The Penn-wide course “Energy and Its Impacts: Technology, Ecology, Economics, Sustainability” will be offered this Fall 2012, taugth by Professor Noam Lior (an IGEL faculty advisory board member). The course is offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6-7:30 pm, and is available as EAS 501 for graduate students, and EAS as 401 for Junior and Senior undergraduates. There are no prerequisites for this course, which is open to all Penn graduate students and to Juniors and Seniors.
The course was developed in cooperation with Wharton, The School of Design, IES, and the Lauder Institute, and it offers students a multidisciplinary approach to the extensive field of energy studies. The objective of the course is to introduce students to one of the most dominating and compelling areas of human existence and endeavor: energy, with its foundations in technology, association to economics, and impacts on ecology and society. This introduction is intended both for general education and awareness and for preparation for careers related to this field. The course spans from basic principles to applications. A review of energy consumption, use, and resources; ecological impacts, sustainability and design of sustainable energy systems; methods of energy analysis; forecasting; electricity generation systems (steam and gas turbine based power plants, fuel cells), energy for transportation (cars, aircraft, and ships); nuclear energy and wastes; renewable energy use: solar, wind, hydroelectric, geothermal, biomass; prospects for future energy systems: fusion power, power generation in space.
The course also allows students to specialize in one or two energy topics they find of most interest by choosing them as their course project assignments.
New course for fall: “Climate Change and Technology” EAS 301/505 taught by Professor Andrew Huemmler (an IGEL faculty advisory board member).
Description: “The course will examine Pacala and Socolow’s hypothesis that “Humanity already possesses the fundamental scientific, technical and industrial know-how t solve the carbon and climate problem for the next half-century.” Fifteen “climate stabilization wedges” i.e., strategies that each have the potential to reduce carbon emissions by 1 billion ons per year by 2054, will be examined in detail. Technology and economics will be reviewed. Socio-political barriers to mass-scale implementation will be discussed. Pacala and Socolow note “Every element in this portfoloio has passed beyond the laboratory bench and demonstration project; many are already implemented somewhere at full industrial scale”.”
Leave a comment if you have taken other sustainability-related courses and have recommendations for fellow students.
Ecole des Mines de Paris
The Multi-master’s program is a unique opportunity for graduate students to obtain three master’s degrees in two and a half years (full-time). The students take eight credits here at Penn in the Master of Environmental Studies program and then head to Ecole des Mines de Paris in Fontainbleau, France for five months and then to Beijing to study at Tsinghua University for three months. At both universities, students undertake courses, lectures, site visits, case studies and projects to deepen their knowledge about global environmental management issues. Their education is then capped by a six month internship with a company or NGO anywhere in the world; their internship report serves as their thesis.
Graduated students have had diverse, applied experiences, from working on carbon capture and storage to working for NBC Universal in greening their filming. The students chose internships in South Korea, China, the US, France and Hong Kong. Meili Gault is a student in the program defending her thesis on Chinese corporations’ social responsibility initiatives this month. Student Kevin Wu is working for InnoGreen in Hong Kong, where he is evaluating carbon offset projects for REDD+ funding around Southeast Asia. Zoe Reich, who completed the program in 2011, has been helping NBC Universal reduce filming costs while reducing their environmental footprint. Veronica Lee wrote her capstone paper on “Sustainable Development in Practice: Rural Planning for Eco-Tourism Development in Southern China.” The report provided a qualitative account of the energy, water, and material flows in and around the valley in YiXian County in southern China that would be necessary to accommodate a large influx of international and national tourists.
The program allows students a unique way to interact with European and Chinese businesses and academics. If you are interested in applying, please click here or here for more information and contact Yvette Bordeaux, head of the Master of Environmental Studies Program.