About ENSC 049 OL1

Explores how and when climate has changed over time and its impact on people and ecosystems; how humans have altered Earth's climate historically; how climate will change in the future; and implications for people and planet. Learn to communicate about climate change and take action. Credit not awarded for both ENSC 049 and ENSC 149.


Dates June 20 - July 14, 2023; Asynchronous online

Section Description

Human-induced climate change has become the most pressing environmental issue of our time. If you want to understand the science behind climate change, how climate has changed in the past, what is happening today, how it may change in the future, and the impact of climate change on people, this class is for you. In one semester, you will learn the science of climate change, climate prediction, and the global impacts of a changing climate. You will understand how Earth’s rocks, oceans, atmosphere, and vegetation influenced natural climate change in the past. You will appreciate the impact of human-induced climate changes that are easily detectable and beginning to wreak havoc on societies, the result of burning fossil fuels and wholesale land clearance. You will participate in dialogue about environmental justice and the unequal distribution of climate risks imposed by historical inequities. Using climate models, we will look into a warming world and predict the climate of Earth centuries and millennia into the future. We will spend significant time exploring how people take action to address, mitigate, and respond to climate change and how to communicate your feelings about a warmer, stormier future to make productive change.

Section Expectation

You will need reliable broadband access to succeed in this class and a computer capable of streaming video as well as doing word processing and reading webpages. There will be classes posted Monday-Friday for four weeks and, for most classes, there will be a reading section. Expect to spend about an hour listening to class online. These will be asynchronous – watch when you want! We will meet as a group only the first and last day of class. Readings will take on average 1 hour a day and the quiz will take 10 minutes. Each week-end test will be an hour. The final writing assignment should take several hours. Each class will begin with a statement of the learning objectives for the day. I will use a mix of lecture, video, and demos to accomplish those objectives. This is a class about learning and finding out just how much fun and how interesting climate science can be. I have several simple and straightforward expectations of you as a student in this class: 1. I expect you to respect your classmates and faculty at all times when they voice opinions that may differ from yours. This is a class that could raise emotions. Please respect your peers' feelings. If you cannot conduct yourself respectfully, you will be asked to leave the on-line class. 2. I expect you to participate in the class by asking questions in the online discussion, review sessions, and office hours. I expect you to participate out of class by reading all assignments before the class at which they are due. 3. I expect complete academic honesty. I expect that you will neither give nor receive information on the quizzes and that assignments you hand in are your own work. You will sign an honor statement. Violations of this trust and our community will be handled in strictest way possible. 4. I expect you to read this class syllabus carefully and inform yourself about the class, the assignments, and their due dates. It is your responsibility to know what assignments are due and when.


I will use a variety of means to assign grades. Your grade will be based on daily quizzes, tests at the end of weeks 1, 2 and 3, and a final essay. There is no final exam.

Course Dates



Online (View Campus Map)

Important Dates

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