Internationally Known Scientist to Teach Undergraduate Course on Climate, Weather

Posted: March 25, 2008 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Tara Laskowski

Jagadish Shukla
Jagadish Shukla

Jagadish Shukla, an internationally known climatologist and founder of the graduate Climate Dynamics Program at Mason, will be teaching a course for undergraduates and general education students for the first time in his more than 10 years at Mason.

The course will give students an opportunity to learn from Shukla, a lead author and member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the organization that shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with former vice president Al Gore.

CLIM 101: Weather, Climate and Global Society, offered in fall 2008, will provide a survey of the scientific and societal issues associated with weather and climate variability and change. Students do not have to have a science background to take the course.

“I hope to give students an understanding of the basic science behind climate and climate changes,” says Shukla. “The goal is for these students to know enough that they can be good, informed citizens and take part meaningfully in the public debate on global warming.”

Shukla designed the course because he has seen so much increased interest in the issues. He will co-teach the course with James Kinter and Emilia Jin, and hopes to give people a greater understanding of the physical phenomena of weather and climate and how this science affects different sectors of society including policy making.

Shukla is the president of the Institute of Global Environment and Society and the founder of the Center for Ocean-Land-Atmosphere Studies, a top research center devoted to an improved understanding of climate variability and predictability. He is one of the premier researchers of short-term climate variability and continues to research ways to more accurately predict weather and climate variations in the three-month to one-year range.

This month, the Executive Council of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) will present Shukla with the 52nd International Meteorological Organization Prize, which is the most prestigious prize in the world in meteorology. The prize is for significant contributions to the science of weather and climate predictability and enhancing weather and climate science around the world.

Not only has his research continued to improve the world’s understanding of weather and climate predictability, but he has founded and implanted many weather and climate research centers globally.

“Our work saves lives and property, enhances economic productivity, helps policy makers be better managers and improves the quality of life in general,” Shukla said in an interview for the WMO’s web site.

For more information on the course, visit the web site.

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