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Climate Change - Cross-disciplinary Challenges and Solutions

In our galaxy, there are billions of planets with liquid water and of these, possibly thousands with dry land and blue skies. One of these is ours – to have and to hold.

Climate on this planet shows variations, some gentle and some dramatic with the recent global warming as an emerging and extraordinary example. Humans are causing a substantial part of it, and for sure, we are the only ones around to take action.

When one planet is not enough then one science is not enough; so this course takes a cross-disciplinary approach to this issue, drawing on expertise from all five branches of university science. This way we shall probe for analyses, remediation and solutions regarding the challenges of fast emerging climate change on this heavily populated planet.

>>> Please notice: The course will run online for students who prefer this, but the course is also planned to take place as a mixed physical/online course in Aarhus, Denmark, if the circumstances allow it.     

Watch welcome video

Who should attend?

All students holding a university bachelor degree per July 2021 are welcome.

You should be interested in going outside your scientific comfort zone and eager to understand other approaches to the climate challenges and solutions. The work on specific cases will be organized in cross-disciplinary groups.

We will provide a focused survival kit of pre-study literature that will bring all participants to a common basic minimum level on climate issues as seen by the five main university sciences (~10 hours of pre-study).

How to apply

Course objectives

Through a mix of daily expert lectures and case oriented project work in small groups the participating students will be

  • armed with a cross-disciplinary understanding of the challenges related to climate change, including the scientific basis and drivers of climate change and the associated societal challenges relating to e.g. the environment, technology, economics, and culture.
  • empowered, through case-based group studies, with skills in cross-disciplinary analysis and development of solutions to challenges relating to climate change.
  • furnished with a cross-disciplinary network of peers by which they can continue further climate-related university studies as well as climate-related entrepreneurship later in life.  

Structure of the course

The teaching is planned for August (2021: 1st to 14th )

This course is planned to take place in Aarhus, Denmark, if the circumstances allow it.

Pre-study of material, bringing students from different sciences on the same basic minimum level.  

The planned structure of the course:

  • Sunday: Students arrive.
    From 17:00 groups socialize and start defining their case study theme

  • Monday – Thursday (11 days):
    10 typical day schedules plus day off

  • Friday (second week):
    100% preparation of exam presentations and handouts

  • Saturday (second week):
    9-12 + 13-16: Exam presentations* and debates
    16-17: Exam feedbacks
    17-18: Farewell networking lounge

* Groups of 3 to 4 persons present for 20 min and moderate debate for 20 min. Each group member must present for at least 4 minutes.

The experts (preliminary)

David Lundbek Egholm
Climate: the system and the history
Department of Geoscience
Faculty of Natural Sciences

Jørgen E. Olesen
Climate: Food systems and land use   
Department of Agroecology
Faculty of Technical Sciences

Gorm Bruun Andresen
Climate: Energy systems
Assoc. prof.
Department of Engineering - Renewable Energy and Thermodynamics
Faculty of Technical Sciences

Alejandro Ordonez Gloria
Climate:  Biosphere responses    
Assistant Professor
Department of Bioscience
Faculty of Natural Sciences    

Katerina Mitkidis
Climate law
Associate professor
Department of Law
Faculty of Business and Social Sciences    

Mikael Skou Andersen
Political Economy   
Department of Environmental Science
Faculty of Technical Sciences 

Jessica Aschemann-Witzel
Climate: Consumers and communication      
Department of Management
Faculty of Business and Social Sciences    

Thomas Schwarz Wentzer
Ethics in the Anthropocene    
Professor MSO
Department of Philosophy and History of Science
Faculty of Arts    

Nils Ole Bubandt
Cultures of climate   
Department of Anthropology
Faculty of Arts    

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, the student should demonstrate the ability to

  • Discuss and communicate interdisciplinary approaches to climate-related challenges, combining natural science with one or more other sciences, depending on the specific group-case study.
  • Facilitate and qualify debate on the possibilities and limitations of climate initiatives/solutions.
  • Produce, in a multidisciplinary group, case- and solution-oriented approaches to a specific climate-related problem.