Climate Change Certificate


The Department of Geography and Atmospheric Science now offers an undergraduate certificate program in Climate and Climate Change (CCH). 

Climate Change is an increasingly important societal issue since it will impact how we secure water, energy, and food in the near future. The primary cause of current trends in global climate are emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere since the start of the Industrial Revolution and the rise of fossil fuels as primary energy sources. In 2013, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded that “the human influence on the climate system is clear. This is evident from the increasing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere, positive radiative forcing, observed warming, and understanding of the climate system.”

The potential impacts from a changing climate are widespread and range from a rise in global sea level as ocean waters are heated and ice stored on land is transferred to the oceans at increasing rates; increasing surface temperatures; more widespread drought events of longer duration; and the possibility of more frequent and more intense hurricanes making landfall in the region surrounding the Gulf of Mexico. To cope with these consequences, and to build a more resilient society and infrastructure, there is an urgent need for an informed citizenry. It is critical to educate future decision makers who can influence national and international policies and adopt a more rational approach to dealing with impacts of climate change.


General requirements:

Students must maintain a 2.0 GPA in courses taken in the certificate program and maintain good standing in any University program of study for which they are enrolled. Students are encouraged to meet with the certificate Director to discuss progress in the program.

Course requirements:

To complete the certificate, 12-14 credit hours must be completed. Among these 6 credit hours are from two required core courses and the additional 6-8 credit hours are from electives.

Core courses (6 credit hours):

ATMO/GEOG 321—Climate and Climate Change

GEOG 371—Environmental Geopolitics

Elective courses (6-8 credit hours):

ATMO 521—Microclimatology

ATMO 634—Physical Climatology

ATMO 680—Physical Meteorology

GEOG 332—Glaciers and Landscape

GEOG 336—Introduction to Environmental Hydrology and Water Resources

GEOG 372—Environmental Policy

GEOG 526—Remote Sensing of Environment

GEOG 556—Geography of the Energy Crisis

GEOG 577—Human Dimensions of Global Change

Depending on the specific topic covered, the following courses may also be elected to count towards the 6-8 credit hours:

GEOG 339—Topics in Physical Geography

GEOG 395—Environmental Issues of

GEOG 531—Topics in Physical Geography