ECOL 592 Interdisciplinary Seminar

Future Offerings

How much to mitigate? calculating the social cost of carbon

Rich Conant, Jess Burkhardt

Description:The EPA and other federal agencies use estimates of the social cost of carbon (SC-CO2) to value the climate impacts of rulemakings. The SC-CO2 is a measure, in dollars, of the long-term damage done by a ton of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in a given year. This dollar figure also represents the value of damages avoided for a small emission reduction (i.e., the benefit of a CO2 reduction). The SC-CO2 is meant to be a comprehensive estimate of climate change damages and includes changes in net agricultural productivity, human health, property damages from increased flood risk, and changes in energy system costs, such as reduced costs for heating and increased costs for air conditioning. After completing this course, students should be able to: --identify the key data required to calculate the social cost of carbon --apply those data to estimate the social cost of carbon and the associated uncertainties --assess the strengths, weaknesses, and limitations of the use of the social cost of carbon for determining whether or not to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions Evaluation: --students will be expected to go through the process of estimating the social cost of carbon, probably as a team - understanding the issue, figuring out what they need to know to do the calculation, gathering and analyzing data (running into many roadblocks along the way), understanding assumptions, and producing a report Instructors role in grading and assignments --instructors will guide student learning and work with students on their SCC estimates. Grades will be based on completeness and presentation of a final report.

Credits: 1
Restrictions:
First Meeting: 10/16/2017
Meeting Times: T 12:30-2:30 pm
Classroom: tbd
CRN: 60164
Section Number: 1
Cross Listed: no
Enrollment Limit: 20
Background:
Course Text:
Instructor Contact Info:
      Rich Conant rich.conant@colostate.edu 1-1919
      Jess Burkhardt jesse.berkhardt@colosate.edu 1-6951

 

Current Offerings: Spring 2017

Dispersal and Population Connectivity

Colleen Webb

Description:Understanding the patterns of larval dispersal is a major goal of 21st century ecology. These patterns determine the probability of gene flow, or connectivity, among populations. Population connectivity, in turn, has major consequences for all aspects of an organism's biology, from individual behavior to metapopulation dynamics and from evolution within metapopulations to the origin and extinction of species. Further, understanding patterns of dispersal is critical for conservation (e.g. the design of effective networks of reserves) and management (e.g. the development of sustainable harvest). The objective of this course is to better understand dispersal and population connectivity and their implications for ecology, evolution and conservation. We will focus on both terrestrial and marine systems in order to better abstract important concepts of dispersal and connectivity. The seminar will use a discussion format (approximately two papers per week: one terrestrial and one marine), and grading will be based on weekly participation.

Credits: 1
Restrictions:
First Meeting: 1/17/2017
Meeting Times: Thursdays from 1 - 2 pm
Classroom: TBD
CRN: 10362
Section Number: 1
Cross Listed:
Enrollment Limit: 20
Background:
Course Text:
Instructor Contact Info:
      Colleen Webb colleen.webb@colostate.edu 491-4289

The Ecology of Drought: A distributed graduate seminar

Melinda Smith, Alan Knapp

Description:Global climate models forecast a future characterized by more increased precipitation variability, including extended dry periods and more frequent periods of extreme drought. Indeed, recent precipitation trends indicate such events are already occurring more frequently than in the recent past. This Distributed Graduate Seminar (DGS) is a product of Drought-Net, a National Science Foundation-funded Research Coordination Network aimed at assessing terrestrial ecosystem sensitivity to drought (www.drought-net.org). The overarching goal of Drought-Net is to comprehensively and comparatively assess the sensitivity of a broad range of terrestrial ecosystems to drought. This DGS will occur at the following institutions (ASU, UNM, CSU, and potentially others). We will hold weekly one hour-long lectures and demonstrations via teleconference focusing on the ecology of drought and drought experiments. Presentations will be recorded so they can be viewed during convenient times depending on the institutions involved. Instructors will answer question submitted via email and these responses will be copied to the entire group of participants. In addition, each local institution is encouraged to also participate in the development of a database of drought-related experimental results that we can use in an cross-institution synthesis activity planned during the semester and that will include a meeting of a subset of participants from each participating institution toward the end of the semester.

Credits: 1
Restrictions:
First Meeting: 1/17/2017
Meeting Times: TBD
Classroom:
CRN: 10363
Section Number: 2
Cross Listed:
Enrollment Limit: 10
Background:
Course Text:
Instructor Contact Info:
      Melinda Smith melinda.smith@colostate.edu 1-7155
      Alan Knapp alan.knapp@colostate.edu 1-7010

Exchange of N2O between soils and the atmosphere: patterns, processes and analytical tools

Joe von Fischer, Emily Stuchiner

Description:Nitrous oxide (N2O) is a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. N2O receives considerably less scientific and public attention than CO2, in part because it has a smaller climate impact than CO2, but also because the processes leading to N2O emissions are considerably more complex and therefore difficult to predict. This seminar will examine the factors that regulate N2O emission rates, and the tools that have been used to study N2O fluxes. The primary approach will be from an ecosystem perspective, with dives into details of the microbial processes and zoom out to the global budget. Class will assume a basic understanding of the nitrogen cycle. Class will primarily entail group discussions of papers. We will select weekly readings that address the factors that influence N2O production over a variety of spatial and temporal scales. We aim to tailor this course to student interests, but there are several key objectives we hope to fulfill throughout the semester: 1. Gain familiarity with the methods used to measure N2O. 2. Develop a mechanistic understanding of the nitrogen cycle and the particular microbial processes that contribute to N2O flux. 3. Compile a library (eg. a Mendeley folder) of papers on this topic that span a broad array of ecosystems, spatial and temporal scales, and methodologies. 4. Develop a professional network with guest speakers and lecturers who are experts in this field (in-person and/or over Skype). This class will meet once weekly and the meeting time will be determined based on registered students' availability. Note: meeting time options are limited to the conventional� work week (Monday-Friday 9 AM to 5 PM), and if no meeting time works for everyone a time will be selected that maximizes participation.

Credits: 1
Restrictions:
First Meeting: 1/17/2017
Meeting Times: TBD
Classroom: A/Z E426
CRN: 28670
Section Number: 3
Cross Listed:
Enrollment Limit: 12
Background:
Course Text:
Instructor Contact Info:
      Joe von Fischer Joe.von_Fischer@ColoState.EDU 1-2679
      Emily Stuchiner stuchine@colostate.edu

 

Previous Offerings

Previous ECOL 592 course descriptions available on the Past 592 page.