Portland State offers new climate change minor

Portland State University is offering a new minor this fall aimed at informing and engaging students on the pressing issue of climate change.

The new Climate Change Science and Adaptation minor is a collaboration between the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences' Geography and Environmental Science and Management departments, but it is open to undergraduate students in any major.

Learn more about the new minor and its requirements.

Paul Loikith, a climate scientist and assistant professor of geography, said employers are increasingly looking for graduates who are literate in climate change, both from the science and solutions perspectives.

"As the public and private sectors increasingly make efforts to either adapt to future conditions so that their business or populations can be resilient in those changes or reduce their impact on the change itself, we think it's an attractive thing for employees to have this additional knowledge," he said.

Loikith said the cross-disciplinary nature of the major is an example of what Portland State does best.

"We have a lot of course offerings around climate change, whether it's from the management and adaptation side or from the science side," he said. "This brings those sides together."

The minor provides students with an understanding of the science behind climate change, the wide-ranging impacts of climate change and management strategies for addressing those impacts.

Students will take a set of core courses before choosing whether they want to complete a management and policy track or a physical science track. The course offerings come from nine different disciplines: geography, environmental science and management, physics, philosophy, sociology, economics, urban studies and planning, environmental engineering and systems science.