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Energy and the Environment

Earth And Planetary Sciences 219 - Fall 2020

Examination of the topic of energy from many human-relevant perspectives. Humans use an enormous amount of energy, at the rate of 18 terawatts. Where does this energy come from? How long will it last? What are the consequences? Examination of energy resources and consumption from scientific, social, economic, and political viewpoints. Relationship of energy to concepts such as heat, work, and power. Energy use by society. Energy sources, pros and cons of use, availability now and in the future. Types, abundance, advantages, challenges of renewable energy sources. One-third of the course will be online and asynchronous, with 30-minute professionally produced videos integrated into Canvas with built-in short quizzes. Another third of the course will also be online but be synchronous, through Zoom. This will be primarily active-learning exercises (debates, group projects, problem-based learning) through Zoom breakout rooms and advanced polling methods. These will be recorded and available within Canvas. The last third of the course I will try to do in-person, in the classroom. This will involve things such as group discussions on current issues and guest lectures followed by post-lecture group discussions. This will be done in a hyflex mode, with students online and in-person interacting together.

Section 01

Energy and the Environment
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