Making the Natural World: An Introduction To Political Ecology
TR 12:00 PM-01:30 PM
The objective is to introduce students to one of the most dominating and compelling areas of human existence and endeavor: energy, with its foundations in technology, from a quantitative sustainability viewpoint with its association to economics and impacts on environment and society. This introduction is intended both for general education and awareness and for preparation for careers related to this field, with emphasis on explaining the technological foundation. The course spans from basic principles to applications. A review of energy consumption, use, and resources; environmental impacts, sustainability and design of sustainable energy systems; introductory aspects of energy economics and carbon trading; methods of energy analysis; forecasting; energy storage; electricity generation and distribution systems (steam and gas turbine based power plans, fuel cells), fossil fuel energy (gas, oil, coal) including nonconventional types (shale gas and oil, oil sands, coalbed and tight-sand gas), nuclear energy wastes: brief introduction to renewable energy use: brief introduction to solar, wind, hydroelectric, geothermal, biomass; energy for buildings, energy for transportation (cars, aircraft, and ships); prospects for future energy systems: fusion power, power generation in space. Students interested in specializing in one or two energy topics can do so by choosing them as their course project assignments. Prerequisite: Any University student interested in energy and its impacts, who is a Junior Senior. Students taking the course EAS 501 will be given assignments commensurate with graduate standing.
This course fulfills Social Science Approaches to Environmental Inquiry requirement.