Fall 2021

ANTH 134-001

Mark Lycett

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.

Fall 2021


Howard Neukrug

T 5:15-8:15pm

This course will provide an overview of the cross-disciplinary fields of civil engineering, environmental sciences, urban hydrology, landscape architecture, green building, public outreach and politics. Students will be expected to conduct field investigations, review scientific data and create indicator reports, working with stakeholders and presenting the results at an annual symposium. There is no metaphor like water itself to describe the cumulative effects of our practices, with every upstream action having an impact downstream. In our urban environment, too often we find degraded streams filled with trash, silt, weeds and dilapidated structures. The water may look clean, but is it? We blame others, but the condition of the creeks is directly related to how we manage our water resources and our land. In cities, these resources are often our homes, our streets and our communities. This course will define the current issues of the urban ecosystem and how we move toward managing this system in a sustainable manner. We will gain an understanding of the dynamic, reciprocal relationship between practices in an watershed and its waterfront. Topics discussed include: drinking water quality and protection, green infrastructure, urban impacts of climate change, watershed monitoring, public education, creating strategies and more.

This course fulfills Natural Science Approaches to Environmental Inquiry requirement.



Fall 2021


Tom Daniels

TR 1:45-3:05PM

The course begins with an overview of the science of climate change and then quickly moves to how to use social science to identify and evaluate the application of planning tools and strategies to achieve the mitigation of climate change and make adaptations to climate change. Topics include the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy, climate action plans, and international, national, state, local government and private sector actions. Students will understand the causes and effects of climate change and how to implement and evaluate mitigation and adaptation responses through regulations, financial incentives, infrastructure investment, design techniques, and new technology. Emphasis is on planning to create resilient communities.

This course fulfills Social Science Approaches to Environmental Inquiry requirement.



Fall 2021


Jared Farmer

Wednesdays, 10:15AM–1:15PM

Fossil fuel powered the making--now the unmaking--of the modern world. As the first fossil fuel state, Pennsylvania led the United States toward an energy-intensive economy, a technological pathway with planetary consequences. The purpose of this seminar is to perform a historical accounting--and an ethical reckoning--of coal, oil, and natural gas. Specifically, students will investigate the histories and legacies of fossil fuel in connection to three entities: the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the City of Philadelphia, and the University of Pennsylvania. Under instructor guidance, students will do original research, some of it online, much the rest of it in archives, on and off campus, in and around Philadelphia. Philly-based research may also involve fieldwork. While based in historical sources and methods, this course intersects with business, finance, policy, environmental science, environmental engineering, urban and regional planning, public health, and social justice. Student projects may take multiple forms, individual and collaborative, from traditional papers to data visualizations prepared with assistance from the Price Lab for Digital Humanities. Through their research, students will contribute to a multi-year project that will ultimately be made available to the public.

This course fulfills Arts & Humanities Approaches to Environmental Inquiry requirement.



Fall 2021

301 (Penn Global Seminar Version)

Michael Weisberg

TR 10:15-11:45AM

This course consists of a detailed examination of evolutionary theory and its philosophical foundations. The course begins with a consideration of Darwin's formulation of evolutionary theory and the main influences on Darwin. We will then consider two contemporary presentations of the theory: Richard Dawkins' and Richard Lewontin's. The remainder of the course will deal with a number of foundational issues including adaptation, the units of selections, the evolution of altruism, and the possibility of grounding ethics in evolutionary theory. Prerequisite: Application required through Penn Global:https://global.upenn.edu/pennabroad/pgs

This course fulfills Social Science Approaches to Environmental Inquiry requirement.


Fall 2021

STSC 168

Etienne Benson

M/W, 10:15-11:15 + Friday recitation

This course is an introduction to the historical and social study of the human environment. One of its main objectives to develop a critical vocabulary for describing and analyzing the complex environmental challenges we face today. We will explore the historical roots of concepts such as “nature,” “environment,” “ecology,” and “the Anthropocene,” seeking to situate them in their social and cultural contexts and to excavate the assumptions that lie buried within them. We will also discuss major changes in human environments over the past several centuries, including imperialism, capitalism, industrialization, urbanization, and globalization, as well as the rise of the environmental movement. Finally, through class discussions, assignments, and exams, you will have the opportunity to develop your skills in critically reading a diverse range of textual and non-textual sources and in using them to craft well-organized and well-evidenced arguments.

This course fulfills Social Science Approaches to Environmental Inquiry requirement.


Fall 2021


Nikhil Anand

MW 1:45 PM-3:15 PM

Congress and the United Nations, governments around the world are still refusing to substantively respond to the climate emergency. As a result, the events of climate catastrophe are no longer anticipated future phenomena. Catastrophic hurricanes, wildfires, and flood events and other human disasters are now frequently visited upon several peoples and places around the world, and particularly on marginalized Black, Brown and Indigenous communities. How is climate change affecting social worlds and imaginaries for the future around the world? And what kinds of work are citizens, scientists, activists and policy makers doing to address its most pernicious effects? The course begins by investigating the scientific consensus around climate change, paying particular attention to the practices through which scientific facts are established. Next, it explores how climate change is addressed by governments at different scales. How might we better understand the absence of significant action to address climate change around the world, despite scientific facts? How are citizens, particularly those that are structurally marginalized, responding to the different climate crises that are unmaking their lives, livelihoods and polities? Finally, the course ends by critically engaging with social movements, projects and programs that are working to mitigate carbon emissions and adapt to the effects of climate change.

This course fulfills Social Science Approaches to Environmental Inquiry requirement.


Fall 2021

COML 544-01 ENVS 543-401, ENGL 643-401, GRMN 543-401, SPAN 543-401

Bethany Wiggin

Wednesday 2:00 - 5:00 PM

Environmental Humanities: Theory, Methods, Practice is a seminar-style course designed to introduce students to the trans- and interdisciplinary field of environmental humanities. Weekly readings and discussions will be complemented by guest spearkers from a range of disciplines including ecology, atmospheric science, computing, history of science, medicine, anthropology, literature, and the visual arts. Participants will develop their own research questions and a final project, with special consideration given to building the multi-disciplinary collaborative teams research in the environmental humanities often requires.

Fall 2021


Irina Marinov

Tuesday / Thursday 1:45-3:15pm

Public perceptions and attitudes concerning the causes and importance of globalwarming have changed. Global Climate Change provides a sound theoretical understanding of global warming through an appreciation of the Earth's climate system and how and why this has changed through time. We will describe progress in understanding of the human and natural drivers of climate change, climate pr0cesses and attribution, and estimates of projected future climate change. We will assess scientific, tehnical, and socio-economic information relevant for the understanding of climate change, its potential impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation.

Fall 2021