Course Syllabus



Course Location/Time:

Lecture:  M T W Th 10:30 – 11:20 in SMI 120

Quiz sections:


















11:30 – 12:20

1:30 -2:20







ATG 610

ATG 310

MGH 238

MGH 241

MGH 234

BAG 331






Prof. Kat Huybers

Office:   ATG 722


Office hours: Tuesdays, 2:00 – 3:30 or by appointment in ATG 722


Teaching Assistants:

Megan McKeown


Office hours: Fridays, 2:40 – 4:40 in 402 ATG


Andrew Pauling


Office Hours: Wednesdays, 1:30 -3:30 in ATG 402



Course Description:

Human­-induced climate change -- popularly known as "global warming" ­-- is emerging as one of the great challenges facing society in the 21st century. If we ignore the problem, by the end of this century the climate changes due to increased greenhouse gases will be large enough to have significant consequences on the environment and on civilization. Avoiding these changes will require either (i) a wholesale change in the sources of energy used by humans, (ii) yet to be developed methods to sequester carbon on an unprecedented scale, or (iii) intentional human modification of the earth’s energy budget to partially cancel the warming that will result from the increased greenhouse gases due to human activity. At stake are deeply felt values as well as entrenched economic interests. When these are combined with scientific uncertainty, it is not surprising that global warming has sparked a raging, often passionate debate.

In this class, we will look at the scientific basics of global warming, the symptoms of how climate change is already being felt, how past climates have been inferred and future climates projected, and finally the proposed solutions to tackle the problem.






The Thinking Person’s Guide to Climate Change, 1st Edition by Robert Henson, American Meteorological Society/University of Chicago Press, 2014.

This non-technical book summarizes the current science.


Other Course Material:

We will be using Poll Everywhere for in­class questions. You can use this program on your handheld device or laptop. Set up your account here ( If access to a device is an issue, please contact the instructors; we will make other arrangements for you.



  • Comprehensive Final Exam = 25%
  • In-Class Quizzes (2 @ 15% each) = 30%
  • Homework = 25%
  • In-Class Activities = 20%

Makeup quizzes and exam will only be permitted by prior arrangement. No notes/books/devices/sharing of answers are allowed during the quizzes and exam. Cheating will not be tolerated! (See more under Cheating and Plagerism)

  • Homework will be done online, through UW Canvas, and no late homework can be allowed.
  • Homework is due on Fridays at 11:59 PM
  • It is ok to discuss homework problems with classmates, but turn in your own answers.


In-Class Activities:

  • There will be regular in­-class activities, which will vary from answering Poll Everywhere questions to class discussion and work in small groups. You will be asked to draw connections between the course material and current societal issues.
  • Attendance and participation in quiz sections is expected and will be tracked. In class, be respectful of others (especially because this can be a politically charged topic).
  • No talking, texting, internet surfing, etc., during class.

*If anyone uses your Poll Everywhere account to answer for you, it is considered cheating and will result in the loss of all poll everywhere points to date; both students will be reported to the office of Community Standards and Student Conduct.


Strategies for Success:

  • Read the textbook/lecture slides and keep up.
  • Attend lectures. The lectures indicate the topics the instructor believes are most challenging and important. Valuable example problems will be discussed in class and in discussion sections. There will be material given in lecture and discussion sections that is not in the textbook or readings and you will be expected to know it.
  • Discuss and dissect questions with your classmates outside of class.
  • Go to office hours or email the TAs when you need help.
  • Don't be afraid to ask questions in class.


Cheating and Plagiarism:

Copying exam answers from a neighboring student, using notes, or outside materials during an exam are all forms of cheating. Any type of cheating on exams will result in a grade of zero (0) for the entire exam.

Someone using your Poll Everywhere account to answer for you is also considered cheating. Incidents of cheating will be reported to the Office of Community Standards and Student Conduct. In most cases, the review results in an academic warning, probation, or dismissal from the University, in addition to the loss of points.

Presenting someone else’s work as your own is plagiarism. This is an ethical issue that the academic community takes seriously; it is the equivalent of stealing and is not tolerated at the University of Washington. If you are at all unsure about the difference between cooperative work and plagiarism, check with your TA or professor.


Additional Info

To request academic accommodations due to a disability, please contact the Disability Services Office ( : 206­543­8924 (V/TTY). Have disability services send an accommodations request and then please follow up with the instructors to discuss how best to meet your accommodations.

Academic accommodations due to disability will not be made unless the student has a request made through DSO specifying the type and nature of accommodations needed.



Course Summary:

Date Details