Sustainable Systems

Climate Policy

This course aims to address the whole complexity of climate change, by bringing together the science of climate change, the analysis of impacts, and the economic and engineering strategies to reduce emissions.  In this class, students will be actively engaged in exploring the scientific and economic issues underlying the threat of global climate change and the institutions engaged in negotiating an international response.

Electrochemical Energy Storage and Conversion

Energy sustainability determines the suitability of the communities and the whole global society. The course will teach students the concepts in electrochemical energy storage and conversion and the working mechanisms and applications of a number of popular energy storage devices such as rechargeable batteries, supercapacitors and fuel cells. The application of such energy storage technologies can promote the use of clean energy sources and improve energy efficiency.

Climate Policy

This course aims to address the whole complexity of climate change, by bringing together the science of climate change, the analysis of impacts, and the economic and engineering strategies to reduce emissions.  In this class, students will be actively engaged in exploring the scientific and economic issues underlying the threat of global climate change and the institutions engaged in negotiating an international response.

Habitable Planet

The search for life beyond the Earth is reaching new heights. So what are we looking for, and how will we know when we find it? This course will explore the history of the solar system and the Earth as the one example of a habitable planet—one that can support living organisms—that we know now. We will consider how the planets formed, the important planetary processes that brought about the Earth as it was when life arose and the planet we live on today.

Atmospheric Chemistry

It is what you breathe – Air.  This course looks at understanding our atmosphere, its life sustaining ability, and its changing chemistry with the input from natural and human activities.

Climate and Global Change

The question is not is global warming happening, but rather what drives the climate?  What defines our current climate and how did these factors impact past climate?  And, of course, what are the factors that might impact our future climate?  

Environmental Geochemistry and Environmental Geochemistry Lab

Geochemical processes are central to a variety of environmental issues, including the distribution of CO2 on Earth, water quality and the transformation and storage of inorganic and organic contaminants from human activity. 

Physics of Weather

Understanding the weather – day to day forecasting, seasonal changes, the power of storms, the future of our climate.  This course looks at basic physical laws that define weather phenomena and understanding its impact on us. 

Microbial Ecology

Most people think of microorganisms or microbes as harmful, causing disease or just stinking up the refrigerator.  However, the reality is that the vast majority of microbes keep humans alive and healthy on Earth.  Microbes are responsible directly or indirectly for producing the air we breathe, the food we eat, clean water that we drink, and diseases that make us sick.  In other words, microbes provide many services to humans in Earth’s ecosystems and enable the sustainable production of food and energy as well as the recycling of wastes.