EM SC 240
Energy and Sustainability in Contemporary Culture

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Welcome to EM SC 240!

Dan Kasper, Instructor

I want to offer you my sincere welcome to the website for this course. Whether you are enrolled in the course or just visiting the website, I want you to know that I welcome comments and feedback on the content, or anything else on your mind related to course content. If you are enrolled in the course, I will respond within one business day. If you are visiting, I will do my best to respond as soon as possible. I hope you enjoy the course!

Best Regards,

Dan Kasper
djk167@psu.edu

NOTE: This course is offered as part of the Open Educational Resources initiative of Penn State's John A. Dutton e-Education Institute. You are welcome to use and reuse materials that appear in this site (other than those copyrighted by others) subject to the licensing agreement linked to the bottom of this and every page.

Overview

In this course, you will engage in critical evaluation of a few articles, one book, and one film, all of which are contemporary works and were created for a general audience. These media selections relate specifically to earth, material, and energy processes and how humans interact with them. You will evaluate the energy and sustainability subject matter from both science and cultural perspectives, with special emphasis on the need to sustain a viable planetary life support system and the role of humanistic values in doing so.

EM SC 240 satisfies GH or GN General Education requirements or can be used to fulfill B.A. Fields requirements.

Topics of Study and Organization

The content of this course is divided into an orientation week, and four modules of study. The first module is five weeks long and will cover the foundational science of energy and sustainability, with a global perspective. The three subsequent modules, each 2-4 weeks in length, will delve into the individual media selections. For a detailed course schedule for this semester, please see the course syllabus.

The layout is pretty straightforward:

  • In Module 1, you will have a number of readings/videos/website content to go through. A quiz based on this content must be completed each week (see the Course Calendar for due dates). You can take as long as you want on these quizzes, but they must be completed by the due date/time. You will also have a journal entry and/or discussion board post due each week.
  • In Module 2, you will read, view, and/or listen to a number of media selections. You will engage in discussion boards in which you will analyze the content of the artifacts, and will write journal entries.
  • In Module 3, you will read approximately half the book each week for the first two weeks. You will take a quiz based on the content, designed to make sure that you are reading the book. This quiz will be timed. You will also have a journal entry and/or discussion board for these weeks. You will also engage in a discussion about the material with other members of the class. You also have a self-reflection paper due at the end of the module. Your initial proposal for your final project is due at the end of this lesson.
  • In Module 4, you will watch the movie and write a journal entry and/or discussion board. Your final project (a group project) is due at the end of Module 4.
  • There is one week after Module 4, in which you will critique each other's final project and respond to the critiques.

If you want to add this calendar to your personal Google Calendar, just click on "+Google Calendar" below. The same information can be found on the Course Calendar in Canvas.