Chuck Kennicutt, a professor and chemical oceanographer, says this upper-division course gives students perspective on environmental issues such as acid rain, ozone depletion, and ocean and polar policy.
"It's important for students to hear from an expert involved in the field on the topics we're talking about," Kennicutt said. "You don't necessarily choose science policy, you end up there."
The speakers come from a variety of backgrounds, giving students both governmental and nongovernmental perspectives of science policy. Almost all of them will be interacting with the class via Skype, since they are currently located all over the world.
"Skype allows me to have people that otherwise wouldn't do a single lecture at an institution," Kennicutt said. Using Skype also cuts down on the carbon footprint, he added.
Kennicutt shows students pictures from an early Antarctic expeditionKennicutt's goal for his students is that they become more critical of what they hear after taking this course. He says that sometimes science is politicized and people can hear about these issues on the news every night, so critically thinking about the information presented to determine what's correct is important.
The guest speakers include Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell of Alaska, who will give a presentation titled "Alaska and U.S. Arctic Policy in the Face of Global Warming" on Oct. 27.
Robert Gagosian, the president of Ocean Leadership will present "U.S. Ocean Policy: Threats to the World's Oceans," Nov. 8.
James Barnes, the executive director of the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition will give his talk, "Conservation and Protection in Antarctica, Evolution of the Antarctic Treaty, and the Role of NGOs," Nov. 17.
All lectures are open to the public will take place at 9:35 a.m., in room 216 of the O&M building. To attend, please contact Kennicutt at
By Katie Cowart
Oct. 6, 2011