Human Dimensions of Global Warming

Course Home Page


Welcome to GEOG 438W!

New to GEOG 438W?

Registered students should begin with the Orientation.

Quick Facts about GEOG 438W

  • Instructor - Brandi Robinson, Lecturer, Dutton e-Education Institute, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, The Pennsylvania State University.
  • Author - Brent Yarnal, Professor of Geography, Department of Geography, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, The Pennsylvania State University.
  • Overview - GEOG 438W is a writing-intensive course that concentrates on the human-environment interactions involved in contemporary and future global warming. The course features two broad topical areas: global warming impacts, which comprises the first half of the course, and global warming mitigation and policy, which encompasses the second half of the course. Each week highlights a theme––such as the impacts of climate change on human health or greenhouse gas emissions from transportation––that weaves through the course lecture, reading assignment, class discussion, and writing activity. 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 able to study only part time and at a distance.
  • Learning Environment - This website provides the primary instructional materials for the course. The Resources menu at left links to important supporting materials, while the Lessons menu links to the course lessons. Canvas, Penn State's course management system, is used to support the delivery of this course as well, as it provides the primary communications, calendaring, and submission tools for the course.
  • Topics of Study -The content of this course is divided into 12 lessons. Each lesson will be completed in approximately 1 week.
Course Layout
Unit Components of Unit
Unit 1: Covering the Basics Lesson 1: Introduction to the Human Dimensions of Climate Change Lesson 2: Human Causes and Mitigation of Climate Change Lesson 3: Vulnerability and Adaptation Exam 1 (Lessons 1-3)
Unit 2: Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Mitigation Lesson 4: Energy Sector GHG Emissions and Mitigation Lesson 5: Transportation Sector GHG Emissions and Mitigation Lesson 6: Local Scale Emissions and Mitigation Exam 2 (Lessons 4-6)
Unit 3: Impacts of climate change Lesson 7: Impacts on Human Health Lesson 8: Impacts on Water Resources Lesson 9: Impacts on Our Coasts and Cities Exam 3 (Lessons 7-9)
Unit 4: The Politics and Policy of a changing climate Lesson 10: Climate Policy Lesson 11: Climate Wars Lesson 12: Climate Action Exam 4 (Lessons 10-12)
Penn State logo

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.

Only students who register for this Penn State course gain access to assignments and instructor feedback, and earn academic credit. Information about Penn State's Online Energy and Sustainability program is available at the ESP Program Office.