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Renowned UC San Diego Scientists Offer Free Online Climate Change Course

LA JOLLA, Calif., Nov. 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Four renowned scientists from the University of California San Diego and Scripps Institution of Oceanography are offering a free online climate change course starting in January 2014. "Climate Change in Four Dimensions: Scientific, Policy, International and Social" is one of the first massive open online courses (MOOC) being offered as a non-credit course by UC San Diego.

The course is being taught by professors Charles Kennel, Naomi Oreskes, Richard Somerville and David Victor, with a special lecture by Veerabhadran Ramanathan.

Students will view climate change from a variety of perspectives at the intersection of the natural sciences, technology, the social sciences and the humanities. The course also introduces new topics currently confronting the science and policy communities, such as geoengineering. The course provides the same quality learning and instruction that UC San Diego is known for, including complete video lectures and online activities to enhance learning and instruction.

The course is designed for working professionals in the sustainability industries, college students, recent graduates and people passionate about learning more about the environment. Students should visit to enroll in the non-credit course. In response to requests, UC San Diego Extension is offering a $195 credit option for those desiring continuing education credit for the course.  This option offers a variety of benefits, including instructor support and evaluation of knowledge.

Kennel was educated in astronomy and astrophysics at Harvard and Princeton. He became the ninth director of Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Vice Chancellor and Dean of Marine Sciences at UC San Diego in 1998, stepping down in late 2006. In 2005, Kennel founded the UC San Diego Environment and Sustainability Initiative, embracing teaching, research, campus operations and public outreach, and is now a member of the Sustainability Solutions Institute created by the initiative.

Oreskes is a professor of history and science studies at UC San Diego and an adjunct professor of geosciences at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. She is an internationally renowned historian of science and author.  Having started her career as a geologist, received her B.S. (1st class Honours) from the Royal School of Mines, Imperial College London, and then worked for three years as an exploration geologist in the Australian outback.  She returned to the United States to receive an inter-disciplinary Ph.D. in geological research and history of science from Stanford University, in 1990.  Oreskes has won numerous prizes, including the 2011 Climate Change Communicator of the Year and is co-author of the popular book "Merchants of Doubt."

Somerville is a climate scientist and distinguished professor emeritus and research professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego. He is active in climate change research, education and outreach.  He is the author of "The Forgiving Air: Understanding Environmental Change," a new edition of which was published in 2008 by the American Meteorological Society. This accessible book presents in clear, jargon-free language the science of global change, including human-induced climate change, the ozone hole, acid rain and air pollution.

Victor is a professor at the School of International Relations and Pacific Studies at UC San Diego and director of the school's new Laboratory on International Law and Regulation. His research focuses on how the design of regulatory law affects issues such as environmental pollution and the operation of major energy markets. He is author of "Global Warming Gridlock," which explains why the world hasn't made much diplomatic progress on the problem of climate change while also exploring new strategies that would be more effective. Prior to joining the faculty at UC San Diego, Victor served as director of the Program on Energy and Sustainable Development at Stanford University where he was also a professor at Stanford Law School.

For more than 30 years, Ramanathan has been conducting original research in climate and atmospheric science. He conducts international field campaigns, develops unmanned aircraft platforms for tracking brown cloud pollution worldwide and educates and trains the next generation of scientists. His major focus now is on developing practical solutions for mitigating global climate change and slowing down the retreat of the Himalayan glaciers. He also leads Project Surya, a cook-stove project which attempts to eliminate climate warming pollutants from traditional biomass cooking.

Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego is one of the oldest, largest and most important centers for global science research and education in the world. Hundreds of research programs covering a wide range of scientific areas are under way today in 65 countries.