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Climate change poses extraordinary challenges to our country’s coastal communities; the impacts of which will not be borne equally. Access to innovative technological, scientific, financial and legal resources is controlled by policy makers. Equal access is critical for the sustainability of our coastal communities. But fair decisions require vulnerable communities to have a voice in local climate change adaptation decisions. This seminar course will introduce you to basic concepts of climate justice in the context of our Nation’s coastal communities, guided by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. The course will introduce you to fundamental coastal and ocean-based climate-induced impacts with a focus on sea level rise, ocean warming, ocean acidification and coastal infrastructure. We will examine these impacts, as well as local, state, regional and federal policy responses to them through the lens of climate justice. We will identify what’s working and what more needs to be done to advance climate equity and justice in the wake of formidable global and local change. Proficiency will be demonstrated through class participation, work conducted in small group strategy exercises, discussion board posts, short research assessment papers and a final written project. There are three goals in this course: first to broaden your understanding of the disproportionate effects of climate change to underrepresented, disempowered, poor, urban and indigenous populations living in American coastal communities; second to provide you with tools to identify inequity; third, to increase your own voice to promote avenues to seek climate justice.
Format: seminar; remote
Grading: yes pass/fail option,
no fifth course option
Weekly Readings; Class Participation; Small group strategy exercises; Four on-line discussion board posts; Two 2-3-page data & research assessment papers; Final written project--multiple formats available
first-years and sophomores
social science; This course does not count toward the Geosciences Major.
Difference, Power, and Equity
This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
This course examines the persistent disproportionate climate changes impacts on underrepresented, poor, urban and indigenous populations living in U.S. coastal communities. Students will analyze multi-disciplinary data and conduct research to reveal unequal distributions of power and resources and to strengthen their integrative, analytical, writing, and advocacy skills. They will structure discussions on the pervasiveness of climate injustice and craft potential avenues for corrective actions.