This course introduces students to Denver and the Front Range region as we investigate the current environmental issues this region faces today. We explore Denver's environmental framework through visits to environmental non-profits and sustainable business, touring a recycling facility, and hearing from guest speakers, as well as by engaging in collaborative sustainability initiatives on our campus. Excursions to places such as Red Rocks Park and historic Lower Downtown allow us to trace Denver's past through geological and historical lenses. Finally, we even have a chance to get our hands dirty while we learn about alpine environments and help to restore recreational trails in the Front Range.
This course takes a detailed look at human/environmental interactions, with particular emphasis on the explosive population growth and development along the Front Range. Students study and compare elements of Denver's urban development trends to the suburban development and sprawl which is prevalent in the greater metro Denver region. Students also travel to Summit County to explore regional natural resource management and the environmental impacts associated with large-scale ski resorts and development.
This course examines key issues surrounding energy in American society. Using Colorado's environment as a backdrop, students learn about the different types of conventional, alternative and renewable energy as well as the associated benefits and risks that each option presents. We explore these associated benefits and risks from the raw materials used to create energy all the way to the outputs of energy consumption. With visits to a coal-fired power plant, Colorado mining environments and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, among others, we examine energy from multiple angles and perspectives. These experiences help us effectively discuss and evaluate America's transition to a new energy future: one that promotes environmental and social responsibility.