well as the methods that scientists use to investigate climate change. It focuses on Earth's natural climate changes over the past few million years and the role that humans have had in changing climates (especially since the industrial revolution). Students will investigate the relationships between human activity and climate change and the great consequences when human and natural factors interact. Students discuss climate future models and predictions. Students will explore possible technological and political solutions to this vast and increasingly important problem. This will help our students to become responsible and scientifically-literate participants in the discussions that dominate climate science today such as the potential impacts of global climate change that include shrinking glaciers and rising sea levels, changes in the Arctic environment, stronger and more frequent hurricanes, threats to marine life, global water-cycle disruptions, and food security issues. This course is also a great primer for students entering 'green' technical programs. Field trips may be required.

Learning Outcomes and Objectives: Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to: -define the scientific tools used to study global climate change in the past and present. -describe the various lines of evidence that scientists use to investigate climate change in Earth╒s deep past. -interpret the components, processes, and dynamics of the global heat budget as they pertain to the ocean/atmosphere system. -analyze the conditions that led to extensive climate change over the past 2.5 million years. -evaluate the purported human causes of climate change, the evidence surrounding that, and the likely consequences of human caused climate change.

Proposed Lecture Topics (instruction hours): 3 Semester hours for the following: Climate Science for Today's World; Investigating Earth's Climate System; Planetary Energy Budget in Earth's Climate System; Thermal Response of the Climate; Water in Earth's Climate; Global Atmospheric Circulation; Atmospheric Circulation and Regional; Climate and Air/Sea Interactions; The Climate Record; Climate Classification

6 Semester hours for the following: Natural Causes of Climate; Anthropogenic Climate Change; Human Response to Climate Change

Midterm and Final Exam (3 hours)

Proposed Instructional Delivery Modalities: in-person; hybrid; Internet/Online

Instructional Delivery Modality: To date: Internet/Online

Proposed Instruction Methods: Using the Internet, identify the major categories of earth-observation satellites. Determine which major satellites-systems collect data that are strongly correlated to one or more other satellites-systems. Speculate on how such complementary sets of data illustrate important relationships between land use and climate change for a specific region of Earth.

Instruction Method: The course is offered completely online. I use the entire AMS Climate Studies course package, which includes the textbook, Investigations Manual, and access to their Course and Faculty Websites

Evaluation and Assessment Methods Each week the students read a Chapter from the text, followed by the recommended "Week's" exercises in the Investigations Manual.

Regular Instructional Contact Onsite Orientation Sessions; Email; Discussion Boards; Chat Room; telephone; online tests: varied with on-site tests

Advisories -MATH 34 (Pre-algebra) with a grade of "C" or better -ENGLISH classes (with grades of "C" or better) --ENGRD 310: Critical Reading as Critical Thinking AND ENGWR 101: College Writing -OR- --ESLR 320: Advanced-Low Reading AND ESLW 310 Intermediate-High Writing

Relationship to College Programs This interdisciplinary science course provides an opportunity for students to learn about a topic that is of local, national, and global importance.

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