A New World View

A New World View, the first of Four GSS Themes, introduces all of the other Guides in the Global Systems Science series. See Overview.


Chapter TitlesInvestigationsStay Current
1. What is Global Systems Science?1.1. Create Your Own EcosystemChapter 1
2. A History of Forest Use in
      the Pacific Northwest
2.1. Tree StudyChapter 2
3. Case Study:
      The Headwaters Controversy
3.1 How much old growth
       forest was lost?
3.2 Write a Letter to the Editor
Chapter 3
4. Field Trip to Wind RiverChapter 4
5. Losing Tropical Rainforests5.1. RondoniaChapter 5
6. Towards A Sustainable World6.1. Analyze Ecosystem
6.2. In Your Opinion:
      An Environmental Essay
Chapter 6
AcknowledgementsBibliographic Sources


A New World View presents four key ideas: First, the Earth has tremendously diverse environments, yet it is a single planet that we all call “home.” Second, we can better understand the Earth if we think of it in terms of systems. Third, everything is connected to everything else. And fourth, the goal of global studies is to find out what we can do to sustain life on Planet Earth-now and in the generations to come. To learn about the value of laboratory work for investigating Earth systems, students design and conduct controlled experiments to determine how to sustain life inside a terrarium. These ideas thread through the entire course in different themes.

This illustration is intended to help you stop and think for a moment about the ideas you have already formed about Global Systems Science.

Look at the cartoon, think about what the artist had in mind when he drew it, and how his opinions may be similar or different from yours. When you’ve had a chance to think about it for a few minutes, write your answers to the following questions:

  • What do you think the two figures represent?
  • What do you think they are doing?
  • What idea do you think the artist is trying to communicate?
  • If you were to draw a cartoon with the same theme, what point would you make?  
  • How would you communicate your idea through a picture?