This course covers the use of ecological and thermodynamic principles to examine interactions between humans and the natural environment. Topics include conservation and constitutive laws, box models, feedback, thermodynamic concepts, energy in natural and engineered systems, basic transport concepts, life cycle analysis and related economic methods.
Topics such as renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, green buildings, and mitigation of climate change are illustrated with quantitative case studies. Case studies are team-oriented and may include numerical simulations and design exercises. Some programming experience is desirable but not a prerequisite. Instruction and practice in oral and written communication are provided.