|Newtok, Alaska has been the subject of much negative -- and true -- reporting about climate change. One of those reporters is urging her colleagues to report on the steps Newtok residents and their allies are taking toward resilience and remedies.|
The keyword in her essay is the same one used in a new degree program that our department recently submitted for university approval: Resilience. The title of our proposed new concentration is Environmental Sustainability and Climate Resilience. In addition to courses in human, physical, and environmental geography, the proposed concentration will include courses in communications, natural sciences, and global languages.
It is an ambitious proposal, but one that we think will position our future graduates to rise to the challenge that Dr. Mary Robinson issued to geographers upon receipt of the AAG Atlas Award. In asking us to take up the challenge of climate justice, the former president of Ireland and human-rights commissioner said, "You understand how our planet works."
Pivoting our program more squarely in the direction of the growing resilience movement is a direct response to that challenge, and to the one posed by Elizabeth Arnold.
Stay tuned, GeoBears, for more information about the resilience program and three others we recently submitted for approval:
Geography and International Development BA
Applied Geography BS
Geography for Educators BA
Two of these are relatively minor changes to our existing programs, while the other two are substantially new programs. All of the changes result from careful review over a period of several years, including input from experts, students, and alumni. All four programs will require study of a global language (currently Spanish, Portuguese, or Japanese). We have submitted all of the programs for review by university governance committees during the Fall 2019 semester, with the hopes of implementing them in 2020.