Climate Change and the Gulf of Maine

Course Dates

June 24, 2019 to July 1, 2019


One undergraduate course in introductory biology, environmental or marine science, or environmental policy, or permission from the instructor.

Course Description

Hands-on field research during this course will encourage students to examine alterations to the marine environment due to global climatic changes. Students will use a variety of publicly available spatial datasets and smartphone applications to envision future shorelines. Guest lectures and fieldwork will be led by local and regional marine and climate scientists and involve examination of changes to the littoral zone, Gulf of Maine, and the world’s oceans more broadly. Topics covered in this one-week field course include: Examining evidence that the Earth’s climate is changing, the greenhouse effect and natural forcings on global climate, sea-level rise, alterations to ocean chemistry and temperature, marine ecological impacts, human coastal impacts, and possible policy solutions.

photo of Appledore Island's waterfront

Students in Climate Change and the Gulf of Maine will:

  • Apply knowledge of weather and climate changes to an examination of the marine environment in the Gulf of Maine and on Appledore Island specifically.
  • Describe and analyze how climate changes are altering the Gulf of Maine’s physical and chemical properties, and impacts for marine ecology.
  • Employ scientific process and modeling skills, and be able to explain why scientists use models, citizen science, and field-based research to examine marine climate changes.
  • Critique regional policies and propose alternative policy responses to the Gulf of Maine’s changing coastlines and marine environment.
Possible Guest Instructors/Presenters may include:

Students in Climate Change and the Gulf of Maine  work on a lab exercise examining scenarios of shoreline change in coastal New Hampshire and on Appledore Island.



Dr. Drew Bush:

Postdoctoral Researcher, McGill University

As a postdoctoral researcher at McGill University, Drew Bush leads projects investigating how the public responds to extreme weather on social media for Environment and Climate Change Canada and how the Data Rescue: Archives and Weather (DRAW) project can teach students and the public about historical climate and their own heritage. His dissertation work involved collaboration with National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) researchers to examine how student inquiry research using the Educational Global Climate Model (EdGCM) impacted climate science understandings. This work was recognized by the Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences for “scholastic achievement and excellence in environmental research at the graduate level.”



Course Numbers

Cornell: BIOSM 2300 (1.5 Credits)
UNH: MEFB 507 (2 Credits)