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Undergraduate course

Ocean-Climate-Society: Sustainability summer course

  • ECTS credits30
  • Teaching semester
  • Course codeSDG200
  • Number of semesters
  • LanguageEnglish
  • Resources

ECTS Credits

30 ECTS

Level of Study

Bachelor and master 

Teaching semester

Summer (1. May - 25. August 2022)

Place of Instruction

In 2022 the teaching will take place on board Statsraad Lehmkuhl sailing over the Pacific Ocean from Valparaiso, Chile, to Palau.

Objectives and Content

In 2015 the United Nations adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, with 17 interconnected Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) addressing the global challenges of poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, prosperity, peace, and justice.

This course will employ the SDGs as a platform from which to gain a comprehensive understanding of planetary sustainability. This includes building skills for interdisciplinary cooperation needed for humanity to thrive for generations to come, simultaneously avoiding large-scale abrupt or irreversible environmental change. The course aims at recruiting a highly interdiscliplinary student group to facilitate incorporating individual differences of opinions and actions, cultural and social backgrounds and learning negotiating across these differences. 

 SDG200 is an interdisciplinary course, with a particular focus on SDG14 (Life below water) and SDG13 (Climate action). The course further showcases SDG17 (Partnerships), while at all times reflecting upon how all SDGs are embedded and interlinked within the Agenda 2030.  

 In 2022 the course will take place on board Staatsraad Lehmkuhl in the Pacific Ocean (see more details under "Teaching and learning methods"). Living and studying onboard will facilitate active and experiential learning. Working in teams will highlight the importance of cooperation whether sailing a tall ship or contributing towards a sustainable future. Multiple stops in Pacific island countries, including a longer stay in Fiji, allows the students to interact with and learn from local communities and experience first-hand how life in the Pacific region is connected to the ocean and climate.  

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge

Upon completion of the course, a student should be able to:

  • Engage with the sustainability challenges in Agenda 2030, while acknowledging the role of individual and collective actions.
  • Explain how planetary boundaries define the safe operating space for humanity.
  • Reflect upon the role of oceans in global climate, ecological, oceanographic, and food systems.
  • Compare different fisheries management systems and approaches.
  •  Explain the greenhouse effect and the relative importance of natural and man-made emissions for climate change in the past and the future.
  • Recognise the human impacts on the climate system and assess the risks to local ecosystems and societies.
  • Explain the international frameworks, including legal, for climate assessment, adaption and mitigation.
  • Recognise and explain connections between social, cultural, economic and environmental challenges in achieving socially just and sustainable societies.
  • Explain basic nautical terms and expressions including rigging, sails and ropes.
  • Explain basic ecological, oceanographic and meteorological concepts, relating the latter two to global wind systems and ocean currents.

Skills

Upon completion of the course, a student should be able to:

  • Assess which human activities contribute most to climate change (on an individual, local, national and global level).
  • Apply concepts of sustainability and planetary boundaries to develop a sustainability solution.
  • Apply behavioural science to understand attitudes and behaviours towards sustainable development
  • Apply natural, behavioural and social science methods and data to evaluate sustainability solutions and their impacts.
  • Explore connections and contrasts between scientific literature and the literature of reports, conventions and popular science literature.
  • Analyse current scientific knowledge and identify research needs related to SDG¿s.
  • Design a study using qualitative and quantitative research methods, and explain how these are needed for finding solutions for sustainable development.
  • Apply simple models of climate and population dynamics.
  • Evaluate climate adaptation measures.
  • Analyse case studies from the Pacific region, including regionalism, political agendas, international treaties, and sustainability efforts.
  • Participate in sail setting and trimming, basic navigation and watch procedures. 
  • Analyse and contextualise social phenomena that arise from unsustainable practices

General competences

Upon completion of the course, a student should be able to:

  • Accommodate individual differences of opinions and actions, cultural and social backgrounds and negotiate across these differences.
  • Contribute to interdisciplinary teams and value the different roles within such teams.
  • Identify differences between scientific knowledge, values and opinions, and critically evaluate different types of arguments in societally relevant debates.
  • Collect, interpret and communicate data in the field
  • Provide constructive feedback and conduct peer-reviews verbally and in written form.
  • Evaluate current political processes and ways to influence these at an individual, community and regional level.
  • Compose and use scientifically valid arguments in societally relevant debates.
  • Analyze uncertainty and its role in science and decision-making.

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Required Previous Knowledge

Students applying for admission to the course should have studied at least one year at university level (min. 60 ECTS). 

Recommended Previous Knowledge

None

Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap

SDG313 (5 ECTS), SDG214 (5 ECTS)

Access to the Course

The course is open to students admitted to programmes of study that include 30 or more free ECTS.   Applicants must submit a CV (max 4 pages) together with a short (max 500 words) letter of motivation where they explain

  • why they wish to attend the course and how it relates to their interests and experience (academic and other) and their future plans
  • how they may contribute to the student community and the learning environment  
  • the challenges do they foresee with staying four months away from home under the special circumstances on board Statsraad Lehmkuhl.

If the number of applicants exceeds the number of places, the selection of students will be made according to the following criteria:

  • CV and motivation letter
  • Academic diversity and interdisciplinary approach
  • International representation
  • Gender diversity

An interdisciplinary admission committee including faculty and students is responsible for the admission process. Shortlisted candidates may be invited to an interview.

Teaching and learning methods

In 2022 SDG200 takes place on board sailing vessel Statsraad Lehmkuhl during the One Ocean Expedition. The students will also spend some time engaging in field studies on Fiji. All students will be sailing trainees and will be enrolled in the daily routines of the crew and are required to play an active role on board. The students will be divided into three watches and everyone will be on duty twice for four hours each day, also during the nights. When on watch, the student can get assigned to one of the following tasks: Man the helm, look out and man over board watch, or fire watch. Those who are not on any duty will be guided by the watch leader and set sails or get other training.

Although being a sailing trainee will be a large part of the course, the main focus of our teaching and learning will be on sustainability and the sustainable development goals.

This course is based on active learning methods, where the students play a key role in their learning. Students will work in groups, with individual and group assignments..

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

Compulsory attendance during the whole course, including  active participation in sailing duties.

Approved compulsory assignments.

Expenses related to accomodation are covered. Student must cover food expenses of NOK250 / day.

Forms of Assessment

Portfolio assessment, consisting of:

  • individual essays and reflections
  • group essays and presentations
  • peer reviews of fellow students¿ assignments
  • preparing for and performing a debate
  • book presentations
  • outreach tasks (tweets, FB posts, blog texts)

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Examination Support Material

None

Grading Scale

Pass/Fail

Assessment Semester

Autumn

Course Evaluation

Students will evaluate the course in accordance with the quality assurance system at UiB and the Department.

Course Administrator

Department of Biological Sciences.

Contact

Contact Information

oneocean@uib.no