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Updated 25 August 2009
Most of the following activities and information will be described in more detail in class and on our Moodle site. This is just an overview, and there is more information in embedded links below.
LECTURE / DISCUSSION: In class, faculty will provide a framework for learning the material by introducing central concepts. We will elicit student participation and responses, and sometimes integrate workshops.
SEMINAR: We usually meet twice a week for seminar. You are expected to:
* improving writing skills
Your essays will generally be posted online on our Moodle site - to save paper, to make it easy to find everything, and so that we can easily participate in our learning community by reading and responding to each others' writing. You can sign up for many of the essays (and responses) on dates of your choosing - we'll show you how in the Moodle workshop the first week.
1. Everyone will write short weekly reports on the Plato Lectures you attend each Tuesday. Please reference the speaker, title, and date. Two well-crafted paragraphs are enough. Make your report unique, respectful, and intelligent, please. Do not simply rehash what the speaker told us. See more guidelines on Moodle.
2. Four individuals per week will present Brief Reports in class on articles from recent news or scientific journals (e.g. Science, Nature, Economist, Wall Streeet Journal, ...) that they find interesting. Look for articles that complement our topics in class. You will also post brief written reports on these articles, including the complete reference, a link to the article, and intelligent commentary on the article - what is it about, is it from a credible source, why is it important, or is it problematic and how? Each of you will get a chance to do this once (only 7 minutes each), so make the most of your opportunity. These should be a couple of paragraphs long - carefully crafted, not just dashed off.
3. Eight individuals per week will be assigned to respond to the Brief Reports. Your response should be modeled somewhat after the Finkel guidelines - not just "cool, man, I really like your ideas" but "this is interesting, but have you considered..." Help your peers pursue deeper understanding by giving them the gift of true critical feedback - kindly. Each of you will get a chance to do this twice - once before your own Brief Report, which students report is helpful in improving your own writing. These should be a couple of paragraphs long.
4. Short essay assignments: You will have three essay assignments of 2-3 pages each due this quarter, in weeks 2, 4, and 6. We will give you specific guidelines on the topics on Moodle. Take care to write your essays well. Do not post a first draft - take that to the Writing Center, and post a polished essay for the class. You will also be required to respond to peers' essays.
5. Research team status reports due Week 5 (Tues. 10/27): You will doing Research in teams of three, and this is the day you present your interim work to the class. PowerPoint is a good medium for this presentation. See Research and Moodle for more details.
6. Research team: Polished final draft papers due Week 8 (Thus. 11/19). You will turn in your papers and meet your professors before Thanksgiving break, and then you will have time to finalize these into...
7. Research team Project Prospectus: Formal presentations (PowerPoint) and papers (roughly 4-5 pages plus references) describing the research projects you will carry out in winter quarter.
EXAMS and SURVEYS: You will probably have a Midterm Exam and a Final Survey on Moodle. You will have plenty of time to do these, at your leisure. The Midterm will probably have more questions about program content, to help us check that everyone is keeping up (and to inform midquarter warnings, if necessary). The Final will probably have more open-ended questions about your learning, which students and faculty often find useful for writing evaluations.
RESEARCH PROJECTS (click on the title for important details)
Energy resources enable industrialized, materially prosperous economies. The US currently consumes ≈ 1/4 of the world’s energy supplies. For several reasons, climate change, energy insecurity, and peaking of oil production are among our most important challenges. Energy Systems and Climate Change frames these problems via (a) the supply of fuel resources and (b) the demand for and use of energy. Within these frameworks, we will explore current systems (coal, oil, gas, hydropower, nuclear), uses (electricity, transport, heating, cooling, manufacturing, commercial, agriculture, transport), and their major problems (pollution, climate change, political insecurity, and unequal distribution).
PAPER / Essay Guidelines : Why does your learning matter, who should care, who is the audience for your research? In your curriculum and workshops you will engage in research and participate in discussions of energy issues. Your papers will treat how models of sustainability relate to what you have learned and your future learning goals. Your writing may choose to address a like-minded audience, or, more ambitiously, you may choose to argue your case with good evidence to an audience that may tend to disagree with you. (Can you plant a seed by making a calm, well-reasoned case to contrary Uncle Fred at Thanksgiving dinner?) Your program activities will culminate with individual work and a public group presentation on a topic/question of your choosing.
How: All your papers should be typed, 1.5 spaced, 12 point font; of high quality, grammatically correct, clear, and without spelling errors. Please use standard text and background for ease of reading. Use the Writing Center, peers, and other resources to improve your writing with every assignment. Each paper will contain your name (and those of team members who may have contributed), the program name, the name of the assignment and the date on one edge of heading. A title, which reflects your own subject matter or theme, will be centered at opening; make this your Subject Header for papers posted on Moodle. Number each page, use 1" margins and a legible font (e.g. Times New Roman). (If papers are handed in as hardcopy, always staple, but most assignments will be posted online to save paper.) For seminar and most subject matters you will begin the paper by clearly stating the reference: what the paper is about, titles and authors of the sources you intend to review, and what you propose to accomplish in the opening paragraph. One good strategy is to start with a genuinely open question which you try to resolve in the course of your analysis.
* When you cite the title of a book, whether in the reference section or within the body of a paragraph, either underline or italicize the title. If your reference is a shorter “article or chapter”, you will encase it in quotes, and cite the journal, book, or periodical in which it appears, italicized, at the end of your paper. In a Reference section or Bibliography that will constitute the last page of any paper where more than one source is used, you will list all materials, last name first, alphabetically, by author, title, date of publication, and publisher.
Include specific references from the material in your paper. Use quotation marks for shorter references (1-2 sentences) or separate out as a passage with modified font and spacing for quotes of about 3-5 sentences. It is particularly important that references and page numbers are noted right at the end of the sentence where you 1) cite a particular statistic, or 2) quote an author directly. If the information you use is not "common knowledge" - that is, if you cannot assume that everyone in class knows it - then it must be cited. You can either use Footnotes from the insert header to include page numbers – following the same format as is suggested for the Bibliography above or include (author, date, p. #) inside your paragraphs.
Remember to read the short, but important, Finkel/Zita guidelines too.