MAE 124/ESYS 103: The Human Earth
(Introduction to Environmental Engineering)

Spring 2008


1 p.m. section:
Time and Place:
Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, 1:00-1:50, Pepper Canyon 122
Fridays, 2-2:50, York 2622
Instructor: Sarah Gille   e-mail:
Office hours on upper campus: Mondays, 2-3:30, 568 EBU2. phone: 858-822-4915. Also available before and after class and by e-mail.
Office at Scripps: Nierenberg Hall 348. phone: 822-4425. (Let me know that you're coming before stopping by.)
TA: Robb Kulin    E-mail: Office hours: Wednesdays, 12-12:50, 262 EBU2 or by appointment
Reader: Erik Tang    E-mail:

2 p.m. section:
Time and Place:
Mondays and Wednesdays, 2:00-2:50, WLH 2111
Fridays, 12-12:50, WLH 2205
Fridays, 2-2:50, York 2622
Instructor: Steve Taylor   e-mail:
Office hours on upper campus: TBD.   Also available before and after class and by e-mail.
TA: Ben Maurer   E-mail:

Midterm Exam: Friday, May 2, 2 pm.
Final Exam: 1 pm section and 2 pm section:  Thursday, June 12, 11:30-2:30, Pepper Canyon Hall 109
Please note that the final exam coincides with the US Open at Torrey Pines, so allow extra time to negotiate traffic. The final exam will be held as scheduled. In accordance with UCSD policy, no allowance willb e granted for students arriving late to an exam.
Please note that university policy does not allow you to reschedule exams for personal reasons.


Detailed schedule, reading and term paper assignments
Special events pertinent to this class
Class themes in the news
Interesting older news items
WebCT: access to materials for enrolled students use only (such as copyrighted materials)
Turnitin instructions
Term Papers and Exams can be picked up from from Pamela Buass in the ESYS program office (Galbraith Hall, Room 185, That's below CLICS). Pam's summer hours are from 9:30 - 3:30, and her phone number is 858-822-4604. If she's not available Caren Duncanson (858-534-8157) should be able to help you out. (In the past we've left exams with the administrative assistant in EBU-II who handles environmental engineering, but she's working very limited hours this summer.)


This is a course in environmental sustainability and sustainable development.  We will examine environmental challenges including pollution, water resources, energy, global warming, population and land degradation.  Then we will focus on strategies for addressing these challenges, through government intervention, industrial activity, design, and planning.  The course aims to show that it is essential to understand, quantify and embed the environmental dimension (in its broadest sense) at every stage of consideration of industrial and economic activity.  We focus on fundamental issues rather than detailed technical and scientific analysis.  Lectures, in-class discussion, term papers and exams will ask you to think and synthesize material.


Specifically, by the end of the course, you should understand, and be able to discuss:




The course consists of two parts.

Here's the detailed schedule.

Other links

Additional Information on Term Paper 1 including information on using
Additional Information on Term Paper 2

Grading Policy

Past Exams

Library resources:  Struggling with access to the journal Science or other journal literature? UCSD has a subscription to Science and to many other journals relevant to this class. You should be able to access these library resources from any computer on campus, or from home if you use the UCSD proxy server or VPN. See here for details.

Over time, assignments, and other resources will be posted here. You will need a (free) Adobe Acrobat reader to view many of the files, which may be downloaded from here. Please check back frequently, as much of the assigned work will expect significant research on environmental issues, some of which will be facilitated by suggested links and resources posted here.