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The changing climate is often considered from a global perspective, or in terms of local impacts. The connections between the two are not always obvious. Similarly, the basic concepts used to describe climate and climate change can appear somewhat abstract at a global scale, especially when treated from only a theoretical classroom perspective.
The purpose of our field experiment is to provide an experiential understanding of the interconnected nature of the atmosphere, ocean, biosphere, cryosphere and societies that together form the climate system. The course introduces the scope of climate science, underlying conservation laws, and the robustness of climate information. Students make observations and collect data that allow evaluation of energy balance, water and carbon cycles and atmospheric circulation. Students participate in both lectures and field exercises at different sites in Oregon that span the climatic regimes and enable discovery of critical processes that influence regional and global climate.
Class activities include:
Students will utilize a variety of quantitative and qualitative methods for identifying impacts of climate change on the local environment and their experiments provide insight into issues associated with monitoring climate. Students will carry out field exercises both in groups and individually.
Individual reports will be composed of a series of worksheets, graphs and outcomes from each experiment. Group reports will be in the form of a group presentation, and a power point (or similar) document that synthesizes data, findings and results from the class as a whole. Group projects are intended to span the weeks’ worth of data and be inclusive.
We stay in the accommodation at the Hatfield Marine Science Center for the first part of the week, and relocate to the HJ Andrews Experimental Forest for the second part. During planning meetings, meals and any special eating requirements will be organized.
What to pack
We work outside and inside, and rain is a feature of the Oregon climate.