Friday, January 23, 2015

ENSP399R – Global Climate Change / Coastal Indicators

This new course provides a unique opportunity to contribute to a national global change research program investigating “indicators” of global change, for example, drought, flooding, sea level rise, etc. This spring, the course will focus on “coastal resilience indicators” in the face of climate change and coastal hazards and will be co-taught by two scientists working on the project.

Students will help analyze “green infrastructure” like sea grasses and SAV’s; and “gray” services, like breakwaters and sea walls. Along the way, you will have a terrific opportunity to explore how science policy is developed and connect with scientists and policy-makers at the cutting edge of climate change research and policy.

Because environmental challenges and human responses to them are multi-dimensional, the course is open to motivated students in all majors, including: ANTH, AOSC, BSCI, ECON, Engineering, ENSP, ENST, GEOG, GIS, GVPT, etc. Students enrolled in the Sustainability Studies Minor are also encouraged to enroll (the course has been approved for use in the Sustainability Studies Minor).

During the semester, you will:
  • Learn about “resilience” and “sustainability”
  • Learn how science policy works
  • Work with real data
  • Learn how to figure out what is known and what is not known; and how to break the data down to understand what is useful
  • Develop an indicator to help measure global climate change impacts on coastal communities.
  • Learn how to write policy memos, interpret “take home” messages, and give 30-second elevator speeches re: climate change research.
  • Meet guest speakers at the cutting edge of research and policy.
  • The course will be taught on Fridays, 10-1 pm, in 0215 Symons Hall (Section 0101). 
Interested students should e-mail: Dr. Ariana Sutton-Greer at (and cc: Please include the following information in your message: Why are you interested in this course? What is your major, UID, and expected graduation date? Since this class is likely to be different from others you have taken, please make a point of attending the first class to learn more about it and confirm your interest.