Lab: F 12:10-3:00 pm
What are weather and climate? How has climate changed in the past, and how do we know? What causes climate to change, and how can we predict future climate? What consequences might there be for weather patterns, oceans, and life on the earth as a result of global climate change? Planetary Climate Change explores scientists current understanding of the answers to these questions, sometimes applying methods of scientific investigation like theirs. Our study will encompass not only the atmosphere, oceans, solid earth, and living organisms—the separate components of the earth "system"—but also, and more importantly, the interactions among them. Those interactions are crucial to shaping the earths climate and hold the key to predicting future climate and understanding the role that humans might play.
We expect students in Planetary Climate Change to develop an understanding of:
ERTH 535 will address aspects of planetary climate and climate change organized around the five primary questions listed below. These questions also govern the approximate order in which topics will be covered. Additional topics will be introduced along the way, including the nature and history of scientific inquiry and the role of technology and computer models in the context of climate change research; basic physical principles underlying climate and climate change; and time scales of climate change.
Topics to be covered in the form of lab and lab-like like activities will likely include (in this order):
I will assign background reading from (time permitting) all or parts of chapters 1-5, 8, 14, and 15 in our primary text (Kump, Kasting, and Crane, The Earth System, 3rd Ed.). The text is relatively terse and sometimes more advanced than I expect you always to understand upon first reading, so I will assign supplementary, more basic background reading where appropriate.
In the last month or so of the semester, you will read, discuss, and write about articles from the literature on three or four of the topics listed below:
Our thrice-weekly class meetings can accommodate a combination of computer lab exercises, physical laboratory activities, small-group problem-solving, and whole-class discussions in addition to traditional lectures, films, and demonstrations. We will intermittently use "clickers" to facilitate in-class discussions and occasionally for quizzing. In practice there will be no formal distinction between the official "lab" and "lecture" portions of the course. We will often use an inquiry-based instructional approach, in which you will investigate physical phenomena or geophysical data, and try to interpret and explain what you observe, before getting much formal introduction to the topic via assigned readings and lectures. For this approach to work, you have to prepare for classes in advance and attend and participate consistently. Several computer lab exercises early in the course will use software called My World GIS (http://www.myworldgis.org/). Another lab activity will use a commercially-available modeling software called STELLA. (Both software packages are installed in the Department of Earth & Climate Sciences' computer labs in TH 604, 607, 513 (the GEL), and 518 (the ESL).) Yet other lab activities will access data and other information via WWWeb browsers.
|Pre-class Quizzes (on reading assignments from the text, administered via iLearn)||10%|
|"Clicker" questions posed in class (credit for some based on correct response and for others simply for responding)||5%|
|In-class Quizzes (four)||20%|
|Lab exercises and homework problems||20%|
|Close reading and annotation of articles from the literature, based on reading questions provided about them (2 required sets of articles plus best 1 out of 2 additional sets)||15%|
|Contribution to discussions about articles from the literature (2 discussions required, plus best 1 out of 2 additional discussions)||5%|
|Facilitation of one of the 4 discussions about articles from the literature||5%|
|One-page written summary of each set of articles based on both articles and discussions (2 required sets plus best 1 out of 2 additional sets)||15%|
|Total possible for the course||100%|
VI. Schedule of Assignments, Quizzes, etc.
See schedule of assignments, quizzes, etc. The specific dates for these will depend partly on how much progress we make on previous assignments, so this schedule should evolve as we proceed.
VII. Accommodation for Disabilities, and Title IX Policy
Disability access. Students with disabilities who need reasonable accommodations are encouraged to contact the instructor. The Disability Programs and Resource Center (DPRC) is available to facilitate the reasonable accommodations process. The DPRC is located in the Student Service Building and can be reached by telephone (voice/415-338-2472, video phone/415-335-7210) or by email (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Student disclosures of sexual violence. SF State fosters a campus free of sexual violence including sexual harassment, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, and/or any form of sex or gender discrimination. If you disclose a personal experience as an SF State student, the course instructor is required to notify the Title IX Coordinator by completing the report form available at http://titleix.sfsu.edu, emailing email@example.com or calling 338-2032.
To disclose any such violence confidentially, contact: