EPIC is not a degree granting institution, but we are pleased to highlight a wide range of energy-related courses offered by the University of Chicago. Be advised that not all courses are offered each year in the quarter for which they are listed; students should check with individual departments to verify course schedules.
This course will use the Chicago region as a laboratory for evaluating the social, environmental, and economic effects of alternative forms of human settlement. Students will be introduced to the basics of geographic information systems (GIS) and use GIS to map Chicago's "place types" - human habitats that vary along an urban-to-rural transect, as well as the ecosystem services provided by the types.
This course shows how scientific constraints affect economic and other policy decisions regarding energy, what energy-based issues confront our society, how we may address them through both policy and scientific study, and how the policy and scientific aspects can and should interact.
Making environmental policy is a diverse and complex process. Environmental advocacy engages different governmental agencies, congressional committees, and courts, depending on the issue. This course examines how such differentiation has affected policy making over the last several decades.
This course combines basic microeconomic theory and tools with contemporary environmental and resources issues and controversies to examine and analyze public policy decisions.
The effects of environmental pollution are not evenly distributed and are more likely to be experienced by low-income and minority communities. The location of toxic waste sites (both manufacturing plants and dump sites), the persistence of brownfields locations, and a lack of parks and open space are some of the conditions that have led to an ongoing effort to expand the focus of environmental advocacy to the pursuit of equitable and just outcomes in disadvantaged neighborhoods.
Restoration ecologists, environmental professionals, and average citizens all participate in the process of habitat restoration. How does this interdisciplinary practice balance the priorities of ecosystem function and services, conservation of imperiled species and habitats, aesthetic appeal, and human use in a dynamic climate?
Topics include human population dynamics, historical trends in human well-being, our use of natural resources-especially in relation to the provision of energy, water, and food-and the impacts these activities have on the range of goods and services provided by geological/ecological systems.
If meteorological data and models show us that climate change is real, art and literature explore what it means for our collective human life. This is the premise of many recent films, novels, and artworks that ask how a changing climate will affect human society.
This course focuses on the contribution of ecological theory to the understanding of current issues in conservation biology. We emphasize quantitative methods and their use for applied problems in ecology (e.g., risk of extinction, impact of harvesting, role of species interaction, analysis of global change).
The focus of this course is the fundamental science underlying issues of local and regional scale pollution. In particular, the lifetimes of important pollutants in the air, water, and soils are examined by considering the roles played by photochemistry, surface chemistry, biological processes, and dispersal into the surrounding environment.