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Bulletin Archive

This archived information is dated to the 2008-09 academic year only and may no longer be current.

For currently applicable policies and information, see the current Stanford Bulletin.

Undergraduate courses in Earth Systems

EARTHSYS 10. Introduction to Earth Systems

For non-majors and prospective Earth Systems majors. Multidisciplinary approach using the principles of geology, biology, engineering, and economics to describe how the Earth operates as an interconnected, integrated system. Goal is to understand global change on all time scales. Focus is on sciences, technological principles, and sociopolitical approaches applied to solid earth, oceans, water, energy, and food and population. Case studies: environmental degradation, loss of biodiversity, and resource sustainability. GER: DB-NatSci

4 units, Aut (Ernst, G)

EARTHSYS 15SI. Reducing Stanford's Carbon Footprint

Guest lectures and field trips to local energy-efficient buildings. Stanford's current carbon profile and energy consumption. How to evaluate building envelope, lighting, heating, cooling, and energy efficiency economics. Students evaluate a campus building for submission to Facilities and Operations. Group project focused on reducing Stanford's carbon emissions.

2 units, Aut (Schneider, S)

EARTHSYS 45N. Energy Issues Confronting the World

(F,Sem) Stanford Introductory Seminar. Preference to freshman. Geologic, economic, and policy issues shaping energy use and contrasting human perceptions of energy security. Topics include discourse of resources, history and future of fossil fuels, curse of oil, global climate change, adaptation versus mitigation, relationship between wealth and energy, demand and strategies for efficiency and conservation, alternative energy prospects, geopolitics of energy trading, and energy flow among countries of the world. Game simulation, outside readings, class brainstorming, and student oral presentations on country energy profiles. GER: DB-NatSci

3 units, Win (Howell, D)

EARTHSYS 101. Energy and the Environment

(Same as ENERGY 101.) Energy use in modern society and the consequences of current and future energy use patterns. Case studies illustrate resource estimation, engineering analysis of energy systems, and options for managing carbon emissions. Focus is on energy definitions, use patterns, resource estimation, pollution. Recommended: MATH 21 or 42, ENGR 30. GER:DB-EngrAppSci

3 units, Win (Kovscek, A; Durlofsky, L)

EARTHSYS 102. Renewable Energy Sources and Greener Energy Processes

(Same as ENERGY 102.) The energy sources that power society are rooted in fossil energy although energy from the core of the Earth and the sun is almost inexhaustible; but the rate at which energy can be drawn from them with today's technology is limited. The renewable energy resource base, its conversion to useful forms, and practical methods of energy storage. Geothermal, wind, solar, biomass, and tidal energies; resource extraction and its consequences. Recommended: 101, MATH 21 or 42. GER:DB-EngrAppSci

3 units, Spr (Kovscek, A; Gerritsen, M)

EARTHSYS 103. Energy Resources

(Same as CEE 173A, CEE 207A.) Fossil and renewable energy resources: oil, natural gas, coal, nuclear, hydropower, solar, geothermal, biomass, wind, ocean energy, and energy efficiency. Topics for each resource: resource abundance, location, recovery, conversion, consumption, end-uses, environmental impacts, economics, policy, and technology. Buildings, transportation, the electricity industry, and energy in the developing world. Required field trips to local energy facilities. Optional discussion section for extra unit. GER:DB-EngrAppSci

4-5 units, Aut (Woodward, J)

EARTHSYS 104. The Water Course

(Same as GEOPHYS 104.) The pathway that water takes from rainfall to the tap using student home towns as an example. How the geological environment controls the quantity and quality of water; taste tests of water from around the world. Current U.S. and world water supply issues. GER: DB-NatSci

3 units, not given this year

EARTHSYS 108. Coastal Wetlands

(Same as EARTHSYS 208.) Ecological structure and function of wetlands emphasizing local, coastal wetlands. Topics include: wetland distribution, classification, and history; and interactions between biotic and abiotic components of wetland ecosystems. Labs and local field trips for exposure to landscape patterns, and common sampling equipment and methods. Recommended: 104 or CEE 166A. GER: DB-NatSci

3 units, Aut (Myers, L), alternate years, not given next year

EARTHSYS 111. Biology and Global Change

(Same as BIO 117.) The biological causes and consequences of anthropogenic and natural changes in the atmosphere, oceans, and terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems. Topics: glacial cycles and marine circulation, greenhouse gases and climate change, tropical deforestation and species extinctions, and human population growth and resource use. Prerequisite: Biology or Human Biology core or graduate standing. GER: DB-NatSci

4 units, Win (Vitousek, P; Arrigo, K)

EARTHSYS 112. Environmental Economics and Policy

(Same as ECON 155.) Economic sources of environmental problems and alternative policies for dealing with them (technology standards, emissions taxes, and marketable pollution permits). Evaluation of policies addressing regional air pollution, global climate change, water allocation in the western U.S., and the use of renewable resources. Connections between population growth, economic output, environmental quality, and human welfare. Prerequisite: ECON 50. GER: DB-NatSci

5 units, Win (Staff)

EARTHSYS 113. Earthquakes and Volcanoes

(Same as GEOPHYS 113.) Earthquake location, magnitude and intensity scales, seismic waves, styles of eruptions and volcanic hazards, tsunami waves, types and global distribution of volcanoes, volcano forecasting. Plate tectonics as a framework for understanding earthquake and volcanic processes. Forecasting; earthquake resistant design; building codes; and probabilistic hazard assessment. For non-majors and potential earth scientists. GER:DB-EngrAppSci

3 units, Spr (Beroza, G; Segall, P)

EARTHSYS 114. Field Course on Tropical Biogeochemistry: Amazon as Case Study

(Same as BIO 114.) Post-field seminar for students who went on the two-week field trip to the Amazon in September with Brazilian students under Professor Martinelli of the University of São Paulo and Stanford Latin American Studies. Land use changes over the last 30 years including the conversion of natural forest for cattle ranching and soy beans in the Amazon, the largest continuous area of tropical forests on Earth with the greatest number of plant and animal species. In English.

3 units, not given this year

EARTHSYS 123. From Local to Global: Collaborations for International Environmental Education

(Same as EDUC 122X.) A collaboration with three universities in Africa. Discourse and debate using Internet and mobile technology interactions. Topics include the global environment, climate change, sustainable development, and food security.

2 units, not given this year

EARTHSYS 124. Environmental Justice: Local, National, and International Dimensions

(Same as EARTHSYS 224.) Focus is on whether minorities and low income citizens suffer disproportionate environmental and health impacts resulting from government and corporate decision making in contexts such as the siting of industrial facilities and waste dumps, toxic chemical use and distribution, and the enforcement of environmental mandates and policies. Implications of environmental justice issues at the international level, emphasizing climate change.

4 units, alternate years, not given this year

EARTHSYS 132. Energy Cooperation in the Western Hemisphere

(Same as EARTHSYS 232, IPS 263.) Current political dynamics in major western hemisphere fossil fuel producers in N. America, the Andean region, the Southern Cone of S. America, and Trinidad and Tobago. The potential for developing sustainable alternative energy resources in the western hemisphere for export particularly biofuels, and its impact on agricultural policy, environmental protection, and food prices. The feasibility of creating regional energy security rings such as the proposed N. American Energy Security and Prosperity Partnership.

4 units, Spr (O'Keefe, T)

EARTHSYS 141. Remote Sensing of the Oceans

(Same as EESS 141, EESS 241, EARTHSYS 241.) How to observe and interpret physical and biological changes in the oceans using satellite technologies. Topics: principles of satellite remote sensing, classes of satellite remote sensors, converting radiometric data into biological and physical quantities, sensor calibration and validation, interpreting large-scale oceanographic features. GER: DB-NatSci

3-4 units, alternate years, not given this year

EARTHSYS 142. Remote Sensing of Land Use and Land Cover

(Same as EESS 162, EARTHSYS 242.) The use of satellite remote sensing to monitor land use and land cover, with emphasis on terrestrial changes. Topics include pre-processing data, biophysical properties of vegetation observable by satellite, accuracy assessment of maps derived from remote sensing, and methodologies to detect changes such as urbanization, deforestation, vegetation health, and wildfires.

4 units, not given this year

EARTHSYS 144. Fundamentals of Geographic Information Science (GIS)

(Same as EESS 164.) Survey of geographic information including maps, satellite imagery, and census data, approaches to spatial data, and tools for integrating and examining spatially-explicit data. Emphasis is on fundamental concepts of geographic information science and associated technologies. Topics include geographic data structure, cartography, remotely sensed data, statistical analysis of geographic data, spatial analysis, map design, and geographic information system software. Computer lab assignments. GER: DB-NatSci

4 units, Aut (Reilly, M)

EARTHSYS 147. Controlling Climate Change in the 21st Century

(Same as BIO 147, BIO 247, EARTHSYS 247, HUMBIO 116.) Global climate change science, impacts, and response strategies. Topics: scientific understanding of the climate system; modeling future climate change; global and regional climate impacts and vulnerability; mitigation and adaptation approaches; the international climate policy challenge; and decarbonization of energy and transportation systems. GER: DB-NatSci

3 units, Win (Schneider, S; Mastrandrea, M), alternate years, not given next year

EARTHSYS 152. Pathways Out of Rural Poverty

(Same as EARTHSYS 252, ECON 155B, IPS 261.) Determinants of rural poverty and historical pathways that have led the rural poor out of it. Policy perspectives: the macro level concerning overall economic growth and structural transformation; the sectoral level focusing on the role of agriculture in poverty reduction; and the household level focusing on individual characteristics and asset holdings, including human capital. The impact of globalization on pathways out of poverty and on agriculture and structural transformation in developing countries. Prerequisite: ECON 106 or 118 or EARTHSYS 180.

5 units, Spr (Timmer, C)

EARTHSYS 164. Introduction to Physical Oceanography

(Same as CEE 164, CEE 262D.) The dynamic basis of oceanography. Topics: physical environment; conservation equations for salt, heat, and momentum; geostrophic flows; wind-driven flows; the Gulf Stream; equatorial dynamics and ENSO; thermohaline circulation of the deep oceans; and tides. Prerequisite: PHYSICS 41 (formerly 53). GER: DB-NatSci

4 units, Win (Fong, D)

EARTHSYS 165. Promoting Behavior Change

(Same as HUMBIO 165.) How to apply principles of behavioral change to a real world public health problem: climate change and environmental sustainability. Sources include theory, research, and practice from perspectives such as social and cognitive psychology, media and communication, education, behavioral medicine, social marketing, and consumer behavior. Student groups create an intervention to help elementary school students reduce their environmental footprint. Research performed in local high schools to develop optimally feasible, acceptable, and effective interventions. Prerequisite: Human Biology core or equivalent, or consent of instructor.

4 units, Spr (Robinson, T)

EARTHSYS 175. Law and Science of California Coastal Policy

(Same as CEE 175A, CEE 275A, EARTHSYS 275.) Interdisciplinary. The legal, science, and policy dimensions of managing California's coastal resources. Coastal land use and marine resource decision making. The physics, chemistry, and biology of the coastal zone, tools for exploring data from the coastal ocean, and the institutional framework that shapes public and private decision making. Field work: how experts from different disciplines work to resolve coastal policy questions.

3-4 units, Win (Boehm, A; Sivas, D; Caldwell, M)

EARTHSYS 180. Fundamentals of Sustainable Agriculture

(Same as BIO 180, BIO 280, EARTHSYS 280.) Ecological, economic, and social dimensions of sustainable agriculture in the context of a growing world population. Focus is on management and technological approaches, and historical content of agricultural growth and change, organic agriculture, soil and water resource management, nutrient and pest management, biotechnology, ecosystem services, and climate change. GER: DB-NatSci

3 units, Spr (Naylor, R), alternate years, not given next year

EARTHSYS 180B. Local Sustainable Agriculture

Field-based training in ecologically sound agricultural practices at the Stanford Community Farm; guest lectures from Bay Area farmers, agricultural educators, and food policy advocates; and a field trip to an educational farm. Weekly fieldwork led by an instructor with extensive organic farming experience. Topics include bed preparation, starting seedlings, composting, irrigation techniques, and harvesting methods. May be repeated for credit.

1 unit, Aut (Staff), Spr (Staff)

EARTHSYS 181. Concepts of Urban Agriculture

(Same as EARTHSYS 281.) For advanced undergraduates and graduate students from all fields. Seminar. Current status of and potential for global urban agriculture. Topics include: environmental and economic dimensions of urban food production and sourcing; city policy and land-use planning; and an ecosystem services approach to urban agriculture. Developed and developing world contexts. Two field trips to nearby cities; guest lectures; case studies; group projects. Prerequisite: application.

2 units, Win (Matson, P)

EARTHSYS 184. Climate and Agriculture

(Same as EARTHSYS 284.) The effects of climate change on global food and agricultural systems. Climate assessment and socioeconomic modeling approaches to quantify the impacts of climate on agro-ecosystems and society. Enrollment limited to 25; priority to graduate students, seniors, and juniors. Prerequisites: ECON 106/206, and consent of instructor.

3 units, Spr (Naylor, R; Lobell, D)

EARTHSYS 188. The Political Economy of Energy in India

(Same as EARTHSYS 288.) Seminar. How central, state, and local governments in India balance the competing goals of alleviating poverty, protecting the environment, and assuring the financial viability of India's energy companies. Case studies. Two-week field trip to India in June 2007 to visit industrial sites and meet with stakeholders in industry, government, and consumer advocacy. Prerequisite: application.

2-3 units, not given this year

EARTHSYS 189. Field Studies in Earth Systems

(Same as BIO 206.) For advanced upper-division undergraduates and graduate students. Field-based, focusing on the components and processes by which terrestrial ecosystems function. Topics from biology, chemistry, ecology, geology, and soil science. Lecture, field, and lab studies emphasize standard field techniques, experimental design, analysis of data, and written and oral presentation. Small team projects test the original questions in the functioning of natural ecosystems. Admission by application; see Axess. Prerequisites: BIO 141 or EESS 160 (formerly GES 160), or equivalent. GER: DB-NatSci

5 units, Spr (Chiariello, N; Dirzo, R; Field, C; Fendorf, S; Freyberg, D; Matson, P), alternate years, not given next year

EARTHSYS 195. Effectively Communicating Environmental Concepts

For seniors in the Earth Systems major only. How to communicate earth systems issues to non-experts. Audience-specific writing assignments, peer editing. WIM

4 units, Win (Staff)

EARTHSYS 199. Honors Program in Earth Systems

1-9 units, Aut (Staff), Win (Staff), Spr (Staff), Sum (Staff)

EARTHSYS 205. Political Economy of Energy Policy

Theoretical frameworks used by political scientists, sociologists, economists, and other intellectuals to understand how societies make and implement public policies related to energy and how the energy industry responds. Topics include theories of the state, monopoly and regulation, public choice, organizational behavior, international agreements, and innovation. Applications of those theories to energy policy issues, such as ethanol, climate change, energy security, the role of national oil companies in the world oil market, the functioning of OPEC, and the California electricity crisis. Prerequisite: application.

4 units, Win (Victor, D)

EARTHSYS 215. Free Trade, NAFTA, and the Environment

New forms of environmental governance stipulated within NAFTA policy. Topics include: theories of free trade, economic liberalization, and transnational environmental governance; green technology transfers; agricultural and industrial economies and implications for workers; transboundary conservation, water, and air quality issues in the N. American west.

4-5 units, Spr (Simon, G)

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