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U.S. Coast Guard Academy Renewable Ocean Energy Seminar

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

Experiences in Teaching Energy Courses

Tagged Division

Energy Conversion and Conservation

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.1285.1 - 15.1285.10



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Paper Authors

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Elizabeth Garcia Miami Dade College

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Jonathan Andrechik U.S. Coast Guard

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

U.S. Coast Guard Academy Renewable Ocean Energy Seminar


In the spring 2009 semester at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, one science instructor and one engineering instructor co-taught a one-credit independent study course entitled Renewable Ocean Energy Seminar. Fifteen engineering majors and fourteen non-engineering majors enrolled in this elective course. The intention was to bring together different majors to learn about the many facets of renewable ocean energy (policy, technology, economics, etc.) and to develop cross- discipline communication. In the end, nine seminars were presented, seven of which were presented by instructors of different academic disciplines from within the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. The other two seminars were presented by individuals accepting invitation to discuss work being done outside the Academy. One of speakers came from the U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters, and the other from an out-of-state center for ocean energy technology. The remaining lectures were focused on the students working together and educating each other. Assignments included two relevant current event reviews, two relevant website evaluations, all presented to the class, and a final memorandum addressed to the U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters, outlining each student’s opinion on the role of the U.S. Coast Guard in renewable ocean energy, using research to support their view.

In the end-of-course evaluation, 100% of the students responded positively to the statement “This seminar improved my understanding of the issues surrounding ocean energy.” They all also responded positively to the statement “I enjoyed taking this course.” 86% of the students responded positively to the statement “I can apply the material presented in this course to real life situations.” This paper outlines the student feedback on the overall course as well as the instructors’ observations, while outlining the structure of the course, along with the successes and lessons learned. Overall, the Renewable Ocean Energy Seminar is evaluated as a success in its first offering.

Course Structure

The Renewable Ocean Energy Seminar was a one-credit course that met once a week for the entire length of the Spring 2009 semester. This was an elective course offered in addition to the required courses of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. The course started with thirty-one students. Two students dropped the course before the end of the semester, resulting in twenty-nine students completing the course. During the first class meeting, students were given a syllabus, outlining the course and the grading structure. The course was web-enhanced with the use of Blackboard, where assignments were submitted for sharing amongst all students, and references to additional information sources on renewable ocean energy, as well as many of the seminar presentations, were posted.

The syllabus provided the following course description:

This is a cross-disciplinary, 1-credit seminar course being offered for the first time this Spring 2009. The key focus is on renewable ocean energy and its many tie-ins to the various U.S. Coast

Garcia, E., & Andrechik, J. (2010, June), U.S. Coast Guard Academy Renewable Ocean Energy Seminar Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16552

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