Earth in the Future

Credit: Mountains 482689 by Angie Agostino is licensed under CC0

Resource Description

Our planet is becoming hot. In fact, Earth may be warming faster than ever before. This warming will challenge society throughout the 21st century. How do we cope with rising seas? How will we prepare for more intense hurricanes? How will we adapt to debilitating droughts and heat waves? Scientists are striving to improve predictions of how the environment will change and how it will impact humans.

Energy in a Changing World

Credit: Green city concept, cut the leaves of plants, isolated over white by kirillov alexey, licensed through Shutterstock used with permission

Resource Description

What is energy? It's the hot in heat, the glow in light, the push in wind, the pound in water, the sound of thunder and the crack of lightning. It is the pull that keeps us (and everything else!) from simply flying apart, and the promise of an oak deep in an acorn. It is all the same, and it is all different. Sunshine and waterfalls won't start your car, and wind won't run the dishwasher. But, if we match the form and timing of the energy with your needs, all of these things could be true.

Resource Description

This course presents an examination of ethical issues relevant to systems-based research procedures, professional conduct, social and environmental impacts, and embedded ethics in research and professional practice in RESS based jobs. In this course, you will consider case studies of ethical issues that can arise when engaging renewable energy and sustainability systems. You will also develop an ethics case study based on your area of RESS interests.

Essentials of Oceanography

Credit: E. Rubio (c) Penn State University, is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Resource Description

The year is 2050 and your once-idyllic beachfront vacation home is now flooded up to the second story. The crab your family has enjoyed every Christmas for as long as you can remember has now become an endangered species. The oceans have changed. In EARTH 540, Oceanography for Educators, we explore the mechanisms that lead to sea level rise and ocean acidification. We strive to understand how natural processes such as ocean currents, the gulf-stream, tides, plate tectonics, and the Coriolis Effect, affect our oceans and ocean basins.

Controversies in the Earth Sciences

Resource Description

Think science has all the answers? Think again. This course will use real, authentic data to explore and investigate modern controversies in Earth Sciences. Use tide gauge records to understand how countries around the world attempt to protect themselves from tsunami events. Process seismic data to predict earthquake recurrence in the New Madrid seismic zone, right here in the breadbasket of the US. Sort through the millions of years of the geologic timeline to shed some light on what actually did, and did not, kill the dinosaurs.

Earth Surface Processes in the Critical Zone

Credit: Blue and Gray Moon during Nighttime by Jaymantri is licensed under CC0

Resource Description

Rapid changes at Earth's surface, largely in response to human activity, have led to the realization that fundamental questions remain to be answered regarding the natural functioning of the Critical Zone, the thin veneer at Earth's surface where the atmosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere interact. EARTH 530 will introduce you to the basics necessary for understanding Earth surface processes in the Critical Zone through an integration of various scientific disciplines.

Human Use of the Environment

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Resource Description

Geography 430 is an active, creative learning community focused around understanding the changing relationships between people and their environments, the causes and consequences of environmental degradation, strategies for building a more sustainable world, and the methods and approaches that scholars have used to understand human-environment interactions.

Energy Conservation

Credit: Lightbulbs by Dreamstine is licensed under CC0

Resource Description

Much of the general population believes that the energy sources we depend on are perpetual. While people believe that energy use is the culprit for environmental damage, they are not aware of the methods and principles by which energy conversion devices operate. This course will provide you with knowledge and information on the main operating principles of devices/appliances in common use and will help you in making energy efficient and economical choices.