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Skidmore College
First-Year Experience

Scribner Seminar Program
Course Proposal

Climate, Science and History: Walking Through the Climate Records

Instructor(s): Juan Navea, Chemistry

The climate record, spanning tens of thousands of years, has become an infamous and recognizable image in climate change research and global warming activism. As the history of humankind is intimately tied to the environment, climate records also chronicle the rise of societies, technologies, and events that define mankind's path through history and point toward the future. In this class we will explore climate, the chemical and physical forces that control it, and its impact in the development of society. In particular, we will look at the collection and analysis of scientific data; we will discuss the scientific implications of this climate record as well as the historical events prompted by it. What parameters control climate? How does climate change stimulate the development of agriculture, the growth of the first city-states, and other historical events? Students will explore the interdisciplinary implications of atmospheric, agricultural, and oceanic processes. Other topics include physics and chemistry of the environment, scientific and historical implications of volcanic eruptions, and economic and policy issues related to climate change.

Course Offered: