What will I learn?


Using design to communicate the impact of changes to Earth’s climate and inspire action among our fellow humans.

Climate change is happening. As a society, we know we need to accommodate it, design for it, and slow its progress, yet as individuals many of us struggle to take meaningful action. This class will perch itself within the iconic landscapes of California. How will they differ in 2025, 2050, 2100?  Does an emotional attachment to a place motivate meaningful change to preserve it? Might we leverage and share stories to diminish the spatial and temporal remoteness of global change? 

This course will consist of four 80 minute sessions interrupted by a visit to one of California’s most iconic views.

During the course we will learn about the science of global change and the ways in which California may dramatically differ in the future as a result of changing temperatures and rainfall patterns, rising sea levels, shifts in flora and fauna, and decisions about the built environment and infrastructure.  Using methodologies of human-centered design, we will understand what fosters a sense of place and how iconic landscapes influence perceptions of global change. We will generate ideas for communicating the impact of projected change, and we will experiment with different ways of creating a sense of urgency among our fellow humans to act now. This class is for students interested in the urgency of global change and in seeking new and innovative ways to communicate it.


Learn With

Teaching Team



Kate Maher

Associate Professor of Geological Sciences

Melissa Miranda

Entrepreneur in Residence at Foundation Capital

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