WINTER 2012: Our first class will meet at 3:00 Tuesday 10 Jan. 2012 in Sem2 E2107. Be there on time with the first text; the first week is essential. This is our regular meeting place, except...
...Science Seminar will have a workshop in the CAL (Computer Applications Lab in Lab2) at 1:00 on Thursay 12 Jan. (week 1). The workshop is required to *familiarize you with our Moodle page and assignments, and to *establish pre-seminar teams.

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How is energy created and harvested, stored and transformed, used or abused? What effects do human energy systems have on Earth’s climate?  What are consequences for human societies?  What can we learn from the past?  How can we live more sustainably?

Energy Systems & Climate Change (ES&CC) investigates questions such as these, as a learning community seeking deeper knowledge and wisdom together.   One of our primary means of inquiry is seminar. Small teams pre-seminar on weekly readings in advance, we all seminar together  twice a week (in person), and we share essays and peer responses online.  

Interested students are invited to join our ES&CC seminar for 8 credits. SciSem students and ES&CC students can share insights and questions about our seminar readings, and ideas about the future.  SciSem students will write three essays and many peer responses (individually), and will post pre-seminar assignments (with teams). Learning goals include deeper understanding of sustainability and climate change, science and scientific methods, and improved skills in writing, teamwork, and communication. 

Prerequisites: Good reading and writing skills. Willingness to work online and in teams. (No math or science required!)

+4 Research credits? ES&CC student teams planned research inquiries in fall, to be carried out in winter quarter. Science Seminar students with science background are invited to 1) read about planned research projects online, 2) talk with an ES&CC team about the possibility of joining them, 3) plan, with your new team, your role in the research inquiry, 4) fill out a research proposal form, 5) bring that with a drop-add form for Zita's signature by Friday 13 Jan.

Questions? Contact Dr. E.J. Zita (email: zita(a)

Office hours: 12:30 Tuesday, Thursday, Friday at our 1:00 classrooms


Essays due
PIQs due
(all teams)
PIQs due
(SciSem teams)

1:00 Seminar in
SEM2 A 3107
Sunday: Responses to essays
Monday: Replies to responses
3:00 Seminar in
SEM2 D2109

Seminar Syllabus

3:00 Tuesday in SEM2 D2109
1:00 Thursday in SEM2 A 3107
week 1
Articles on Solar & Wind - get your copies on Moodle. Start reading Big Coal. Meet in CAL (in Lab2) today only. Articles (Finkel and Sagan) and Moodle workshop.
week 2
Finish Big Coal Cradle to Cradle (short)
week 3
Merchants of Doubt Merchants of Doubt
week 4
IPCC Special Report IPCC Special Report
week 5
Natural Capitalism Natural Capitalism
week 6
Collapse (selected chapters) Collapse (selected chapters)
week 7
Food Rebels (short) Food Rebels
week 8
Third Industrial Revolution Third Industrial Revolution
week 9
final evals
week 10
optional field trip with Energy Systems & Climate Change

WINTER TEXTS : You must have your own copy of each text and bring it to class when it's on the syllabus. Experience shows that this correlates well with success in the program. (Audio CD is not enough.)

Required *articles* will be made available to you via Moodle at no cost. We will try to minimize paper use in this program. If you have e- books on your laptop, you can bring that to class. Reference page numbers or e-locations in PIQs, essays, and responses.

Scientific American articles on *Solar solution and *Wind solution (to be provided on Moodle).
Natural Capitalism, by Hawkens, Lovins, & Lovins ((2008) NatCap Big Coal, by Jeff Goodell (2007) This is our first major reading of winter quarter, if you'd like to get a head start on it over break. BigCoal Cradle to Cradle, McDonough & Braungart (2002) C2C
The 3rd Industrial Revolution, by Jeremy Rifkin (2011) RifRev WindSky GrandSolarPlan Collapse (selected chapters), by Jared Diamond (2011) Collapse
IPCC, *Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation IPCCsrEX Merchants of Doubt, by Naomi Oreskes (2011) doubt Food Rebels, Guerilla Gardeners, and Smart-cookin' Mamas, by Mark Winne (2011) FoodRebels
Maintained by  E.J. Zita (updated 29 Jan. 2012)