EM SC 100S: EMS First-year Seminar
Section 002: The Science of Climate and the History of Climate Change
Instructor: Sukyoung Lee
Office: 519 Walker Building
Class: T Th, 11:15-12:30, Room 10 Deike
Laboratory demonstrations will be performed in Walker 529.
Office hours: T, Th 10:00-11:00; or by appointment
For anyone who is tuned to the mainstream media, it is difficult to get by one day without reading or hearing about news or editorials on climate change. This publicity, in large part, reflects concern over the potentially dire socio-economic and political consequences of climate change, which has either been observed or predicted by climate researchers. Although much of the research findings are based on non-disputable scientific facts such as F = ma, the observational evidence and projections are not free of controversies. One important reason for the controversies arises from the fact that the climate is influenced by complex interactions amongst the atmosphere, ocean, land, ice, plants, and animals. In this class, we will first explore the science of climate change to appreciate both the beauty of the science itself and also the challenges. For this part of the class activity, we will use pedagogical, fun, hands-on laboratory experimental tools. In the second part of the semester, we will study past socio-economical impacts caused by climate change and discuss the directions for the future.
David Archer, 2011, Global warming: Understanding the forecast. Wiley, 203 pp. ISBN 978-0-470-94341-0
Internet materials and links:
see ANGEL (In the Lecture list, ANGEL materials are indicated in light blue)
Course Requirements and expectations
The primary goal of this course is to sharpen critical thinking skills using the topic of climate change, one of the most prominent scientific and societal issues today. We aim to achieve this goal through both individual and group learning, while developing effective written and oral communication skills.
- Reading : To help you develop the skills to read critically, a set of questions will be posted for each reading assignment. If you raise your own questions during the class, you’ll earn points toward Class Participation.
- Homework (24 points): see the Lecture Schedule for detail
- Reports (24 points): see the Lecture Schedule for detail
- Class Participation (22 points) : you are strongly encouraged to actively participate in class discussion. Please see class_participation_rubric.doc on ANGEL. Use of electronic devises during the class will result in lower scores in class participation.
- Class Projects (30 points)
- Project: Poster on Climate Science
- Project: Poster on Climate Science
Form groups of three or four students. Each group should produce a poster on the science of climate. The target audience is a general audience. On September 18, Ms. Kimberly Del Bright will give a special lecture on poster presentation.
There will be an exciting opportunity to compete and win a cash prize! Selected teams can enter the annual EMS Poster Exhibition which will be held on December 3, 2014. Because of the hallway space limitation, however, I cannot promise that all of your posters can gain the entry. Please visit http://www.ems.psu.edu/ugposterexhibit for additional information. In order to enter the competition, you need to register, and submit an abstract and an electronic file (pdf) of the poster by no later than November 12, 2014.
Helpful tips: The topic for your poster can be obtained from the textbook, class discussions, as well as from material outside of the classroom such as newspapers, magazines, popular books, and journal articles. Again, please visit http://www.ems.psu.edu/ugposterexhibit to learn how to prepare the poster.
Your grade will be based on the criteria used for the EMS Poster Exhibition Judging. This can be found in Poster_project_rubric.pdf on ANGEL.
- 9/16/2014: Form groups and inform me of your group members (only one of the group members needs to contact me)
- 9/18/2014: Ms. Bright lecture
- 9/30/2014: A preliminary in-class presentation on the outline of the poster
- 10/14/2014: In-class group work & progress report
- 10/30/2014: In-class presentations of the first draft of poster (electronic version), abstract, & critique
- 11/11/2014: In-class presentations of the second draft of the poster (electronic version) & critique
- 11/12/2014: Registration deadline!
- 12/2/2013: In-class practice presentation for the EMS Poster Exhibition!
Class attendance is mandatory. This course abides by the Penn State Class Attendance policy given at http://senate.psu.edu/policies/42-00.html#42-27. Unexcused absences will result in lowering your final grade. For 1-3 unexcused absence, each absence will count toward minus 2 point from the total grade. For example, if your final grade is 95, 3 unexcused absence will bring down the grade to 89. For 4 or more unexcused absences, each absence will count toward minus 5 point from the total grade.
This schedule should be taken as a guideline, because it is subject to change.
Class activities to be held outside of the regular classroom are highlighted in yellow. Guest lectures are highlighted in gray. The term project activities are highlighted in green. Due materials/presentations are indicated in red.
Lecture, Subject, Book chapter/ANGEL material
- Aug. 26: Introduction
- Aug. 28: EMS library
- Sept. 2: Professionalism: A Critical Skill for Success (visit by EMS Student Council)
- Sept. 4: An Overview of Climate Science and Climate Change
- Sept. 9: Infrared radiation & the greenhouse effect, Chap 2, 3
Homework 1 is based on this material, and is due Sept. 16.
- Sept. 11: Greenhouse gases, Chap 4, Homework 2 is based on this material, and is due Sept. 23.
- Sept. 16: Tour of PSU recycling plant
Report 1: write a 1 to 2 double-spaced page review of the tour. The report should include what you learned about sustainability from the tour. Grade will be assigned based on Report_Rubric.doc. Report 1 is due Sept. 25.
- Sept. 18
- Sept. 23: Discussion on HW1 & HW2
- Sept. 25: No regular class in lieu of participating in Get Connected Stay Connected
Participate in Get Connected Stay Connected (9:00am – 1:00 pm) Bank of America Career Services Building
Report 2/assignment: please see Get_Connected_assignment.doc
This assignment is due September 30. On the same day, students are to present the assignment in class using PowerPoint or an equivalent tool.
Attendance will be verified through signature sheets. Students will pick up a signature sheet at the registration table and collect signatures by participating in each of the 5 activities. Please return the signatures sheets to me during class time.
- Sept. 30: A preliminary in-class presentation on the outline of the poster & Get Connected Stay Connected presentations
- Oct. 2: Poster presentation (Ms. Del Bright)
- Oct. 7: Vertical temperature profile, Chap 5
- Oct. 9: MorningStar Home Tour
(Report 3: write a 1 to 2 double-spaced page review of the tour. The report should include what you learned about sustainability from the tour. Grade will be assigned based on Report_Rubric.doc. Report 3 is due Nov. 4.)
- Oct. 14: In-class group work & progress report
- Oct. 16: Weather Center Tour
- Oct. 21: Atmospheric circulation, Chap 6
Homework 3 is based on this material, and is due Nov 13.
- Oct. 23: Eurasian snow cover exercise Eurasia_Lab_EMSC.pdf
- Oct. 28: In-class presentations of the first draft of poster (electronic version), abstract, critique, and in-class group work. Please bring a hard copy of the draft poster, or bring a laptop to display it. In addition, bring a hard copy of the abstract.
Pizza will be provided!
- Oct. 30: Atmospheric circulation & Laboratory experiment (meet in Walker 529)
- Nov. 4: Climate feedback, Chap 7
Homework 4 is based on this material, and is due Nov 20.
- Nov. 6: Resume by Ms. Del Bright Please bring a hard copy of your resume for class activities. Extra points will be given for bringing the copy.
- Nov. 11: In-class presentations of the second draft of the poster (electronic version) & critique
- Nov. 13: No class in lieu of attending World in Conversation (Report 4: write a 2 to 3 double-spaced page review of the event. Grade will be assigned based on Report_Rubric.doc. Report 3 is due Dec 4.)
- Nov. 18: Gaia Hypothesis & Daisy World GAIA_HYPOTHESIS.pdf, DAISYWORD.pdf
- Nov. 20: Gaia Hypothesis & Daisy World discussion Gaia.docx, Daisy.docx
- Nov. 25 & 27 Thanksgiving Holiday
- Dec. 2: In-class practice presentation for the EMS Poster Exhibition!
- Dec. 4: Climate Forecast & History of Climate Science: Chap 11
- Dec. 9: Discussion of HW3 & HW4
- Dec. 11: Wrap up
This course abides by the Penn State Class Attendance Policy 42-27: http://senate.psu.edu/policies/42-00.html#42-27, Attendance Policy E-11: http://www.psu.edu/oue/aappm/E-11.html, and Conflict Exam Policy 44-35: http://www.psu.edu/ufs/policies/44-00.html#44-35. Please also see Illness Verification Policy: http://studentaffairs.psu.edu/health/welcome/illnessVerification/, and Religious Observance Policy: http://www.psu.edu/oue/aappm/R-4.html. Students who miss class for legitimate reasons will be given a reasonable opportunity to make up missed work, including exams and quizzes. Students are not required to secure the signature of medical personnel in the case of illness or injury and should use their best judgment on whether they are well enough to attend class or not; the University Health Center will not provide medical verification for minor illnesses or injuries. Other legitimate reasons for missing class include religious observance, family emergencies, and regularly scheduled university-approved curricular or extracurricular activities. Students who encounter serious family, health, or personal situations that result in extended absences should contact the Office of Student and Family Services for help: http://studentaffairs.psu.edu/familyservices/. Whenever possible, students participating in University-approved activities should submit to the instructor a Class Absence Form available from the Registrar's Office: http://www.registrar.psu.edu/student_forms/, at least one week prior to the activity.
Academic integrity statement
Students in this class are expected to write up their problem sets individually, to work the exams on their own, and to write their papers in their own words using proper citations. Class members may work on the problem sets in groups, but then each student must write up the answers separately. Students are not to copy problem or exam answers from another person's paper and present them as their own; students may not plagiarize text from papers or websites written by others. Students who present other people's work as their own will receive at least a 0 on the assignment and may well receive an F or XF in the course. Please see: Earth and Mineral Sciences Academic Integrity Policy:
http://www.ems.psu.edu/current_undergrad_students/academics/integrity_policy, which this course adopts.
Accommodations for students with disabilities
Penn State welcomes students with disabilities into the University's educational programs. Every Penn State campus has an office for students with disabilities. The Office for Disability Services (ODS) Web site provides contact information for every Penn State campus: http://equity.psu.edu/ods/dcl. For further information, please visit the Office for Disability Services Web site: http://equity.psu.edu/ods.
In order to receive consideration for reasonable accommodations, you must contact the appropriate disability services office at the campus where you are officially enrolled, participate in an intake interview, and provide documentation: http://equity.psu.edu/ods/guidelines. If the documentation supports your request for reasonable accommodations, your campus’s disability services office will provide you with an accommodation letter.
Other statements as applicable
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