2013-14 Catalog

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Offering Description

Science Seminar in Energy Systems and Climate Change


Winter 2014 and Spring 2014 quarters

EJ Zita physics, math, astrophysics
Fields of Study
agriculture, environmental studies, physics and sustainability studies
Preparatory for studies or careers in
environmental science, energy studies, sustainability, policy, teaching and physics.

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

Advertised Schedule
Tuesday & Thursday, 3:00-5:00 or 3:30-5:30
Online Learning
Hybrid Online Learning < 25% Delivered Online (W), Hybrid Online Learning 25 - 49% Delivered Online (S)
Greener Store
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.
Offered During

Program Revisions

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