Fall 2023
HEB 1367
September 5 - December 5
Monday, 9:00AM - 11:00AM
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African Climate: Earth's history, humanity's future


Anthropogenic climate change has exacerbated extreme weather, habitat loss, and human health challenges globally. The impacts of climate change are felt disproportionately in Africa, due to its tropical setting, and history of colonialism and development. In this class, we’ll take a long view of climate in Africa, from the origin of the Earth, through the present, and into the future. First, we’ll learn some of the physical principles that govern climate, and trace the broad arc of history of climate and life on the continent. Next, we’ll focus on human history, learning about how climate changes influenced human origins and behavior, up until the present. Lastly, we’ll learn about how climate is projected to change in the coming centuries, and how this will likely impact human healthy, political fortunes, and conservation.
Course Notes: The class will meet once per week, and will include a lecture, followed by seminar-style discussion. Students will have weekly readings from textbooks and/or scientific journal articles, and be assigned a limited number of problem sets. Students will be expected to give presentations on readings of their choice, and will develop a research project in the second half of the course. Some familiarity with evolutionary biology is advantageous but not required for enrollment. Preference will be given to juniors and seniors.
Class Notes:This course meets in MCZ 541.

Human Evolutionary Biology
Faculty of Arts & Sciences
Course Level
Interest Area
Arts & Humanities
Cross Registration