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EARTHSYS 103: Understanding Energy (CEE 107A, CEE 207A)

Energy is the number one contributor to climate change and has significant consequences for our society, political system, economy, and environment. Energy is also a fundamental driver of human development and opportunity. In taking this course, students will not only understand the fundamentals of each energy resource -- including significance and potential, conversion processes and technologies, drivers and barriers, policy and regulation, and social, economic, and environmental impacts -- students will also be able to put this in the context of the broader energy system. Both depletable and renewable energy resources are covered, including oil, natural gas, coal, nuclear, biomass and biofuel, hydroelectric, wind, solar thermal and photovoltaics (PV), geothermal, and ocean energy, with cross-cutting topics including electricity, storage, climate change and greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), sustainability, green buildings, energy efficiency, transportation, and the developing world. The course is 4 units, which includes lecture and in-class discussion, readings and videos, assignments, and two off-site field trips. Field trip offerings differ each fall (see syllabus for updated list), but may include Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant, Shasta dam, Tesla Gigafactory, NextEra wind farm, San Ardo oil field, Geyser¿s geothermal power plants, etc. Students choose two field trips from approximately 8 that are offered. Enroll for 5 units to also attend the Workshop, an interactive discussion section on cross-cutting topics that meets once per week for 80 minutes (timing TBD). The 3-unit option requires instructor approval - please contact Diana Ginnebaugh. Open to all: pre-majors and majors, with any background! The course was formerly called Energy Resources. Website: http://web.stanford.edu/class/cee207a/ nFor a course that covers all of this but goes less in-depth into the technical aspects of each energy resource, check out CEE 107S/207S Understanding Energy: Essentials, offered spring and summer (cannot take both for credit). Prerequisites: Algebra. May not be taken for credit by students who have completed CEE 107S/207S or CEE 107E.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-EngrAppSci, WAY-SI | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
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