Spring into climate science

Introduction to Climate course offers an in-depth look at the effects of climate change.

If you’ve been paying attention to the news, you’ve noticed an increasing concern about the effects of climate change. Perhaps you are already taking action to help slow the effects of it, or maybe you need clarity around why it’s important to understand how it is impacting you, your community, and environment as whole.

An undergraduate course, Introduction to Climate (MAR 115) offered spring 2020, will shed light on the various impacts of climate change.

The course explores a variety of subjects. “Topics include the effects of acid rain, the greenhouse effect as related to carbon footprint, how warmer air and surface temperatures brought on by climate change impact corals and alter coral reef environments and how global sea-level rise might affect our coastal megacities,” said Dr. Avijit Gangopadhyay, Professor of Oceanography at SMAST, who teaches the class.

Students will have the opportunity to investigate the set-up of extreme force of recent hurricanes and their increasingly devastating power, current mitigation efforts and future preparedness for such events in the background of a changing climate.

In addition to lectures, textbook readings, and lab studies, the course includes a guest lecture from a local climate expert, as well as a tour of SMAST’s facilities in New Bedford where SMAST scientists and graduate students conduct research on the impacts of climate change and effects on marine ecosystems.

The three-credit course is ideal for undergraduate biology, business, liberal arts, and STEM-studies majors, and students interested in climate change. The course satisfies Cluster Requirement 2B, Science in the Engaged Community (proficiency in thinking and understanding policy information related to climate). Prerequisites are not required.

About Avijit Gangopadhyay

Gangopadhyay’s research focuses on the effects of climate change on the Gulf Stream, and in turn, how climate change affects the weather in the United States and Europe.


Charlton College of Business, College of Engineering, College of Arts and Sciences, School for Marine Science and Technology, School for Marine Science and Technology Intercampus Marine Science