These introductory climate courses are a great way to explore the impacts of a changing climate and solutions to the climate crisis. Many of these courses have no prerequisites and are open to all majors.

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Climate, Justice, and Energy Solutions (ATM S 100)

Explore scientific climate solutions

Workers in a field.Presents visions of the future when the climate crisis is solved and describes paths towards reaching these goals. Examines solutions including building a resilient society with clean energy, sustainable agriculture, climate justice, and a just transition for workers.

  • Winter, Spring, Summer
  • 5 credits (NSc, SSc, DIV)
  • Prerequisites: None
  • Faculty: Dargan Frierson & Judy Twedt

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Global Warming: Understanding the Issues (ATM S 111)

Understand the science and causes of global warming

a factory emitting CO2Presents a broad overview of the science of global warming. Includes the causes, evidence, and societal and environmental impacts from the last century. Recounts future climate projections and societal decisions that influence greenhouse gas emission scenarios and our ability to adapt to climate change. Presents ways to identify disinformation versus correct science. Includes both online and in-person components.

  • Autumn, Winter, Spring, Summer
  • 5 credits (NSc, SSc)
  • Prerequisites: None
  • Faculty: Kat Huybers

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Climate and Climate Change (ATM S 211)

Explore processes that drive the climate system

Sunlight through the clouds.Provides a deeper look into the science of global warming. Examines the nature of the global climate system, factors influencing climate—including interactions among the atmosphere, oceans, solid earth, and biosphere — and the stability and sensitivity of the climate system. Intended for non-ATMS majors.

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Introduction to Environmental Studies (ENVIR 100)

Learn about the human dimensions of climate change

A woman and kids on the beach.Introduces environmental studies through an interdisciplinary examination of the ethical, political, social, and scientific dimensions of current and historical environmental issues. Integrates knowledge from different disciplines and applies insights and methods to actual environmental problems and situations at scales from local to global.

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Climate Governance: How Individuals, Communities, NGOs, Firms, and
Governments Can Solve the Climate Crisis (SMEA/ENVIR 201)

Explore societal climate solutions

People walking in a crosswalk.Examines climate change, its causes and impacts (on ecosystems, water availability, extreme weather, communities, health, and food) globally, nationally, and locally. Surveys its solutions (mitigation, adaptation, migration, and just transition), actors that implement them (governments, firms, NGOs, activists, communities, individuals) and approaches they use (regulation, markets, planning, innovation, social movements, behavioral change).

  • Spring
  • 5 credits (NSc, SSc, DIV)
  • Prerequisites: None
  • Faculty: Nives Dolšak

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Earth’s Climate System (ESS 201)

Understand climate systems and processes

A view of Earth from space.A deeper look into Earth’s dynamic environment, ideal for students studying in STEM fields and/or comfortable with advanced math. This course covers global energy balance and the interplay of chemical, physical, and biological processes shaping the Earth’s surface and climate. Emphasis on quantitative methods for measuring, evaluating, and understanding contemporary changes relative to the last several thousand years.

  • Autumn
  • 3 credits (NSc)
  • Prerequisites: MATH124 or MATH134 or QSCI 291
  • Faculty: Gerard Roe

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Glaciers and Global Change (ESS 203)

Learn about the impacts of climate change on glaciers

A researcher walking on a glacier.Explores how glaciers record climate change and human activities through bubbles of ancient air and trace impurities in the ice. Also reviews glaciers’ impact on societies through sea-level, coastlines, water supplies, and transportation routes.

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