Undergraduate Academic Programs / Departments / Courses

54 Applied Climate Change and Adaptation

Faculty:

Adam Fenech, Associate Professor
Xiuquan Wang, Associate Professor
Yuliya Rashchupkina, Assistant Professor
Franscisco Dallmeier, Adjunct Professor

The UPEI Bachelor of Science in Applied Climate Change and Adaptation provides students with a strong foundation in climate sciences complemented by courses in climate related policy and cultural impacts of climate change. The program offers strong comprehensive theory-based courses and a high level of experiential and applied learning. Courses are designed to develop well-rounded students who have a high level of climate change science knowledge supported by highly relevant skills needed to utilize climate change related technology. Faculty members teaching within the Bachelor of Science in Applied Climate Change and Adaptation program are focused on providing quality instruction and student growth within a cohort-based learning community. Graduates of the program will emerge ready to pursue various climate change related careers, professional studies, or graduate education.

This program of study examines “climate change adaptation” which refers to the adjustments that societies or ecosystems make to limit the negative effects of climate change or to take advantage of opportunities provided by a changing climate. Adaptation can range from a farmer planting more drought-resistant crops to a coastal community evaluating how best to protect its infrastructure from rising sea level. Climate change is already impacting societies and ecosystems around the world, and many impacts are expected to increase as global temperatures continue to rise. While reducing greenhouse gas emissions is required to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, a certain amount of global warming is inevitable, due to the long-lasting nature of greenhouse gases already in the atmosphere, and to heat already stored in the oceans. Adapting to the changes that are already underway, and preparing for future climate change, can help reduce the risks societies will face from climate change.

REQUIREMENTS FOR APPLIED CLIMATE CHANGE AND ADAPTATION

Students following this degree program must complete 126/127 semester hours of required courses.

REQUIRED COURSES FOR APPLIED CLIMATE CHANGE AND ADAPTATION

  • ACC 1010 Introduction to PEI’s Living Climate Lab
  • ACC 1020 Introduction to Climate Adaptation Tools and Technologies
  • ACC 1030 Surveying Cultural Landscapes in the Environmental Humanities
  • ACC 2020 Canadian Climate Change Policy and Politics
  • ACC 2030 Indigenous Knowledge and Climate Change
  • ACC 2160 Work Integrated Learning I
  • ACC 3010 Global Climate Systems and Science
  • ACC 3020 Climate Futures and Modelling
  • ACC 3030 Climate Change Monitoring
  • ACC 3040 Climate Change Statistics in R
  • ACC 3050 Renewable Energy and Clean Technologies
  • ACC 3060 Remote Sensing and Climate Change
  • ACC 3080 Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions (Climate Mitigation)
  • ACC 3090 Geographic Information Systems for Climate Change
  • ACC 3100 Climate Change Impacts on Biodiversity and Ecosystems
  • ACC 3120 Canadian Climate Change Management
  • ACC 3140 Carbon Pricing Mechanisms and Business Risk Assessments
  • ACC 3160 Work Integrated Learning II
  • ACC 4010 Climate Coastal Science
  • ACC 4020 Uncertainty and Probability in Climate Change
  • ACC 4040 Virtual Reality and Climate Change
  • ACC 4060 Measuring Your Carbon Footprint through Carbon Accounting
  • ACC 4070 Climate Extremes
  • ACC 4080 Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation
  • ACC 4120 International Climate Diplomacy
  • Two ACC electives at the 4000 level

REQUIRED COURSES FROM OTHER DEPARTMENTS

Biology
BIO 1010 Current Issues in Environmental Biology
BIO 3270 Field Coastal Ecology

Chemistry
CHEM 1110 General Chemistry I
CHEM 2020 Environmental Chemistry

Environmental Studies
ENV 1010 Introduction to Environmental Studies
ENV 2120 Earth’s Physical Environment
ENV 3110 Understanding Climate Change

Mathematical & Computational Sciences
MATH 1120 Calculus for Managerial, Social and Life Sciences OR MATH 1910 Single Variable Calculus I
CS 1910 Computer Science I
STAT 1910 Introduction to Probability and Statistics

Physics
PHYS 2630 Atmospheric and Ocean Physics

UPEI Courses & Writing Intensive Course

One of:
UPEI 1010 Writing Studies
UPEI 1020 Engaging Ideas and Cultural Contexts
UPEI 1030 Engaging University Contexts and Experience; AND
One writing intensive course

ELECTIVE COURSES FROM OTHER DEPARTMENTS

Applied Communication, Leadership and Culture
ACLC 1080 Digital Literacy
ACLC 2030 Introduction to Leadership Studies
ACLC 2090 Digital Humanities

Economics
ECON 1010 Introductory Microeconomics

English
ENG 2060 Critical Approaches to Texts I

Environmental Studies
ENV 3210 Natural Hazards
ENV 3420 Environment and Development
ENV 3510 Sustainable Community Planning

History
HIST 1010 Canadian History Pre-Confederation

Mathematical & Computational Sciences
MATH 1920 Single Variable Calculus II

Philosophy
PHIL 1050 Technology, Values, and Science
PHIL 3020 (was 2030) Environmental Philosophy

Physics
PHYS 1210 Physics for Life Sciences I

Psychology
PSY 1010 Introduction to Psychology: Part I

Sociology & Anthropology
SAN 2660 Science, Culture, and Society

COURSE SEQUENCE
The following is the sequence for completion of courses.

YEAR 1

  • ACC 1010 Introduction to PEI’s Living Climate Lab
  • ACC 1020 Introduction to Climate Adaptation Tools and Technologies
  • ACC 2030 Indigenous Knowledge and Climate Change
  • BIO 1010 Current Issues in Environmental Biology
  • CHEM 1110 General Chemistry I
  • CS 1910 Computer Science I
  • ENV 1010 Introduction to Environmental Studies
  • MATH 1120 Calculus for Managerial, Social and Life Sciences; or 1910 Single Variable Calculus I
  • One of the following electives:
    • ACLC 1080 Digital Literacy
    • ECON 1010 Introductory Microeconomics
    • HIST 1010 Canadian History—Pre-Confederation
    • PHIL 1050 Technology, Values and Society
    • PHYS 1210 Physics for Life Sciences I
    • PSY 1010 Introduction to Psychology: Part I
  • One of the following UPEI courses:
    • UPEI 1010 Writing Studies
    • UPEI 1020 Engaging Ideas and Cultural Contexts
    • UPEI 1030 Engaging University Contexts and Experiences

YEAR 2

  • ACC 1030 Surveying Cultural Landscapes in the Environmental Humanities
  • ACC 2020 Impacts of Canadian Climate Policy and Politics
  • BIO 3270 Field Coastal Ecology
  • CHEM 2020 Environmental Chemistry
  • ENV 2120 Earth’s Physical Environment
  • ENV 3110 Understanding Climate Change
  • PHYS 2630 Atmospheric and Ocean Physics
  • STAT 1910 Introduction to Probability and Statistics
  • Two of the following electives:
    • ACLC 2030 Introduction to Leadership Studies
    • ACLC 2090 Digital Humanities
    • ENG 2060 Critical Approaches to Texts I
    • ENV 3210 Natural Hazards
    • ENV 3420 Environment and Development
    • ENV 3510 Sustainable Community Planning
    • MATH 1920 Single Variable Calculus II
    • PHIL 3020 (formerly 2030) Environmental Philosophy
    • SAN 2660 Science, Culture and Society

SUMMER SESSION

  • ACC 2160 Work Integrated Learning I

YEAR 3

  • ACC 3010 Global Climate Systems and Science
  • ACC 3020 Climate Futures and Modelling
  • ACC 3030 Climate Change Monitoring
  • ACC 3040 Climate Change Statistics in R
  • ACC 3050 Renewable Energy and Clean Technologies
  • ACC 3060 Remote Sensing and Climate Change
  • ACC 3090 Geographic Information Systems for Climate Change
  • ACC 3100 Climate Change Impacts on Biodiversity and Ecosystems
  • ACC 3120 Canadian Climate Change Management
  • ACC 3140 Carbon Pricing Mechanisms and Business Risk Assessments

SUMMER SESSION

  • ACC 3160 Work Integrated Learning II

YEAR 4

  • ACC 3080 Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions (Climate Mitigation)
  • ACC 4010 Climate Coastal Science
  • ACC 4020 Uncertainty and Probability in Climate Change
  • ACC 4040 Virtual Reality and Climate Change
  • ACC 4060 Measuring Your Carbon Footprint through Carbon Accounting
  • ACC 4070 Climate Extremes
  • ACC 4080 Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation
  • ACC 4120 International Climate Diplomacy
  • Two ACC electives at the 4000 level

APPLIED CLIMATE CHANGE AND ADAPTATION COURSES

1010 INTRODUCTION TO PEI’S LIVING CLIMATE LAB
This course focuses on how Prince Edward Island is the perfect “living laboratory” for understanding the causes, impacts, and solutions to the challenge of climate change. Students will examine how unique locations on the Island can play a role in understanding the vulnerability, impacts and adaptation to climate change.
Three hours a week, field trips; Three semester hours

1020 INTRODUCTION TO CLIMATE ADAPTATION TOOLS AND TECHNOLOGIES
This course provides hands-on experience in utilizing technologies to develop solutions to address climate change. Developing skills in drone technology, video game programming, geographic information systems, global positioning systems, surveillance, and renewable energies, this course examines how technologies can assist in the understanding of the vulnerability, impacts and adaptation to climate change.
Three hours a week, field trips; Three semester hours

1030 SURVEYING CULTURAL LANDSCAPES IN THE ENVIRONMENTAL HUMANITIES
This experiential-based course uses an interdisciplinary approach to explore the ways in which human culture has responded to and been shaped by aspects of the natural environment. After an introductory look at the history of the human response to nature, we will focus on modern and contemporary responses from the areas of philosophy and ethics, visual arts, literature, anthropology, architecture, biology, and music.
Three hours a week; Three semester hours

2020 CANADIAN CLIMATE CHANGE POLICY AND POLITICS
This course surveys how climate change is understood and responded to by governments, political parties, political movements, and the media. Specific topics also covered in this course include the impact of international treaties and regulatory agencies dealing with climate change issues, such as greenhouse gas emissions, ocean warming, drought and flood management, coastal erosion, and climate-change refugees.
Three hours a week; Three semester hours

2030 INDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGE AND CLIMATE CHANGE
This course brings knowledge of Canadian Indigenous communities’ relationship to the environment as valuable lessons for understanding climate vulnerability, impacts and adaptation. Students will be led by a local First Nations teacher whose valuable insights to implementing efficient uses of our land and spiritual relationships with nature can assist in addressing global sustainability.
Three hours a week; Three semester hours

2160 WORK INTEGRATED LEARNING I
This course is a summer work-integrated-learning (WIL) opportunity facilitated through either a flagship partnership agreement with Parks Canada, or a number of government and industrial organizations that will provide real-world experiences to students that will assist them in securing employment upon graduation.
PREREQUISITE: Admission to the ACC Program Eight weeks full-time work experience
Three semester hours

3010 GLOBAL CLIMATE SYSTEMS AND SCIENCE
The course will examine the natural greenhouse effect, and the human contribution to it; how astronomical forces influence the Earth’s climate and their cycles; properties of the atmosphere that influence climate; greenhouse gases; and paleological indicators of climate including ice cores, tree rings, sediment cores, etc.; how these indicators are collected; and what they tell us about past temperature changes.
PREREQUISITE: ENV 3110; Admission to the ACC Program
Three hours a week; Three semester hours

3020 CLIMATE FUTURES AND MODELLING
Students will gain the knowledge and tools necessary to validate climate model outputs against historical observations and produce regional climate change projections. The course will examine greenhouse gas emissions scenarios and their driving of climate models as well as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Special Report on Emission Scenarios and the new approaches to future scenarios.
PREREQUISITE: ENV 3110; Admission to the ACC Program
Three hours a week, alternating classroom and laboratory; Three semester hours

3030 CLIMATE CHANGE MONITORING
Students will be given the opportunity to understand how the components of climate are monitored instrumentally, the history of written climate archives, and how climate records are organized. They will plan and set up a climate station that reports to a UPEI climate database, access online climate records, quality control climate records, analyze climate trends, and calculate climate indices.
PREREQUISITE: ACC 1020; Admission to the ACC Program
Three hours lecture, three hours laboratory a week; Three semester hours

3040 CLIMATE CHANGE STATISTICS IN R
The R language is widely used among climatologists for data analysis and provides a wide variety of statistical (linear and nonlinear modelling, classical statistical tests, time-series analysis, classification, clustering, etc.) and graphical techniques, and is highly extensible. This course will provide an introduction to computer programming in R and how to use R for effective climate data analysis.
PREREQUISITE: MATH 1910, CS 1910 and STAT 1910; Admission to the ACC Program
Three hours a week on-line, three hours laboratory; Three semester hours

3050 RENEWABLE ENERGY AND CLEAN TECHNOLOGIES
This course examines sustainability theory and green technology, beginning with an examination of the historical context for the physical, environmental, technological, economic and political aspects of traditional energy systems and energy transitions. Students will then be introduced to different types of renewable energy technology and how they can work as a replacement for conventional technologies.
PREREQUISITE: ACC 1020 and PHYS 2630; Admission to the ACC Program
Three hours a week, field trips; Three semester hours

3060 REMOTE SENSING AND CLIMATE CHANGE
An emerging approach to enhancing participation, building awareness and influencing behaviour is the use of 3D landscape visualization to depict past and future scenarios. This course will examine forms of climate change visualization that integrates analytical capabilities of GIS-based software with emotionally-rich and intuitive media and how they are utilized in climate change impact assessment and decision making.
PREREQUISITE: CS 1910; Admission to the ACC Program
Three hours lecture, three hours laboratory per week; Three semester hours

3080 REDUCING GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS (CLIMATE MITIGATION)
This course will examine the human sources of greenhouse gas emissions to determine the best approaches for meeting a “safe” or “below dangerous level” of atmospheric concentrations of these gases. Students will assess how to stabilize atmospheric CO2 concentration at no greater than 450ppmv without replacing existing nuclear power capacity as it retires and without resorting to carbon capture and storage.
PREREQUISITE: ENV 3110 and ACC 3020; Admission to the ACC Program
Three hours a week; Three semester hours

3090 GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS FOR CLIMATE CHANGE
Geographic Systems are used in planning, facilities management, resource management, business, and applied research applications. The common thread in this diverse range of applications is the need to store, manipulate, and analyze spatial data. Students will learn how to create their own maps, analyze geographic problems, and apply techniques to improve understanding of climate change.
PREREQUISITE: Admission to the ACC Program
Three hours on-line and three hours laboratory; Three semester hours

3100 CLIMATE CHANGE IMPACTS ON BIODIVERSITY AND ECOSYSTEMS
This course will assess biodiversity conservation and ecosystem integrity policy responses to global climate change; integrate our knowledge of likely future changes on biodiversity and ecosystems; guide the design of adaptation strategies; and establish a framework for future collaborative research on climate change and biodiversity and ecosystems. A field component of the course will establish a biodiversity-monitoring plot using methods developed by The Smithsonian Institution.
PREREQUISITE: BIO 3270; Admission to the ACC Program
Three hours a week with three hours field/laboratory work; Three semester hours

3120 CANADIAN CLIMATE CHANGE MANAGEMENT
This course introduces approaches to environmental management in Canada focused on climate change aspects. Specifically, the course will examine various environmental laws, regulations, policies and legislation; the application of legislation to proposed projects; the principles and fundamentals of completing environmental audits; and the mainstreaming of adaptation into government programming.
PREREQUISITE: ACC 2020; Admission to the ACC Program
Three hours a week; Three semester hours

3140 CARBON PRICING MECHANISMS AND BUSINESS RISK ASSESSMENTS
This interdisciplinary course will provide an understanding of business in the era of climate change by examining the implementation of carbon pricing systems and the need for adaptation measures to address the changing physical and regulatory environments. Specialized activities will focus on the critical role of understanding climate change in business risk assessment using a business sector of each student’s choice.
PREREQUISITE: ENV 3110; Admission to the ACC Program
Three hours a week; Three semester hours

3160 WORK INTEGRATED LEARNING II
This course is Year 2 of a summer work-integrated-learning (WIL) opportunity facilitated through either a flagship partnership agreement with Parks Canada, or a number of government and industrial organizations that will provide real world experiences to students that will assist them in securing employment upon graduation.
PREREQUISITE: ACC 2160 and Admission to the ACC Program
Eight weeks full-time work experience; Three semester hours

4010 CLIMATE COASTAL SCIENCE
This course will examine the impacts of global climate change on the oceans and their implications on fisheries and aquaculture; the influence of ocean basins on climate and the development of coasts; and the use of littoral zones in the assessment of the effects of coastal risks and hazards on shorelines. Students will assess the vulnerability of the local fishery to climate impacts and develop adaptation options.
PREREQUISITE: PHYS 2630; Admission to the ACC Program
Three hours a week; Three semester hours

4020 UNCERTAINTY AND PROBABILITY IN CLIMATE CHANGE
Probability theory is a mathematical framework that allows us to describe and analyze random phenomena in the world around us. This course will examine and demonstrate the use of basic concepts such as random experiments, probability axioms, conditional probability, law of total probability, single and multiple random variables, moment-generating functions and random vectors in climate change science assessments.
PREREQUISITE: STAT 1910 and ACC 3060; Admission to the ACC Program
Three hours on-line, three hours laboratory per week; Three semester hours

4040 VIRTUAL REALITY AND CLIMATE CHANGE
An emerging approach to enhancing participation and building awareness is the use of 3D landscape visualization to depict past and future scenarios. Following an introduction on the basics and essentials of the Unity gaming software, students will use the imagery data acquired by the drone in ACC 3040 to develop a 3D interactive sea-level rise tool.
PREREQUISITE: CS 1910, ACC 3040, ACC 3050 and ACC 3060; Admission to the ACC Program
Three on-line hours, three hours laboratory per week; Three semester hours

4060 MEASURING YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT THROUGH CARBON ACCOUNTING
This course will examine greenhouse gas emissions accounting and reporting. Students will design and execute greenhouse gas emissions inventories, employing skills including the identification of analysis boundaries, acquisition of data, calculation of emissions levels, and reporting. As a final exercise, the students will also calculate the carbon footprint of individual businesses, companies or public organizations.
PREREQUISITE: ACC 3140; Admission to the ACC Program
Three hours a week; Three semester hours

4070 CLIMATE EXTREMES
This course will examine the data used to monitor and understand climate extremes; the factors and mechanisms that determine the characteristics of climate extremes; Atlantic Region droughts, floods, heavy precipitation events, heat waves, cold spells, tropical and extra-tropical storms, and ocean waves; specialized tools such as IDF curves; and the influence of temporal considerations in adaptation planning.
PREREQUISITE: STAT 1910 and ACC 3030; Admission to the ACC Program
Three hours a week; Three semester hours

4080 CLIMATE CHANGE IMPACTS AND ADAPTATION
Adaptation strategies, limits to adaptation, and approaches to adaptation planning will be covered. Students will use regional scenarios of future climate change and the guidelines set by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to conduct a rapid assessment of climate change impacts and potential adaptation strategies for the PEI economy and ecology, designated for a local entity.
PREREQUISITE: ACC 3020 and ACC 3030; Admission to the ACC Program
Three hours a week; Three semester hours

4090 CLIMATE CHANGE AND SUSTAINABLE TOURISM
Students will develop an awareness of the environmental, sociocultural and economic impacts of tourism; study the possible measures to redress the negative impacts of tourism; develop an appreciation of environmental sustainability in tourism; examine the concept of ecotourism; and incorporate the principles of sustainable tourism into developing and managing tourism destinations and products.
PREREQUISITE: ACC 3140; Admission to the ACC Program
Three hours a week; Three semester hours

4110 CLIMATE CHANGE AND HUMAN HEALTH
This course will explore how human health is shaped by environmental, social, cultural, economic, and political forces; investigate the impact of systems put in place to deal with illness; examine the influence of climate change on vector borne diseases, mental health, chronic health, prenatal health, and food security; and understand First Nations approaches to human health and community well-being.
PREREQUISITE: ACC 2030; Admission to the ACC Program
Three hours a week; Three semester hours

4120 INTERNATIONAL CLIMATE DIPLOMACY
This course provides an historical and analytical view for understanding international environmental relations, examines international environmental agreements and their implications for Canada, identifies the main actors and how they address global environmental problems, and explores environmental governance. Students will take on the role of countries in the United Nations and negotiate a climate agreement.
PREREQUISITE: ACC 2020; Admission to the ACC Program
Three hours a week; Three semester hours

4130 SPECIAL TOPICS
A Special Topics course designed to reflect Climate Change.
3 credit hours

4150 DIRECTED STUDIES
These courses may be offered at the discretion of the department to advanced students. Conditions under which they are offered and entry will be subject to the approval of the Associate Dean of the School and the Dean of Science. (See Academic Regulation 9 for regulations Governing Directed Studies)
3 credit hours

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