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1 - 10 of 22 results for: ESS

ESS 86N: The Most Rational People in the World

Humans, broadly construed, emerged as bipedal apes in the African mixed savanna-woodlands approximately two million years ago. From humble beginnings, humans have gone on to be become the ecologically dominant species in most biomes and grown to a global population in excess of seven billion. This dominance arises from a combination of features of the human organism including its extreme degree of behavioral flexibility and flexible social organization. The prima facie evidence of human evolutionary and ecological success raises a paradox with respect to recent work in economics and psychology which increasingly argues for pervasive irrationality in human decision-making in a wide array of behavioral contexts. How is it possible for an organism with such seemingly flawed software supporting decision-making to become the globally dominant species? We will use this contradiction as the launching point for understanding what rationality means in a broad ecological and cross-cultural conte more »
Humans, broadly construed, emerged as bipedal apes in the African mixed savanna-woodlands approximately two million years ago. From humble beginnings, humans have gone on to be become the ecologically dominant species in most biomes and grown to a global population in excess of seven billion. This dominance arises from a combination of features of the human organism including its extreme degree of behavioral flexibility and flexible social organization. The prima facie evidence of human evolutionary and ecological success raises a paradox with respect to recent work in economics and psychology which increasingly argues for pervasive irrationality in human decision-making in a wide array of behavioral contexts. How is it possible for an organism with such seemingly flawed software supporting decision-making to become the globally dominant species? We will use this contradiction as the launching point for understanding what rationality means in a broad ecological and cross-cultural context. What do we mean by `rationality¿? How do different disciplines conceive of rationality in different ways? Is there such a thing as a rationality that transcends cultural differences or is the very idea of rationality a cultural construction that is used to justify imperialism and other modes of paternalism? Are there systematic factors that promote or impede rational decision-making? The seminar will provide a gentle introduction to the formal approaches of decision theory which we will apply to an unusual array of topics centered on the subsistence and reproductive decisions of hunter-gatherers, horticulturalists, pastoralists, and agrarian peasants, in short, people living in face-to-face, subsistence societies. In addition to doing reading from a broad array of social and natural science disciplines around the topic of rationality, students will regularly engage in exercises to assess their own approaches to decision-making.
Terms: Aut | Units: 4 | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors: Jones, J. (PI)

ESS 101: Environmental and Geological Field Studies in the Rocky Mountains (EARTHSYS 100)

Three-week, field-based program in the Greater Yellowstone/Teton and Wind River Mountains of Wyoming. Field-based exercises covering topics including: basics of structural geology and petrology; glacial geology; western cordillera geology; paleoclimatology; chemical weathering; aqueous geochemistry; and environmental issues such as acid mine drainage and changing land-use patterns.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3 | Grading: Satisfactory/No Credit

ESS 112: Human Society and Environmental Change (EARTHSYS 112, EARTHSYS 212, HISTORY 103D)

Interdisciplinary approaches to understanding human-environment interactions with a focus on economics, policy, culture, history, and the role of the state. Prerequisite: ECON 1.
Terms: Aut | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: WAY-SI | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

ESS 117: Earth Sciences of the Hawaiian Islands (EARTH 117, EARTHSYS 117)

Progression from volcanic processes through rock weathering and soil-ecosystem development to landscape evolution. The course starts with an investigation of volcanic processes, including the volcano structure, origin of magmas, physical-chemical factors of eruptions. Factors controlling rock weathering and soil development, including depth and nutrient levels impacting plant ecosystems, are explored next. Geomorphic processes of landscape evolution including erosion rates, tectonic/volcanic activity, and hillslope stability conclude the course. Methods for monitoring and predicting eruptions, defining spatial changes in landform, landform stability, soil production rates, and measuring biogeochemical processes are covered throughout the course. This course is restricted to students accepted into the Earth Systems of Hawaii Program.
Terms: Aut | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: WAY-SMA | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

ESS 118X: Sustainable Urban Systems Fundamentals (ESS 218X, GEOLSCI 118X, GEOLSCI 218X, GEOPHYS 118X, GEOPHYS 218X, POLISCI 224X, PUBLPOL 118X)

This course is designed to provide students with fundamental mindsets and toolsets that they can apply to real-world problem solving in the context of urban systems. It focuses on fundamental quantitative and qualitative methods for acquiring knowledge and assessing performance of urban systems. Quantitative methods covered include geographic information systems, advanced Excel methods and basic statistics, and qualitative approaches will include stakeholder engagement as well as ethical guidelines governing work with community groups. The course will also introduce four key types of systems performance: well-being, sustainability, resilience and equity. Topics covered are those students can expect to encounter as they pursue their future careers. The course is also a prerequisite for participation in the Sustainable Urban Systems Projects which take place in Winter ( CEE 224Y) and Spring ( CEE 224Z). Those SUS Projects are designed to immerse student teams in current planning challenges through service to local public and private sector stakeholders; they will require high levels of self-driven learning, time commitment, professionalism, and collaboration. Open to undergraduate and graduate students in any major. For more information, visit http://sus.stanford.edu/courses.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3-5 | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

ESS 135: Community Leadership

Offered through Residential Education to residents of Castano House, Manzanita Park. Topics include: emotional intelligence, leadership styles, listening, facilitating meetings, group dynamics and motivation, finding purpose, fostering resilience. Students will lead discussions on personal development, relationships, risky behaviors, race, ethnicity, spirituality, integrity.
Terms: Aut, Win, Spr | Units: 1-2 | Repeatable for credit | Grading: Satisfactory/No Credit
Instructors: Jones, J. (PI)

ESS 143: Molecular Geomicrobiology Laboratory (BIO 142, EARTHSYS 143, ESS 243)

In this course, students will be studying the biosynthesis of cyclic lipid biomarkers, molecules that are produced by modern microbes that can be preserved in rocks that are over a billion years old and which geologist use as molecular fossils. Students will be tasked with identifying potential biomarker lipid synthesis genes in environmental genomic databases, expressing those genes in a model bacterial expression system in the lab, and then analyzing the lipid products that are produced. The overall goal is for students to experience the scientific research process including generating hypotheses, testing these hypotheses in laboratory experiments, and communicating their results through a publication style paper. Prerequisites: BIO83 and CHEM35 or permission of the instructor.
Terms: Spr | Units: 3-4 | UG Reqs: WAY-SMA | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Instructors: Welander, P. (PI)

ESS 164: Fundamentals of Geographic Information Science (GIS) (EARTHSYS 144)

Survey of geographic information including maps, satellite imagery, and census data, approaches to spatial data, and tools for integrating and examining spatially-explicit data. Emphasis is on fundamental concepts of geographic information science and associated technologies. Topics include geographic data structure, cartography, remotely sensed data, statistical analysis of geographic data, spatial analysis, map design, and geographic information system software. Computer lab assignments. All students are required to attend a weekly lab session.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3-4 | UG Reqs: GER: DB-NatSci, WAY-AQR | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

ESS 205: Fundamentals of Geobiology (GEOLSCI 205)

Lecture and discussion covering key topics in the history of life on Earth, as well as basic principles that apply to life in the universe. Co-evolution of Earth and life; critical intervals of environmental and biological change; geomicrobiology; paleobiology; global biogeochemical cycles; scaling of geobiological processes in space and time.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3 | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

ESS 218X: Sustainable Urban Systems Fundamentals (ESS 118X, GEOLSCI 118X, GEOLSCI 218X, GEOPHYS 118X, GEOPHYS 218X, POLISCI 224X, PUBLPOL 118X)

This course is designed to provide students with fundamental mindsets and toolsets that they can apply to real-world problem solving in the context of urban systems. It focuses on fundamental quantitative and qualitative methods for acquiring knowledge and assessing performance of urban systems. Quantitative methods covered include geographic information systems, advanced Excel methods and basic statistics, and qualitative approaches will include stakeholder engagement as well as ethical guidelines governing work with community groups. The course will also introduce four key types of systems performance: well-being, sustainability, resilience and equity. Topics covered are those students can expect to encounter as they pursue their future careers. The course is also a prerequisite for participation in the Sustainable Urban Systems Projects which take place in Winter ( CEE 224Y) and Spring ( CEE 224Z). Those SUS Projects are designed to immerse student teams in current planning challenges through service to local public and private sector stakeholders; they will require high levels of self-driven learning, time commitment, professionalism, and collaboration. Open to undergraduate and graduate students in any major. For more information, visit http://sus.stanford.edu/courses.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3-5 | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
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