Nov 30, 2023  
2019-2020 Course Catalog 
2019-2020 Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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ESCI 1040 - Energy Concepts

Credits: 3
Hours/Week: Lecture 3 Lab None
Course Description: This course introduces students to the topic of energy and examines energy production, supply, efficiency, and future needs.  It also explores the potential of solar, biomass, photovoltaics, wind, and other continuous flow sources: including crude oil, natural gas, coal and nuclear.  The study of these energy concepts and processes will be conducted through both conceptual analysis and lab-like experiences/analysis.  The impact of our current U.S. policy is viewed from an interdisciplinary approach that includes environmental, political, economic, and ethical considerations. 
MnTC Goals
3 Natural Science, 10 People/Environment

Prerequisite(s): None
Corequisite(s): None
Recommendation: ESCI 1045  or concurrently enrolled and arithmetic placement score of 64 or higher or elementary algebra placement score of 76 or higher OR placement score/ACT score placement into MATH 0070  or above OR completion MATH 0030  with a grade of C or higher. We strongly encourage students who score below 64 to meet with an advisor or counselor to discuss their review and course options PRIOR to Math placement retesting or registering for a MATH course.

Major Content
  1. Carbon and climate
  2. Emergent technologies Tidal energy Wave energy Fusion based nuclear energy
  3. Historical and current energy sources used by humans including traditional : Fossil fuels Nuclear energy Hydroelectric energy less traditional sources : Solar energy Wind power Biomass
  4. Introduction to basic energy concepts, the basics of physics, and introduction of units
  5. Renewable vs. non-renewable discussion
  6. Resource versus reserve discussion
  7. Use patterns and potentials of less traditional technologies

Learning Outcomes
At the end of this course students will be able to:

  1. present historical and recent data with a focus on energy consumption in the U.S.
  2. explain the current and future U.S. energy supply mix
  3. discuss the various factors related to alternative energy sources
  4. provide information on relative to the environmental impacts of our energy use decisions

Competency 1 (1-6)
03. 01. Demonstrate understanding of scientific theories. 03. 03. Communicate their experimental findings, analyses, and interpretations both orally and in writing. 03. 04. Evaluate societal issues from a natural science perspective, ask questions about the evidence presented, and make informed judgments about science-related topics and policies.
Competency 2 (7-10)
10. 01. Explain the basic structure and function of various natural ecosystems and of human adaptive strategies within those systems. 10. 04. Evaluate critically environmental and natural resource issues in light of understandings about interrelationships, ecosystems, and institutions. 10. 05. Propose and assess alternative solutions to environmental problems. 10. 06. Articulate and defend the actions they would take on various environmental issues.

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