EARTH 172 - Climate Change and Sustainability: Environmental Challenges of the 21st Century
Section: 001
Term: WN 2019
Subject: Earth and Environmental Sciences (EARTH)
Department: LSA Earth & Environmental Sciences
Requirements & Distribution:
BS, ID, QR/2
Waitlist Capacity:
Other Course Info:
Satisfies the geography requirement for State of Michigan certification for social studies teachers. W.
This course counts toward the 60 credits of math/science required for a Bachelor of Science degree.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

Increasingly, millions of human-initiated and natural activities are altering our planet. 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 'Climate Change and Sustainability: Environmental Challenges of the 21st Century' students will study the impacts of modern human society on land, ice, freshwater, ocean, atmosphere, ecosystems, resources, and human well-being. We will also consider practical, local, and every-day considerations relevant to a sustainable human future.

In the lab portion of the course, small-group discussions and analysis of spatial data, utilizing ArcGIS software, 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 throughout the semester that would make their lifestyle more sustainable. We will analyze the impact that each individual change could make in our journey toward sustainability and reflect on how to advocate for those changes to take place.

Students will be able to enroll in a 2-week extension at the UofM Biological Station in August. This unique experience will enhance the subjects discussed in class with basic field-work, field trips, and discussions with on-site researchers and experts, and count as practical experience for PitE students.

Course Requirements:

Grading will be based on three hour-long exams (20% each) based on the lecture material (students can take a total of 4 exams and the lowest scoring exam gets dropped), labs (some discussion based and some ArcGIS based) (30%), and the weekly work on the sustainability pledge (10%).

Class attendance is required for both lecture and labs.

Intended Audience:

This course is intended for undergraduate students interested in exploring Earth's climate and the issues and challenges related to creating a sustainable society and planet.

Class Format:

The lecture portion of the class meets for 1.5 hours twice weekly. Labs meet weekly for 2 hours. GSIs teach the labs and assist in grading.

EARTH 172 - Climate Change and Sustainability: Environmental Challenges of the 21st Century
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
TuTh 1:00PM - 2:30PM
002 (LAB)
Tu 9:00AM - 11:00AM
003 (LAB)
Tu 11:00AM - 1:00PM
004 (LAB)
Th 11:00AM - 1:00PM
006 (LAB)
M 2:00PM - 4:00PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.
Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

Click the button below to view historical syllabi for EARTH 172 (UM login required)

View Historical Syllabi
The CourseProfile (ART) system, supported by the U-M Provost’s 3rd Century Initiative through a grant to the Office of Academic Innovation, provides additional information about: course enrollments; academic terms and instructors; student academic profiles (school/college, majors), and previous, concurrent, and subsequent course enrollments.

CourseProfile (ART)