Course Modules

Global Climate Change

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Professor & Chair of Earth and Environmental Science Department Johan Varekamp included a module in "E&ES 359: Global Climate Change" entitled “The Colors of Climate Change,” which investigated the portrayal of the environment in landscape painting. The section specifically focused on time periods of great environmental change such as the little ice age and industrial air pollution. This part of the course studied how color choice reflects processes and examined the messages these choices convey.  He partnered with Tula Telfair, Associate Professor of Art and Art History and a landscape painter, who provided her perspective to students on the visual representations of climate and color choice.

"The class module explored how artists have always employed artistic license to develop dramatic or poetic images and themes, evoke moods, or discuss political, economic or cultural issues, rather than simply documenting what they saw in purely objective ways.  Similar factors play a role in the interpretation of other physical evidence of climates of the past, e.g., fossils or chemical indicators have to be preserved in the geological record so that we can study them.  Students explored how 'hard science' observations differ from the historical record of paintings in interpreting paleoclimates."

- Excerpt from Faculty Report by Johan Varekamp

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