Climate Change Impacts and Adaptations

Universidad Veritas

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Climate Change Impacts and Adaptations

  • Host University

    Universidad Veritas

  • Location

    San José, Costa Rica

  • Area of Study

    Environmental Studies, Environmental Sustainability

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

    Hours & Credits

  • Contact Hours

    60
  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    6
  • Overview

    COURSE DESCRIPTION
    This course is an introduction to understand climate change, its causes,
    consequences and the effects is having on natural populations of plants and
    animals across the planet, including humans. Mankind is facing several
    problems due to climate change, and these effects may likely increase ine near
    future. As temperatures keep increasing, producing major effects on all habitat
    types, how can animals and plants adapt to such rapid changes? And what are
    we as humans responsible for global warming are dealing with it? Can we
    actually answer these questions? Do we have the knowledge to reverse the
    ongoing conditions, and if so, what is being done worldwide? Finally how is the
    ?political weather? addressing the climate change?
    OBJECTIVES
    I. Understand climate change, causes and consequences.
    II. Comprehend the effects of climate change on worldwide habitats and the
    natural populations occupying them.
    III. Analyze the evidence supporting climate change, and learn how to discuss
    it with an exceptic.
    COURSE CONTENTS
    Unit 1. Weather, climate and climate change
    - Climate systems
    - Climate change: definition and causes
    - Global warming
    - Regional and global climate changes
    - Seasonal climate variability: El Niño and other climate phenomenon´s
    - Historical climate
    Unit 2. Climate change consequences on natural habitats and their
    populations
    - Effects on habitats
    - Climate as an evolutionary force
    - Global extinctions due to climate
    - Changes in distribution and community assemblages
    - Impacts on humans
    Unit 3. Adaptation and mitigation
    - Carbon emissions sequestration
    - Mitigation: reducing the impacts
    - Adaptation
    - Ecosystems based adaptation
    Unit 4. Policy, politics and economics of Climate Change
    - Politics of climate change
    - Country´s policies
    - From Kyoto to Paris? resolutions
    - The future of climate change policies
    METHODOLOGY
    Attendance
    Students are only allowed two (2) non consecutive absences (justified or not).
    The student will fail the course if he/she has more than 2 absences. Students
    will have a 0 on any assignment evaluated in class (presentations, evaluations,
    field trips, etc.) if he/she is absent in this class, unless an official document is
    presented to justify the absence the class after. In this case the assignment will
    be done that day.
    Field trips
    This course includes two mandatory field trips, Choices will depend on climate
    and availability. Lodging and main meals are covered by the course.
    Field trip report
    Students must do a report of the field trip. This report includes a summary of
    the sites visited and activities done, plus the assignments ask during the field
    trip. The report is individual and must be deliver one week after the field trip, it
    has to be sent to the professor?s e-mail on word or pdf format, in times new
    roman font, size 12, 1.15 or 1.5 line spacing and it must not be larger than 10
    pages.
    The evaluation of the report will consist of two parts, 70% on the content of the
    report and 30% on the behavior (punctuality, participation, etc.) during the field
    trip. Both field trips assistance are obligatory, an unjustified absence to any of
    them will immediately mean failing the course.
    Presentations
    Students will have to make two (2) individual presentations. The first
    presentation can be about any subject concerning the course topics, or a topics
    not covered but related to the course, and has to be approved by the professor.
    The second presentation includes a research paper about online data related
    to climate change. Presentations must be made on PowerPoint and should last
    about 15 minutes. The professor, depending on the subject will assign the date
    for the presentation.
    For All Presentations:
    It will be evaluated based on preparation (knowledge assimilation),
    presentation style (organization, smoothness and clarity), slides (clarity,
    aesthetics), finishing on time, and answering questions. All presentations must
    be made on the assigned date, if not the grade will be 0 (unless the absence is
    justified).
    Electronic devices:
    The use of cell phones, smartphones, or other mobile communication devices
    is distracting, and is therefore prohibited during class. All devices must be
    turned OFF during the class. Devices may be used ONLY when the professor
    assigns a specific activity and allows the use of them. Those who fail to comply
    with the rule must leave the classroom for the remainder of the class period.
    EVALUATION
    Individual presentations (2) 40 % (20 each)
    Midterm tests (2) 30 % (15 each)
    Field trip reports (2) 20 % (10 each)
    Class participation 10 %
    REFERENCE BIBLIOGRAPHY
    Dessler, A. (2015). Introduction to modern climate change. Cambridge
    University Press.
    Hannah, L. 2014. Climate change biology. Academic Press.
    Morhart, J. E. 2016. Climate change, ecology, health. Cloudripper Press.
    Pelling, M. 2010. Adaptation to Climate Change, from resilience to
    transformation.
    Taylor and Francis.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations