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Introduction to the Science of Mitigation and Adaptation

Course: OEAS 495/595 Advanced/Special Topics (one credit)
Teachers: Dr. Hans-Peter Plag

Course title: “Introduction to the Science of Mitigation and Adaptation.”

Course description: In this course, students will be introduced 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 will cover the hazards resulting from the on-going planetary reengineering that is pushing the planet out of the Holocene; the vulnerability of the coupled socio-ecological and economic system to these hazards, the foresight we have in terms of future trajectories of the planet and the probability density functions of the hazards; the opportunities and limitations for mitigation and adaptation that result from societal decision making processes and the general basis of human decision making; and, finally, the options we have for mitigation and adaptation and a framework for the assessment of the viability of proposed options.

The learning goals of the course

Students will:


Prerequistes: N/A

Reading List: Will be made available prior to course begin

Time: Mondays, 2:15-3:00 PM

Room: TBD

Grading breakdown:
40% Weekly work
60% Final Assignment (30% presentation, 30% paper)


Most of the course will consist of lectures. There will be weekly homework. The final assignment will consist of a brief presentation and a short paper to be prepared in homework during the last four weeks.