Courses & Schedules

This course provides hands-on experience with laboratory analysis techniques commonly used in physical geography. Topics include stratigraphic and laboratory analyses, report writing, and data presentation. Data collected from soil and sediment profiles and tree rings will be used to interpret environmental conditions. Students will follow laboratory methods, protocols, and use analytical equipment. Laboratory fee may be charged; see current Schedule of Classes.

This research seminar emphasizes a current topic of applied and theoretical interest in the field of conservation biology. Students investigate the topic through a field research project, along with readings and discussions. Students contribute to all phases of the research, from generating hypotheses and collecting data in the field, to analyzing the data and writing a scientific paper based on the results. Each class focuses on a different topic and related set of field methods.

This course provides a broad introduction to the design and management of agroecosystems. Students explore the theory and practice of agroecology and how it's principles address social and environmental problems in the global food system. Students are introduced to agroecological production methods, including soil management, water systems, biodiversity development, integrated pest management, flower production and urban gardening methods, and applications of these methods in a student garden. Approximately half of this course is classroom-based instruction while the other half is hands-on garden-based work.

This field and lab course focuses on the applied aspects of plant propagation and the appropriate placement of native plants in landscape and restoration settings in California. Topics include native plants and plant communities, techniques for selecting, collecting and replicating plants for production, and restoration site preparation and maintenance. Addition topics may include ethnobotany, career opportunities, restoration principals, botany, plant disease and sanitation, invasive plant removal, wildcrafting, guest speakers and fieldtrips.

Lecture and field course introducing major concepts and practical aspects of restoration ecology and land management. Topics include: the conservation context of restoration, restoration goals, measuring success, experimental approaches, dynamic systems and change over time, disturbance, restoring animal populations and the role of animals in ecosystem restoration, and educational elements of restoration. Practical techniques covered include: seed collection, ex-situ seed and plant management and propagation, invasive species removal, planting native species, and others. Topics are addressed in a variety of diverse local systems.

An introduction to energy management in residential and commercial buildings, focusing on space heating and cooling, and hot water. Fundamentals of heat transfer, thermal properties of building materials, building load calculations, and energy economics.

An overview of energy management approaches in residential and commercial settings that involve electrical devices, including lighting, motors, and HVAC. Fundamentals of electricity, electric power delivery, and the workings of common appliances; energy economics. Strong algebra background and PHYS 210 recommended.

Fundamentals and advanced applications of passive solar design, including: site analysis and design; passive applications (sunspace, trombe wall, convective loop, direct, and indirect gain systems); passive performance predictions; and economic payback analysis. Computer applications and student design projects.

Course will focus on functional design of small-scale wind, photovoltaic, biomass, and hydroelectric energy sources. Siting, evaluating potentially available power, design of fully operable installation, and by-products and waste streams will be discussed. Energy storage mechanisms, interconnections to existing energy networks, and energy cost comparisons will be examined.

Applications laboratory addressing state-of-the-art computer programs in this field. Focus on simulation-and-design programs utilized in residential and commercial building compliance. Student projects and presentations.