Climate change may be the single most important issue facing us today. Understanding such a multi-faceted problem requires taking into account not just scientific accounts of climate change and its impact, but the social, cultural and political dynamics that have shaped the way we live in — and use — the natural world.
Enrolled in this Inquiry?—Click here for a requirement checklist.
Inquiry Course Requirements:
All Climate Inquiry students start their Inquiry coursework with Introduction to Environmental Studies, which makes it a great choice for environmental studies majors:
- Introduction to Environmental Studies (ENST 100)
Meets Core Knowledge and Methods outcomes in Cultural Literacy, Humanities, and Social and Behavioral Sciences
Chemistry and Biology majors might use CHEM 106 as an Inquiry class; others can choose BIOL 101 (for non-science majors) or ENST 265.
- Contemporary Bioscience (BIOL 101)
General Chemistry II (CHEM 106)
Earth Systems (ENST 265)
Meets Core Knowledge and Methods outcomes in the Natural Sciences
Students experience how even basic programming skills can be applied to issues connected to climate change and sustainability.
- Introduction to Computer Science (COSC 120)
Meets Core Knowledge and Methods outcomes in Mathematics
Climate also includes courses that deepen students’ engagement with climate change from a philosophical or historical perspective. Students choose:
- Environmental Ethics (PHIL 321)
Hunters and Poachers: African Environmental History (HIST 396)
Meets Core Knowledge and Methods outcomes in the Cultural Literacy and Humanities
And they learn about the connection between creative expression and how we understand– and maybe act on– complex issues such as climate change. Students choose:
- Topics in Writing, particularly Environmental Storytelling (ENGL 201)
Landscape Drawing and Painting (ART 240)
Community Arts (ART 269)
Meets Core Knowledge and Methods outcomes in the Arts
When this coursework is finished, all Inquiry students complete:
- Integrated Learning Portfolio (1 credit)
Integrated Learning Portfolio (ILP)
The final requirement for any Inquiry is the Integrated Learning Portfolio. The ILP is the place where students articulate the connections they see among their courses– and where they reflect on the contribution each course makes to the Inquiry topic. Portfolios can include assignments from each Inquiry class, or artifacts from the class itself: images, articles, data– whatever material has been most significant to you.
Assembled as a Google Site or through a similar platform, the ILP is submitted as the student completes their Inquiry coursework. During their final semester in the Inquiry, students will be registered for their ILP by the Inquiry Lead. The ILP is worth one credit and graded on a Credit/No Credit basis.
About Core Inquiries
Core Inquiries give students an opportunity to apply coursework from a range of liberal arts disciplines to a common topic or question. In an Inquiry, students satisfy their Core Knowledge and Methods requirements by taking a set of courses– each connected to the Inquiry topic– and completing an Integrated Learning Portfolio. Through their Inquiry coursework, students can fulfill their Core Knowledge and Methods requirements in four or five classes (the number varies depending on which Inquiry you take), rather than six.