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Climate Education & Research

Global Climate Mosaics

Students in 1000 Hills near Durban South Africa

A Sustainable World through Global Education

Dickinson students and faculty have attended the 2009, 2011, 2014 and 2015 Conferences of the Parties (COP) United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) as official delegates and researchers, with Dickinson's Center for Sustainability Education Director, Neil Leary, who is on the editorial board of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The 2011 and 2014 delegations were built as Dickinson Mosaics. In 2014, fifteen students went to Lima, Peru for COP20 as part of the Global Climate Change Mosaic with Professor Jeff Niemitz and Neil Leary. Students developed deep knowledge about climate change science, consequences, justice, solutions and international negotiations, as well as competencies for qualitative field research using interviews and video technology. Following preparations for field research on campus, the group traveled to Lima to participate in COP20, where students interviewed representatives of national governments, civil society organizations, scientific institutions and environmental groups.

At Dickinson, American and Global Mosaics are intensive, interdisciplinary, semester-long research programs designed around ethnographic fieldwork and immersion in domestic and global communities. With the help of the Community Studies Center, their objective is to encourage students to think reflexively about the diverse world in which they live as they engage in collaborative work with local, transnational, and international communities.

Global Climate Change Mosaic 2014

On Campus Study, Fall 2014

ERSC 204 Global Climate Change (1 credit)
ENST 230/INST290/SUST 330 Global Environmental Challenges and Governance (1 credit)
SUST 500 Independent Research Global Climate Change Governance (½ credit)
Course chosen by each student from the Mosaic Elective List (1 credit)
The list includes options in humanities, social sciences and physical sciences.   

Field Research, November 29 - December 16, 2014

Attend COP20 in Lima, Peru and interview conference delegates
Visit cultural and historic sites in Peru

Reflection and Synthesis, Spring 2015
SUST 500 Independent Research Global Climate Change Governance (½ credit)

Global Climate Change Mosaic 2011

In December 2011, eleven Dickinson students, Professor Jeff Niemitz, and Neil Leary attended the UNFCCC's 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17) in Durban, South Africa as part of a yearlong Global Climate Change Africa Mosaic. This Mosaic was an interdisciplinary 4-course program co-taught by Niemitz, Leary and Professor Jeremy Ball that included study of climate science, international climate policy, and ecological history of Africa, as well as training in social science field research methods, interview techniques, and video technology with Dickinson's Community Studies Center and Media Center. 

The delegation attended COP17 for two weeks, where they interviewed delegates to the conference, and spent a third week in South Africa for a service learning project with HIV/AIDS impacted children. The students wrote research papers on the negotiations, wrote essays for a course blog, and created an online, searchable video-archive of interviews with conference delegates.

From Kyoto to Copenhagen Course 2009

In 2009 a delegation of fifteen Dickinson students and faculty attended COP15 in Copenhagen, Denmark as part of the Dickinson course From Kyoto to Copenhagen: Negotiating the Future of the Planet.