G. Geography. S. Geology. A seminar focused on a theme related to the study of geology or geography. Open only to first-year students.
Fall Semester informationFrederick Soster
197GA: FYS: Twenty-first Century Challenges: Energy, Food, and Water
The present world population of 7.4 billion people is projected to grow to 9 to 11 billion people during the second half of this century. Providing adequate energy, food, and freshwater for this many people will pose significant scientific, political, economic, and environmental challenges. The complexity of these challenges is exacerbated by the interconnectedness of energy supplies, agriculture, and water resources. Food production requires energy and water. Most of the world's commercial energy, and most of the energy that is used in industrialized food production, is derived from carbon-based, nonrenewable fossil fuels. The continued reliance on these fuels will cause irreversible climate change that will threaten both agricultural areas and freshwater supplies. In this seminar we will examine the formidable challenges associated with providing adequate energy, producing enough food, and ensuring freshwater supplies for the human population, while simultaneously mitigating the environmental problems associated with energy production, agriculture, and climate change.