This class presents the application of principles of soil mechanics. It considers the following topics: the origin and nature of soils; soil classification; the effective stress principle; hydraulic conductivity and seepage; stress-strain-strength behavior of cohesionless and cohesive soils and application to lateral earth stresses; bearing capacity and slope stability; consolidation theory and settlement analyses; and laboratory and field methods for evaluation of soil properties in design practice.
Our human society consists of many intertwined Large Scale Socio-Technical Systems (LSSTS), such as infrastructures, industrial networks, the financial systems etc. Environmental pressures created by these systems on EarthŰŞs carrying capacity are leading to exhaustion of natural resources, loss of habitats and biodiversity, and are causing a resource and climate crisis. To avoid this sustainability crisis, we urgently need to transform our production and consumption patterns. Given that we, as inhabitants of this planet, are part of a complex and integrated global system, where and how should we begin this transformation? And how can we also ensure that our transformation efforts will lead to a sustainable world? LSSTS and the ecosystems that they are embedded in are known to be Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS). According to John Holland CAS are "...a dynamic network of many agents (which may represent cells, species, individuals, firms, nations) acting in parallel, constantly acting and reacting to what the other agents are doing. The control of a CAS tends to be highly dispersed and decentralized. If there is to be any coherent behavior in the system, it will have to to arise from competition and cooperation among the agents themselves. The overall behavior of the system is the result of a huge number of decisions made every moment" by many individual agents. Understanding Complex Adaptive Systems requires tools that themselves are complex to create and understand. Shalizi defines Agent Based Modeling as "An agent is a persistent thing which has some state we find worth representing, and which interacts with other agents, mutually modifying each otherŰŞs states. The components of an agent-based model are a collection of agents and their states, the rules governing the interactions of the agents and the environment within which they live." This course will explore the theory of CAS and their main properties. It will also teach you how to work with Agent Based Models in order to model and understand CAS.
This course details the quantitative treatment of chemical processes in aquatic systems such as lakes, oceans, rivers, estuaries, groundwaters, and wastewaters. It includes a brief review of chemical thermodynamics that is followed by discussion of acid-base, precipitation-dissolution, coordination, and reduction-oxidation reactions. Emphasis is on equilibrium calculations as a tool for understanding the variables that govern the chemical composition of aquatic systems and the fate of inorganic pollutants.
Learn how organisms interact with one another and how they interact with the environment. Key ecological concepts in the organization of organisms, population growth, and community dynamics which are important components of pre-university ecology curriculum will also be covered.
This course will introduce the student to the major concepts of biotechnology. The student will discuss genetic engineering of plants and animals and the current major medical, environmental, and agricultural applications of each. There are also a variety of topics that this course will cover after ranging from nanobiotechnology to environmental biotechnology. Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to: identify and describe the fields of biotechnology; compare and contrast forward and reverse genetics and the way they influence biodiversity; compare and contrast systemic studies of the genome, transcriptome, and proteome; explain how genome projects are performed, and discuss the completion and the information processing in these projects; describe and explain the principles of existing gene therapies; design strategies that support genetic counseling; explain and analyze DNA fingerprints, and compare DNA fingerprints to non-DNA biometrics; describe and compare bioremediation technologies in air, water, and soil; design strategies for generating genetically modified organisms, and discuss ethical concerns; discuss emerging fields in biotechnology. (Biology 403)
Design and construction of breakwaters and closure dams in estuaries and rivers. Functional requirements, determination of boundary conditions, spatial and constructional design and construction aspects of breakwaters and dams consisting of rock, sand and caissons.
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.
Laboratory or field work in atmospheric science and oceanography. To be arranged with department faculty. Consult with department Education Office. This is an undergraduate introductory laboratory subject in ocean chemistry and measurement. There are three main elements to the course: oceanic chemical sampling and analysis, instrumentation development for the ocean environment, and the larger field of ocean science. This course is offered as part of the MIT/WHOI Joint Program in Oceanography/Applied Ocean Science and Engineering.
For Institute students in all departments interested in the behavior of chemicals in the environment (see ESD listings for other subjects). Emphasis on man-made chemicals, their movement through water, air, soil, and their eventual fate. Physical transport, as well as chemical and biological sources and sinks, are discussed. Linkages to health effects, sources and control, and policy aspects.
This course addresses the challenges of defining a relationship between exposure to environmental chemicals and human disease. Course topics include epidemiological approaches to understanding disease causation; biostatistical methods; evaluation of human exposure to chemicals, and their internal distribution, metabolism, reactions with cellular components, and biological effects; and qualitative and quantitative health risk assessment methods used in the U.S. as bases for regulatory decision-making. Throughout the term, students consider case studies of local and national interest.
Introduces the concepts, techniques, and devices used to measure engineering properties of materials. Emphasis on measurement of load-deformation characteristics and failure modes of both natural and fabricated materials. Weekly experiments include data collection, data analysis, and interpretation and presentation of results.
Based on working on exercises on project decision making and planning, the specific context of working abroad in general and in developing countries in particular is illustrated, with regard to socio-cultural aspects, planning and financing of projects, roles of (consulting) engineers and contractors, local materials, techniques and knowledge and environmental issues.
This graduate seminar examines the roles that civil society actors play in international, national, and local environmental governance. We will consider theories pertaining to civil society development, social movement mobilization, and relations between state and non-state actors. During the course of the semester, particular attention will be given to the legitimacy and accountability of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). Case studies of civil society response to specific environmental issues will be used to illustrate theoretical issues and assess the impacts that these actors have on environmental policy and planning.
The Climate Toolkit is a resource manual designed to help the reader navigate the complex and perplexing issue of climate change by providing tools and strategies to explore the underlying science. As such it contains a collection of activities that make use of readily available on-line resources developed by research groups and public agencies. These include web-based climate models, climate data archives, interactive atlases, policy papers, and “solution” catalogs. Unlike a standard textbook, it is designed to help readers do their own climate research and devise their own perspective rather than providing them with a script to assimilate and repeat.
The activities in the manual are divided into five sections that include weather and climate basics, present climate impacts, past climate change, future change and impacts, and strategies for climate mitigation and adaptation. These are followed by three appendices which contain information about the on-line tools used in the activities in this manual; a catalog of on-line and print resources produced by research groups, government agencies, and community groups involved in climate and sustainability work; and background on the history and key players in the international climate negotiation process.
Though originally aimed at undergraduate non-science majors, the manual has been broadened for a wider audience in non-academic settings like community groups, service organizations, workplace study groups, and faith communities.
Also available here: https://pdxscholar.library.pdx.edu/pdxopen/28/
This course will focus upon the geographers bi association of site and situation. The primary goal of the course is to increase the awareness of students through didactic knowledge that is necessary in the planning process. That leads to the course design which in the first part of the semester will focus upon site issues and the last part of the course will focus upon situation issues involving the interactions of the site.
In EARTH 801, you will develop skills in a programming language designed for visual arts and visualization while exploring Earth science topics. Specifically, you'll learn and practice digital graphics capabilities in order to render Earth science concepts that are otherwise difficult to visualize due to complicated space and time scales. Here, you will interact with large, open, freely-available data sets by collecting, plotting, and analyzing them using a variety of computational methods. You'll be ready to teach secondary school students a range of Next Generation Science Standard skills involving data collecting, manipulation, analysis, and plotting. You'll also read and discuss current research regarding the teaching, learning, and evaluation of visualization skills, as well as multiple external representations of science concepts.
This course covers concepts of computation used in analysis of engineering systems. It includes the following topics: data structures, relational database representations of engineering data, algorithms for the solution and optimization of engineering system designs (greedy, dynamic programming, branch and bound, graph algorithms, nonlinear optimization), and introduction to complexity analysis. Object-oriented, efficient implementations of algorithms are emphasized.
Think science has all the answers? Think again. This course will use real, authentic data to explore and investigate modern controversies in Earth Sciences. Use tide gauge records to understand how countries around the world attempt to protect themselves from tsunami events. Process seismic data to predict earthquake recurrence in the New Madrid seismic zone, right here in the breadbasket of the US. Sort through the millions of years of the geologic timeline to shed some light on what actually did, and did not, kill the dinosaurs. Finally, use global atmospheric data to understand how misrepresentation of data can be used to paint a distorted view of past, present, and future climate.
D-Lab: Energy offers a hands-on, project-based approach that engages students in understanding and addressing the applications of small-scale, sustainable energy technology in developing countries where compact, robust, low-cost systems for generating power are required. Projects may include micro-hydro, solar, or wind turbine generators along with theoretical analysis, design, prototype construction, evaluation and implementation. Students will have the opportunity both to travel to Nicaragua during spring break to identify and implement projects. D-Lab: Energy is part of MIT's D-Lab program, which fosters the development of appropriate technologies and sustainable solutions within the framework of international development.
The course considers the growing popularity of sustainability and its implications for the practice of engineering, particularly for the built environment. Two particular methodologies are featured: life cycle assessment (LCA) and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). The fundamentals of each approach will be presented. Specific topics covered include water and wastewater management, energy use, material selection, and construction.