About the Program

Global Climate Change Africa Semester Mosaic will explore the science, human and ecological consequences, policy options and international negotiations surrounding global climate change, with focused study of sub-Saharan Africa and especially South Africa.  Students will study climate science, policy, and progress, South African history, politics, culture and environmental issues.  The team will investigate the roles, motivations, positions and effectiveness of different delegations and constituencies in the negotiations by conducting and videotaping interviews with conference delegates; observing conference proceedings; attending science and policy briefings, panels and events; and following real-time media coverage of the conference.  Bringing their expertise and knowledge into practice, the course also allows for media outreach and creation via blogging, interview techniques, social media outreach, and educational design to a variety of audiences.

Program Dates

Fall Semester 2011 on campus (3 1/2 credits)
COP17 Study Abroad  to UN Climate Change Conference in Durban South Africa (Nov 26-Dec 17 tentative) 
Spring Semester 2012 on campus (1/2 credit)

Program Sites
Dickinson College Campus and Durban, South Africa

Durban is located on the Eastern Coast of South Africa
Required Courses for Mosaic
(What is a Mosaic?)

ERSC 204 Global Climate Change (Fall 2010)  Instructor: Jeffrey Niemitz
An overview of our present understanding of atmospheric processes and their interaction with the land, oceans and biosphere leading to an in-depth study of climate change over the past 3 million years and the effects of potential climate change on humans. Topics include the tools used to decipher ancient climate change on various time scales, major climate events such as the ice ages, and the causes of climate change. Past and present knowledge will be used to explore the potential for future climate change and its socioeconomic and political implications. The laboratory component will use climate data and field experiences to interpret climate change over the past 3 million years in the context of earth materials and plate tectonics. 

Prerequisite: Any Division III lab science (not MATH) or permission of the instructor. This course can fulfill the QR distribution requirement. 
HIST 373 Ecological History of Africa (Fall 2010)  Instructor: Jeremy Ball
This course provides an introduction to the ecological history of Africa. We will focus in some detail on demography, the domestication of crops and animals, climate, the spread of New World crops (maize, cassava, cocoa), and disease environments from the earliest times to the present. Central to our study will be the idea that Africa's landscapes are the product of human action. Therefore, we will examine case studies of how people have interacted with their environments. African ecology has long been affected indirectly by decisions made at a global scale. Thus we will explore Africa's engagement with imperialism and colonization and the global economy in the twentieth century. The course ends with an examination of contemporary tensions between conservation and economic development. Offered every two years. 

This course fulfills the DIV II social sciences and Comparative Civilizations distribution requirements. 
SUST 330 Global Environmental Challenges and Governance (Fall 2010) Instructor: Neil Leary
Many environmental challenges cross international borders and some, like climate change, are truly global in their causes, consequences and potential solutions. These challenges often are beyond the means of individual nations to solve and global institutions have been created to negotiate, mobilize and oversee international cooperation to address them. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, we will explore the demographic, social and economic drivers of a selected global environmental challenge, the dangers it poses to ecological systems, human wellbeing, sustainable development and national security; policy options for responding to the dangers; and the processes, politics and effectiveness of the governance institutions that have jurisdiction over it. The exploration will result in students being able to articulate the perspectives of key stakeholders on important issues in the governance of global environmental change and critically analyze the performance of global environmental governance institutions. 

Prerequisite: Any Division III lab science (not MATH) or permission of the instructor.  This course to be cross-listed with ENST 230 International Environmental Challenges
Independent Study (Spring 2011) Instructor: Varies
The Independent Study will have three components: (i) preparation for field research and community service during the fall 2011 semester; (ii) three weeks of field research and community service in Durban, South Africa, site of the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP-17) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC); and (iii) analysis, synthesis and reflection during the spring 2012 semester. Students will produce collaborative and individual project outputs, and share their observations, reflections and results with the Dickinson community, and other audiences through presentations, webinars, social media.  One of the outputs will be a searchable archive of the videotaped interviews and other materials that will be available to interested scholars, students, and citizens from a website hosted by Dickinson College. Instructors: Jeremy Ball, Neil Leary and Sarah Brylinsky will supervise the Independent Study.

Cost and Travel

This program will have an additional cost for participation above normal tuition and matriculation fees for attending Dickinson College.  Fees cover the cost of study abroad including travel (airfare and ground transportation), meals, and housing during study in South Africa.  

More information about costs and financial aid will be posted soon.