Biol 420 Syllabus Sp11

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Biol 420 Syllabus Sp11 Powered By Docstoc
					Biology 420 – Global Change
Tue/Thu 8:00-9:40 am
Dr. Tina Salmassi                                     Dr. Paul Narguizian
Office: LKH 315                                       Office: BIOS 214
Office Hours: Thursdays 1:00-3:00 pm                  Office Hours: Thursdays 1:00-3:00 pm
Email:                         Email:
Course Description: This class is an introduction to the emerging discipline of Earth System Science, which
considers interlinked physical and biological processes. We will examine the major transformations
occurring in the Earth, the causes of these changes (both anthropogenic and natural), and their likely
consequences for Earth’s biological systems. The impacts of global change on specific systems, including
fisheries, forests, agriculture, as well as impacts on ecosystem processes, biodiversity, biological
productivity, and sustainability will be considered. An important aspect of this rapidly developing field of
science is the ability to evaluate the validity of scientific claims as a basis for sound policy decisions. Thus,
the course will emphasize critical thinking by asking you to carefully consider the nature of the scientific
evidence discussed, and the integrity of public statements on this topic.
Text: Reports, handouts and online articles. Readings TBA.
Course Format: This is a co-taught course. The bulk of the course will combine lectures with class
discussions and periodic assignments focused on recently covered class material (film, lectures, scientific
literature, the popular media and internet-based assignments). There will be two exams (midterm & final).
Readings will be drawn primarily from the current scientific literature (recent books, journal articles, and
summary reports), as well as from the popular media (newspapers, magazines and the internet). All written
assignments MUST be typed; calculation-based assignments may be neatly handwritten.
Drop Policy: Please see the schedule of classes for information. No exceptions will be made to the
established University Deadlines.
Expectations: Regular attendance and participation is required. You are expected to have read the articles
assigned for each class meeting.
Exams: There will be no make-up exams or assignments. Please inform your instructor should any special
circumstances arise.
Academic Honesty: Students are expected to read and abide by the University's Academic Honesty Policy,
which can be found at Students who violate
this policy will be subject to disciplinary action, and may receive a failing grade in the course for a single
ADA Policy: Reasonable accommodation will be provided to any student who is registered with the Office of
Students with Disabilities and requests needed accommodation
                                                                Total                             500 points

      Midterm exam                     100 points
      Final exam                       150 points
      Individual Article Project       50 points
      Assignments                      200 points                   Percent     Point Total    Letter
of Total             Grade   72-77.9    360-389   C
92-100      ≥460      A      70-71.9    350-359   C-
90-91.9    450-459    A-     68-69.9    340-349   D+
88-89.9    440-449    B+     62-67.9    310-339   D
82-87.9    410-439     B     60-61.9    300-309   D-
80-81.9    400-409    B-     Below 60    <300     F
78-79.9    390-399    C+

Date   Topic                                                                                Reading
3/29   Introduction, Chronology of Events

       Dr. Salmassi/Dr. Narguizian
3/31   No Class-Cesar Chavez
4/5    Lithosphere, Geologic Processes, Plate tectonics, Mobile Earth, Ice Ages,            TBA
       Geologic Time, Ice Cores, Paleoclimate, Climate Reconstruction, Soils

       Dr. Salmassi/
4/7    Hydrosphere, Water Cycle, Water Supply, Water Resources, Water Quality               Coale et al.
       Trends, Oceans, Ocean Properties, Vertical Ocean Profiles, Currents, Ocean           Caldeirac & Wickett
       pH, Alkalinity, Ice, Sea Levels, El Nino, Ocean Acidification, Iron fertilization,   Hoegh-Goldberg
       Thermohaline Circulation, Desalinization, Drought                                    Kolbert

       Dr. Narguizian
4/12   Atmosphere, Vertical Structure, Rainwater pH, Ocean-Atmosphere Coupling,             Trenberth et al.
       Coriolis Effect, Hadley Cells, Radiative Forcing

       Dr. Narguizian
4/14   Biogeochemical Cycles, Carbon, Nitrogen, Phosphorus Cycle, and Sulfur                TBA

       Dr. Salmassi
4/19   Global Warming, Albedo, CO2 Emissions, Causes of Climate Change,                     Bacastow
       Chlorofluorocarbons, Global Dimming, Greenhouse Effect, Greenhouse                   IPCC Report
       Gases, Keeling Graph, Ozone Hole                                                     Weatherhead

       Dr. Salmassi
4/21   Tipping Point and Global Change, Extreme Events, Extraterrestrial impacts,           TBA
       Uncertainty, Climate Models and Uncertainty, IPCC, 20th Century Climate
       Change, GIS, Proxy data for Environmental Change

       Dr. Narguizian
4/26   Cryosphere, Glacial retreat, Arctic Sea Ice                                          Unquiet Ice

       Dr. Salmassi
4/28   Pollution, Acid Rain, Clean Air Act, Aerosols, Eutrophication, Hypoxia               TBA

       Dr. Salmassi
5/3    Human Population, Population Trends, Carrying Capacity, Human Impacts,               UN Millennium
       Migration, Population Policy, Disease, Zero Population Growth, Replacement           Goals
       Level, Demographic Transition, Age Structure Diagram                                 Population Age
       Dr. Salmassi
5/5    Agriculture, Irrigation, Famine, Land Use, Green Revolution, GM crops,          Pew Feeding the
       Midterm Review                                                                  World

       Dr. Salmassi
5/10   Midterm Exam
Date   Topic                                                                           Reading
5/12   Energy, McKelvey Diagram, Biofuels, Crude Oil Supply, Ethanol, Fossile Fuels,   BP Statistics
       Methane, Nuclear Power, Renewable Energy

       Dr. Salmassi
5/17   Deforestation, Desertification, Urban Climates, Heat Islands, Dams              TBA

       Dr. Narguizian
5/19   Biosphere, Biomes, Topical forests, Temperate Forests, Marine Ecosystems,       Prospect for
       Freshwater Ecosystems, Conservation, Ecosystems, Biodiversity, Extinction of    Biodiversity (State
       Species, Wetlands, Fisheries                                                    of the Planet
       Dr. Narguizian
5/24   Coral Reefs, Coral Bleaching, Coastlines                                        Rodriguez-Lanetty
                                                                                       et al.
       Dr. Narguizian
5/26   Ethics, Intergenerational Equity, Tragedy of the Commons, Belief Systems,       TBA
       Land Preservation, Land Reclamation, Wildlife Management, Climate Change
       & Societal Development, Environmental Performance Index, Globalization,
       Sustainable Growth

       Dr. Narguizian
5/31   Carbon Capture & Storage, Carbon Emissions, Carbon Taxes, Emissions             TBA
       Trading, Pest Management, Nuclear Waste, Ocean Disposal, Waste
       Management, Gaia Hypothesis

       Dr. Narguizian
6/2    Kyoto Protocol, Countries and the Environment (US, China, India, Australia,     GEO4 Report
       etc…), Conclusion/Review

       Dr. Salmassi/Dr. Narguizian
6/7    Final Exam, Tuesday 8:00-10:30

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