Environmental Catastrophes, Tipping Points, and Challenges

LAS 4935
SECTION 1144, CLASS # 14519
LAS 6938
SECTION 2211, CLASS # 26664

Days: Wednesdays
Times: 3:00 – 6:00 pm
Location: Grinter Hall 376


Global Warming, Extinction Crises, Ocean Acidification……The newspapers and magazines are full of environmental doomsday prophecies, and this course will help you make sense of what’s happening to our planet. We start with an overview of recent academic articles that have identified critical components of the earth’s climate system that are on the verge of rapid change, with implications for all of us. What will happen to South Florida if sea level rises 10 feet? What will happen to communities on the North Atlantic if the Greenland Ice Sheet slides into the ocean and drifts away? After a broad overview of the scientific issues, we will address both mitigation and adaptation, taking a social science perspective to understand current policies aimed at helping us survive the Anthropocene. As part of this, we will examine the IPCC reports and UN publications addressing new global initiatives, such as the Paris Climate Agreement and those aimed at reducing carbon emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (UN-REDD). How do we manage the gathering storm of the Anthropocene? How do we transition to a low carbon footprint as a global society? What works best, carbon markets or government regulation? These are critical questions addressing the big challenges we all face in a globalized world where the actions we take often have unexpected consequences.


Robert Walker SmallDr. Robert Walker
Center for Latin American Studies
Department of Geography
Email: roberttwalker@ufl.edu
Phone: 352-392-0494

Research Interests

GeoSpatial Analysis & Techniques; Global Environmental and Social Change.

Geographic Expertise

Amazonian region: Brazil