Global Environmental Change

The very first sustainability elective I took was Global Environmental Change (ESCI 405). I took this class in my first semester of my freshman year, before I knew of the Sustainability Dual Major. Going into this class, I knew I would find the material interesting because I had taken AP Environmental Science in high school and loved it. In this class, a variety of topics were covered including natural archives such as ice cores, the Keeling Curve, UNH sustainability, mitigation and adaptation, and much more.

One of my favorite aspect of this class was that with everything we talked about we were shown a lot of data and studies. I personally found our discussions on feedback loops the most fascinating. Specifically, it was really eye-opening to learn about the ice-albedo feedback loop. In this loop, the warmer temperatures cause glaciers to melt. This decreases the ice cover which reflects the sun, ultimately causing more melting that just continues in a loop. Much of what is talked about in this class has similarly fascinating qualities.

This class, while challenging at times, was full of very engaging content and discussions. Additionally, I was able to engage with my peers by doing projects on topics such as New Hampshire precipitation and how droughts could affect UNH. Learning about the processes of the Earth’s systems and how climate change has affected the temperature of the Earth and some of its functions was very important in giving me a strong starting point for my sustainability journey.