Physical/Life Science Exploration
Ice sheets are melting, biodiversity is being lost, and the climate is warming. An understanding of these processes and their relationship to imbalances in the components of the Earth system is fundamental for all citizens. The Earth system components, i.e. the atmosphere, the hydrosphere, the cryosphere, the solid Earth, and the biota interact at various temporal and spacial scales and through positive and negative feedback mechanisms to determine the state of our planet. Major environmental issues such as global warming, ozone depletion and human threats to biodiversity indicate that the systems are out of balance. In this course, students will introduced to the physical processes that underlie global change using a systems approach. Courses with similar titles at the university are at a level too advanced for first-year students, focus on one component of the Earth System , e.g. the solid Earth, or focus specifically on the effects of/solutions to global warming and solutions. This course will provide an interdisciplinary overview of the integrated Earth System. Case study investigations and an active classroom environment will equip students with the critical thinking and quantitative skills to engage with modern environmental issues that span disciplinary boundaries. and solutions.