GCC Courses

The Grand Challenge Curriculum offers a number of different courses each semester. This is a list of GCC courses currently being offered.

Can We Feed the World Without Destroying It?

In this course, we will seek solutions to the challenge of achieving global food security and sustainability. Together, we will work to answer the question, "Can we feed the world without destroying it?"... Read more

Beyond War and Atrocity - Reconciliation and Justice

GCC 3002 offers a thorough introduction to the many ways of thinking through the delicate relationship between reconciliatory initiatives, processes of collective remembering, and the requirements of justice, by... Read more

Seeking Solutions to Global Health Issues

Often, the most progress on challenging issues such as health and equity is made when you apply an interdisciplinary perspective. The same is true for global health issues. Whether responding to emerging pandemics, food... Read more

The Fracking Boom - Promises and Challenges of the Hydrocarbon Renaissance

This course will explore the energy revolution that has been ignited by recent technological advances (primarily hydro-fracturing or "fracking") and its many far-reaching consequences. Students... Read more

Global Venture Design: What Impact Will You Make?

Addressing many of the world's most pressing environmental and social challenges requires not only an idea, but a plan to establish a scalable solution. In this project-based course, multidisciplinary teams design... Read more

Climate Change – Myths, Mysteries, and Uncertainties

Climate variations are the norm, not the exception. The geological and archaeological records are rich with evidence of a climate system that is dynamic and in a non-steady state. Yet we face the challenges of... Read more

Toward Conquest of Disease

Since the rise of civilization, the large predators of humans have been subdued and the most dangerous predators remaining are those unseen---vastly smaller than our bodies. They are the microbial predators that cause disease. Infectious... Read more

Rivers and Cities: Meeting Future Demands on Urban Water Systems

Ensuring access to sufficient and safe water is one of the grand challenges of the 21st century. As the world's population urbanizes, cities are at the leading edge of conflicts over water. We will... Read more

Pathways to Renewable Energy

Climate change and the depletion of fossil fuel resources present a challenge beyond the realm of any single academic discipline. The transition to new sources of energy will require proponents to understand the physics of power generation... Read more

Structural Violence and the Medication Experience

The course will use a social justice framework for learning and communicating about structural violence and the intersection of culture, the medication experience, and community health. The focus will be on Chicano and... Read more

Making Sense of Climate Change: Science, Art, and Agency

In Making Sense of Climate Change: Science, Art, and Agency, we will consider how communities can bring science and art together to face the challenges of climate change. We will explore climate... Read more

The Future of Work and Life in the 21st Century

This course seeks solutions to the technological, demographic, and economic forces that challenge taken-for-granted mindsets and existing policies around work, careers, and life. Students will consider positive and... Read more

Bioinspired Approaches to Sustainability – Greening Technologies and Lives

How can we build a sustainable society? From designing cities and technologies that use green energy, to health care and agriculture that can sustain billions, the sustainability challenges... Read more

Science and Society: Working Together to Avoid the Antibiotic Resistance Apocalypse

Before the discovery of antibiotics, even a simple thorn prick could lead to life threatening infection. Antibiotics are truly miracle drugs, making most bacterial infections... Read more

World Food Problems: Agronomics, Economics, and Hunger

Throughout the semester students will be exposed to issues related to world food problems through the lenses of two instructors from different disciplinary backgrounds, an agronomist (Porter) and an economist (... Read more

What American Dream? Children of the Social Class Divide

Given the increasing and widening social class divide of the early 21st century, American families and their children are facing more challenges than ever before. Academic underachievement, a school-to-prison... Read more

11 Billion People: How Long Can the Planet Sustain Humanity?

As an evolved animal, humanity has always interacted with its environment, both through the ecology of its food web and through its modification of its geological surroundings. Yet the human ecological niche... Read more

Living the Good Life at the End of the World: Sustainability in the Anthropocene

What does it mean to live "the good life" in a time of rapid climate changes, mass extinction of plant and animal species, and the increasing pollution of our oceans, atmosphere, and... Read more

Stepping Into the Gap: Understanding the Challenges of Supporting Diversity in STEM

The goals of this class are (1) to understand the cognitive, social and emotional factors that have led to the underrepresentation of many groups in STEM fields (Science, Technology,... Read more

The Global Climate Challenge: Creating an Empowered Movement for Change

The course will use a strategy of grassroots empowerment to help students connect to the heart of what they really value; to understand the threat of climate change; to examine how they feel in... Read more

Ecosystems Health: Leadership at the Intersection of Humans, Animals, and the Environment

What are the effects of climate change, disease emergence, food and water security, gender, conflict and poverty, and sustainability of ecosystem services on health?... Read more

Policy and Science of Global Environmental Change

Through readings, lectures, discussions, written assignments, and presentations, this course introduces the critical issues underpinning global change and its environmental and social implications. The course examines... Read more

The Human Experience of Sensory Loss: Seeking Equitable and Effective Solutions

This course focuses on the visual, auditory and other sensory pathways that convey information about the world to mind and brain. Millions of people worldwide experience deficits in a... Read more

Leading Across Sectors to Address Grand Challenges

This course explores multisector leadership from a variety of perspectives and provides an opportunity for students to work together to apply what they are learning individually and in teams through in-class exercises... Read more

Knowledge to Impact: Creating Action with Your Grand Challenge Project Idea

Do you want to learn how to design viable solutions to address a complex social or environmental challenge?  Are you interested in taking a course with other motivated students from across the... Read more

Spring 2019

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Fall 2019








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