2010-11 Catalog

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Offering Description

Applied Research: Biomass, Energy, and Environmental Justice

Winter and Spring quarters

Faculty: Ted Whitesell geography, environmental studies

Fields of Study: Native American studies, environmental studies, health and sustainability studies

Winter: CRN (Credit) Level 20376 (8) So - Sr  

Spring: Enrollment Accepting New Students  CRN (Credit) Level 30270 (8) So - Sr  

Credits: 8(W); 8(S)

Class Standing: Sophomore - Senior

Offered During: Day

Academic Website: http://blogs.evergreen.edu/appliedresearch/

Prerequisites: Students must have good research and writing skills.


Through this program, students will make important contributions to current decision-making on issues of critical importance for sustainability and social justice.  In the winter quarter, students will gather and analyze information on current and proposed biomass energy production in western Washington, focusing primarily on the biomass gasification now being considered (fall 2010 - winter 2011) for The Evergreen State College.  Since this form of energy production has generated a great deal of controversy, student research at this time can make a critical contribution to informing these debates and helping the college come to the best decision about whether or not to proceed with such a project.  In the spring quarter, students will work closely with AP high school science students on the Spokane Indian Reservation, to study the contamination of the Spokane River system from a decommissioned uranium mine.  Evergreen student researchers will serve in a mentoring capacity with the high school students.

Students must already have good research and writing skills.  They will improve those skills through practice, using research to help answer questions such as the following:  What are practical alternatives to fossil fuels for Evergreen and Centralia?  Can biomass be a carbon-neutral energy source?  What forest practices would be compatible with Evergreen's stated sustainability goals and values?  What is known about the human health impacts of bioenergy and coal energy production in our region?  How may Evergreen's decision-making process be improved as it works to attain its sustainability goals and commitments?  How have ecosystems and human health been affected by uranium mining near Native American communities, specifically on the Spokane Indian Reservation?  What can be done to address such contamination?  Students will employ a variety of research methods, based on their educational background and skills.  Research results will be widely shared through the Internet, in public presentations, and through publications, including periodicals and books.

Maximum Enrollment: 30

Off Campus Location: Students will frequently substitute field work, meetings, and visits with another class for regularly scheduled class time.  Students must be able to travel to eastern Washington April 26-29.

Required Fees: Spring $200 for an overnight field trip.

Preparatory for studies or careers in: renewable energy and environmental remediation.

Campus Location: Olympia

Online Learning: Enhanced Online Learning

Books: www.tescbookstore.com

Program Revisions

Date Revision
November 18th, 2010 New program added.