Welcome to SSC2030: Energy Systems and Sustainability!
Over the course of this semester we will delve into local, national and global energy systems, how they work, their costs and benefits, and we will discuss new technologies and strategies that could make our energy systems more sustainable.
> SSC2030 syllabus F'19
All assignments are written and the only quizzes are reading quizzes.
Please see the syllabus for more details (posted above).
I'll be assigning readings from a variety of resources this semester and most will be available as links. One or two may cost up to $3.00 at Amazon and can be downloaded and read electronically. There will be a short reading assignment for nearly every class meeting. Some will come with reading quizzes and some will relate to short writing assignments.
The bottom two texts shown at the right are available in the library as supplemental sources focused on the history of energy systems and renewable energy technologies. Copies of both are on reserve.
Writing resources for students:
> Instructors notes on writing and the grading matrix for writing assignments
> Hartness Library 'Guide to Evaluating Sources'
> Hartness Library 'Basic Research Guide'
> Hartness Library 'What are citations?'
Critical thinking and evaluating sources and claims:
Lateral reading is a technique that fact checkers use to verify facts cited in articles and reports. A recent experiment by Stanford University pitted undergraduates, tenured professors of history, and fact checkers against one another to see which group could most successfully evaluate online sources of information. The fact checkers won! They were more accurate and their assessments were much faster. Why? While the academics relied on 'vertical reading', delving deeply into a topic and source that they were evaluating, fact checkers used 'lateral reading' using online information assess the source of the evaluation. We'll be using lateral reading in this course and these short videos explain this useful online technique.
> VIDEO: Online verification skills - 1. Introduction
> VIDEO: Online verification skills - 2. Investigating the source
> VIDEO: Online verification skills - 3. Finding the original source
> VIDEO: Online verification skills - 4. Look for trusted work
There are a number of organizations that evaluate the objectivity and balance of sources of information and you may find them useful.
> Media Bias/Fact Check ranks the left, center, or right political bias of over 2,800 sources and how fact-based their coverage is. It's quick and simple to use.
> AllSides evaluates the bias of sources but also allows you to enter a topic and returns a variety of articles and reports from across the political spectrum to allow you to judge the impacts of bias on reporting.
Links to awesome energy resources:
> Energy news network
> Energy policies of EIA countries: the United States 2014 review (Executive summary)
> Global energy architecture performance index report (World Economic Forum, 2017)
> Global energy architecture WIDGET
> Global energy statistical yearbook 2018 (Enerdata)
> International Energy Agency
> The future of energy (UNC)
> US Energy Information Administration
> Vermont Energy Atlas
> Vermont Total Energy study... (Vermont Dep't of Public Service)
> World Energy Council: A UN-accredited global energy body
> 90-by-2050 (Vermont Energy Dashboard)
Related open-access courses:
If you'd like to learn more about sustainable energy, renewable energy or systems science you may want to visit or take these open access courses available on-line.
> An introduction to sustainable energy (The Open University)
> Energy decisions, markets and policy (MIT Sloan School, Open Courseware)
'Clean Break' is free online
'Quitting Carbon' ebook at Amazon for $2.99
Supplemental: Boyle (2012) Energy Systems and Sustainability, ISBN 978-0199593743
Supplemental: Boyle (2004) Renewable Energy: Power for a Sustainable Future