Spring 2010

SCIE 637
Global Change Biology

Poulos,Helen Mills

01/25/2010 - 05/07/2010
Wednesday -

Earth is a system, composed of multiple components and inter-connected processes. The major components of the Earth are the geosphere (the solid earth), the hydrosphere (oceans, glaciers & ice sheets, rivers, lakes, and groundwater), and the atmosphere, all of which interact with the biosphere. No component of this system can be studied in isolation of the others. And, a change in any element of the system has an impact through all components. This course offers an interdisciplinary introduction to the principles of climate, ecosystems, and biogeochemistry that interact with anthropogenic changes in the environment. Our discussions will include global change prediction and the scientific bases for global change assessments and policy measures. We will explore global change through the lens of biological systems in this course by reviewing the science of global change, its past trends, future projections and biological consequences.

Classroom lectures and discussion will be centered on three broad questions: 1) How do we separate the impact of human activities from natural, background variations? 2) What are the most sensitive biological indicators of global change? 3) What are the pros and cons of ecological approaches to ameliorating the impact of anthropogenic global change?

Course requirements include weekly reading and critiques, class participation, a student-led discussion, and a final paper.

Course tuition: $2022.

Enrollment is limited to 18. This course is open to auditors.

A syllabus for this course is available at:
Course Syllabus

Helen Poulos (B.A., B.S., Pepperdine University; M.S., Penn State; Ph.D., Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies) is a postdoctoral teaching fellow, Mellon Environmental Studies Program. Click here for more information about Helen Poulos.


Consent of Instructor Required: No

Format: Seminar

Level: GLSP Credits: 3 Enrollment Limit: 18

Texts to purchase for this course:

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