GEOG 305: Geography of Energy

Energy

Professor: Dr. Geiger

Course Description:

Energy is the focus for technological, political, economic and social change in today's world. The spatial and global significances of such changes are investigated.

Summary:

America's biggest energy problem is that Americans do not understand the world's energy challenges. The global economics and politics surrounding the world's energy resources are recurring concerns in this course. The technical terms and interrelationships will be emphasized as a basis for more relevant discussions about energy options.

Course Content:

  • Course Objectives:

    • Students will demonstrate general knowledge of energy and the ability to detect and articulate its presence in their immediate surroundings. Assessment of this knowledge and ability will be made via the initial essay assignment.
    • Students will distinguish and describe the different forms energy takes. Assessment of this understanding will be made via exam questions and in-class discussions.
    • Students will identify and explain the advantages and limitations of a wide range of energy resources in use today. They will show source areas of major global resources. Assessment of this understanding will be made via exam questions and in-class discussions.
    • Students will explain the operation of many different energy technologies, some commonly used today and others touted for future use. Students will match technologies to the appropriate energy forms and resources. Assessment of this understanding will be made via exam questions and in-class discussions.
    • Students will demonstrate an understanding of the history of energy use, and of the geographical differences in energy use between more and less developed parts of the world. Assessment of this understanding will be made via exam questions and in-class discussions.
    • Students will demonstrate an in-depth understanding of one energy resource technology or related issue (eg., pollution or politics). Assessment of this understanding will be via the review essay and major essay.
  • Session Topics:

      -- Introductory Concepts --

    • Introduce Course: The Global Energy
      Problem
    • Energy, the Economy & the Environment
    • Energy, Work & Power,
      Conservation & Efficiency
    • -- Basic Elements and Components --

    • Forms of Energy: Kinetic and Thermal
    • Forms of Energy: Chemical and Nuclear
    • Forms of Energy: Electrical &
      Radiant/Electromagnetic
    • Energy & Communication:
      Laws & Bureaucracies
    • Survey of Energy Resources
    • Energy Production & the Utilities
    • Survey of Energy Technologies
    • -- Interrelationships and Issues --

    • Oil: History and Uses
    • Oil Economics
    • Oil Politics
    • Natural Gas: Origins and Uses
    • Natural Gas: Marcellus Shale Issues
    • Topics in the remaining sessions are
      decided by polling the students in the
      course for their preferences.