Energy Systems and Climate Change
Revised Last Updated: 07/14/2009
Fall and Winter quarters
Academic web site: academic.evergreen.edu/curricular/energy/0910/
Faculty Signature Required: Winter quarter.
Major areas of study include American law and environmental policy, energy policy, energy and climate physics, environmental science, research methods and statistics.
Class Standing: This all-level program accepts up to 25% freshmen as well as supporting and encouraging those ready for advanced work.
Prerequisites: One year of college-level quantitative science and/or prior study in political economy/history. Proficiency with algebra. Strong reading and writing skills. Willingness to work in teams and to use computers for online assignments.
How is energy harvested, stored and transformed, then used or abused? What impacts do human energy systems have on Earth's environment and climate, and why? What is the appropriate environmental agenda to address global climate change in the 21st century? These are some questions that motivate our two-quarter program. Students will be empowered to carry out significant research, from the planning phase to execution and presentation phases. We will gain a deeper understanding of issues involved in achieving a sustainable energy society.
We will explore the status of energy recovery, use, and regulation in light of the science of global climate change through skill building and background study, as well as student research projects. We will also learn the physics of climate and energy, applying fundamental principles to both natural and human-made systems. One of the goals of the program is to illustrate the power and beauty of physics and mathematics in the context of energy systems. The program will feature diverse workshops, from research planning and possibly grantwriting, to hands-on and analytical environmental physics workshops, and basic statistical methods for data presentation, possibly including web-based communications.
During fall quarter we will investigate the physical evidence of climate change. We will read about the innovations in U.S., state and tribal law and practices as they relate to energy systems. We will examine how an activist movement for environmental protection may have transformed into a specialized energy industry based on increasingly advanced science with ritualized activities. In the fall, students will prepare a prospectus for research projects, to be completed in winter quarter. Projects may focus on a topic of technological innovation and the policy changes that accompany any proposed change in an issue of natural resource management, or the development of alternative sources, environmental justice, prosperity and health.
In winter quarter we will examine how innovation may become a theme for government. Prominent examples of innovation may include the substitution of "cap and trade" for "command and control" regulation in the development of environmental management systems, and advocacy of the "precautionary principle" as a regulatory framework. We will focus on innovations under consideration by agencies, environmental coalitions and non-governmental organizations.
Students will develop their research projects and complete them in winter quarter. This work will involve quantitative analysis and may include hands-on investigations, field work, or small-scale energy system design. Students will present their research results at the end of winter quarter. Students may continue excellent research projects in spring contracts.
Credits: 16 per quarter
Program is preparatory for careers and future studies in planning, regulatory law, environmental design and architecture, public policy, climate studies, natural science and education.
|July 14th, 2009||URL added.|