The Ann Arbor Class
Increasingly, millions of human-initiated and natural activities are altering the planet on which we live. Over the past century, through our ever-increasing population and mastery of technology, we have been changing our planet’s environment at a pace unknown in Earth’s natural history.
In Global Change - The Sustainability Challenge, students will study the impacts of modern human society on land, ocean, air, ecosystems, resources and human well-being. We will also consider practical, local, and every-day considerations relevant to a sustainable human future.
Group discussions and analysis of spatial data are used to investigate the role and impacts of change, toward developing mitigation and adaptation strategies.
In addition, as part of the hands-on component of the course, students are asked to take a pledge during the semester that would make their lifestyle more sustainable. We will then analyze the impact that each individual change could make in our journey toward sustainability.
The UMBS Extension
We will investigate the sustainability challenges related to food production today and compare the difference between organic, traditional, small scale, large scale, monoculture agriculture and husbandry.
We will look at examples and consequences of deforestation and habitat loss, such as wetlands.
We will investigate the implications and issues related to waste and pollution in both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.
We will look at examples and consequences of biodiversity reduction and introduction of invasive species in Northern Michigan.
NOTE: This extension is open to students who have taken Introduction to Global Change (AOSS 171, BIOLOGY 110, EARTH 171, Enscen 171, Environ 110), Global Change: The Sustainability Challenge (AOSS 172/Earth 172/ENSCEN 172/Environ 111/GEOG 111) and/or Ecological Issues (Environ 201).