New GenEd Courses

Look for them in the fall 2019 course schedule.

 

Chemistry of Global Environmental Issues

Science and Technology, Chemistry 0877
Global warming. Climate change. Ozone Layer. Carbon Footprint. Ocean Acidification. Pollution. The Greenhouse Gas Effect. The ramifications of these issues, for the environment you live in are debated in such venues as the living (and dorm) room, the news, the halls of Congress, and the United Nations. The primary objective of this course is to pull back the veil on the scientific aspects of these topics while giving you the scientific background so that you can better understand and evaluate the potential impact of these significant environmental topics.

 

Environmental Life Cycle Analysis: Does Buying Green Matter?

Quantitative Literacy, Earth and Environmental Science (EES) 0874
With increasing societal awareness of environmental sustainability, many industry and business sectors have prioritized the development and application of gree technology and/or green processes over the course of a product’s life span. Life cycle analysis (LCA) is a scientific methodology that systematically examines both cumulative and potential evironmental impacts of a product over its entire life cycle, ranging from the extraction of raw Earth materials to its disposal when all the materials ultimately return to the Earth. LCA can also provide comparative impacts among the different products, and both campanies and consumers benefit from the evironmental rating systems for their marketing and decision making processes. Through this course, we will learn how LCA model works in detail, using real-world examples, such as paper vs plastic bags, cathode ray tube (CRT) vs liquid crystal display (LCD) technology, as well as electronic wastes.

 

Evil Plots

Quantitative Literacy, Earth and Environmental Science (EES) 0873
Computer technology and the internet have produced a glut of digital information that can’t be communicated without using charts and graphs. But like all forms of human communication, graphs can fib a little or lie outright. There are three basic ways data visualizations can go wrong: (1) The plot can be evil, designed to persuade or mislead rather than inform; (2) the data set may be suspect (too small, biased, or full of errors); or (3) even if the plot and data are okay, they may not support the claims being made. In this class, we will explore the representation and misrepresentation of data, learn the questions to ask about data quality, and how to spot falsehoods and fallacies in the digital age. Examples will be drawn from science, politics, marketing, business and more. Protect yourself by learning to spot evil plots!

 

Media in a Hyper-Mediated World

Human Behavior, Media Studies and Production 0873
The Internet-fueled democratization of media creation has enabled anyone to be a publisher, and has given audiences almost infinite choices — with both great and
questionable effects. In a world of information abundance, it can be difficult to discern fact from opinion and truth from fiction. We need to know how to wade through this barrage of information with a critical eye, to be better informed and ultimately become creators of media ourselves. Media in a Hyper-Mediated World is a course designed to help students navigate 21st century media, starting by becoming active users of media, not just passive consumers. Students will employ principles of media literacy in analyzing and creating messages on a variety of topics using a combination of writing, image production, sound production and creative work with digital media. In order to become active participants in an information society, students will examine the factors that assist them in acting responsibly in media environments.