Academic Programs Supported by MARI

Fall 2018: Natural Hazards and Disasters
Summer 2018: Internship
Summer 2018: Leadership
Spring 2018: Adaptation
Fall 2017: Disasters
Summer 2017: Internship
Summer 2017: Leadership
Conservation Leadership Minor
Grad. Certificate in Conservation Leadership
Teaching Archive


Well over 50 courses at ODU include climate change and sea level rise topics. A list of the courses in Spring 2016 is available as PDF.

A collaboration focusing on degrees and certificate in Conservation Leadership is funded by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; see the project page for more information.

Courses and seminars in 2018 include:

Courses and seminars in 2018 include:

  • OEAS 250N: Natural Hazards and Disasters; Hans-Peter Plag
  • IDS 368: Internship in Interdisciplinary Studies; Eddie Hill, Hans-Peter Plag.
  • OEAS 495/BIOL 496: Sustainability Leadership; Hans-Peter Plag, Tatyana Lobova, and Michelle Heart.
  • IDS/BIOL/OEAS 466W; BIOL/OEAS 566: Introduction to Mitigation and Adaptation Studies; Hans-Peter Plag, Tatyana Lobova

Relevant courses given regularly include:

Undergraduate Courses:

  • OEAS 108N. Understanding Global Climate Change; David Burdige; 4 Credits. Offered every spring.
    Lecture, 3 hours; Lab, 2 hours. 4 credits. What is the science behind global climate change? How reliable are forecasts of future global warming? This course examines these questions to evaluate the likelihood and potential severity of anthropogenic climate change in the coming centuries. It includes an overview of the physics of the greenhouse effect, an overview of the global carbon cycle and its role as a global thermostat; an examination of predictions and reliability of model forecasts of future climate change; and examination of local impacts of global climate change (e.g., sea level rise in the Tidewater area).
    This course satisfies the natural science gen ed requirement and is geared towards non-science majors.
  • POLS 300, Public Policy
  • POLS 335, Environmental Politics and Policy
  • POLS 455, US Politics and Climate Change

Graduate Courses:

  • IS 710/810, Global Environmental Policy
  • IS 795/895, Politics of Climate Change: Comparative Perspectives

Documentation for selected previous courses and events is available through the Teaching Archive.


New course on Sustainability Leadership: The Sustainability Leadership Course was taught the first time in the first of the 2017 Summer sessions. It will be regulary taught in this Summer session. Creating a more sustainable society presents a serious challenge and at the same time an enormous opportunity. In this class, students discovered what makes a leader for sustainability. They considered a range of global and local crises from a leadership point of view in the context of sustainability science, which addresses the development of communities in a rapidly changing social, economic, and environmental system-of-systems environment. The course took a problem-motivated and solution-focused approach to the challenges considered. The course included service-learning projects, in which students worked in small groups on developing solutions for real-world problems from a leadership point of view. The projects included a mandatory one-week work period in Florida.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service visited ODU to inform students about job and internship opportunities. More than 100 students attended the meeting documenting the broad interest in job opportunity and conservation-related education.

Interdisciplinary Course on Mitigation and Adaptation Studies. The course was taught in Fall 2016 and Spring 2017, and it will be taught in each Spring term. The course gives an introduction to the science underpinning mitigation of human-induced changes in the Earth system, including but not limited to climate change and sea level rise, and adaptation to the impacts of these changes. The course covers the environmental hazards and the opportunities and limitations for conservation, mitigation and adaptation. The course is a core course for the interdisciplinary minor in Conservation Leadership.

Interdisciplinary minor in Conservation Leadership: This interdisciplinary Minor focuses on conservation solutions in the context of our quickly changing planet. A goal of this new program is to develop the next generation of conservation leaders with the ability to critically review underlying paradigms and to initiate paradigm shifts where they are needed in conservation roles, such as in local, state and federal agency and non-profit sectors, to more suitably address the challenges of sea level rise and climate change. The core of this 15 credit minor is built around two courses on Adaptation Studies and Adaptive Leadership, in addition to a service-learning course. One additional course is an elective, which can be selected across disciplines to suit a wide-range of conservation interests. An internship is the capstone of this minor. For more information, see here.

In the 2016 Summer term (June 27 — August 6, 2016), the graduate course “Decisions, Biases, and the Creation of Knowledge” will study how personal, community and cultural biases impact the creation of knowlegde and the use of it in decision making. The course is open for guests who whould like to participate in the deliberations. For more information, see the course page.