In the fall of 2014 I took the first new Honors program course, Climate Change Science, Politics, and Policy. It was an illuminating experience, and gave me my first taste of interdisciplinary thinking and integrative learning. Through the three focus areas– environmental science, international relations, and domestic policy– I was able to learn about the nuances of climate change in an a very thorough manner. I learned all about the scientific evidence for climate change and how it necessitates, and then learned, hands-on, about this action.
The culmination of the course was a Mock Negotiation, with students in the class representing the interests of different countries at mock climate action summit. During the negotiation, I represented the island nation of the Maldives, which is severely threatened by rising sea levels caused by global warming. To fight for action to help save the lives of my countrymen, I had to use the knowledge I had learned of environmental science and diplomacy to argue for the legislation I wanted. To know what I wanted, I had to have a thorough understanding of the Maldives, their politics, and how their domestic climate problems can be solved best through a global platform. To solve the plight of the Maldives, I had to incorporate my knowledge of several different disciplines and employ an integrative way of thinking.