EM SC 240N
Energy and Sustainability in Contemporary Culture

Lesson 1: Energy and Sustainability



This lesson provides an introduction to the course, and covers basic considerations for energy and sustainability. Given that one of the primary goals of this course is for you to be able to critically analyze claims made in contemporary materials, it is important that you have some baseline knowledge about energy and sustainability. Some of this may be review, but even if it is, it is to your benefit to go through all of the material to make sure you understand all of the concepts. If this is new to you and you find anything confusing, please don't hesitate to ask me, preferably by posting to the HAVE A QUESTION Discussion Forum.

Lesson Objectives

By the end of this lesson, you should be able to:

  • define energy, energy efficiency, and the First Law of Thermodynamics;
  • identify and describe types of energy and energy conversions;
  • identify and define fossil fuels, non-renewable energy sources, and renewable energy sources, and their origins and characteristics;
  • analyze the energy data provided in charts and graphs;
  • identify reliable sources of energy data;
  • evaluate the implications of sustainability definitions;
  • define the "3 E's" of sustainability and use the 3E framework to evaluate the sustainability of given actions.

What is due for this Lesson?

Please note that the quiz can only be taken once. You have unlimited time to complete it prior to the deadline and can save your progress and pick up where you left off at a later time. See the Assignments and Grading section of the syllabus for tips on how to do this. Once you submit the quiz, you cannot change answers. All saved answers will automatically be submitted at the deadline if you have not submitted them.

To do
Requirement Submission Location
Lesson 1 quiz Modules tab > Lesson 1
Start posting to the Yellowdig discussion board Modules tab > Lesson 1
OPTIONAL Extra Credit: Lesson 1 Extra Credit quiz Modules tab > Lesson 1


If you have any general course questions, please post them to our HAVE A QUESTION discussion forum located under the Discussions tab. I will check that discussion forum regularly to respond as appropriate. While you are there, feel free to post your own responses and comments if you are able to help out a classmate. If you have a question but would like to remain anonymous to the other students, email me.

If you have something related to the material that you'd like to share, feel free to post to the Coffee Shop forum, also under the Discussions tab.