2013-14 Catalog

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Offering Description

Energy Systems and Climate Change

REVISED

Winter 2014 and Spring 2014 quarters

Faculty
EJ Zita physics, math, astrophysics
Fields of Study
agriculture, environmental studies, physics and sustainability studies
Preparatory for studies or careers in
energy, physics, environment, climate, sustainability, teaching, farming, engineering and natural science.
Prerequisites
Good reading skills and decent writing skills. Willingness to work in teams and to use computers for online assignments and information. No math or science prerequisites for winter quarter; mastery of algebra is essential for success in spring quarter—we will not teach algebra, but will build on it. Students should have some college-level science (there is no physics prerequisite).
Description

This interdisciplinary program will study how energy is harvested and transformed, used or abused by humans. We will explore interactions between natural systems and human systems to understand global changes currently affecting the Earth System. What is the evidence, what are the consequences, and what can be done about global warming? How can we find our personal roles in addressing challenges facing Earth and its inhabitants?

We will study solutions ranging from renewable energy to sustainable farming and (insert your idea here). Our approach is based in natural science, with an emphasis on critical thinking. This challenging and rewarding two-quarter program will include lectures and workshops by faculty and guest lecturers; seminars on books and articles; inquiry-based writing and peer feedback; qualitative and quantitative reasoning and problem solving; and hands-on research projects in spring, to engage our inquiry and learning together.

In winter, our plans include research planning for students interested in more advanced studies in Spring. Every student will write several short inquiry-based essays, and will respond to peers' writing, in addition to face-to-face seminars. Small teams of your choice will meet at least twice weekly to discuss readings and prepare for class together. Students will make presentations in class on current topics of interest, and teams will facilitate discussions. No mathematical or technical design texts or prerequisites are required in winter quarter. 

Our efforts in spring will include more challenging quantitative work, including research projects. Every student will write several short inquiry-based essays, and will respond to peers' writing, in addition to face-to-face seminars. Students will build on quantitative problem solving begun together in the classroom. Small teams of your choice will meet weekly to discuss readings and prepare for class together. Students will do research projects, make presentations in class and at regional meetings, and write research reports. Research projects typically range from greenhouse gas reduction projects to sustainable energy, agriculture, building, or urban planning. Upper division credit will be available in spring quarter only.

Schedule and Location
Spring
Location
Olympia
Online Learning
Hybrid Online Learning < 25% Delivered Online (W), Hybrid Online Learning 25 - 49% Delivered Online (S)
Books
Greener Store
Required Fees
$100 in winter and $150 in spring for registration fees and overnight field trips.
Upper Division Science Credit
Upper division credit is available spring quarter for students completing all work on time with upper division quality. See notes at http://192.211.16.13/z/zita/teachingFAQ.htm#BS
May be offered again in
2015-2016
Offered During
Day

Program Revisions

Date Revision
December 31st, 2013 Description has been updated. Please note the prerequisites differ for winter and spring quarters. Upper division science credit is only available in spring quarter.
December 19th, 2013 This program is now winter-spring.
December 6th, 2013 This program has changed from winter-spring to spring only. There is a possibility that a similar program may be offered as winter-only. Please continue to check the catalog.