Further information on Fall 2020 courses

Gary Wagenbach: Oceans, Climate, and Corals – Connections and Perspectives for Minnesotans


Expanded description:

This is an outline, subject to modification of sequencing and readings depending on participant interests. Perspectives from fields of investigation include marine biology, ecology, environmental science, policy, and conservation. Videos will be shown during class zoom sessions. Some readings will be sent via e-mail and may be printed or viewed on screen. Some topical articles are to be selected by students and discussed during Session 6. Preferred format for those is PDF. Gary will work with you to configure an article in PDF format; e.g. send Gary the prepared PDF, original paper copy, or the URL (internet address) of an article you have selected.

Session 1 – Reports from the Pacific Ecoregion
A lecture with graphics and video.

Session 2 – Reports from the Caribbean, Florida, and Bermuda
A lecture with graphics and video.
Begin looking for articles to discuss during Session 6 – send to Gary.

Session 3 – Climate Change & Global Warming as Explanations for damaged reefs in the Pacific, Caribbean, and Florida
High sea surface temperatures cause bleaching of corals; plus, additional interesting complications.
Continue looking for articles to discuss during Session 6.

Session 4 – Minnesota’s Connections to Oceanic and Marine Ecosystems
Where does released CO2 go? Consequences of oceanic absorption of CO2.
Continue looking for articles to discuss during Session 6.

Session 5 – Describing Climate Change, Warming & Forecasting
Computer modeling is a powerful tool as are historic records. Looking into the future.
Continue looking for articles to discuss during Session 6

Session 6 – How to Talk About Climate Change, Warming, and Crisis
One of the most important things you can do is talk with others. Is climate being discussed during the 2020 election cycle?
Discuss articles previously selected by students.

Session 7 – Feeling Discouraged? You’re Not Alone
Recognizing a common experience; navigating feeling discouraged.
Possible zoom visitor: a Carleton professor who teaches about global climate and environment.

Session 8 – Acting Locally and Beyond
Many people in our corner of Minnesota are responding to the challenges before us.
Possible zoom visitor: a local climate activist.

Optional books:
Depending on self-chosen student interests, Oxford University Press Series subtitled “A Very Short Introduction” has several titles that align with the syllabus above. Two in particular are: Mark Maslin’s Climate Change–A Very Short Introduction (c. 2014) and Charles Sheppard’s Coral Reefs–A Very Short Introduction (c. 2014). Passages from these two will be announced at the beginning of the class and aligned with sessions.
Some other titles, in the same Oxford series, may support students’ curiosity about the earth —selected titles: Weather, The Atmosphere, Ocean, The Earth, Geology, Forests, Mountains, The Ice Age, Landscapes, and The Anthropocene. Any of these books can ordered from Content Bookstore.