Science Seminar in Energy Systems and Climate Change


Winter 2014 and Spring 2014 quarters

Taught by

physics, math, astrophysics

How is energy harvested and transformed, used or abused? What effects do human systems have on Earth’s climate? What are the consequences for human societies? What can we learn from the past? How can we live more sustainably?

We will investigate questions such as these, as a learning community seeking deeper knowledge and wisdom together. One of our primary means of inquiry is seminar: small teams pre-seminar on weekly readings in advance, we all seminar together twice a week and we share essays and peer responses online. This seminar is shared with students in Energy Systems and Climate Change.

Students will share questions and growing understanding about readings, and will discuss ideas and concern for the future. SciSem students will write 3-4 essays and many peer responses individually, and will post pre-seminar assignments with teams. Learning goals include deeper understanding of sustainability and climate change, science and scientific methods and improved skills in writing, teamwork and communication. Details will be available at

Program Details

Fields of Study

Preparatory for studies or careers in

environmental science, energy studies, sustainability, policy, teaching and physics.

Location and Schedule

Campus location



Offered during: Day

Advertised schedule: Tuesday & Thursday, 3:00-5:00 or 3:30-5:30


Buy books for this program through Greener Bookstore.

Online Learning

Hybrid Online Learning < 25% Delivered Online (W), Hybrid Online Learning 25 - 49% Delivered Online (S):

Required Fees

(Optional) $100 in winter for a two-night field trip to Centralia (coal plant), Portland (solar energy facility), Bonneville (hydro dam) and Hanford (nuclear facility); $150 in spring for a two-night field trip to the Society for Physics Students (SPS) or American Physical Society (APS) meeting where students will present their research.


Date Revision
December 3rd, 2013 This program has been cancelled.

Registration Information

Credits: 8 (Winter); 8 (Spring)

Class standing: Sophomore–Senior

Maximum enrollment: 12


Course Reference Number not yet available.


Accepting New Students

Course Reference Number not yet available.

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