Spring 2010 Course Description

Advanced Topics in Public Policy

Section Title: Energy Technology and Policy
Instructor(s): Michael Webber
Course: P A 388K - Advanced Topics in Public Policy
(previously Seminar in Topics in Public Policy)
Unique Number: 62465
Day & Time: Tuesdays, Thursdays, 8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
Room: CPE 2.204
Waitlist Information:For LBJ Students: UT Waitlist Information
Notes: Cross List with ME 397; ME 397M, EER 396; MAN 385.64; CHEM 359; CHEM 384

This course fulfills requirements for the following specialization(s):

Description: This course will give upper-division undergraduate students in engineering and graduate students in engineering, energy & earth resources, business, or public affairs an overview of energy technologies, fuels, environmental impacts and public policies. Topics will be interdisciplinary and will include an introduction to quantitative concepts in energy, including the differences among fuels and energy technologies, energy policy levers, and the societal aspects of energy, such as culture, economics, war, and international affairs. This course will cover brief snippets of energy history, use real-world examples, look forward into the future, and benefit from guest speakers. Emphasis will also be given to the role of Texas as a leader (and laggard) in U.S. and world energy policy.

The course will be interactive and lecture-oriented around current events related to energy. Class attendance and participation is required. Students will be required to blog three times during the semester on energy topics, comment regularly on other studentís blog entries, create an original podcast on a topic that combines energy policy and technologies, conduct an individual research project, and take a final exam that covers the lectures and reading assignments.

Course web site: Announcements, lectures, and course documents will be posted on the course Blackboard site

Grades and Assignments:
1. 25% Individual research project
2. 25% Final Exam
3. 20% Podcast
4. 15% Class participation and discussion
5. 15% Blogging about current events related to energy

Required Reading and Supplies:
1. Select portions to be distributed by the instructor
2. I-clicker
3. Additional readings will be required throughout the semester, and will be made available as PDFs.

Class participation and discussion:
Attendance is required and roll will be taken daily through the use of sign-up sheets or the i-clicker.

Blogging: Students will be invited to join webberenergyblog.blogspot.com, where they will be required to make one substantive blog entry three times during the semester. During other weeks, students are required to post comments on blog entries by other students. All blog entries and comments for the week must be registered by 11:59 p.m. on the Sunday at the end of the week for which they are assigned.

Final Exam: The final exam will be closed-note, closed-book and will cover the lectures and reading assignments.

Podcasting: Students will be required to make an original podcast. Training and the appropriate computers, equipment and software will be made available by the Faculty Innovation Center. Podcasts are due by 5:00 p.m. on the Thursday of each for which they are assigned.

Individual Research Project: Students will be responsible for writing a research paper on a topic that combines energy policy and technologies.

Observance of University policies: Standard University policies relating to accommodation for students with disabilities and to scholastic dishonesty will be followed in this course. Information regarding these policies may be found in the General Information Bulletin. The University of Texas at Austin provides upon request appropriate academic adjustments for qualified students with disabilities. For more information, contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 471-6259, 471-4641 TDD or the College of Engineering Director of Students with Disabilities at 471-4321.

Measurement and evaluation: Standard overall course/instructor evaluations will be administered at the end of the course, as well as periodic topical evaluations specifically focused on course improvement.

Return to Spring 2010 Course Schedule