Implementing AMS Climate Studies at California State University Fresno

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Monday, 3 February 2014
Hall C3 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Segun Ogunjemiyo, California State University, Fresno, CA

California State University, Fresno (Fresno State), a Hispanic Serving Institution, is one of the twenty three campuses making up the California State University system, the largest public system of higher education in the United States. The university has a current enrollment of 22,000 students in 8 colleges and 52 departments and has strong programs in both the fundamental sciences that spread across two colleges. The College of Science and Mathematics (CSM) consists of seven departments (Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Earth and Environmental Sciences (EES), Mathematics, Physics and Psychology). The Geography department, which includes strong programs in Geographical Information Systems (GIS)and meteorology, is housed in the College of Social Sciences (COSS). The university is the major public institution serving California's San Joaquin Valley (SJV), a largely rural and agricultural region encompassing 27,000 square miles and 3.5 million residents. As the fastest-growing region in California the population is projected to double by 2040. This growth is expected to put a great strain on the area's limited natural and economic resources. Despite the region's heavy reliance on water and climate, its residents generally have a poor understanding of science in general and climate science in particular. A recent survey found that San Joaquin Valley residents were more skeptical of climate science and its potential impacts than residents of any other part of California. This presentation describes the process and effort by the Department of Geography at Fresno State to enhance climate science literacy in the region with the adoption of AMS Climate Course that explores basic fundamental science of Earth's climate system while still addressing the societal impacts relevant to today's students