EARTH 158 - Environmental Impact of Energy Systems: What are the Risks?
Section: 001
Term: FA 2017
Subject: Earth and Environmental Sciences (EARTH)
Department: LSA Earth & Environmental Sciences
Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
Advisory Prerequisites:
High school science and math recommended. Enrollment restricted to first-year students, including those with sophomore standing.
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:

In order to reduce CO2 emissions and meet growing energy demands during the 21st Century, the world can expect to experience major shifts in the types and proportions of energy-producing systems. These decisions will depend on considerations of cost per energy unit, resource availability, and unique national policy needs. Less often considered is the environmental impact of the different energy producing systems: fossil fuels, nuclear, wind, solar, and other alternatives. One of the challenges has been not only to evaluate the environmental impact but also to develop a systematic basis for comparison of environmental among the energy sources. This course considers the environmental impact of major energy systems. Specifically, the course considers fossil fuels (natural gas, petroleum and coal), nuclear power (U and Th fuel cycles), wind, and solar. For each of these energy sources, the class examines the impact of resource extraction, refining and production, transmission and utilization. We review and use the basic principles of risk analysis in order to compare the energy systems and examine the regulatory framework designed to mitigate negative environmental impacts.

Course Requirements:

The seminar consists of discussion of readings from primary sources. Grades are based on student participation in the seminar, critiques of three selected papers, and a final project report that compares the environmental impact of two energy sources.

Intended Audience:

First-year undergraduates

Class Format:

3 hours seminar discussion per week

EARTH 158 - Environmental Impact of Energy Systems: What are the Risks?
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
MW 10:00AM - 11:30AM
Note: First Year Seminar. Seats in First Year Seminars are opened gradually during Summer Orientation. Only first-year students, including those with sophomore standing, may register.
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