This semester, I'm teaching three classes: ENSP 200 Global Environmental Issues, ENSP 202 Quantitative Methods, and ENSP 438 Small-scale Energy Sources. ENSP 200 is new to me, but I taught ENSP 202 and ENSP 438 last year.
For the Global Environmental Issues class, I'm going to take an approach where I cover a few science fundamentals (population growth, pollution, biodiversity) followed by a few social science fundamentals (markets, institutions, ethics) and then use these as analysis tools for some contemporary environmental problems. This approach is influenced by the Environment and Society text written by Robbins, Hintz, and Moore.
Students often have trouble translating their mathematics knowledge from completely specified problems that they compute to more ambiguous questions requiring assumptions and estimations. ENSP 202 was created to help students make this transition. My plan is to continue the tradition of building reasoning skills but also exposing students to modern computational techniques from spreadsheets to scripting languages.
This semester, I want to build on the project partnerships we created in last semesters project classes. Area professionals from the Sonoma County Water Agency and other organizations volunteered their time to critique student projects. My plan is to continue this model and use some online collaboration tools (Google Docs) to make coordination easier for students and volunteers.