Course Descriptions

This certificate is comprised of four required courses:

Discipline

Course #

Course Title

Units

Format

UC Transferable

GEOG

XL 1

Earth’s Physical Environment

5

Online

Yes*

GEOG

XL 5

People and the Earth’s Ecosystems

5

Online

Yes*

ENVIRON

X 14

The Ocean Environment: An Ecosystem Perspective

5

Online

Depends on institution

PUB PLC

X 461

Climate Change, Energy, and the Environment

4

Online

Depends on institution

*Be sure to check with your institution on whether the course will transfer. Transfer is not guaranteed.

 

GEOG XL 1. Earth’s Physical Environment

5 units

This course is an introduction to Physical Geography, focusing on Earth’s physical environment including water, air, and land.  We will discuss how an understanding of Physical Geography is relevant to your daily lives as students and citizens, and will explore pertinent issues facing our Earth such as Climate Change, Sea Level Rise, Severe Weather, Earthquakes, Volcanic Eruptions, Wind and Solar Energy and much more.  The goal of this class is to introduce you to the patterns and processes that occur on the Earth, and explain why they matter to your life.

GEOG XL 5. People and the Earth’s Ecosystems

5 units

This course explores the ways in which human activity impacts the natural environment and how modification of environment can eventually have significant consequences for human activity. Topics include environmental challenges, such as air and water pollution, population growth and distribution, global atmospheric changes, ecosystems and evolution, agriculture and food resources, and renewable and nonrenewable energy resources. Includes case studies drawn from the local, national, and international levels.

ENVIRO XL 14. The Ocean Environment: An Ecosystem Perspective

5 units

This course focuses on the ocean environment with an emphasis on ecosystems and environmental issues. Instruction begins by introducing the important physical, chemical, geological, and biological components of the ocean system. The concept of the ecosystem, a dynamic complex of interactions between living organisms and their environment, provides the context to explore the dominant biology, chemistry, physics, and geology of several marine ecosystems, including sandy and rocky shorelines, wetlands, the open ocean, and the benthos. The final portion of the course focuses on human impacts, tradeoffs, and future outlook regarding such environmental issues as fisheries, pollution, mariculture, global climate, coastal modification, marine mammals, and coral reef degradation.

PUB PLC X 461. Climate Change, Energy, and the Environment

4 units

Climate Change, Air Quality, and Energy are integrally connected for many reasons. While the first two issues are environmental challenges that affect our health, safety, and wellbeing, they cannot be solved without considering our energy needs and solutions. Many nations, regions, states, and localities are studying these problems and crafting solutions, which are far reaching in their future implications for communities, businesses, and the nation as a whole.

This course integrates at a policy level, the issues of climate change, energy for both transportation and power, and protection of the environment. Climate Change is introduced and discussed broadly, including scientific basis for global warming, greenhouse gas emissions, their impacts, adaptation and policy actions being taken or designed to reduce such impacts. Energy generation, usage, and future scenarios will be analyzed – at local, national, and international levels. The inter-relationship between greenhouse gases, environmental quality, public health, energy needs, and long-term sustainability will be briefly discussed. Air quality and public health issues and recent Greenhouse Gas reduction programs, including market trading programs, will be discussed in depth. This course will also address special topics, including advanced technology vehicles, smart grids, renewable energy, carbon capture and storage, and environmental justice.