Photo adapted from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wind_farm
Modified August 30, 2011
Today we are faced with
the challenge of driving the economies of modern civilization with new energy
resources. This course looks at the current energy sources to assess their long
term sustainability. In particular, we examine fossil fuels, from the geologic
processes that create them through their utilization. We evaluate the impact
on the global environment and the finiteness of each resource. Nuclear, geothermal,
solar, wind, hydro, tidal, and other energy sources will be evaluated. We project
forward to anticipate needs and evaluate future resources for time scales of
10, 20, 50, and 100 years. We identify the technical advances that are required
to meet the future energy needs.
The emphasis of the course is to provide a vision of the current global energy setting. We will develop tools that enable critical thinking on issues that interface society and science. Homework assignments will use the internet for accessing relevant information and spread sheets (such as Excel) and Google Earth to evaluate this information.
Class meets Tuesday and Thurssday from 12:50 to 2:10 PM in Harriman Hall 108.
Class Session Schedule