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College Level Class

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Global Climate Change: 
Science, Engineering and Policy

A new class primarily for engineering students

ES436/EV536 - 3 credits

Prerequisites: quantitative and modeling skills (Matlab, Excel)

The primary objective of the course is to provide the necessary background that will permit engineering students to understand and accurately describe the workings of the Earth’s climate system, the interactions between the atmosphere, ocean, and climate, and human’s involvement in altering these processes.  The specific goals of the course are to: 1: Educate students on the science behind Earth’s climate and the factors contributing to climate change; 2: Enable students to relate energy-use to climate change and identify opportunities for conservation, efficiency, and alternate energy sources; 3: Enable students to understand the current global policies as related to climate change; and, 4: Inform students of available data sets on global climate and educate them on their use for climate studies.  

The highly quantitative course uses project-based experiences to allow each student an opportunity to complete a data acquisition/modeling project of their own design to show correlations between human activities, current atmospheric concentrations and resulting ecosystem change. For example, the global spatial and temporal distributions of greenhouse gases, clouds, aerosols, radiation, etc.  Students use computational programming tools (Matlab) in combination with mapping tools (Google Maps API) to quantify, analyze, and display geographical variations of integrated and averaged values of quantities studied. 


Offered Spring 2010, Spring 2011
Instructors: S. Powers, S. Dhaniyala
Monday, Wednesday 9:30-10:45, Cheel Commons