Global Climate Change: Science and Society

“Is climate change real?” Understand the science behind global climate change and proposed technical and societal solutions. Explore how human behavior influences climate change and how politics are shaping world views on this hot-button issue.

Key Program Information
Categories Continuing Education Youth and Community Programs Community Classes for Adults
Program Type Non-Credit
Delivery Format Face-to-Face

Who Should Attend

Anyone interested in learning more about global climate change.

Sunset on UW-Eau Claire campus.

Program Description

Socio-political challenges in global climate change

You’ve heard it in the news, listened to conflicting reports, and know it’s a hot-button issue, but where do you begin to understand what’s really happening with global climate change? Are you hearing all this information on something you know is important, but find yourself wondering, “As a citizen, what can I do?” Join a local chemistry professor as you discuss factors that affect average temperature, interpret global data trends, and learn how to become an active and engaged citizen. This course is perfect for anyone who is interested in what all this news means in the larger “science vs. politics” debate. Explore the combination of the science behind climate change and the potential human behaviors that influence it. Engage in discussion surrounding current political policies and opportunities to implement change.

You will learn about:

  • The science behind climate change
  • The dynamic between politics and scientific fact
  • Human behaviors and influencers
  • Climate trends and data interpretation
  • Exploring solutions from both technical and societal perspectives


Dr. James A. (Jim) Phillips grew up in the Twin Cities (MN), and obtained a B.A. in Chemistry from Middlebury College (Vermont) in 1991. Subsequently, he earned a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the University of Minnesota in 1996. After two years as a NOAA Postdoctoral Fellow in Climate and Global Change at University of Colorado-Boulder, he joined the faculty of the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire in 1998. Currently, he is a Professor in the UWEC Chemistry Department, where he teaches general, physical, and environmental chemistry, and maintains an active, externally-funded undergraduate research program. In 2013, he received the Career Teaching Excellence Award from UWEC’s College of Arts and Sciences. “Dr. Jim” has also been a vocal proponent of UWEC’s Liberal Arts mission, and accordingly, has developed several courses that deal with climate change and other environmental issues from a multidisciplinary perspective.