Students on field trip view effects of climate change and sea-level rise

Friday, March 20, 2020
Students look at ocean in Pacifica

Students in Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies Aritree Samanta’s ENVS 480: Climate Change Adaptation and Justice course went on a field trip and saw the effects of coastal erosion caused by Pacific storms and sea-level rise in Pacifica. The field trip was planned and designed by Professor of Environmental Studies Carlos Davidson.

Several students expressed that even after living very close to the California coast for the majority of their lives, this was the first time they viewed and learned about the effects of climate change on their communities. Highlights of the trip included observing coastal erosion and the effects on homes along the coast, an ecological restoration project that included a “managed retreat” on the Linda Mar beach in Pacifica, and learning about efforts by the residents and the city to fortify the shore and local perceptions and politics on climate change adaptation.

ENVS 480 is a new course developed by Samanta and offered for the first time in the School of Public Affairs & Civic Engagement’s Environmental Studies program. The course is open to all majors and examines the social, economic, political and ethical aspects of climate change, with a focus on adaptation and justice.