Most of the major categories of adaptive behavior can be seen in all animals. This course begins with the evolution of behavior, the driver of nervous system evolution, reviewed using concepts developed in ethology, sociobiology, other comparative studies, and in studies of brain evolution. The roles of various types of plasticity are considered, as well as foraging and feeding, defensive and aggressive behavior, courtship and reproduction, migration and navigation, social activities and communication, with contributions of inherited patterns and cognitive abilities. Both field and laboratory based studies are reviewed; and finally, human behavior is considered within the context of primate studies.
Applied ecology is a framework for the application of knowledge about ecosystems so that actions can be taken to create a better balance and harmony between people and nature in order to reduce human impact on other beings and their habitats.
This Science NetLinks lesson helps students understand how environmental "surprises" and scientific uncertainty related to endocrine disruptors influence perceptions of benefits and costs, and thus the decisions that people make. This lesson uses an interactive E-Sheet.
Has your attention recently been caught by news of coastal catastrophes such as hurricanes and tsunamis? Do you wonder why so many coastal communities in the world are vulnerable to flooding and other coastal hazards? Have you considered what coastal flood protections cities like Houston and Miami will need in the future to protect their residents? This course will provide a better understanding of these phenomena. We present a global perspective of coastal landscapes, the geologic processes responsible for their formation, and ways that society responds to hazards like sea level rise and catastrophic weather events. You will participate in active learning exercises such as analyzing real-world datasets and applying critical thinking to real-world societal problems while investigating a coastal community.
An introduction to theoretical studies of systems of many interacting components, the individual dynamics of which may be simple, but the collective dynamics of which are often nonlinear and analytically intractable. Topics vary from year to year. Format includes both pedagogical lectures and round-table reviews of current literature. Subjects of interest include: problems in natural science (e.g., geology, ecology, and biology) where quantitative theory is still in development; problems in physics, such as turbulence, that demonstrate powerful concepts such as scaling and universality; and modern computational methods for the simulation and study of such problems. Discussions in context of contemporary experimental or observational data.
This course provides a review of physical, chemical, ecological, and economic principles used to examine interactions between humans and the natural environment. Mass balance concepts are applied to ecology, chemical kinetics, hydrology, and transportation; energy balance concepts are applied to building design, ecology, and climate change; and economic and life cycle concepts are applied to resource evaluation and engineering design. Numerical models are used to integrate concepts and to assess environmental impacts of human activities. Problem sets involve development of MATLABĺ¨ models for particular engineering applications. Some experience with computer programming is helpful but not essential.
" We will cover fundamentals of ecology, considering Earth as an integrated dynamic system. Topics include coevolution of the biosphere, geosphere, atmosphere and oceans; photosynthesis and respiration; the hydrologic, carbon and nitrogen cycles. We will examine the flow of energy and materials through ecosystems; regulation of the distribution and abundance of organisms; structure and function of ecosystems, including evolution and natural selection; metabolic diversity; productivity; trophic dynamics; models of population growth, competition, mutualism and predation. This course is designated as Communication-Intensive; instruction and practice in oral and written communication provided. Biology is a recommended prerequisite."
Much of the general population believes that the energy sources we depend on are perpetual. While people believe that energy use is the culprit for environmental damage, they are not aware of the methods and principles by which energy conversion devices operate. This course will provide you with knowledge and information on the main operating principles of devices/appliances in common use and will help you in making energy efficient and economical choices. The objective of the course is to expose you to energy efficiency in day to day life in order to save money and energy and thereby protect the environment. I hope the information in this course will help you become an environmentally-responsible individual of this Global Village.
Examines theories and practice of environmental justice, concerns about race, poverty, and the environment in both domestic and international contexts, exploring and critically analyzing philosophies, frameworks, and strategies underlying environmental justice movements. Examines case studies of environmental injustices, including: distribution of environmental quality and health, unequal enforcement of regulations, unequal access to resources to respond to environmental problems, and the broader political economy of decision-making around environmental issues. Explores how environmental justice movements relate to broader sustainable development goals and strategies. This class explores the foundations of the environmental justice movement, current and emerging issues, and the application of environmental justice analysis to environmental policy and planning. It examines claims made by diverse groups along with the policy and civil society responses that address perceived inequity and injustice. While focused mainly on the United States, international issues and perspectives are also considered.
The year is 2050 and your once-idyllic beachfront vacation home is now flooded up to the second story. The crab your family has enjoyed every Christmas for as long as you can remember has now become an endangered species. The oceans have changed. In Earth 540, Oceanography for Educators, we explore the mechanisms that lead to sea level rise and ocean acidification. We strive to understand how natural processes such as ocean currents, the gulf-stream, tides, plate tectonics, and the Coriolis Effect, affect our oceans and ocean basins. We then predict how man-made issues such as climate change and overfishing will affect our beloved waters and our livelihoods. Want to see into the future? Then this course is for you!
Estuarine Geography utilizes an ecological approach to understanding physical and biological parameters to estuarine evolution.. Superimposed upon that spatial site and situation are social, human, cultural and political activities. Humans role in estuarine evolution is discussed at length.
Review of IPE field covering previous and core research focusing on dual national objectives in a global context, namely pursuit of power and pursuit of wealth. Surveys major paradigms of international political economy, including neoclassical economics, development and ecological economics, lateral pressure, and perspectives and structural views of power relations. Examines interaction of politics and economics on international trade, capital flows, foreign investment, intellectual property rights, international migration, and select issues in foreign economic policy in global context. Examines the evolution of international economic institutions and attendant political implications. Open to undergraduates by permission of instructor.
The Future of Food is an introductory-level science course that emphasizes the challenges facing food systems in the 21st century, and issues of sustainability for agriculture and other food production activities, as well as the challenges posed by food insecurity and modern diets to human health and well-being. Topics covered include introduction to the coupled-system perspective, historical development of food systems, socioeconomic aspects of the food system, interaction of the food system with the Earth's environment including soil, water, biota and climate, and the future of the food system considering potential changes such as in climate, urbanization, and demography.
This practicum focuses on applying the principles of sustainability to improve the quality of life and activity along the Foshan downtown riverfront. The City has recently engaged in several planning efforts that, with the help of consultants and experts, will help to identify strategies to revitalize the City's center and establish a new downtown. This practicum will compliment these efforts by focusing on planning and design options in and around the Pearl River, a now underutilized waterway that runs through the City's new downtown.
Human-caused climate change represents one of the great environmental challenges of our time. As it is inextricably linked with issues of energy policy, a familiarity with the fundamentals of climate change is critical for those looking to careers in the energy field. To appreciate the societal, environmental, and economic implications of policies governing greenhouse gas emissions, one must understand the basic underlying science. METEO 469 serves to lay down the fundamental scientific principles behind climate change and global warming. A firm grounding in the science is then used as a launching point for exploring issues involving climate change impacts and mitigation.
Leaders in the field of biological diversity present an overview of emergent issues in biodiversity, from the surrounding flora and fauna to the genes deep within us. (117 minutes)
This design-based subject provides a first course in energy and thermo-sciences with applications to sustainable energy-efficient architecture and building technology. No previous experience with subject matter is assumed. After taking this subject, students will understand introductory thermodynamics and heat transfer, know the leading order factors in building energy use, and have creatively employed their understanding of energy fundamentals and knowledge of building energy use in innovative building design projects. This year, the focus will be on design projects that will complement the new NSTAR/MIT campus efficiency program.
The studio will focus on the district of Gaoming, located in the northwest of the Pearl River Delta (PRD) - the fastest growing and most productive region of China. The District has recently completed a planning effort in which several design institutes and a Hong Kong planning firm prepared ideas for a new central area near the river. The class will complement these efforts by focusing on planning and design options on the waterfront of the proposed new district and ways of integrating water/hydrological factors into all aspects and land uses of a modern city (residential, commercial, industrial) - including watershed and natural ecosystem protection, economic and recreational activities, transportation, and tourism.
What factors lead to a natural disaster? What causes a famine? Why do cities flood? According to a recent article in The Atlantic, Houston's flooding during the 2017 Hurricane Harvey was primarily caused by impervious pavement which prevents the absorption of water into the land. This example illustrates how nature and society are interlinked, which is the main focus of Geography 30, Penn State's introductory course to nature-society geography. In addition to examining the linkages between human development and natural hazards, this course will also explore human society's connection to food systems, climate change, urbanization and biodiversity. The course will also cover topics of ethics and decision making in order to help students evaluate the tradeoffs of these interconnections.
\The Atlantic\" needs to be made into a link pointing to this: https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2017/08/why-cities-flood/538251/"
- Environmental Science
- Environmental Studies
- Cultural Geography
- Material Type:
- Full Course
- Penn State University
- Provider Set:
- Penn State's College of Earth and Mineral Sciences (http:// e-education.psu.edu/oer/)
- Brian King
- Chongming Wang
- Karl Zimmerer
- Petra Tschakert
- Date Added:
Geography 431 is designed to further understanding of the natural processes of aquatic ecosystems, management of water resources, and threats to sustaining water quantity. Develop awareness and appreciation of the perspectives about water as a precious resource, commodity, and sometimes hazard. Learn how and why water is distributed unevenly around the Earth. Examine how resource management decisions are strongly related to water availability, quantity, and quality. The course examines water resources management; dams and dam removal; provision of safe potable water; threats to water quantity and quality; land use changes; the water economy; water laws and policy; institutions for water management at the global, national, regional, and local scale; and issues of water security and climate change.