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An Introduction To Energy Choices: A Multidisciplinary Approach

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Sustainability and Environmental Issues

Tagged Division

Multidisciplinary Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.206.1 - 14.206.8



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Paper Authors

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Catherine Skokan Colorado School of Mines

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

An Introduction to Energy Choices: A Multidisciplinary Approach Abstract

The Indian Affairs Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development (IEED) was established to assist in economic development on Indian lands, in part by assisting development of workforce capacity through education and facilitating partnerships between tribes and the private sector. Colorado School of Mines received a grant from IEED to develop an energy engineering program of study to be used by Tribal Colleges. After discussing the program with the leaders from two tribal college test locations, a curriculum was created. The test locations were chosen because of their geographic diversity and their technical thrust. The curriculum presently consists of six courses: Introduction to College Mathematics and Science (a systems course), Topographic Surveying, Introduction to Engineering, Design of a Wind Farm, Solar Design, and an Overview of Energy Resources. A key course in the curriculum is a review of energy resources. This course provides an overview of both traditional as well as alternative energy resources. A life-cycle approach is used to investigate each energy resource: oil and gas, coal, hydro, geothermal, nuclear, solar, wind, biomass, and synthetic fuels. The course is designed to inform and prepare students who could enter energy fields as engineers. Colorado School of Mines is responsible for preparing the curriculum at the lecture level and for training the college staff through a summer workshop to offer the courses. We are also available during the academic year as content consultants as well as visitors to present special topics to the college students. The process of curriculum development has resulted in challenges as well as successes. This paper will describe the overall IEED project and, specifically, the Overview of Energy Resources course, discuss the assessment of both the teachers and the students participating in the course, and will detail the challenges and successes of the program.

The Cooperating Elements With funding through the United States Department of the Interior Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development, faculty from Colorado School of Mines have developed an energy curriculum to be used by Native American Tribal Colleges. Faculty from two colleges, Navajo Technical College and United Tribes Technical College, have been trained to teach the curriculum and have offered selected modules to their students. Colorado School of Mines Colorado School of Mines, founded in 1874, is a public research university devoted to engineering and applied science1. With a current student body of about 4200, it has the highest admissions standards of any university in our state and among the highest of any public university in the U.S. Colorado School of Mines has distinguished itself by developing a curriculum and research program that is geared towards responsible stewardship of the earth and its resources. In addition to strong education and research programs in traditional fields of science and engineering, Colorado School of Mines is one of a very few institutions in the world having broad expertise in resource exploration, extraction, production and utilization. As such, Colorado School of Mines occupies a unique position among the world's institutions of higher education . Colorado School of Mines is involved in a wide spectrum of energy research

Skokan, C. (2009, June), An Introduction To Energy Choices: A Multidisciplinary Approach Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--5083

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