Energy Action Seminar: ENVS-195 (93318)
Course Syllabus: Fall 2014
Meeting Time: Monday 4:00- 5:20 p.m. Hills 122
Instructor: Dr. Richard Watts, 802-656-9775 [email protected]
Office Hours: 1-3 Mon, Tues, Thurs, Morrill 208
Blackboard: Instructors will post the syllabus, class lectures, class schedules and selected
Course Objective: Learn about energy policy, programs, technology and planning with an
emphasis on renewable energy.
Vermont Department of Public Service. Comprehensive Energy Plan, Volume 1 (19
pages). http://publicservice.vermont.gov/publications/energy_plan
Academic and other articles as assigned
Advance reading on all speakers (as posted to BB & your own initiative).
Course Description
This is a weekly seminar series featuring guest speakers on issues related to energy use and
renewable energy. It is sponsored by the Environmental Program, Continuing Education,
CDAE and the Clean Energy Fund. Lectures are open to all members of the UVM community.
Enrolled students have requirements specified below to earn one credit.
There are a total of 12 seminars (plus an intro on the first day of class and the final class on
Dec. 2). (See attached list). There are no sessions on Sept. 1 or Nov 24.
You are expected to attend all 13 class sessions. However, one excused absence may be
accepted if the instructor is contacted ahead of time and permission given. Each additional
missed seminar will result in your grade being lowered two-thirds of a letter grade (i.e. from A
to B+). It is your responsibility to sign the attendance sheet to certify your attendance.
Weekly reflections: To stimulate your thinking about the material you need to intentionally and
thoughtfully reflect upon the material both in advance and after each presentation. To this end,
this course requires that you post questions to the speakers and summary of speaker
information and your thoughts PRIOR to each speaker’s appearance. These pre-speaker
summaries should be 300-400 words and must be posted to BB before class each Monday.
These must include at least two cited sources (within the word count above).
In addition, please post two questions for each speaker. These questions should be detailed and
build off the research that you have done in writing your pre-speaker summary.
Speaker questions. Each student will be required to ask at least one question during the
semester. This question should be formally delivered (see instructor).
Writing: This course requires that you write three synthesis papers across the semester. The
purpose of this paper is to synthesize your learning over the semester. Using material from
multiple speakers and your weekly postings, discuss what you have learned. What surprised
you? Have you identified a gap in learning? Did any two speakers present opposing views?
Has your thinking/perspective about particular issues changed? Why or why not? Please use at
least four sources (e.g. the Department’s Comprehensive Energy Plan) and other related
materials. Draw from your notes and the PPT lecture slides posted by the speakers.
Papers should be 800-1200 words and posted to BB. They must include properly cited
See paper overview posted to BB which includes grading overview. Papers should be wellorganized, clear and substantive.
Papers are due: Oct 6, Nov 17, and Dec 10 (4:00 p.m. – before class)
Paper #1 will cover August 25-Sept 29 speakers
Paper #2 will cover Oct 6--Nov 10 speakers.
Paper #3 will cover material from the course as a whole, (see instructor prompt).
Late papers are not allowed.
Field Trips: There are three field trips offered in conjunction with CDAE-006. Attending one
field trip is highly recommended. Students can substitute one class lecture for one field trip.
These will take place on Saturday Sept 27 and Oct. 4, 11. These are all-day events to renewable energy
facilities and places in Vermont. Lunch and bus service is provided.
There will be three to choose from. Details will follow.
Weekly reflections = 23%
Paper 1 = 23%
Paper 2 = 23%
Paper 3 = 23%
Class participation = 8%
Attendance (see above)
Cell Phone & laptop policy: Texting is not allowed in class. Students texting will see grade
point reductions. Laptops are not allowed.
Plagarism: Is not allowed. Be very careful about lifting text from web sites, etc.