LARTS 369 – Topics in Environmental Science
Environmental studies deals with relationships between humans and environments. How do these relationships mediate or exacerbate human/ environmental problems? What are the problems with, and solutions to, overpopulation, pollution, and resource use? Answers to these questions are lifelong queries, and in this course students will learn what they need to know to continue the search. Students will not concern themselves with how they feel about environmental issues, but rather will focus on what they know and how they can use this knowledge to understand problems and to act in ways that improve the human condition. (2 credits, GE) Cole

LARTS 378 – Acoustics: Theory and Practice
This course traces an established arc from theory to practice in architectural acoustics. The course begins with the study of fundamental physical concepts such as acceleration and pressure, as well as the mechanisms underlying human hearing. Supported by these physical principles, the course studies vibrating systems and sound sources, sound propagation in the free field, and wave phenomena associated with boundaries and objects. We then bring sound indoors to explore concepts in room acoustics such as absorption and reverberation. We will also look at the basics of sound reinforcement and recording systems, focusing on those features most relevant to performing musicians. Familiarity with algebra, trigonometry and classical physics is helpful but not necessary; all required math will be presented and reviewed in class. (2 credits, GE) Faculty

LARTS 464 – Natural Disasters and Catastrophes
In this course students will have the opportunity to integrate the basics of earth science and the natural world through the study of what we know about the causes, locations, and effects of natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunami, volcanoes, floods, meteorite strikes, landslides, and hurricanes. Natural disasters can seriously disrupt the basic function of societies, posing significant and widespread threats to life, property, and the environment. Though we have improved our disaster warning, response, and recovery systems, our engineered structures, political and cultural trends, and emergency management and responses may have lulled us into a false sense of security. This course will investigate how loss of life and property damage can be minimized by using geologic knowledge to improve upon disaster response and relief. (2 credits, GE) Cole

LARTS 465 – Energy in the 21st Century
Some people are confused about why not much progress appears to have been made in phasing out polluting, nonrenewable resources like oil, gas, and coal and transitioning to alternative nonpolluting, renewable energies. This course takes a non-traditional approach to this issue in that it explores the benefits of fossil fuels as well as the stumbling blocks to implementing alternative energy technologies such as hydropower, wave power, biomass, solar, geothermal, wind, hydrogen and nuclear energies. Science, technology, policy, and societal concerns will be discussed in a seminar style in which students research and make presentations on each type of energy. We will also discuss the “smart” use of energy, as well as the storage, transportation, housing, and consumption of energy. We will conclude by discussing and creating potential policies for the expedited phasing in of alternative technologies, addressing regional, strategic, health, safety, and environmental concerns. (2 credits, GE) Cole