IDCE 30226 - Biogeochemical Cycles and Global Change

This course provides a solid foundation in the environmental sciences of the earth’s interconnected cycles and systems so that students understand the science associated with society’s most pressing environmental issues. Material cycles to be explored include carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, sulfur, and mercury. These biogeochemical cycles will be explored with an earth system science perspective including the hydrosphere (water), the atmosphere, the biosphere (living things), and the lithosphere. The impact of human activity on these cycles and systems will be integrated throughout the semester, including discussions on climate change (energy and the carbon cycle), land-use (impacts of deforestation and agriculture), water resources, and human-induced changes to the oceans. Also to be discussed will be the challenges of effectively integrating science in environmental policies to mitigate adverse anthropogenic impacts to biogeochemical processes. This course, an interdisciplinary natural science course, is appropriate for those with little or no natural science background, but it has been designed to also be a valuable integrating course for those with a strong background in biology, chemistry or geology.

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