Eco: California & Environment

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The environment is dynamic, complex, and always changing, and the study of it requires perspectives from geology, biology, chemistry, and physics, in addition to sociology, policy, economics, politics, the arts, and design. Local and global environmental issues are some of the most urgent and relevant in our society, including biodiversity, global climate change, water scarcity, resource limitations, pollution, energy sources, and sustainable design, among others. California provides a rich backdrop to study environmental science, from its location in the drought-stricken West to its active tectonic history. In this class, we will examine the major Earth systems - the lithosphere (rock cycle), atmosphere, biosphere, and hydrosphere - as they create and interact with our local environment. We will also evaluate media coverage of environmental issues and identify any weaknesses or strengths in presented statements, claims, solutions, and technologies.