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Three E of Education

"I am interested in teaching about real, complex systems. My focus is ecosystems, including human-dominated ecosystems that are generally taught (incompletely, I feel) within the aegis of economics."


~ Charles A. S. Hall

Introduction to Energy

This course focuses the role of energy efficiency and renewable and traditional energy technology and its role in our world. We focus on passive and energy efficiency technology (e.g. green roofs) and how it can be applied in a day to day setting. In addition we cover material on the energy sources such as: 

     - Solar (photovoltaic) 

     - Wind Turbines

     - Coal 

     - Oil and Gas

     - etc. 

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This course is about ecosystems, what they are, where different types are found and about the ways that the physical environment has led to the specific types of ecosystems found in different parts of the globe. Specific sections in energy flow and nutrient cycling follow. The second half of the course examines specific ecosystems types in some depth. 


Systems Ecology

Systems Ecology introduces the student to a whole new philosophy for thinking about and analyzing nature. One product is the learning of how to develop your own computer models of nature. "Modeling is the formalization and testing of our assumptions about how a system works." Students are given increasingly complex computer-based assignments in which they build models from their own data. The final product is your own computer model of a subject of your interest. 

Charles Hall is a systems ecologist who received his PhD under Howard T. Odum at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Hall is the author or editor of seven books and more than 250 scholarly articles. He is best known for his development of the concept of EROI, or Energy Return on Investment, which is an examination of how organisms, including humans, invest energy in obtaining additional energy to improve biotic or social fitness. He has applied these approaches to fish migration, carbon balance, tropical land use change, and the extraction of petroleum and other fuel s in both natural and human-dominated ecosystems. Presently he is developing a new field, biophysical economics, as a supplement or alternative to conventional neoclassical economics, while applying systems and EROI thinking to a broad series of resource and economic issues. ​


Charles A.S. Hall

Biophysical Economics


This course is about the ecology of human-dominated ecosystems including cities, agricultural areas, fisheries and so on. In some respects it is a synthesis of ecology and economics, although it would be incorrect to call it ecological economics. Basically, after a review of concepts of value and of neoclassical economics, we examine the strengths and weaknesses of using ecosystems procedures (i.e., analyzing energy and material flows and their control) to study human-dominated systems.



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Chcek out the course webpage ...

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