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Climate Change - An Interdisciplinary Perspective, Introductory Course

This 7.5 credit online evening course is a solutions-oriented course on climate change. The course is at the interface of natural, social and human sciences. It aims to convey a holistic approach to caring for nature and culture in the Anthropocene.

Warming stripes
Warming Stripes representing mean annual temperature in Stockholm 1756–2020, ranging from 4 (blue) to 8 (red) degrees. Credit: Nina Kirchner and Anders Moberg.

Welcome to Climate Change – An interdisciplinary perspective!

The first session will be held from 09.00 to 10.00 on Monday 6 June via Zoom. The link for this session is https://stockholmuniversity.zoom.us/j/4031297078

This 7.5 credit online evening course is a solutions-oriented course on climate change. The course is at the interface of natural, social and human sciences. It aims to convey a holistic approach to caring for nature and culture in the Anthropocene.

We will not use Athena. Do not look for the course there!

  • Course structure

    Stage 1 is to attend a short introduction. There will be 2 opportunities to attend this introductory session. The first opportunity is on June 6 from 09.00 to 10.00. You should attend this session if you can. If you cannot attend this session, a second opportunity will be provided on June 11 (Saturday) from 09.00 to 10.00.  You must attend one of these sessions to be allowed to continue reading the course.

    Stage 2 is to read the course literature: Under the Sky We Make by Kimberly Nicholas (ISBN: 9780593328170). You should have finished reading this book by June 22.

    Stage 3 is to participate in 9 online activities. These activities are hosted by Future Learn. They consist of videos, short articles, polls, discussions and quizzes. You will receive information about how to access these activities on June 6. The deadlines for completing each activity are listed below. You must complete all 9 activities to be allowed to take the final exam.

    Stage 4 is to participate in at least 6 of 9 online discussions. These will be held mostly on Wednesday evenings from 18.00 to 19.30, from June 22 to August 17. You must participate in at least 6 discussion sessions to be allowed to take the final exam.

    Stage 5 is a home exam. This is to propose and motivate one contribution to a “toolbox” of solutions for the Anthropocene. You will receive instructions for the exam by e-mail on August 17.  The exam needs to be submitted on or before August 24.

    The course is graded A-F based on a numerical score for the exam. Assessment criteria will accompany the instructions which you will receive on August 17.

    It is vital that you order the course book (Under the Sky We Make, Kimberly Nicholas, ISBN: 9780593328170) now, so that you have time to read it before June 22.

    Teaching format

    Course sessions

    Introduction – June 6 (09.00–10.00) or June 11 (09.00–10.00)

    Read the course book – June 6–22
    Read the entire course book before June 22.

    Online activities and online discussions
    Each online activity should be completed before the corresponding online discussion.
    All online discussions are on Zoom: https://stockholmuniversity.zoom.us/j/4031297078

    Session 1 | The Anthropocene – June 22
    Activity: The Anthropocene (Complete the online activity before the discussion).
    Discussion: This discussion concerns how humans have become a major geological actor and that human action is driving climate change (Participate online from 18.00 to 19.30).

    Session 2 | Nature cultures – June 29
    Activity: Nature cultures (Complete the online activity before the discussion).
    Discussion: This discussion concerns how nature and culture are entangled with each other (Participate online from 18.00 to 19.30).

    Session 3 | Earth’s climate – July 7 (Thursday)
    Activity: Earth’s climate (Complete the online activity before the discussion).
    Discussion: This discussion builds from the ideas of the enlightenment to present day understanding of Earth's climate as a geological system operating on multiple timescales (Participate online from 18.00 to 19.30).

    Session 4 | Earth’s cycles – July 13
    Activity: Earth’s cycles (Complete the online activity before the discussion).
    Discussion: This discussion concerns the natural cycles of carbon, phosphorus and nitrogen which humans both depend on and are irrevocably perturbing (Participate online from 18.00 to 19.30).

    Session 5 | Human perturbations – July 20
    Activity: Human perturbations (Complete the online activity before the discussion).
    Discussion: This discussion concerns how humans are perturbing Earth's natural cycles, viewed at the planetary level in the framework of the “Great Acceleration” and at the individual level with the question: “Where was I for breakfast?” (Participate online from 18.00 to 19.30).

    Session 6 | Tipping points – July 27
    Activity: Tipping points (Complete the online activity before the discussion).
    Discussion: This discussion concerns how human-induced perturbations of Earth’s cycles can cause a natural system to "flip" to a less desirable state (Participate online from 18.00 to 19.30).

    Session 7 | Planetary boundaries – August 3
    Activity: Planetary boundaries (Complete the online activity before the discussion).
    Discussion: This discussion concerns the "planetary boundaries" and an economic model which together set upper and lower limits to a safe and just operating space so humans can live in harmony with the planet and face a better future (Participate online from 18.00 to 19.30).

    Session 8 | Repairing the damage – August 10
    Activity: Repairing the damage (Complete the online activity before the discussion).
    Discussion: This discussion concerns climate change solutions such as emissions reductions, natural climate solutions and carbon dioxide removal and how such actions can be implemented safely within the framework of the planetary boundaries (Participate online from 18.00 to 19.30).

    Session 9 | Building the future – August 17
    Activity: Building the future (Complete the online activity before the discussion).
    Discussion: This discussion concerns how we can build a better future founded on care between generations. We take a “deep time” perspective in which we consider examples of longer cycles of cause and effect (Participate online from 18.00 to 19.30).

    Assessment

    Home exam – August 24
    The home exam is to propose and motivate one contribution to a “toolbox” of solutions for the Anthropocene. You will receive instructions for the exam by e-mail on August 17. The exam needs to be submitted on or before August 24 at 23.59.

  • Schedule

    The schedule will be available no later than one month before the start of the course. We do not recommend print-outs as changes can occur. At the start of the course, your department will advise where you can find your schedule during the course.
  • Course literature

    Note that the course literature can be changed up to two months before the start of the course.

    It is vital that you order/get the course book (Under the Sky We Make, Kimberley Nicholas, ISBN: 9780593328170) so that you have it before the start of the course.

  • Course reports

    Course evaluations allow the possibility to affect and take responsibility for your own learning and gives important information for our work with pedagogical development.

    It's important that all students complete the course evaluations after each course, it gives the Department the opportunity to improve the courses' quality.

    The course evaluation is composed of a number of questions and specific questions for each course. If you, as a student, want to contribute with more course specific questions you may send them to studies@geo.su.se.

    If you haven't received the course evaluation for your finished course, or if you have other questions regarding course evaluations at IGV please contact studies@geo.su.se.

    Course evaluation = student's review of the course
    Course report = course leader's reflections about the review

  • Contact

    Alasdair SkeltonProfessor of Geochemistry and petrology
    Alasdair Skelton
    alasdair.skelton@geo.su.se
    +46 (0)76 770 76 99 | Room: R425