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National College Credit Recommendation Service

Board of Regents  |  University of the State of New York | Evaluated Learning Experience

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Environmental Science- Climate Change and the Cryosphere (EV103)


Version 1 and 2: 48 hours.

Various, distance learning format.

Version 1: November 2017 – January 2023. Version 2: February 2023 - Present. 

Instructional delivery format: 
Online/distance learning
Learner Outcomes: 

Version 1 and 2: Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to: define and classify a vast variety of terms used in the fields of Earth Sciences including cryosphere, glaciers, snow, ice sheets, and sea ice; analyze different methodological approaches to measuring snow melt in a variety of conditions all over the world; identify the challenges the Earth is facing in regards to an increase in temperature; investigate the cryosphere on Earth and what the predictions are for the next 100 years; examine and assess what can be expected the Earth to do with the damage caused; recognize the different elements of the cryosphere and how they interrelate; distinguish the different components of a glacier including the terminal moraine, accumulation zone, and ablation zone; evaluate the qualities of a glacier in terms of movement and mass balance, including basal melting and internal deformation; compare and contrast freshwater and salt water properties and how they both contribute to the Earth; and identify the characteristics of melting glaciers (glacial outburst floods) and the future of water supplies in regards to glacier streamflow.


Version 1 and 2: Instruction is offered online through video lectures, study guides, required and supplemental readings, quizzes, homework, and final exams. Major topics include: introduction to cryosphere, tools for studying earth’s systems, open and closed systems, flux, and sink, controlling earth’s global temperature, black body radiation, energy, and greenhouse effect, earth’s climate, Koeppen system and troposphere, anthropogenic climate change, erosion, climate record taking, proxy records, and solar output, water cycle, sublimation, saturation, condensation, evaporation, and Bergeron process, outook for snow, adapting to snow and snow monitoring, permafrost, permeability, porosity, radiation, conduction, and trumpet charts, permafrost and the carbon cycle, permafrost thawing and methane, sea ice, sea water ions, rafting, compression ridges, and leads, albedo, thermocline, halocline, primary producers, and trophic levels, implications of summer sea-ice free arctic, sea ice measurements, erosion, and multi-year ice, formation of glaciers, ice caps, and ice sheets, melting ice, firn, and cirque glacier, glacier mass balance, hybridization, accumulation, ablation, calving, and basal melting, measuring glacier mass balance and ice dynamics, stake measurements, retreating, advancing, internal deformation, and glacier dynamics, crevasses, boreholes, satellite imagery, and pressure melting, surges, tidewater glaciers, and ice shelves, icebergs, Archimedes law, and jacobshavn glacier, moving ice, roche moutonnee, horn, terminal moraine, erratic boulders, and drop stones, climate records from ice sheets/mountain glaciers, glacier movement, ice core particles, and oxygen isotopes, ice age world and past impact of ice on humans, ice age animals, neanderthals, hobbit people, and little ice age, jokulhlaups, and flood mitigation plans, future of water supplies, glacier streamflow, basins, and catchment areas, sea level change, melting glaciers and thermal expansion, measuring sea level change, laser altimetry, grace, and tide gauges, consequences of sea level change, freshwater intrusion, coastal defense, beach nourishment, and saltwater infiltration.

Credit recommendation: 

Version 1: In the lower division baccalaureate/associate degree category, 3 semester hours in Environmental Science, Climate Change, or as a General Science Elective (2/18). Version 2: In the associate/certificate degree category OR in the lower division baccalaureate/associate degree category, 3 semester hours in Introduction to Climate Change or Meteorology (2/23 revalidation).