Northwestern College Opportunity for Gifted High Schoolers

Do you know a high school student who is ready for the challenge of a college course? Northwestern University, through Center for Talent Development’s Gifted LearningLinks (GLL) program, is offering an exclusive opportunity for academically talented students to take a cutting-edge undergraduate course online.

In this time of budget reductions, it is more important than ever to provide every possible advantage and opportunity to gifted students. This course offers a way for students to take a college-level course cost-effectively through Northwestern University and will set your students apart from other applicants for college admissions.

Earth 105: Climate Catastrophes in Earth’s History

Course dates: September 21 — December 10, 2010

Grades: 10 through 12

Tuition: $2,500

Prerequisites: Biology & Chemistry

Course description:

Climate change is an important topic, but it has become so highly politicized that the science behind the issues is often omitted or ignored. Consequently, few people really understand how climate works. Fewer still have a perspective on the truly astonishing changes Earth’s climate went through long before humans arrived. Life itself has had more than a few close calls. Learn about the “Snowball Earth” when vast ice sheets extended all the way to the equator and “The Great Dying” when Earth’s climate became so hot that nine out of 10 species became extinct. These were actual catastrophes. Could they happen again?

How it works:

This university-level course is based on a facilitated independent study model, which allows students to work at their own pace, as long as they are able to master the material according to deadlines. Participants should be very highly motivated and possess the skills to be independent workers to ensure success in this online course.

Students are expected to follow the course syllabus and complete assignments on or before the due dates. The instructor monitors student progress, reviews and provides feedback on assignments and is available via e-mail and phone to assist students.

Instructor Biography:

Adam Murphy holds a BA in Earth Science from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut and a MS and PhD from Northwestern University. At Northwestern University, Murphy had extensive teaching experience with undergraduates in a wide variety of courses. He has also taught physics, chemistry and environmental science at a competitive preparatory school in New York and, most recently, taught geology and environmental science online. He is currently on the faculty at Northwestern University.


This course has been reviewed and authorized by the Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences at Northwestern University. Successful completion of coursework (grade of C- or better) qualifies for Northwestern University credit on a Northwestern University transcript.

For more details, visit the course web page and/or download the course flyer. Students may also apply at the GLL web site. Feel free to pass this information along to those who may be interested in this exciting opportunity.

Students may apply for the course at

We look forward to hearing from you and your students!

Roxanne Greenberger

Gifted LearningLinks Director

Center for Talent Development

Northwestern University


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