GEOSCI 344 - Sustainable and Fossil Energy: Options and Consequences
Section: 721
Term: SU 2009
Subject: Geological Sciences (GEOSCI)
Department: LSA Earth & Environmental Sciences
Course Note:
Meets at Camp Davis, Wyoming, July 30th-August 19th, 2009.
Requirements & Distribution:
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:

In partnership with the Graham Environmental Sustainability Institute, this course 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.

Crs 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: The course 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.

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

Click here for Photo Gallery Prerequisites Successful completion of related college level science course.

Fees and Tuition

Fees: $450 includes transportation, food, and lodging. Course materials are not included in the above course fees.

Tuition: Tuition for three U of M credits must be paid directly to the University of Michigan and will be billed on June 30th, 2009. Guest students are charged upper division rates. Up to date tuition rates can be found at the U of M Registrar website. Departmental Financial Aid to help offset tuition is not available. Please direct any questions to or call 734-615-8600.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please click the link above to visit our Frequently Asked Questions page for more info regarding Camp Davis.

GEOSCI 344 Application 2009

To apply to the Camp Davis Program, click the link above and fill out the Application. The “nominators” are individuals who can provide a letter of reference. Applications can be submitted via email or post.

Acceptance into GEOSCI 344 requires evaluation by the Graham Environmental Sustainability Institute. Admission is on a rolling basis with applications reviewed on the 15th of each month beginning January 15th, with a final deadline of May 1st. For outstanding applicants positions will be filled on a first-come first-served basis.

GEOSCI 344 - Sustainable and Fossil Energy: Options and Consequences
Schedule Listing
721 (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
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

Course materials are provided at Camp Davis.
Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

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