Human Dimensions of Global Warming

Course Home Page



Brandi Robinson
Assistant Teaching Professor
Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering
College of Earth and Mineral Sciences
The Pennsylvania State University.


GEOG 438W is a writing-intensive course that concentrates on the human-environment interactions which have created and respond to global climate change.

The course features 3 broad topical areas:

  1. causes and responses to a changing climate
  2. impacts of a changing climate
  3. future scenarios for human-environment systems

Geography 438W is a required course for both the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science in Energy and Sustainability Policy online degree programs, and is designed for students who are studying at a distance.

Topics of Study

Course Layout
Unit Components of Unit
Unit 1: Causes  Lesson 1: Introduction to the Human Dimensions of Climate Change Lesson 2: Emissions by Sector Lesson 3: Mitigation and Adaptation Lesson 4: Vulnerability Exam 1 (Lessons 1-4)
Unit 2: Impacts  Lesson 5: Human Health Lesson 6: Coasts Lesson 7:  Food and Water Lesson 8: Extreme Weather Events Exam 2 (Lessons 5 - 8)
Unit 3: Responses Lesson 9:  Sustainable Development Lesson 10: Future Scenarios Exam 3 (Lessons 9 - 10)
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This course is offered as part of the Open Educational Resources initiative of Penn State's John A. Dutton e-Education Institute. You are welcome to use and reuse materials that appear in this site (other than those copyrighted by others) subject to the licensing agreement linked to the bottom of this and every page.

Students who register for this Penn State course gain access to assignments and instructor feedback, and earn academic credit. Information about Penn State's Energy and Sustainability Policy Bachelor's program is available at the ESP Overview Page.