This course will explore the implications of climate change for human and natural systems. We will use examples from the Pacific Northwest to frame these issues, but also explore global implications. The course will cover the basic climate system processes that drive climate change and that link the climate to human health, ecosystems, natural resources, energy, agriculture, and human institutions. We will study both climate change impacts and societal responses by examining adaptation and mitigation strategies. Particular topics discussed in the course include: human health (air quality, heat waves), water resources (water quality and quantity, snow pack losses), disaster management (extreme weather, flooding), ecosystems (stream flow, habitat connectivity, water quality), and food security. The class will be organized around lectures covering background material and student presentations on specific topics related to the course objectives.
The following core questions will guide our work throughout the quarter:
This course is intended for students with a good background in at least one of the disciplines related to climate change impacts. A 200-level course in climate, environmental studies, biology, policy studies, or related field is helpful. There is no required text for this course. We will be using recent reports from the US National Assessment of Climate Change and the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change
Contact Eric Salathé (425-352-3226) for more information.