Course History

Why Offer A Course on Climate Change Negotiations?
Climate change has emerged as one of the most serious challenges to human progress and sustainable development. And climate change research is an active, evolving, complex and interdisciplinary field that has advanced substantially the understanding of the climate system and the dynamic forces that drive variations and changes in climate; the vulnerability of ecological systems and societies to climate variations, hazards and changes; and the technical, economic, social, political and environmental feasibility of measures to reduce risks from human-caused climate change.  While the advances have added greatly to current knowledge, many uncertainties remain that hamper efforts to predict future climate change and its impacts with accuracy and confidence. The complex and evolving science, far-reaching consequences, questions about the role of science in policy decisions, contentious policy debates, and fractious negotiations involving nearly every nation make global climate change a rich, rewarding and important subject for a semester of integrated, interdisciplinary study. 

Kyoto to Copenhagen: COP15 Climate Course

Students conducted interviews with COP-15 delegates, created an online blog that is rich in analysis and substantive reflections, developed an archive of the videotaped interviews, presented a paper at a professional academic conference on climate change and ethics hosted by the Rock Ethics Institute of The Pennsylvania State University, created and held national webinars on COP-15 that were hosted by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), organized an on-campus event Dickinson Delegation @ COP-15 that was attended by 200 students, faculty and staff, held presentations at local schools and churches, and were invited to conference sessions and presentations that featured the course at the annual meetings of Association for Environmental Studies and Science in June 2010 and the AASHE in October 2010.
Students reported that the opportunity to converse with and interview delegates, scientists, and advocates with many different perspectives and from many different regions of the world, including youth delegates, was a powerful and transforming experience.  Several students are attending the COP16 Conference in Cancun as a result of their participation in the 2009/2010 course.

See the COP16 Student Blog>>

Visit the Course Website from the 2009 Kyoto to Copenhagen Research Team
For Full Conference Coverage and Student Insights Between September 2009 and May 2010
Browse interviews and research completed during the COP15 Conference
Meet the 2009 Student Delegation