FYF 101J - Alternative Energy: Separating Myth From Reality

Course Description

About FYF 101

The First Year Foundations course requirement was developed and implemented by the Wilkes faculty as part of the Core Curriculum revision instituted in fall 2001. FYF 101 courses are aimed at first-semester freshmen and transfers with less than 23 credits. They are intended to ease students' transition into Wilkes, and provide skills and insights not normally taught in content-area courses. Each course must contain meaningful content to provide a worthwhile experience to its student population.

FRF 101 courses are taught by professors who volunteer to offer those courses. Implementation of the FYF 101 requirement is overseen by a committee of faculty and professional staff who review course proposals and provide various forms of support to professors who offer such courses.

Assessment is important to FYF 101, because we want to know that the course is meeting its objectives.  Assessment will be conducted at various levels including students, individual courses, and the entire program.

Common goals and objectives of all FYF 101 courses:

FYF 101 Goals:

To facilitate significant learning experiences through which first-year students develop:

FYF 101 Objectives:

Each First Year Foundations (FYF) course will provide techniques that assist first-year students in achieving long-term academic success at Wilkes University. Specifically, each of these courses will:

FYF 101J - Alternative Energy: Separating Myth From Reality addresses a variety of topics related to the production and consumption of various forms of energy.  The topic will be examined from various perspectives, including technical, environmental, sociopolitical, and economic.


Modern human civilization depends upon energy to drive our machines, give us light, and regulate our thermal environment. Over the past century, the energy has largely come from fossil fuels like coal, oil, and natural gas.  Many scientists are concerned that the byproducts of fossil fuel combustion are leading to potentially catastrophic climatic change.  To address that problem, and overcome dwindling energy supplies, many are advocating the development and implementation of alternative renewable energy like wind, solar, geothermal, biomass, and hydrogen.  But are those alternatives more sustainable and environmentally friendly?  This course will explore the growing scientific evidence relating to the costs and benefits of alternative energy, and will help you to distinguish between reality, hype, and fanaticism.

Curricular Context

FYF 101J is being offered to satisfy two curricular objectives:

  • To help students transition to Wilkes University
  • To allow students of all majors to learn more about energy issues facing our society, and whether any of the "alternatives" that are being touted show true promise to be a significant source of energy in the future.
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This page posted and maintained by Kenneth M. Klemow, Ph.D., Biology Department, Wilkes University, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18766. (570) 408-4758, kklemow@wilkes.edu.