Climate Change and the Gulf of Maine
One undergraduate course in introductory biology, environmental or marine science, or environmental policy, or permission from the instructor.
Hands-on inquiry 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.
Students in Examining Marine Climate Change 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.
Guest Instructors/Presenters will include:
Postdoctoral Researcher, McGill University
As a postdoctoral researcher at McGill University, Drew Bush investigates how a citizen science curriculum utilizing the Data Rescue: Archives and Weather (DRAW) project can teach students about historical climate records in Montreal and the social, political, and cultural events that coincided with them. 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.”