Climate Change Impacts and Adaptations
San José, Costa Rica
Area of Study
Environmental Studies, Environmental Sustainability
Taught In English
Recommended U.S. Semester Credits4
Recommended U.S. Quarter Units6
Hours & Credits
OverviewCOURSE DESCRIPTIONThis course is an introduction to understand climate change, its causes,consequences and the effects is having on natural populations of plants andanimals across the planet, including humans. Mankind is facing severalproblems due to climate change, and these effects may likely increase ine nearfuture. As temperatures keep increasing, producing major effects on all habitattypes, how can animals and plants adapt to such rapid changes? And what arewe as humans responsible for global warming are dealing with it? Can weactually answer these questions? Do we have the knowledge to reverse theongoing conditions, and if so, what is being done worldwide? Finally how is the?political weather? addressing the climate change?OBJECTIVESI. Understand climate change, causes and consequences.II. Comprehend the effects of climate change on worldwide habitats and thenatural populations occupying them.III. Analyze the evidence supporting climate change, and learn how to discussit with an exceptic.COURSE CONTENTSUnit 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 climateUnit 2. Climate change consequences on natural habitats and theirpopulations- Effects on habitats- Climate as an evolutionary force- Global extinctions due to climate- Changes in distribution and community assemblages- Impacts on humansUnit 3. Adaptation and mitigation- Carbon emissions sequestration- Mitigation: reducing the impacts- Adaptation- Ecosystems based adaptationUnit 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 policiesMETHODOLOGYAttendanceStudents 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. Studentswill 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 ispresented to justify the absence the class after. In this case the assignment willbe done that day.Field tripsThis course includes two mandatory field trips, Choices will depend on climateand availability. Lodging and main meals are covered by the course.Field trip reportStudents must do a report of the field trip. This report includes a summary ofthe sites visited and activities done, plus the assignments ask during the fieldtrip. The report is individual and must be deliver one week after the field trip, ithas to be sent to the professor?s e-mail on word or pdf format, in times newroman font, size 12, 1.15 or 1.5 line spacing and it must not be larger than 10pages.The evaluation of the report will consist of two parts, 70% on the content of thereport and 30% on the behavior (punctuality, participation, etc.) during the fieldtrip. Both field trips assistance are obligatory, an unjustified absence to any ofthem will immediately mean failing the course.PresentationsStudents will have to make two (2) individual presentations. The firstpresentation can be about any subject concerning the course topics, or a topicsnot covered but related to the course, and has to be approved by the professor.The second presentation includes a research paper about online data relatedto climate change. Presentations must be made on PowerPoint and should lastabout 15 minutes. The professor, depending on the subject will assign the datefor 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 mustbe made on the assigned date, if not the grade will be 0 (unless the absence isjustified).Electronic devices:The use of cell phones, smartphones, or other mobile communication devicesis distracting, and is therefore prohibited during class. All devices must beturned OFF during the class. Devices may be used ONLY when the professorassigns a specific activity and allows the use of them. Those who fail to complywith the rule must leave the classroom for the remainder of the class period.EVALUATIONIndividual presentations (2) 40 % (20 each)Midterm tests (2) 30 % (15 each)Field trip reports (2) 20 % (10 each)Class participation 10 %REFERENCE BIBLIOGRAPHYDessler, A. (2015). Introduction to modern climate change. CambridgeUniversity 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 totransformation.Taylor and Francis.
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