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Climate Change Minor

Why Minor in Climate Change?

There is a growing national need for qualified personnel who have a working knowledge of climate science, potential impacts, and strategies for adapting and mitigating these potential impacts. The Climate Change Minor will prepare students at the University of Idaho to meet current and future workforce needs across the state, as well as nationally, preparing students for an expanding job market in the areas of climate science, as well with the growing workforce in climate adaptation and mitigation strategies. In addition, the Climate Change Minor is designed to better inform students on the multifaceted aspects of climate science, adaptation and policy - a field that is expected to greatly increase over the next decade. Finally, the climate change minor is also in direct alignment with the land-grant mission of the University of Idaho in that it will prepare students to understand the causes and ramifications of climate change on agriculture, natural resources, communities and society.

What Will I Learn?

The U.S. Global Change Research Program has outlined specific educational goals for training the next generation of scientists and decision makers in climate literacy across a disciplines. The curriculum required for the climate change minor builds in the flexibility for students across colleges while adhering to the following "climate literacy" goals:

  1. to understand the essential principles of Earth’s climate system,
  2. to know how to assess scientifically credible information about climate,
  3. to communicate about climate and climate change in a meaningful way, and
  4. be able to make informed and responsible decisions with regard to actions that may affect climate.

Thus, the minor is intended to prepare students in many fields to understand the scientific drivers and impacts of climate change, as well as the necessary knowledge base to become active participants in planning mitigation strategies and necessary community/societal adaptations.

What are the requirements?

A total of 18 credits are required for the minor including four required courses outlined in the list below and 6 credits of electives from the elective list.

Courses Required for Minor

Required Course

  • GEOG 313 - Global Climate Change (3 cr, offered every fall semester)

Choose three of the following courses (9 cr)

  • GEOG 401 – Climatology (3 cr, Spring of odd-numbered years)
  • GEOG 430 – Climate Change Ecology (3 cr)
  • GEOG 435 – Mitigation of Climate Change (3 cr, not currently scheduled)
  • GEOG 455 – Societal Resilience & Adaptation to Climate Change (3 cr, spring of even-numbered years)
  • GEOG 493 – Senior Capstone in Geography (3 cr)

Additional credits (2 classes) from list of electives (6 cr, inquire about substitutions):

  • GEOG 100 – Physical Geography and Lab (4 cr)
  • GEOG 301 – Meteorology (3 cr)
  • GEOG 350 – Geography of Development (3-4 cr)
  • GEOG 410 – Biogeography (3 cr)
  • GEOG 411 – Natural Hazards and Society (3 cr)
  • GEOG 412 – Applied Meteorology and Climatology (3 cr)
  • GEOG/REM 450 – Global Environmental Change (3 cr)
  • ENVS 101 – Intro to Environmenal Sciences (3 cr)
  • ENVS 225 – International Environmental Issues Seminar (3 cr)
  • ENVS 483/583 – Water and Energy Systems (3 cr)
  • ENVS 484 – History of Energy (3 cr)
  • ENVS 485 – Energy Efficiency and Conservation (3 cr)
  • CSS 383 – Natural Resources and Ecosystem Service Economics (3 cr)
  • FOR 221 – Ecology (3 cr)
  • FOR 235 – Society and Natural Resources (3 cr)
  • FOR 330 – Forest Soil and Canopy Processes (3 cr)
  • FOR 326 – Fire Ecology and Management (3 cr)
  • FOR 426 – Global Fire Ecology and Management (3 cr)
  • FOR 462 – Watershed Science and Management (3 cr)
  • REM 221 – Ecology (3 cr)
  • REM 429 – Landscape Ecology (3 cr)
  • SOIL 205 – The Soil Ecosystem (3 cr)
  • AgEc 477 – Law, Ethics, and the Environment
  • AgEc 451 – Applied Environmental and Natural Resource Economics (3 cr)
  • EDCI 329 – Elementary Science Education (3 cr)
  • EDCI 433 – Secondary Science Methods (3 cr)
  • ECON 385 – Environmental Economics (3 cr)
  • JAMM 341 – Mass Media Ethics (3 cr)
  • JAMM 428 – Environmental Journalism (3 cr)

Declaring the Minor

To officially declare the minor, fill out the Change of Curriculum Form. You only need the first page – fill out the section at the bottom related to Adding Minors. Your minor advisor (see list below) or the department chair signs the form and then you turn it into the Office of the Registrar. There is no fee and no penalty if you declare the minor but do not fulfill the requirements.

Forms are also available in the main office of the Department of Geography (McClure 203).

Climate Change Minor Checklist: Catalog Year 2015

Points of contact:

John Abatzoglou,

Jeffrey Hicke,

Updated October 1, 2015


Physical Address:
McClure Hall 201

Mailing Address:
875 Perimeter Drive, MS 3021
Moscow, ID 83844-3021

Phone: 208-885-6216


Web: Department of Geography