NATS 101

Contemporary Environmental Problems and Sustainable Society

Summer I 2004

University of Arizona

Instructor:      Dr. Paul Blowers  Office Hours:    To Be Determined

                        105E Harshbarger, 626-5319 blowers@engr.arizona.edu

Lecture:          MTWRF 10 am - 11:45 am,

TA:                  To Be Determined Office Hours: To Be Determined

Course Description:  

NATS 101 is designed to be an overview of the key concepts in physical and chemical processes, including Newton's laws governing force and motion, the laws of thermodynamics governing energy and entropy, the role of electromagnetism in nature, and the atomic structure of matter. The course will explore these concepts in an inter-disciplinary context, drawing from areas such as environmental sciences, atmospheric sciences, engineering/technological sciences, and others.

Interrelations between Humans, Engineering, and the Environment  In this section, we will have an overview of how physical and chemical processes guide engineering solutions to problems, and how these solutions impact the environment.  Examples of topics include air conditioning, solar power, medical technologies, electronics, refrigeration, and other engineering solutions to technological problems. 

Text:   Environmental Science: Working with the Earth, G. Tyler Miller, Ninth Edition or Higher.  Supplementary information will be provided for some course materials not available in this text.  

Course Objectives:

Upon completion of this course, students should:

1) be able to understand the implications of Newton's laws regarding force and motion

2) be able to use energy balances to estimate actions using thermodynamics

3) be able to understand the fundamentals of entropy and how they translate to actions

4) be able to understand electromagnetism and its importance in the environment

5) be able to predict behavior of substances based on their atomic structure of matter

6) be able to use the above principles to evaluate engineering solutions to technical problems

7) be able to estimate the environmental consequences of an engineering solution to a technical problem

8) be able to explain to others their opinions regarding engineering solutions to technical problems using the above conscepts

9) perform appropriate mathematical calculations

Other metaconcepts the students should be proficient at:

1) be able to comfortably organize and present group material

2) be able to identify and rectify group conflicts

3) be able to identify personal difficulties during learning and to take corrective action

4) be able to knowledgeably think of everyday examples where engineering solutions exist

5) be able to identify the relevance and quality of information used to support arguments, particularly that information regarding engineering and the environment in popular science and general readership magazines

Course Policy:            Homework quizzes, and group projects (15 % of grade)

                                    Homework is due at the beginning of the class on the day it is due.

Late homework will not be accepted. 

Exams (two exams, 20 % each, 40 % of grade total).

                                    These in-class exams are comprehensive and are scheduled for

6-17 and 6-28.

                                    Unless otherwise announced, these exams will be closed book.

                                    Laboratory exercises (3 lab write ups, 7 % of grade each, 21% total)

Make-up exams: A make-up exam may be arranged if you notify

the instructor at least 2 days before the regularly scheduled exam.  A makeup exam will be scheduled only if the student has a valid reason for missing the regularly scheduled exam.  Verifiable illness with notification from the emergency dean, or family emergencies are valid reasons for missing an exam.

Final exam: (24 % of grade). Comprehensive final on Friday 7-8.  A comprehensive final will be given during the scheduled period during finals.

Grading Policy:

            Grades will be posted on a weekly basis online at a website accessible only to students in the class.  These grades will be listed according to a random number given to students during the first assignments so only they know their scores.  These grades will show the student's score on all assignments and tests and how the student is doing relative to the other students in the course.  However, letter grades on exams or assignments will not be determined; a final letter grade will be given at the end of the semester instead.  This course will be graded on a straight scale as follows:

Total percentage of points earned                       Final Grade

90 - 100 %                                                        A

80 - 90 %                                                          B

70 - 80 %                                                          C

60 - 70 %                                                          D

< 60%                                                              E

Important Dates to Keep in Mind:

Last day to drop a course with a grade of "W" or to change to audit, XXX.

Honors Students:

            Honors students can do honors contract work in this course with an in depth analysis of a technical engineering and environmental issue.  This work will culminate in a maximum 10 page report on the topic where multiple competing sides of the issue are detailed.  Students will be required to do some basic calculations and estimates to verify or dispute facts on at least one of the issues.  Students will then formulate a "best" solution to the issue with appropriate citations to any other work not already introduced. 

Class Schedule:

Date

Day

Reading Assigned

Assignment 

Due Date

Topic

6-7

M

To be determined

Career Decisions

 

6-8

Syllabus

Intro to overall topics

6-8

T

Laboratory 1- Energy starts

6-15

Pretest

Newton's laws - physics

6-9

W

 

Newton's Laws

6-11

Calculations with Newton's laws

6-10

R

 

Information in the library

6-15

How to find information in the library - information veracity

6-11

F

 

Energy Homework

6-16

Energy and its forms

6-14

M

 

Forms of energy HW

6-18

Kinetic and potential energy

6-15

T

 

Laboratory 1 restart

6-21

Heat and Work

6-16

W

 

Writing and supporting opinions paper

6-22

Formulating and supporting opinions

6-17

R

 

 

 

Exam I

6-18

F

 

Enthalpy and Internal Energy

6-23

Thermodynamics and entropy

6-21

M

 

Current Issue and supported opinions - oral presentation

6-24

Environmental problems and solutions

6-22

T

 

 

 

Electromagnetism I

6-23

W

 

Electromagnetism HW

6-25

Electromagnetism II

6-24

R

 

Laboratory 2 starts

7-1

Sustainability and energy

6-25

F

 

Writing and supporting opinions paper 2

6-30

Formulating more opinions and supporting them

6-28

M

 

 

 

Exam II

6-29

T

 

 

 

Atomic structure of matter I

6-30

W

 

Atomic Structure HW

7-5

Atomic structure of matter II

7-1

R

 

Trash day in NATS  101

 

Chemical reactions and environmental implications

7-2

F

 

Chemical Reactions HW

7-6

Chemical reactions and energy

7-5

M

 

 

 

Unintended consequences

7-6

T

 

 

 

Review and discussion

7-8

W

 

Final Exam

 

Comprehensive

All homework is due on the days listed above unless otherwise designated on a specific problem handout.
Standards for Homework Problems and Quizzes:

1.  Briefly restate the problem using a sketch or diagram where appropriate.  Label the sketch or diagram with all quantities involved.

2.  Indicate the basis you select, and indicate any change of basis within the problem.  State assumptions.

3.  Include both the numerical value and units for all quantities involved, including intermediate results.

4.  Answers should be circled or otherwise marked, and reported to an appropriate number of significant digits.

5.  Values obtained from a handbook or other reference should be accompanied by a citation. For example:

CCl4 boiling pt.  76.5 oC (CRC, pg C-373)

6.  Show how you have checked your work if appropriate.

7.  Be clear and concise when writing answers to questions.

Standards for Style and Presentation of Problem Sets

1.  All assignments are to be submitted on 8.5 x 11 inch paper.  Multiple pages must be stapled together.  Unlined paper may be used if the work is done neatly.  Handwriting must be legible.

2.  Each page must have the student's name, the course number and the page number in the upper right hand corner.

Substandard work will result in a loss of credit.

Writing Assignments

All writing assignments should be typed, printed on 8.5 x 11 inch paper, and should follow standard grammatical and spelling rules (See Strunk and White).  Students will be penalized 5 percent per each typographical or spelling error so be very careful on this issue.  Students may resubmit work to earn half of the spelling/grammar points back within one week of them receiving the homework back.  Citations should follow any of the standard formats covered in ENGL 101 and 102 courses.  Samples of lab write-ups will be furnished to guide students in how to write a technical report prior to them having to write their own.

2007 Arizona Board of Regents for The University of Arizona