Climate Action field course: causes, consequences and solutions to the climate challenge

Postgraduate course

Course description

Objectives and Content

In 2015 the United Nations adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, with 17 interconnected Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) addressing the global challenges of poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, prosperity, peace, and justice. Science and education are fundamental to reaching the SDGs. The SDG913 course aims to contribute to the work toward these goals.

The course aims to recruit a highly interdisciplinary student group and to facilitate an exchange of individual differences of opinions and actions, while taking into account cultural and social backgrounds and learning how to accommodate these differences. The field component will facilitate active and experimental learning.

A priority of the field course is to identify a set of tractable research questions answering to the theme of the UN sustainable goals 13 (Climate Action) and 14 (Life below water) - spanning traditional disciplinary boundaries - and to make substantial group-level progress in researching answers to these questions.

Learning Outcomes


Upon completion of the course, a student should be able to:

  • Explain oceanographic and mereological concepts, relating to global wind systems and ocean currents, and how they impact marine transportation.
  • Describe climate threats particular to the tropics, such as storm surge, hurricanes and extreme precipitation.
  • Describe the basic structure and function of local and regional marine ecosystems and reflect on the differences between natural variation and human-induced changes including climate change.
  • Recognize the human impacts on the climate system and assess the risks to local ecosystems and societies.
  • Describe how ocean pollution spreads as a function of wind, waves and currents.
  • Engage with the sustainability challenges in Agenda 2030, while acknowledging the role of individual and collective actions.


Upon completion of the course, a student should be able to:

  • Perform basic meteorological and oceanographic field measurements.
  • Retrieve and calibrate key climate data documenting ocean climate variability.
  • Assess the impact of human activities on climate change with examples from the tropics.
  • Design a study using qualitative and quantitative research methods and present the results to a general audience.
  • Evaluate sustainability solutions and their impacts.
  • Evaluate climate adaptation measures.

General competences

Upon completion of the course, a student should be able to:

  • Analyze current scientific knowledge and identify research needs.
  • Accommodate individual differences of opinions and actions, cultural and social backgrounds and negotiate across interdisciplinary differences.
  • Collaborate with scholars across disciplinary boundaries and give insight into underlying assumptions of their scientific disciplinary backgrounds.
  • Identify differences between scientific knowledge, values and opinions, and critically evaluate different types of arguments in societally relevant debates.
  • Provide constructive feedback and conduct peer-reviews verbally and in written form.
  • Compose and use scientifically valid arguments in societally relevant debates.
  • Analyze uncertainty and its role in science and decision-making.
  • Evaluate current political processes and ways to influence these at an individual, community and regional level.

ECTS Credits


Level of Study


Semester of Instruction

Fieldcourse runs whenever funding is availble. The course is not scheduled for the time being. More info to come.

Place of Instruction

The field course will include a series of webinars, a two-day workshop in Bergen, and a one-week field work onboard the tall ship Statsraad Lehmkuhl sailing from Bergen to Rouen, followed by a one-day workshop at LOCEAN in Paris.
Recommended Previous Knowledge
 SDG213 or similar course on Climate Action and sustainable development
Access to the Course
The course is available for all students at UiB as well as members of CHESS and ADCD partner universities. However, grants to cover participation costs are currently limited to students from CHESS and ACDC partners.
Teaching and learning methods

SDG313 takes place on board sailing vessel Statsraad Lehmkuhl. All students will be sailing trainees and will be enrolled in the daily routines of the crew and are expected to play an active role on board. The students will be on duty 2 x 4 hours per day, also during the night under supervision of the crew (in addition to time spent on the course activities). When on duty, the tasks include e.g. trimming sails, manning the helm, look out, fire watch.

This course is based on active learning methods, where the students play a key role in their learning. Students will work in groups, with individual and group assignments.

5ECTS corresponds to 133.5 study hours including all study related work, but excluding compulsory duty time on board (2 x 4 hours).

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

Compulsory attendance during the whole course.

Approved compulsory assignments.

Forms of Assessment
Portfolio assessment, consisting of:
  • group projects and presentations
  • preparing for and participating in discussion groups
  • outreach (including presentations of group projects to local communities)
  • individual project reports following the field cruise
  • peer reviews of "fellow students" project reports
Grading Scale
Assessment Semester
Course Evaluation
Students will evaluate the course in accordance with the quality assurance system at UiB and the Department.
Course Coordinator
Professor Kerim Hestnes Nisancioglu