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Climate Studies Minor

Climate studies minor requirements

Climate is a dynamic and complex component of the Earth system. Societies and nature are adapted to a historical range of climatic variability, but that variability is rapidly changing. The discipline of geography is well-suited to address these challenges at local and global scales, focusing on not only the science behind how the climate operates but how human systems have impacted climate and how different places are adapting to the impacts of climate change.

This minor complements many other programs, including Geography, Spatial Data Science and Technology, Journalism, Earth Science, Political Science, Sociology, Biology, Planning, Public Policy, & Management, Environmental Studies, Environmental Science, and more.

To understand how the minor might enhance your current studies, and for questions about the requirements, contact the Undergraduate Advisor, Dr. Leslie McLees, at Appointments can also be made online here or you can attend drop-in hours. 

Click here for a pdf of the Climate Studies minor checksheet.  

The climate studies minor requires a minimum of 24 credits, drawing on courses in Geography Environmental Studies, Public Policy, Planning & Management, and Political Science. The major requires 3 compulsory courses (12 credits) that will provide foundational skills, concepts, and critical thinking abilities related to understanding the Earth’s climate system. An additional 3 elective courses (12 credits) are required, two from the social sciences or humanities and one from the sciences. Upon declaring the Climate Studies minor, students will meet with the Geography Undergraduate Coordinator/Advisor to tailor their academic and career plans.

  • A grade of C- or better is required in courses used for the minor.
  • All upper-division credits must be from UO courses (300 or 400-level)
  • No more than three upper-division courses may count for both this minor and the GEOG major

See the Preliminary Course Offerings 2020-2021

1.   Core Courses (12 credits)

These courses will provide foundational skills, concepts, and critical thinking abilities in climate science. These courses will provide an overview of the fundamentals of how the earth’s climate system operates including how human activity has contributed to recent climate shifts.

Note: GEOG 141 is a pre-requisite for GEOG 321 and GEOG 361, which in turn are pre-requisites for the GEOG 400-level Science elective courses (below).

  • GEOG 141: The Natural Environmental
  • GEOG 321: Climatology
  • GEOG 361: Global Environmental Change

2. Elective courses (12 credits)

To emphasize the cross-disciplinary nature of climate studies, students will take courses across the humanities, social sciences, and sciences for this minor.

Social Science or Humanities electives (8 credits)

Choose two of the following:

  • GEOG 465: Environment & Development
  • ENVS 435: Environmental Justice
  • PS 367: Science and the Politics of Climate Change
  • PPPM 340: Climate Change Policy
  • GEOG 410 and ENVS 400 courses approved individually.
    • See Geography advisor to request approval

Science electives (4 credits)

Chose one of the following:

  • GEOG 421: Advanced Climatology
  • GEOG 430: Long Term Environmental Change
  • GEOG 410 and ENVS 400 courses approved individually
    • See Geography advisor to request approval

To add or drop the Climate Studies minor

Adding or dropping a minor

Declaring a minor

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New minors are strongly encouraged to make an appointment with the Geography advisor, Dr. Leslie McLees, through information found on this page.