Notre Dame Courses
Fall 2008 Courses Relating to Energy
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College of Arts and Letters
“Energy and Society”
Prof. James Kolata
STV 20304 • IIPS 20906
A course developing the basic ideas of energy and power and their applications from a quantitative and qualitative viewpoint. The fossil fuels (coal, oil, and natural gas) are studied together with their societal limitations (pollution, global warming, and diminishing supply). Nuclear power is similarly studied in the context of the societal concerns that arise (radiation, reactor accidents, nuclear weapons proliferation, and high-level waste disposal). The opportunities, as well as the risks, presented by alternative energy resources—in particular solar energy, wind, geothermal and hydropower—together with various aspects of energy conservation, are developed and discussed. This course is designed for the nonspecialist.
“Self, Society, and Environment”
Prof. Andrew Weigert
SOC 43719 • CST 43719
This course focuses on social psychological aspects of relationships between humans and the natural environment. Issues include how humans interact with different environments, symbolic transformations of environments, and competing accounts or claims concerning human-environment relationships. The course is framed in a sociology knowledge perspectives and touches on alternative ways of envisioning and valuing individual and institutional perspectives on human-environment relationships with an eye toward implications for social change.
Prof. Kristin Shrader-Frechette
This course will survey environmental impact assessment (EIA), ecological risk assessment (ERA), and human-health risk assessment (HHRA), and ethical and methodological issues related to these techniques; then apply these techniques to contemporary assessments for which state and federal governments are seeking comments by scientists and citizens.
“Energy Policy: Environment and Social Change”
Prof. Jay Brandenberger, Angela Miller McGraw, and Alexandre Chapeaux
This course examines the role of energy in society and the impact of current energy use on the environment. Upon reviewing the benefits and problems associated with America’s dependence on fossil fuels, attention is directed to the opportunities and challenges of transitioning to a more sustainable energy model. During an immersion in Washington, D.C., students will meet with industry leaders, government officials, regulatory agencies, and environmental advocacy groups in their efforts to resolve contemporary energy and environmental issues.
Mendoza College of Business
“Ten Years Hence”
BAUG-30210 • MBGR-60210
Open to all Notre Dame undergraduate and graduate students, and Saint Mary’s students.
The Ten Years Hence speaker series explores issues, ideas, and trends likely to affect business and society over the next decade. A series of lectures will feature a wide range of experts on economic demography, globalization, finance, labor, immigration, global development and the environment. Students, faculty and the community use guest speaker comments as a springboard for structured speculation about emerging issues and the next ten years.
Ten Years Hence is sponsored by the O’Brien-Smith Leadership Program endowment.
College of Engineering
Prof. Eduardo Wolf
This course examines the growing need for addressing “sustainability” as a parameter in the practice of engineering, as well as in related disciplines. The course begins with an introduction of the origin of resources on earth and their fragile connection with life on earth, both on the ecology and, ultimately, on the human population. The basic laws regulating the flow of energy and materials through ecosystems and the regulation of the distribution and abundance of organisms are reviewed. A model of the interaction between population, resources, and pollution is analyzed based on the World3 model proposed by Meadows, Randers, and Meadows (Limits to Growth, 1972). The model predictions made in 1972 are compared with results compiled in 2002. The model include analysis of the state of land, soils and food, water, forests, nonrenewable resources, energy, and capital. Emphasis is placed on analyzing energy sustainability and assessment of current and potential future energy systems. This includes availability, extraction, conversion, and end-use to meet regional and global energy needs in the 21st century in a sustainable manner. Different renewable and conventional energy technologies will be discussed and their attributes described within a framework that aids the evaluation and analysis of energy technology systems in a global context. The effect of human activity on the environment with emphasis on climate change will be also analyzed. The Wordl3 model will be used to discuss different scenarios of the state of our planet based on population, industrial output, food, and population, as well materials, standards of living, and human welfare and human footprint. The course closes with a discussion of what we can do as engineers and professionals to insure that growth is consistent with a sustainable future.
“Energy and Climate”
Prof. Mark McCready
This course integrates the principles of physical sciences and engineering as they pertain to energy, its sources, and uses, and the impact of these on the environment. The great majority of energy used by society comes from fossil fuels. The consequences are that carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere have been increasing, and that readily available sources of oil have been depleted. Prospects for sustainable energy use will be discussed, including an engineering cost/benefit analysis of different sources. A question that will be examined in particular detail is the effect of energy use on climate change, both now and in the future. To do this, we will analyze the complex couplings and feedback mechanisms that operate between the geosphere, the biosphere, the atmosphere, and the hydrosphere as related to global climate change.
“Electrical Energy Extraction”
Prof. Alan Seabaugh
This course will teach the physics and engineering of devices that convert Lorentz or Newtonian forces into electromagnetic waves or electrical charge. Students will improve their understanding of the laws of electromagnetism and physical principles behind generators, solar cells, and a myriad of new devices under development to extract energy from electromagnetic waves, heat, vibrations, and human activity. This course aims to provide a quantitative understanding of the efficiency of these devices and the limitations imposed by nature on energy extraction. Electromagnetic laws, materials physics, and circuit theory will be introduced to enable the analysis and design of these devices, toward a complete description of the conversion of forces to charges and current.
“Introduction to Environmental Engineering”
Prof. Steven Larson
An introduction to the fundamental concepts of material balances and reactions occurring in reactors. These concepts bind together topics in water supply, wastewater treatment, air pollution control, and management of solid and hazardous wastes. The course describes how a holistic approach, not a fragmented single-pollutant or single-medium, is required to solve environmental problems. Decisions made by environmental engineers require a consideration of environmental ethics, a unifying topic of this course. The first course in the environmental track. Fall.
Prof. Patricia Maurice
CE 40320 • CE 60320
This course begins with (a) an overview of the formation and general chemical characteristics of the Earth and (b) an introduction to the natural global physical and chemical cycles. There will be major sections on the Earth’s atmosphere, hydrosphere, and lithosphere. The major chemical processes within each of these compartments and chemical aspects of associated modern-day environmental problems will be reviewed. Special sections on energy and the environment and the chemistry of global climate will be included.
Prof. Robert Nerenberg
Environmental biotechnology is the application of biological processes to the solution of environmental problems. Applications include municipal and industrial wastewater treatment, drinking water treatment, remediation of soils and groundwaters, remediation of surface waters and sediments, and control of air contaminants. Fall.
Prof. Joshua Shrout
CE 40350 • CE 60350
Fundamentals of microbiology applied to environmental systems and treatment processes. Emphasis will be placed on kinetics and energetics of microorganisms, fate of environmental pollutants, biotechnology applications, and laboratory techniques used to cultivate organisms and analyze biological systems. Spring.
College of Science
“Energy and Society”
Prof. James Kolata
A course developing the basic ideas of energy and power and their applications from a quantitative and qualitative viewpoint. The fossil fuels (coal, oil, and natural gas) are studied, together with their societal limitations (pollution, global warming, and diminishing supply). Nuclear power is similarly studied in the context of the societal concerns that arise (radiation, reactor accidents, nuclear weapons proliferation, and high-level waste disposal). The opportunities, as well as the risks, presented by alternative energy resources, in particular solar energy, wind, geothermal, and hydropower, together with various aspects of energy conservation, are developed and discussed. This course is designed for the nonspecialist.
Prof. Kristin Shrader-Frechette
This course will survey environmental impact assessment (EIA), ecological risk assessment (ERA), and human-health risk assessment (HHRA), and ethical and methodological issues related to these techniques; then apply these techniques to contemporary assessments for which state and federal governments are seeking comments by scientists and citizens. Cross-listed with PHIL 43308. This course counts as a general elective credit only for students in the College of Science.
School of Architecture
“Environmental Systems I”
Prof. Alan DeFrees
This course investigates the relationship between architecture and environmental systems. Lectures, readings, and exercises probe topics that include passive energy design, safety systems, water conservation and usage, vertical transportation, heating, ventilating, and air conditioning. Special emphasis is placed on sustainability issues, energy conservation, and public health and safety.
The Law School
Prof. Alejandro Camacho
Surveys federal environmental law, concentrating on the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, CERCLA, NEPA, environmental justice, and questions of solid and toxic waste disposal.
Prof. Nicole Garnett
Explores a number of important issues facing cities today, including legal efforts to develop more livable communities such as suburban growth controls, “anti-sprawl” initiatives, and “greenbelts” and other environmental measures; laws designed to increase the availability and improve the quality of affordable housing; the regulation of private behavior in public spaces; economic development efforts; and innovative uses of property law to prevent and control crime