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    Vassar College
  Dec 16, 2017
Catalogue 2017-2018
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ENST 185 - Endangered Islands: Climate Change, Rising Sea Levels, and Environmental Refugees

Semester Offered: Fall
0.5 unit(s)
This course offers a comparative multidisciplinary analysis of three island groups highly endangered by rising sea levels and expected to undergo far-reaching changes as a result of climate change by the year 2050: the Bahamas, the Maldives, and Vanuatu. Environmentally, these three island groups share similar quandaries: essential infrastructure located on the coast; rapidly deteriorating reef systems increasingly vulnerable to bleaching events caused by rising sea temperatures; intensifying coastal erosion threatening vital tourism infrastructure; significant concentrations of people of lower socioeconomic status living in floodplains; threats to fresh water availability and quality; high risks of food insecurity; and potential for their populations becoming environmental refugees. As a result, they feature prominently among the most endangered in the world. They differ markedly, however, in their comparable levels of resilience-in their capacity for environmental mitigation, and ability to successfully adapt to rapidly changing environmental conditions. Their respective environmental crises have elicited significantly different governmental and civil society responses, which can severely impact the way their populations and infrastructures can adapt to fast approaching crises. Lisa Paravisini.

Second six-week course.

Two 75-minute periods.

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