Climate Studies: A New Course at The Lincoln University in Pennsylvania

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Monday, 5 January 2015
Anna K. Hull, Lincoln University, Lincoln University, PA

Climate change will be one of the top challenges needing innovative and immediate solutions as current college students enter the job market. Therefore, it is essential that institutions of higher education offer engaging climate studies courses that are available to all students. Furthermore, minorities are disproportionally underrepresented in the fields of earth, atmospheric and ocean sciences: while 14.9% of the US population is African American, only 2.1% of students enrolled in graduate school for earth, atmospheric and ocean sciences and African American. As a more diverse work force often lead to more innovative solutions it is imperative that minority serving institutions of higher education focus efforts in the fields that require immediate attention. At The Lincoln University, the first Historically Black University in the US, students in the Environmental Science major, as well is members of the Environmental Science Club have urged the science faculty to develop a course in climate studies. Thus, it is clear that students recognize the urgent need for their generation to become fully engaged with the diverse topics included in a climate studies course. The AMS Climate Studies course will be appropriate for the General Education Program as well as the Environmental Science Program at Lincoln. The goal is to make the course a requirement for the Environmental Science major, but it will be one of several options for all non-STEM majors to fulfill their science requirement in the General Education Program. The course will likely be housed in the Biology Department and first be offered in the fall of 2015. Approval of new courses at The Lincoln University requires endorsement by the Department, the College of Science and Technology, the Standing Committee on Educational Policy and finally the Faculty. The process of approval will begin in September of 2014, with the hope that the course will be fully approved by the 2015 spring semester for incorporation in the course catalogue for the 2015-2016 academic year.