Climate Change

polar bear, standing, arctic ice floe

Program Overview

Inver Hills Community College is offering a new Climate Change certificate starting fall semester 2022. The 16-credit certificate provides a broad introduction to the scientific mechanisms and social drivers of climate change. Coursework also explores the social, political, and moral challenges of climate change as well as potential solutions.

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Why Study Climate Change at Inver Hills?

Climate change education is essential.

Many high schools are no longer requiring Earth Science or other sciences relevant to climate, which means student exposure to climate science could be minimal.

We need to comprehend the scope of the challenge.

Humans make positive changes when they understand the problem. We can’t change what we don’t acknowledge. Our hope is students come away with a better understanding of the natural and human causes of climate change and how to improve the lives of all humans.

Strong policy shifts are a big step.

Major change happens at the policy level. Good policy involves good scientists and a trust of climate science.

Oceans do their own thing.

Oceans don’t care about people’s political persuasions. All they know how to do is rise. Warmer oceans do not absorb carbon from the atmosphere, unlike cold oceans, and the result is more greenhouse gases. Warmer oceans increase in volume and the result is sea-level rise.

Think beyond our borders.

The climate changes we’re seeing in Minnesota are the tip of the iceberg. In the new course, Introduction to Climate Change Studies, we’ll explore what is happening globally. Who is seeing the most changes and why? How are these changes affecting people’s everyday lives? What changes are people having to make to survive?

Polar warming is a red alert.

Cold (polar) regions are seeing far greater warming than warmer (equatorial) regions. We’ll explore Indigenous observations of the Arctic and the vast amount of changes they have seen, including thinning sea ice, changes in ice and snow characteristics, poor body condition of many animals, permafrost melt, greater frequency of extreme weather events, and other issues.

The refugee crisis will touch everyone.

If climate change is the shark, the hydrologic cycle is the teeth. Changes in the hydrologic cycle are what is going to bite people in the end. Climate refugees are fleeing to other countries or even within the United States. Minnesota is one of the locations where climate refugees are coming, and we’ll explore the reasons why.

Climate Change Career Paths

Climate change is an urgent global challenge.

Green Citizen lists 21 rewarding jobs that fuel climate change solutions, including urban grower, brownfield restorer, invasive species controller, weatherization expert, sustainability consultant, environmental lawyer, conservation scientist, climatologist, power grid modernization expert, and disaster preparedness trainer.

young girl, holding plant, gazing at sky, sitting on stranded boat, devastated landscape
Inver Hills Campus

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