L&S Curricular Connections

Big Ideas Courses

Environmental Science, Policy, and Management C46 / Letters and Science C46

Climate Change and the Future of California

Biological Science

Global environmental change, particularly climate change, is rapidly emerging as the defining environmental issue of the 21st century. Climate change will bring widespread impacts to California, as well as the possibility of novel opportunities for innovation and global leadership to reduce its magnitude and adapt to new challenges. California has exceptional natural resources, high levels of biological and societal diversity, and a strong and vibrant economy. The environment, history, and economy of California are strongly linked to climate, and how climatic conditions vary in space and time. We are also intimately connected to the rest of the world through physical, biological, and social connections (e.g., climate dynamics, invasive species, economic markets, etc.). California has a long history as a leader in environmental policy and industrial innovation in the face of new challenges. Understanding the impacts of climate change in California, and the opportunities and barriers to respond and both reduce the rate of change and the magnitude of its impacts, is essential–as citizens and voters–and serves as a microcosm of the challenges faced globally.

Whendee Silver faculty profile
Whendee Silver (Environmental Science, Policy, and Management)
David Sedlak faculty profile
David Sedlak (Civil and Environmental Engineering)

Terms Offered

  • Spring 2023
  • Spring 2021
  • Spring 2018
  • Spring 2016
“I loved the connection between earth science as well as sociological impacts of climate change, and how the interdisciplinary nature of this course allowed for a deep dive into the history and future of California.”
— Spring 2023 Student