The Energy Conundrum
Dale H. Easley
University of Dubuque Author Profile
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This is a lecture aimed at preparing students for making the leap from what is to what ought to be. In it, I present the main sociological theories about poverty and examine several places I've lived—New Orleans, Kenya, and Qatar.
Introductory physical geology for non-majors
Skills and concepts that students must have mastered
Must be able to sketch and label basic plate-tectonic processes and opening of Gulf of Mexico.
Must be able to sketch and label a salt dome.
Must be able to describe the steps in petroleum formation.
How the activity is situated in the course
This activity comes after a basic introduction to petroleum formation and prior to a culminating synthesis of how we should utilize natural resources.
Content/concepts goals for this activity
The goal is for students to use a basic understanding of energy resources as input for deciding how they should be used.
Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity
Synthesis is the goal of this activity. The students must synthesize scientific, sociological, and ethical ideas into a consistent world view.
Other skills goals for this activity
All our students struggle with writing. This is another opportunity to work on it.
Description of the activity/assignment
To prepare for this assignment, students first study basic plate tectonics, especially continental rifting and the creation of the Gulf of Mexico. They then study how this results in petroleum deposits. After the attached lecture, they write about how society can best utilize resources.
Determining whether students have met the goals
There is no correct answer to an "ought" question, but there needs to be consistency in argument, accuracy in supporting facts, and consideration of opposing views. More information about assessment tools and techniques.
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