Barbara Whitten

Physics, Environmental Science, Feminist and Gender Studies

Colorado College

Materials Contributed through SERC-hosted Projects

Activities (2)

Energy Audit and Retrofit part of Integrate:Workshops:Teaching Environmental Justice: Interdisciplinary Approaches:Activities
One project that I have used in intermediate level physics and environmental science classes is the Energy Audit and Retrofit. Here is an outline of the project from my syllabus: We will spend some time this block working on a class project to retrofit a house to be more energy efficient. This lab will teach you some of the basics of energy transfer, as well as some practical skills in installing weather-stripping, insulation, and such. We will also help a homeowner save money on energy bills, be more comfortable, and live more sustainably. Here is an outline of the project. 1. Understanding heat transfer (Wednesday, November 26, morning) Lecture/demo on conduction, convection, radiation Problem set 3, on heat transfer 2. Practice on a model house (Wednesday, November 26, afternoon) Generate a list of possible changes to make it more efficient Try each alternative and compare energy, emissions, and costs. Which changes will save the most energy? Which change has quickest payback? 3. First visit to house (Monday, December 1, afternoon) Organize ourselves What measurements do we need to make? What equipment do we need to bring? Divide into groups to do various things. Visit the house, meet homeowner, and make necessary measurements. 4. Modeling the house (Wednesday, December 3, afternoon Repeat possible changes with this house. Calculate costs, energy saved, payback time Groups work together to propose appropriate changes 5. Planning our retrofit (Tuesday, December 9 afternoon) Each group reports on its proposal We decide as a class what we will do, and what supplies we need 6. Energy retrofit (Friday, December 12, all day) Purchase necessary materials Meet at house with tools and materials Make changes required 7. Third visit to house to repeat blower door test (Monday, December 15 afternoon) 8. Discussion of final report (Tuesday, December 16 afternoon) 9. Final report due Thursday, December 17 Letter to homeowner detailing changes we made and recommending future changes.

Home Energy Audit/Retrofits part of ACM Pedagogic Resources:ACM/FaCE:Projects:Integrating Sustainability into the Undergraduate Curriculum:Activities
Students learn how to model energy losses in a home, and then audit an existing home. They propose cost effective changes, and calculate the energy saved and payback time. The class decides which changes to make, visits Home Depot to purchase supplies (using the class lab budget), and spend a day at the home making the changes. They write a final report to the homeowner and the instructors. This project plays the role of a lab in thermodynamics classes; we've used it for introductory and advanced classes in chemistry, physics, and environmental science.

Courses (2)

FG215/EV277 Ecofeminism part of Integrate:Workshops:Teaching Environmental Justice: Interdisciplinary Approaches:Courses
Welcome to ecofeminism! This class connects ideas about feminism and social justice with those of environmental degradation, using domination as a common theme. We'll look at potential links between the domination of women by men, of people of color by white people, of people of the Global South by those of the North, and of the natural world by human beings. We will study environmental issues in this broader framework. This block we will focus on the linked issues of sustainability and global climate change. We'll examine both the local and global aspects of these issues, as well as the relationship between these two levels.

Sustainability Courses at Colorado College part of ACM Pedagogic Resources:ACM/FaCE:Projects:Integrating Sustainability into the Undergraduate Curriculum:Courses
A number of Colorado College classes that address sustainability are located on a website at The enrollment key is RachelCarson


Gender and Service Learning in Environmental Justice part of Integrate:Workshops:Teaching Environmental Justice: Interdisciplinary Approaches:Essays
Barbara Whitten, , Colorado College I am very interested in teaching environmental justice, and work to incorporate it into most of the Environmental and Feminist and Gender Studies classes I teach. I've been ...

Events and Communities

Integrating Sustainability into the Undergraduate Curriculum - 2010

InTeGrate Environmental Justice Workshop