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Signature Courses

Sea Change: The Rise and Fall of Sea Level and the Jersey Shore

SC Sea Change

Sea Change: The Rise and Fall of Sea Level and the Jersey Shore
01:460:110 (3 credits)
Core: CCO, NS
Professor Kenneth Miller, Earth and Planetary Sciences

What do woolly mammoths and the Jersey Shore have in common?

How long until your dorm room has an ocean view?

Why is sea level rising? Is it our fault? Can we stop it? Should we? What are the economic, ethical, and political realities of dealing with rising sea level? 

Viewing modern sea-level and climate change through a 100-million-year geological perspective, in this course you will reconstruct sea-level changes using different geological methods and try to predict the future, the impact on the Jersey Shore, and our options to fight back.

Designed not just for the environmentally conscious but also for skeptics and those simply curious about where we have been and where we are going, this course employs basic science concepts and helps nonspecialists build the scientific literacy needed to confront the economic, ethical, and political challenges of sea change in the 21st century. Leave your preconceived notions behind!

This course is particularly recommended for students pursuing majors or minors in the social sciences and in areas of the humanities impacted by changing sea levels, such as anthropology, art history, business, classics, economics, European studies, history, human ecology, journalism and media studies, Latino and Hispanic Caribbean studies, political science, public policy, and sociology. It is of interest to students in the physical and biological sciences. Sea Change can be used to meet the SAS Core Curriculum goals in Contemporary Challenges [CCO] and Natural Sciences [NS].