The courses outlined below constitute the entirety of the Climate Adaptation Certificate, and form the foundation of the Climate Change & Society Degree. MEA519 and GIS510 are offered online, while MEA517 and MEA518 are conducted in-person and online.
MEA 517 Fundamentals of Climate Change Science explores current knowledge about the fundamentals of climate variability & climate change science, climate change analysis tools and data, national and international activities in support of climate services and research framework & analysis of climate change case studies. The course also provides experience for students in hands-on analysis of climate risks & development of adaptation and mitigation management strategies/policies in climate-sensitive application sectors. MEA517 is offered in the Fall semester.
MEA 518 Climate Risk Analysis for Adaptation provides practical hands-on experience for professionals in analyzing climate risks and developing adaptation strategies in climate sensitive sectors. The first half of the semester focuses on statistical analysis while the second half of the semester centers on science-based adaptation policy case studies. The course concludes with an instructor-approved capstone project, which applies knowledge to a real-world climate issue. MEA518 is offered in the Spring semester.
MEA 519 Barriers to Climate Change Literacy investigates the cognitive, affective and behavioral barriers to climate literacy and the ways in which effective communication strategies can be utilized to address these challenges. Critical analysis of key aspects of climate science, common misconceptions, mental models, cultural influences, and risk perceptions about climate change will be examined. The various approaches to creating effective climate messages that appropriately address a variety of publics will be discussed where students will develop products that incorporate these methods/practices. The course will feature relevant readings, classroom discussions, student-led presentations, and summative and formative course feedback though course assignments and exams. MEA519 is offered in the Spring semester.
GIS 510, Introduction to Geographic Science provides an overview of operations and functions of geographic information systems (GIS). Students develop expertise in spatial reasoning, problem definition, and skilled application of GIS software through lectures, readings, and extensive hands on experiences. GIS skills are important as climate professionals use spatial analysis to assess vital components associated with local and regional climate adaptation projects, and demand for downscaled climate projections increases. GIS510 is offered in the Fall and Spring semesters.