Offered :

This course in offered again in 2023 Term 1 (February-April). Please note that this course is a Zoom only course and there is no in-person component. This course live-streams from the US via Zoom.

Date & Time:

Our 2023 Term 1 Understanding Global Climate Change course meets on Friday afternoon from 2:00-3:30pm beginning on 17 February 2023 (New Zealand time). The course meets for 8 consecutive weekly sessions. The final session will be held on Friday 7 April 2023. If you live outside of New Zealand and wish to Zoom in to our live class sessions, check the nearest local Time Zone equivalent below.

Time Zone equivalents:

for live-streaming Zoom sessions. If your Time Zone doesn't suit our live-streamed class, you can also access our courses by watching the live-recorded sessions that are posted to the course webpage each week, usually the next day.

  • Honolulu, Hawai’i: begins Thu 16 Feb 2023, 3:00-4:30pm

  • US Pacific: begins Thu 16 Feb 2023, 5:00-6:30pm

  • US Central: begins Thu 16 Feb 2023, 7:00-8:30pm

  • US Eastern: begins Thu 16 Feb 2023, 8:00-9:30pm

  • London, UK: begins Fri 17 Feb 2023, 1:00-2:30am

  • New Delhi, India: begins Fri 17 Feb 2023, 6:30-8:00am

  • Bangkok, Thailand: begins Fri 17 Feb 2023, 8:00-9:30am

  • Singapore & Shanghai: begins Fri 17 Feb 2023, 9:00-10:30am

  • Tokyo, Japan: begins Fri 17 Feb 2023, 10:00-11:30am

  • Sydney, Australia: begins Fri 17 Feb 2023, 12:00-1:30pm

Description :

"Understanding Global Climate Change": Climate is complex. This course provides participants with the background necessary to make sense of the news and to understand the science behind the climate change debate. We’ll also discuss how climate change deniers and conspiracy theorists use facts to undermine the truth of our current situation here on Planet Earth. This course is targeted for every person on the planet who is curious and wants to learn something new or a new way to think about our planet. This class is not for scientists, but is suitable for anyone from high school age on up. All are welcomed to attend. Please Note: This course consists of eight weekly 1.5-hour sessions via Zoom or video recorded sessions only.

Meet our Instructor

Shifra Gassner, MA

This course is taught by Shifra Gassner. For the last five years, Shifra has been teaching a class called Earth Space Science to high school students in Iowa, USA. During this time she has honed in on what exactly a person needs in order to understand what is happening in the world right now in terms of global climate change. Many adults have asked about the subject matter she teaches. Only recently has Earth Science been taught at a high school level and a person may or may not have taken an Earth Science class while at University. What Shifra teaches is what a lot of people missed along the way during their formal education years. She feels strongly that with knowledge comes power and the motivation to act. She has taught many different levels and subjects over the past 20 years. She loves teaching science, especially the nature and process of science and loves nature. She spends a lot of her time outdoors painting landscapes whenever she can.

Sustainable Moments #1

Plastic Packaging

Sustainable Moments #2

Gift Wrap


Please note that this course is available as a live-streamed on-line Zoom course only, with the option to watch the recorded video sessions.

DISTANCE LEARNING: You get to choose your location when you Zoom in to our live classroom sessions, or access our classes at your leisure and at a time and day of your choosing by watching the video recorded sessions from each class. This allows you to study at your own pace.

Distance Learning:

This course has distance-learning options. Students have two options for attending this course once they have registered:

  • Attend our live on-line classroom sessions via Zoom at the regular scheduled day and time.

  • Watch the live-recorded class sessions at your leisure, at a time, day and place more suited to your schedule.

Distance-Learning options:

  • Those unable to attend the scheduled date and time of the actual class sessions, or those who need to miss a class or two due to previous engagements or unexpected illness, can watch any or all of the live-recorded video sessions on their computers, laptops, tablets or mobile devices and study at their own pace and in their own time.

  • Detailed instructions on how to access our distance learning components will be sent after completing your registration. There are no additional fees for this service. However, distance learners will need access to a desktop or laptop computer with a good quality web-camera (tablet devices and mobile phones can also access our live-streamed classes), a built-in microphone (most modern laptops have built-in microphones) or a headset with a microphone. You will also need to download and install the free Zoom software on your computer or device. Those accessing the video recordings will be able to do so with a simple web browser on any device.

Pricing options:

All prices in New Zealand dollars and includes GST. Unwaged includes students, seniors and retirees.

Course curriculum:

Week by week material will be posted throughout the duration of the course. Video recordings of each weekly session will be posted here after 1-2 days after each class.

    1. EarthDiverse Course Information

    2. EarthDiverse Zoom instructions

    1. Sustainable Moment 2: Gift Wrap

    2. Sustainability Moments #1: Plastic Packaging

    1. In order to understand how climate is changing it is necessary to understand components that go into making the climate of a particular place. We will discuss these components in order to see how they impact and make the climate.

    1. We are a carbon-based life form. Carbon is a very important part of life on Earth. We will diagram the movement of carbon throughout the hydrosphere, geosphere, atmosphere

    1. Our atmosphere is a life-sustaining protection between us and the rest of space. It is important to know what gases compose our atmosphere, their relative proportion, their behaviour

    1. What we know about changes on Earth comes from data that is collected around the world. We will look at the different ways in which data is collected and what it tells us about the changes taking place on Earth

About this course

  • Video and PDF content of class presentations or whiteboards notes are uploaded weekly after each live session
  • Begins on Fri 17 Feb 2023
  • NZ time: Fridays 2.00 - 3.30pm


  • This class has no assignments, quizzes, tests or exams.

  • All classes encourage questions and group discussion.

  • PDF copies of each class powerpoint presentation, and the live-recordings of each video session, are posted to the course webpage (1-2 days after each live session) and are available to all registered participants so that you are free to focus on class content rather than taking notes. You are most welcome to come, sit back, relax, take part in and enjoy the discussions!

  • There are no refunds for missed classes. Missed classes can be made up by watching the on-line recording of each live class session, which is usually posted within 1-2 days. This allows for our video editing elves to work their magic!

  • Guests of registered participants are welcome to attend a single session without registering.

  • Certificates of Completion for any particular Term Course or Series are available for Professional Development purposes upon request at the end of each Term or Series.

Prerequisites :

There are no prerequisites for this course