Feb 07, 2023
ENSC 320 - The Science of Global Change
Units: 3 ; Breadth Area: GE-UDB; Sustainability
The science of global environmental change over time; impacts on the physical environment and living organisms (including humans). Topics include orbital variations, greenhouse gases, ozone, extreme weather, ocean acidification, sea level rise, climate variability, climate modeling.
Strongly Recommended Preparation: Upper division status (greater than 60 earned semester units) and completion of lower division Areas B1-B3.
Prerequisites: Completion of GE Areas A1, A2, A3 and B4 with grade C- (CR) or better.
Credit Restrictions: Not for Environmental Science major credit; majors should enroll in ENSC 420.
Possible Instructional Methods: Entirely On-ground, or Entirely Online, or Hybrid.
Grading: A-F grading only.
Breadth Area(s) Satisfied: GE-UDB - Upper Division Science Inquiry and Quantitative Reasoning, Overlay - Sustainability
Course Typically Offered: Fall & Spring
Student Learning Outcomes - Upon successful completion of this course students will be able to:
- Demonstrate knowledge of anthropogenic and natural contributions to global change, and the consequences for humans, ecosystems, and Earth systems.
- Analyze and interpret global change data (air and/or ocean temperatures, ocean acidity, etc.) to understand past and current trends in Earth systems.
- Explain important experimental and theoretical methodologies used to help quantify and predict future global change (climate modeling, measurement of gas fluxes and ocean acidity, isotopic measurements, satellite-based measurements, etc.)
- Apply knowledge of the science of global change in order to critically evaluate public discourse surrounding the issues (popular press articles, blog posts, think tank white papers, etc.)
UD-B. Upper-division Science Inquiry and Quantitative Reasoning Learning Outcomes
Sustainability Overlay Learning Outcomes
- demonstrate advanced and/or focused science or quantitative content knowledge in a specific scientific field, using appropriate vocabulary and referencing appropriate concepts (such as models, uncertainties, hypotheses, theories, and technologies);
- apply advanced quantitative skills (such as statistics, algebraic solutions, interpretation of graphical data) to scientific problems and evaluate scientific claims;
- demonstrate understanding of the nature of science and scientific inquiry and the experimental and empirical methodologies used in science to investigate a scientific question or issue; and
- apply science content knowledge to contemporary scientific issues (e.g., global warming) and technologies (e.g., cloning), where appropriate.
- identify the environmental, social, and economic dimensions of sustainability, either in general or in relation to a specific problem;
- analyze interactions between human activities and natural systems;
- describe key threats to environmental sustainability; and
- explain how individual and societal choices affect prospects for sustainability at the local, regional, and/or global levels.
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