SGC students flash program sign at Academic Showcase

Science and Global Change

The impacts of global climate change on society, technology and security

Introduction

Global climate change, biodiversity crises and similar phenomena already impact our lives and will increasingly do so in the future.

Science and Global Change (SGC) uses scientific practice to explore global climate change and its impacts on human society, technology and security. Exploring the interactions of the Earth's systems,  students examine:

  • The nature of science, critical thinking and the interaction of scientific knowledge and the public; 
  • The causes and implications of global climate change and biodiversity changes across the span of time; and 
  • The means by which we can build a more resilient society to survive and reduce the impacts of these changes.

SGC prepares students to understand the changing conditions of the future and fosters critical thinking about the world around us. Students of all majors will benefit from an understanding of how science works, how the physical and biological environment is changing, and what our options are to build a more resilient society. 

Colloquium and Lecture Topics

  • A look at logical fallacies
  • Why climates change, and how we know that is (partially) our fault
  • What do we do with science on the edges of the mainstream?
  • The value of the biosphere
  • Who pays for science?

Other Learning Opportunities

Students in SGC will observe evidence of global climate change both in class and through multiple learning opportunities outside the classroom. Past excursions have included:

  • Fossil hunting at Brownie Beach;
  • Exploring the Smithsonian Museums;
  • Visiting the Patuxent National Wildlife Refuge and the Horn Point Laboratory; and
  • Volunteering at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens.

As part of the sophomore practicum, students will learn from and work closely with researchers, educators and practitioners of any STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Medicine) field. Students have:

  • Held internships in various labs at the National Institutes of Health, NASA and the Smithsonian Institution;
  • Helped to construct wind turbines for communities in the Andes; and
  • Developed educational experiences for the Annapolis Maritime Museum.

Curriculum Overview

Over the two-year program experience (four semesters), students will complete 9 credits of supporting courses that will count toward their SGC Scholars citation. In most cases, these will also fulfill General Education requirements. Note that your Scholars courses—colloquium, practicum and supporting course(s)—will generally be in addition to any courses you take to satisfy major requirements.

The following table represents a typical two-year curriculum, but individual schedules may vary. Details about courses and requirements can be found on the SGC Citation Checklist.

SEMESTER COURSES CREDITS
Freshman Fall Scholars Colloquium 1 credit
4-5 courses toward degree and major requirements (including possible supporting course) 12–15 credits
Freshman Spring Scholars Colloquium 1 credit
Academic Writing 3 credits
3–4 courses toward degree and major requirements (including possible supporting course) 9–12 credits
Sophomore Fall Scholars Colloquium 1 credit
4–5 courses toward degree and major requirements (including possible supporting course) 12–15 credits
Sophomore Spring Scholars Practicum 1–3 credits
4–5 courses toward degree and major requirements (including possible supporting course if not already completed) 12–15 credits

Residence Hall

Centreville Hall

Office Address

1216 Centreville Hall

Office Phone

301-405-4084

Faculty

Portrait of Thomas Holtz

Thomas Holtz

Program Director, Science and Global Change
Portrait of John W. Merck Jr.

John W. Merck Jr.

Associate Director, Science and Global Change

Social Media Etc.


Science and Global Change News

  • Despite Being Virtual, Scholars Showcases Promote Personal Interaction

    For most University of Maryland (UMD) students, the end of the spring semester heralds the start of finals. But for sophomores in College Park Scholars, for the past 24 years, this time of year has signified Academic Showcase.

  • Why This Assistant Director has Stayed With Scholars for 20 Years

    My first gig at the University of Maryland was an assistantship to Dr. Thomas Holtz, who at the time was creating the Earth, Life and Time program—the precursor to College Park Scholars’ current Science and Global Change (SGC) program. In the 19 years since, I’ve taken on many other responsibilities, including the director of undergraduate studies for the Department of Geology. But my job with Scholars remains by far my favorite.

  • Scholars Alums Honored at 2018 Citation Awards

    More than a thousand College Park Scholars arrived on campus in fall 2016, the largest freshman class in Scholars history. This citation class went on to make an impact across the community, including raising a record-setting $19,315 for charities in the Scholars Cup competition. On Friday, Sept. 24, College Park Scholars celebrated this class with our annual Citation Awards Ceremony.

  • Scholars Recognized at 2017 University Awards

    Scholars students took home several top awards at the 36th University Student Leadership Awards on Sunday, May 7. University Awards recognized Maryland Medallion Society members and Byrd/Elkins Finalists who have contributed significantly to the general advancement of this university’s interests and displayed outstanding involvement and leadership in campus activities. These students are the university’s top 20 senior students; two Scholars alumni were recognized by the Maryland Medallion Society:

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