Online
Jun 10-Aug 02, 2019
Credit: 3 graduate
Instructor(s): Robyn Gotz

Course Description

Registration begins on March 25th - please register for CRN 11199.
The science of climate change is a complex subject that balances the physical record and scientific fact with politics, policy, and ethics. This course explores the science of climate change. Students will learn how the climate system works, what factors cause climate to change across different time scales and how those factors interact. We will also explore how climate has changed in the past and how scientists use models, observations and theory to make predictions about future climate. Finally we will examine the possible consequences of climate change for our planet. The course explores evidence for changes in land and ocean temperature, changes in the cryosphere, sea level and acidity change due to global warming. Students will learn how climate change today is different from past climate cycles and how satellites and other technologies are revealing the global signals of a changing climate. Finally, the course looks at the connection between human activity and the current warming trend and considers some of the potential social, economic and environmental consequences of climate change.

In light of the changes we have already observed, and the projected future changes it is imperative that we equip our teacher and educators with the tools to better prepare and motivate the next generation of scientists in this field. In this course we will build an understanding of climate change and how it will impact our future.

The course goals for teachers in grades 9-12 are to:
  • Increase content knowledge about climate change,
  • Increase pedagogical skills related to teaching climate change topics,
  • Create a "tool-kit" of teaching activities relating to climate change, and
  • Engender changes in teacher-participants' classrooms that lead to an increased quantity and quality of climate change, weather and climate related instruction.
These goals are accomplished through a highly structured series of on-line lectures, web based activities using a range of on-line resources, and participant discussions on developing classroom activities. This course is specially designed for practicing science teachers at the upper middle to high school level.

Meeting Place and Times

Participants log into the course at a time of day that best fits their schedule. It is necessary to connect at least 4 - 6 times per week and spend 13 - 16 hours each week while the course is in session, either online or offline working on course related assignments, to stay current and successfully complete this 3 credit fast paced graduate course.

Instructor(s)

Robyn Gotz, MS.

Robyn graduated from Montana State University in 2013 with a Master of Science in Earth Sciences. Her graduate research focused on spatial changes in physical snow properties as a result of using avalanche explosives. Robyn has an extensive background in snow avalanche work as a 10-year member of the Snowmass Ski Patrol in Snowmass Village, CO and a 3-year member of the La Parva Ski Patrol in La Parva, Chile. Robyn is currently pursuing her PhD in higher education and focusing her current research on geoscience and online education. As a faculty member of the Department of Earth Sciences, Robyn has taught a range of classes including, Introduction to Earth System Sciences (face-to-face and online), Introduction to Snow Science, Weather and Climate (face-to-face and online), Oceanography, Earth Materials, and has co-taught Snow Dynamics and Accumulation. Robyn also teaches K-14 Earth System Sciences, Middle School Earth System Science, Weather and Climate for Teachers, and Understanding Climate Change for Teachers as part of the National Teacher’s Enhancement Network (NTEN) and Master of Science in Science Education (MSSE) programs.

Prerequisites

Prerequisites for the course include a bachelor’s degree, two years of teaching experience and ERTH 591 "Weather and Climate for Teachers", or ERTH 303 "Weather and Climate" or an equivalent course.

Target Audience

9 - 12 grade science teachers.

Time Commitment:

13-16 hours per week. If you are unfamiliar with this field of study and/or method of delivery, you may require more time.

Tuition and Fees

If you are accepted into a qualified online program, see the appropriate MSU Online Only Tuition and Fee table below:

If you are also taking a face-to-face course, please refer to the MSU Fee Schedules.

Required Books/Materials

  • Kitchen, D., 2014. Global Climate Change: Turning Knowledge Into Action.
    • ISBN-13: 9780321634122
    Cost approximately $135 paperback

Teachers are on their own to pick up a copy of the text before the course begins.

You can order the text online from Routledge-Taylor & Francis Group or from another bookstore of your choosing.

Computer Requirements:

  • Internet access
  • A device and browser that pass the system check for Brightspace LE, MSU's learning management system.

This course uses a learning management system. You will learn more closer to the course start date.

For More Information

Regarding registration, please contact Kelly Boyce by phone at (800)282-6062 or (406)994-6812, or by email at kboyce@montana.edu.

For questions regarding course content, please contact Robyn Gotz at robyn.gotz@montana.edu.

How to Register

You must be accepted as a student to Montana State University to take this course.

Learn how to apply.

After your application has been accepted, you will register via MSU's online registration system, MyInfo.

Registration requires a PIN number. Learn how to find your PIN.

Once you have your PIN, learn how to register through MyInfo.