Dr. Joseph DeCarolis
Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering
CE 578 Energy and Climate
3 Credit Hours
This course provides an overview of the global energy system, relates fossil fuel consumption to climate change, and outlines alternatives that promote environmental sustainability. Topics include basic climate science, energetics of natural and human systems, fossil-fueled civilization, the impact of anthropogenic CO2 emissions on climate, and technology and public policy options for addressing the climate challenge. The course is highly interdisciplinary with a strong focus on science and engineering.
Undergraduates: Senior standing.
By the end of the course, students will be able to (1) apply concepts drawn from ecology, physics, economics, and engineering to analyze energy resources and technologies, (2) explain how human activity affects climate, (3) outline the pros and cons of various low carbon energy technologies using quantitative methods, (4) build and apply impulse-response function models of climate change to relate emissions to atmospheric concentrations and impacts, and (5) describe public policy and adaptation options for dealing with climate change.
Homework: Homework assignments will be issued every one to two weeks. Homework solutions will be posted after assignments are due. Late assignments will receive 50%, assuming it is turned in before solutions are posted. No credit will be obtained after solutions are posted.
Exams: There will be a midterm and a final exam. The midterm will take place during a normal class period, while the final exam will be 3 hours long and take place on the designated exam day.
Projects: All students are expected to complete a project relating to an energy technology of interest.
None. Readings will be posted on the course webpage.