ENVIRON 344 - Sustainable and Fossil Energy: Options and Consequences
Section: 711
Term: SU 2010
Subject: Program in the Environment (ENVIRON)
Department: SNE Program in the Environment
Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of department.
Advisory Prerequisites:
At least one previous course in Physical Sciences or Engineering and permission of instructor.
This course counts toward the 60 credits of math/science required for a Bachelor of Science degree.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

GEOSCI 344 introduces students to concepts and environmental consequences of sustainable and fossil energy sources. The course begins with an introduction to the scientific principles and terminology of the field. Students gain a deeper understanding of the topic through hands-on experiments using alternate energy systems at Camp Davis, which include a combination of solar photovoltaic, solar heating, wind generation and/or hydroelectric. The Camp Davis campus is used as a small experimental “city” where energy and resource use can be carefully monitored and manipulated by students. In addition, the class travels throughout Wyoming and Idaho visiting and investigating facilities important for power generation. Depending on access during a particular summer, visitations may include a nuclear reactor, hydroelectric generation station, wind farm, solar farm, and/or gas/coal generators. Studies of the ecological consequences of various power options will take the class to additional sites which may include a uranium mine, a coal mine and a natural gas field. Finally students study the ecology of forest growth and succession and deep-well injection to gain an understanding of carbon storage in soils and vegetation, and principles of carbon sequestration.

Readings include Energy: A Beginner’s Guide by Vaclav Smil, The Guide to Renewable Energy by Dan Chiras; and Sustainable Energy: Choosing Among Options by Jeff Tester et al.

Course Requirements
Two mid-term exams (20 points each) and four group projects (15 points each):

  1. Developing an energy systems model for the Camp Davis facility;
  2. Monitoring energy production and usage at the Camp Davis facility;
  3. Experiments with the efficiency of alternate energy from solar, wind geothermal and hydro;
  4. Estimating soil and forest carbon storage potential.

Intended Audience
GEOSCI 344 would be appropriate for a wide-range of students from virtually any discipline or concentration who are interested in the concepts and environmental consequences of sustainable and fossil energy sources. Satisfies PITE field experience requirement

Class Format
At least 6 hrs weekly of lectures and field trips near Camp Davis in Jackson, Wyoming

Fees and Tuition
Fees: $375 includes transportation, food, lodging, and course materials
Tuition: Tuition for three credits must be paid directly to the University of Michigan. Guest students are charged upper division rates. Up-to-date tuition rates can be found at the U-M Registrar's office web site. Departmental Financial Aid to help offset tuition cost is available. All students (including guest students) are encouraged to apply. Please direct any questions to campdavis@umich.edu or call 734-615-8600.

See the Camp Davis web site for more information and to fill out an application for GEOSCI 344.

ENVIRON 344 - Sustainable and Fossil Energy: Options and Consequences
Schedule Listing
711 (LEC)
Note: FIELD COURSE IN JACKSON HOLE, WYOMING JULY 30 TO AUGUST 19. Camp Davis application required in addition to regular registration. See web site at http://www.lsa.umich.edu/geo/undergrad/campdavis/
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