Scripps Undergraduate Classes Focus on Pressing Environmental Challenges
Shannon Casey | Dec. 13, 2010
By the very nature of its global scientific investigations, Scripps Institution of Oceanography has been researching and teaching “green” since its founding more than 108 years ago, and Scripps faculty have taught undergraduate courses since UC San Diego’s founding 50 years ago.
Currently, UC San Diego students have access to more than 45 regularly offered undergraduate courses and seminars in the Scripps department. Scripps undergraduate course offerings are expanding and diversifying each year. More are focused on some of the most pressing environmental challenges facing our planet, such as climate change, natural disasters and marine conservation.
Correspondingly, enrollment in Scripps courses continues to increase steadily. More than 1,700 UC San Diego students with a wide range of majors took advantage of Scripps course offerings this year as interest in “green” topics continued to rise. For example, the relatively new course offering SIO25: Climate Change and Society, regularly attracts students from diverse majors and across all class levels.
Additionally, over the past three years, more students are opting for the Earth Sciences major (offered since 1992) and Marine Science minor (established in 2007) at Scripps as they prepare for careers in ocean and earth sciences and environmental fields.
“One of the best parts about being a student at UCSD is the Scripps undergraduate courses,” said Elizabeth Siber, who is majoring in biology and pursuing a minor in Marine Science at Scripps. “They're small, and nearly all of them have a hands-on laboratory component. The opportunity to really work with the information you are taught in class is priceless, and it has definitely been an integral and incredibly fun part of my education.”
Scripps courses also provide unparalleled access for undergraduate students to be involved in hands-on science at a world-class research institution. This year, more than 50 UC San Diego undergraduates worked side-by-side with Scripps researchers. These experiences in the lab and in the field give students a better understanding of the dynamics of our ever-changing planet Earth – critical knowledge in developing solutions for a sustainable future.
“I have loved my research so far at Scripps,” said Tamara Schroeder, an Environmental Systems major working with Scripps scientist Mark Hildebrand on algal biofuels research. “I am excited to use my practical laboratory experience in algal biofuels to meet the world's needs for sustainable fuel.”
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