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GH 301: Global Climate Change

GH 301: Global Climate Change - photos from NASA's Global Climate Change website

The global climate change debate is one of the most publically argued scientific issues of the day. This focus of research has generated a huge number of publications on climate change and with Al Gore’s movie An Inconvenient Truth, the topic finally broke into the public forum. Recent extreme weather events and the gradual march of climate are starting to raise more public awareness while we have an administration that denies climate change is real or human caused.  The role of a scientist is to critically examine the evidence for and against an issue to make an informed decision about the topic.  The role of this class is to see how climate change is portrayed in the popular literature and to examine the peer-reviewed literature on both sides of this issue and to develop a defensible opinion on global climate change. 

This is the Mann, Bradley, and Hughes “Hockeystick” Curve showing temperatuers over the past 1000 years including the recent warming over the last century (Mann et al. 1999).

This is the Mann, Bradley, and Hughes “Hockeystick” Curve showing temperatuers over the past 1000 years including the recent warming over the last century (Mann et al. 1999).

Mann, M.E., Bradley, R.S. and Hughes, M.K., 1999. Northern hemisphere temperatures during the past millennium: inferences, uncertainties, and limitations. Geophysical research letters, 26(6), pp.759-762.

Instructor: Dr. James Speer

Dr. James H. Speer is a Professor of Geography and Geology at Indiana State University.   He received his bachelors and master’s degree from the University of Arizona in Geosciences and his PhD from the University of Tennessee in Geography.  He is a biogeography who uses tree-ring to reconstruct environmental variables such as fire history and insect outbreaks. Through his years of studying environmental history he has realized that humans are operating outside of the natural range of variability for most natural systems which has motivated him to give back to society by being a champion for sustainability at Indiana State University and in the Wabash Valley.  Dr. Speer is a Senior Scholar for the Institute for Community Sustainability, which was established in February 2012.  He is the President for Our Green Valley Alliance for Sustainability, on the board for the Terre Foods Cooperative Market, on the Tree Advisory Board for ISU, is a past president of the Geography Educator’s Network of Indiana, and is a past president of the Tree-Ring Society.  He lives in Terre Haute Indiana with his wife who also teaches at ISU with a PhD in Anthropology and their two sons Leif (8 years old) and Lewis (6 years old).

Please contact Dr. Speer if you have questions about this course.

Contact

Greg Bierly, Dean

Pickerl Hall 110
Indiana State University
812.237.3225
812.237.3676 fax

Office Hours:
Monday-Friday
8:00 AM - 4:30 PM