Welcome to our open courses. Feel free to browse the list of courses below or search for topics using the search box.

Credit: Anacortes Refinery by Walter Siegmund is licensed under CC BY 2.5

Course Description

This course on petroleum refining reviews how a refinery integrates different physical processes and chemical reactions to process crude oil for the production of transportation fuels and materials according to commercial specifications and environmental regulations. Classification of crude oils using standard analytical protocols helps the refiners select the optimum conditions for the most efficient and most profitable production of fuels and materials.

Phase Relations in Reservoir engineering

Credit: Drops of Water by ronymichaud is licensed under CC0

Course Description

In this course, you will learn about phase relations as applied to oil and/or gas reservoir processes, enhanced oil recovery, gas pipeline transportation, natural gas processing and liquefaction, and other problems in petroleum production. The primary objective of the course is to apply the thermodynamics of phase equilibrium to the framework for phase behavior modeling of petroleum fluids. The focus of the course will be on equilibrium thermodynamics and its relevance to phase behavior predictions and phase equilibrium data description.

Planets, Stars, Galaxies, and the Universe

Credit: NGC 4013 and the Tidal Stream  (c) R. Jay GaBany, Used with permission

Course Description

Walking up and down the hallways of Davey Lab at Penn State, you can find astronomers searching for and characterizing exoplanets, monitoring supernovae and other exploding stars, and measuring the details of the accelerating expansion of the Universe to determine the nature of dark energy. In ASTRO 801, we learn that with only the ability to measure the light from these distant, unreachable objects, we can still determine how the Solar System, stars, galaxies, and the Universe formed and evolved since the Big Bang.

Course Description

In this course we will explore topics from disciplines within the solid Earth sciences. In each lesson, we'll also touch on some ways the topic links to other scientific disciplines. Each unit is designed to present both the cutting-edge science as well as the background a secondary-school student (or her teacher) would need to place the research in context. Gaining an appreciation of how scientists choose the subjects they study is as fundamental to Earth science as the discovery of the facts themselves.

Reactive Transport in the Subsurface

Credit: Waterfall 192984 by FrankWinkler is licensed under CC0

Course Description

This course teaches principles of flow, transport, and reaction processes in the natural subsurface.

Course Description

This module, intended for use in introductory humanities courses, will be an interdisciplinary, comparative analysis of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. Students will compare/contrast popular narratives about BLM with stated goals of movement participants. They will also consider the place of BLM in larger historical narratives. Students will be encouraged to move beyond initial assumptions, and instead ask the questions that humanist scholars ask of such texts and events. In the process, students will:

Black and White Photograph of Roger Casement

Credit:  Sir Roger David Casement
(1864-1916), Public domain,
via Wikimedia Commons

Course Description

Suitable for introductory or survey courses in the humanities, this module focuses on the last fifteen years of the life of the diplomat and human rights advocate Roger Casement (1864-1916), which included his investigation of abusive practices on the rubber plantations of the Congo Free State and in the Putumayo District of the Amazon, as well as involvement with the Irish independence struggle.

Solar Resource Assessment and Economics

Credit: Photovoltaic System by andreas160578 is licensed under CC0

Course Description

Are you interested in Solar Energy? Solar Resource Assessment and Economics explores the methods, economic criteria, and meteorological background for assessing the solar resource with respect to project development of solar energy conversion systems for stakeholders in a given locale. It provides students with an in-depth exploration of the physical qualities of the solar resource, estimation of the fractional contributions of irradiance to total demand, and economic assessment of the solar resource.

GIS for Transportation: Principles, Data, and Applications

Credit: pxhere photo is licensed under CC0

Course Description

Do you know how important GIS is to the transportation industry? The spatial applications to this field are so extensive that they represent an entire sub-discipline within the GIS community. In this course, we'll learn about the primary modes of transportation and explore some of the spatial applications developed to meet the unique needs of each. We'll also take a close look at some key organizations in the industry and learn firsthand from more than a dozen transportation professionals about the role GIS plays for them.

Planning GIS for Emergency Management

Credit: Helicopter Help First Aide by ThePixelman is licensed under CC0

Course Description

Geospatial perspectives and technologies play a major role in planning for and responding to emergencies. Geospatial tools - from aerial mapping techniques to data acquisition, are changing rapidly as is emergency management as the frequency and magnitude of crises and disasters are increasing.


Course Spotlight

pile of maps

Cartography and Visualization (GEOG 486) covers design principles and techniques for creating maps with contemporary mapping tools. Students will be introduced to future-focused application topics such as augmented and virtual reality, mapping with multivariate glyphs, the visual depiction of uncertainty, interactive geovisualization, and (geo)visual analytics, and decision-making with maps and mapping products. Visit the course.

Faculty Spotlight

Maria Wherley

Maria Scalzi Wherley (she, her) is a Learning Designer and Writer-in-Residence with the John A. Dutton e-Education Institute at Penn State. She has more than 20 years of teaching experience. Learn more about Maria to see what she has to say about online education.