I've posted a PRELIMINARY version of the syllabus for the Fall 2010 session of GEOG5426. I plan to continue to revise the syllabus until the beginning of class, so don't be surprised if things change by our first class on September 8.
In this seminar course, we will examine these questions through the lens of paleoclimatology, which uses physical and cultural evidence to make inferences about climates of the past. We will review the processes that govern our modern climate and explore what paleoclimate records tell us about how these systems respond to (and express) climate change. In the process, we will learn how insights drawn from the past can help inform discussions of contemporary issues linked to climate change, hazards and the management of natural resources. Case studies will be selected to focus on the Holocene (the last 10 ka) and, to a lesser degree, the climate of North America.
By the end of the semester, students will be able to explain how paleoclimatology helps address grand challenges in Climatology and Earth Systems Science. They will be familiar with the core techniques used by scientists at the University of Minnesota to make inferences about past climates. They will also be able to provide examples that illustrate how adopting the "Long View" can support risk assessment and wise stewardship of natural resources. More generally, they will have improved their ability to understand and synthesize scientific articles and will have developed skills to help them communicate about complex ideas in a clear and concise manner.
The direct link to the syllabus is here