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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Kevin T Hodgson
BSE 190
Seattle Campus

Special Topics

Introduces current topics or courses under development to address the latest issues in bioresource science and engineering.

Class description

BSE 190B is an introductory course offered online that covers the basics of renewable energy in all of its forms: solar photovoltaics, solar thermal, wind power, geothermal power, hydroelectric power, biomass energy, and tidal power. The course begins with an "energy primer" that lays out the basic fundamentals of energy and energy production in a simple way. This is necessary in order to examine renewable energy sources in a reasonably in-depth manner.

Biomass energy is of particular relevance to those of us living in the Pacific Northwest, due to the abundance of forest resources and the presence of a strong forest products industry. Much work is being done on producing various forms of biofuels from biomass, but there is still a long way to go before any of these products can be economically viable.

A brief coverage is also given of the policy decisions facing the US and societal concerns in order to promote the use of renewable energy. The reality is that most of the forms are quite a ways from being viable, with the one exception perhaps being wind power. The other issue is that despite the hopes of those who are very anti-fossil fuels, the ability of all the forms of renewable energy combined cannot even come close to replacing energy derived from fossil fuels any time soon. Therefore, it is highly unlikely that in any of our lifetimes, fossil fuels will be totally replaced by renewable energy generation. However, there is no question that the US should be pursuing the development and utilization of renewable energy sources as expediently as possible.

Please see the complete syllabus for detailed course information. It is located under the "Course Info" tab on the left side of the home page. I sincerely hope that you enjoy the class.

Preliminary class website will be available on Monday AM, July 18.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

On-line lectures, quizzes, and exams. Readings in textbook and additional posted readings

Recommended preparation

High school science and algebra

Class assignments and grading

Reading of Powerpoint notes and textbook; Lectures quizzes

Graded Quizzes and Exams


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Kevin T Hodgson
Date: 07/16/2011