Jun 21, 2024  
2018-2019 Course Catalog 
2018-2019 Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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BIOL 1027 - Climate Change Biology

Credits: 3
Hours/Week: Lecture 3 Lab None
Course Description: This course deals with the effects of climate change on various biological species and ecosystems. Topics include basic biology concepts including characteristics and organization of life, ecosystems, biogeochemical cycles, basic climate change science, and how various organisms are responding to it. Students will form eco-teams”, a type of non-traditional lab component to the course, in which they will calculate their carbon footprints and analyze and determine ways to decrease their environmental impact. Students will explore practical ways to live more sustainably and how to be responsible citizens in regard to sustainability; all of which can improve one’s quality of life, slow climate change, and help protect present and future generations of humans and other species.
MnTC Goals
3 Natural Science, 10 People/Environment

Prerequisite(s): Course placement into college-level English and Reading OR completion of ENGL 0950  with a grade of C or higher OR completion of RDNG 0940  with a grade of C or higher and qualifying English Placement Exam OR completion of RDNG 0950  with a grade of C or higher and ENGL 0090  with a grade of C or higher OR completion of ESOL 0051  with a grade of C or higher and ESOL 0052  with a grade of C or higher.
Corequisite(s): None
Recommendation: None

Major Content
  1. Organization of life
  2. Characteristics of life
  3. Energy of life (cellular respiration, photosynthesis)
  4. Ecosystems
  5. Biogeochemical cycles
  6. Greenhouse effect, natural versus enhanced
  7. Carbon footprint
  8. Basic science of climate change
  9. Effects of climate change on biodiversity in general and on selected species and ecosystems (e.g., species range shifts, ocean chemistry changes, sea level changes, freshwater changes, changes in pests and pathogens, endangerment and extinctions)
  10. Responses of species to climate change, including species native to Minnesota
  11. Sustainable living
  12. International policy and collaboration for solutions
  13. Practical (and not so practical) ways to live more sustainably
  14. Group and individual planning, taking planned actions, and assessing resulting decrease in individual environmental impact

Learning Outcomes
At the end of this course students will be able to:

  1. explain the basic organization of biology. (atoms, molecules, cells, tissues, organs, organisms, populations, communities, ecosystems, biosphere)
  2. describe the effects of climate change on living organisms and ecosystems
  3. explain relationships between climate change and agriculture, deforestation, burning of fossil fuels, and human population growth
  4. apply several aspects of sustainable living to one’s personal life through working as part of an Eco-Team.
  5. explain how our culture needs to shift its assumptions about what a good quality of life really is and how to influence and help bring about changes needed to bring about this shift
  6. assess the consequences of global environmental change for people, for ecosystems, and for the biosphere
  7. explain the importance of ones place in the total picture and health of the natural world and of society
  8. explain the basic biogeochemical cycles
  9. describe the major ecosystems
  10. calculate individual carbon dioxide equivalents emissions (carbon footprint)
  11. develop and implement plans to reduce carbon footprint
  12. explain the difference between the natural greenhouse effect and the enhanced (anthropogenic) carbon cycle
  13. explain the basic characteristics of life

Competency 1 (1-6)
03. 01. Demonstrate understanding of scientific theories.
03. 03. Communicate their experimental findings, analyses, and interpretations both orally and in writing.
03. 04. Evaluate societal issues from a natural science perspective, ask questions about the evidence presented, and make informed judgments about science-related topics and policies.
Competency 2 (7-10)
10. 02. Discern patterns and interrelationships of bio-physical and socio-cultural systems.
10. 03. Describe the basic institutional arrangements (social, legal, political, economic, religious) that are evolving to deal with environmental and natural resource challenges.
10. 05. Propose and assess alternative solutions to environmental problems.
10. 06. Articulate and defend the actions they would take on various environmental issues.

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