Digital Academy Instructors

To source quality content for integration into Digital Academy's Canvas platform for creation of engaging and interactive courses that is fully responsive, compatible with the range of digital devices, providing enrolled users with industry-relevant, affordable solutions.
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Energy Industry Applications of GIS

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Is Energy and GIS your passion? If so, Energy Industry Applications of GIS provides students with an in-depth exploration of the complexities of siting decisions in the electricity market. The course introduces a variety of siting challenges that confront the energy industry and its customers and neighbors but focuses on the siting of electrical transmission lines. The course also provides hands-on experience with a common decision support technology, ArcGIS, and considers how the technology may be used to facilitate public participation in siting decisions.

Material Type: Full Course

Author: Ron Santini

Advanced Analytic Methods in Geospatial Intelligence

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General James Clapper, former United States Director of National Intelligence and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), once said \everything happens somewhere.\" He stressed that there are aspects of time and place to every intelligence problem. In this course, you will examine how time and place work with general intelligence techniques to create geospatial intelligence. You will learn and apply critical thinking skills, structured analytical techniques, and other intelligence methods in a geospatial context. You'll also learn how to reduce personal and organizational bias by conducting an Analysis of Competing Hypotheses, by R. Heuer, a 45-year veteran of the CIA. As a result, you will be better prepared for the world of geospatial intelligence analysis."

Material Type: Full Course

Authors: Dennis Bellafiore, Todd Bacastow

Advanced Energy Policy

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Energy policy is typically evolutionary as opposed to revolutionary. We can look to historical policies to understand how we've inherited the policies governing our energy use today. But looking backward only tells us part of the story. In the face of climate change, we need to look ahead and instead envision a more revolutionary change to our energy systems and the policies that govern them. This class takes you on that journey to energy policies past, present, and future. We look at the political realities of addressing climate change at various scales of governance and work together to craft our own ideal scenarios of what a responsible energy future will be.

Material Type: Full Course

Author: Brandi Robinson

The African Continent

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Earthquakes are natural phenomena that can cause immense human suffering because of intense ground shaking and are consequently of great societal importance. Earthquakes are also important because the seismic waves that generate the ground shaking provide scientists with important information about Plate Tectonics and geology, in particular information about the structure and composition of our planet and how the insides of the planet are deforming. In this course, earthquakes in Africa and the seismic waves they generate are used to help you to learn about the geology of Africa and how the earth beneath the African continent is being deformed by Plate Tectonics.

Material Type: Full Course

Author: Andy Nyblade

Alternative Fuels from Biomass Sources

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Is climate change real? Yes, it is! And technologies to reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions are being developed. One type of technology that is imperative in the short run is biofuels; however, biofuels must meet specifications for gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel, or catastrophic damage could occur. This course will examine the chemistry of technologies of bio-based sources for power generation and transportation fuels. We'll consider various biomasses that can be utilized for fuel generation, understand the processes necessary for biomass processing, explore biorefining, and analyze how biofuels can be used in current fuel infrastructure.

Material Type: Full Course

Author: Caroline Clifford

Challenges in Global Geospatial Analytics

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How would you like to travel to new places while collaborating on a geospatial data challenge with students from around the world? In this class, students collaborate on a global-scale geospatial analysis problem with a focus on data analytics and professional practice in Geographic Information Systems. Penn State MGIS students collaborate with graduate students from ITC - University of Twente in Enschede, Netherlands to develop solutions to analyze spatio-temporal patterns in refugee migration data. Students have the opportunity to present their work and develop new connections with EU geospatial professionals via site visits to European national mapping agencies. Students work in teams to use geospatial analytics to arrive at a solution to visualize patterns over space and time.

Material Type: Full Course

Authors: Beth King, Fritz Kessler

Cloud and Server GIS

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Is your understanding of Cloud GIS a bit hazy? Does thinking about it leave you in a fog? We've designed GEOG 865, Cloud and Server GIS, to help you understand how all of the various pieces of architecture fit together. By the end of the class you'll have a clear understanding of esri's and others' offerings in the space, how to implement ArcGIS Enterprise on Amazon EC2, make online maps with Carto and Mapbox, and engage in some blue sky thinking of your own in our weekly discussions about trends and directions.

Material Type: Full Course

Author: Sterling Quinn

Coastal Processes, Hazards and Society

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Has your attention recently been caught by news of coastal catastrophes such as hurricanes and tsunamis? Do you wonder why so many coastal communities in the world are vulnerable to flooding and other coastal hazards? Have you considered what coastal flood protections cities like Houston and Miami will need in the future to protect their residents? This course will provide a better understanding of these phenomena. We present a global perspective of coastal landscapes, the geologic processes responsible for their formation, and ways that society responds to hazards like sea level rise and catastrophic weather events. You will participate in active learning exercises such as analyzing real-world datasets and applying critical thinking to real-world societal problems while investigating a coastal community.

Material Type: Full Course

Authors: Brent Yarnal, Tim Bralower

Commercial Solar Electric Systems

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AE 868 examines the theories and design practices of solar electric systems in the context of utility and commercial-scale applications. An important goal of the course is to equip solar professionals with skills to follow the impact of hardware trends in industry on feasibility, design, and the commissioning of such systems. Students will learn how to design solar electric systems as well as the processes required for permitting, construction, and commissioning. Topics include conceptual design of solar electric systems, solar electric technologies, inverter and power management technologies, design theory and economic analysis tools, system design processes for grid-tied and off-grid systems, integration of energy storage and demand response systems, construction project management, permitting, safety and commissioning, system monitoring, and maintenance.

Material Type: Full Course

Author: Mohamed Amer Chaaban

Computation and Visualization in the Earth Sciences

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In EARTH 801, you will develop skills in a programming language designed for visual arts and visualization while exploring Earth science topics. Specifically, you'll learn and practice digital graphics capabilities in order to render Earth science concepts that are otherwise difficult to visualize due to complicated space and time scales. Here, you will interact with large, open, freely-available data sets by collecting, plotting, and analyzing them using a variety of computational methods. You'll be ready to teach secondary school students a range of Next Generation Science Standard skills involving data collecting, manipulation, analysis, and plotting. You'll also read and discuss current research regarding the teaching, learning, and evaluation of visualization skills, as well as multiple external representations of science concepts.

Material Type: Full Course

Author: Eliza Richardson

Controversies in the Earth Sciences

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Think science has all the answers? Think again. This course will use real, authentic data to explore and investigate modern controversies in Earth Sciences. Use tide gauge records to understand how countries around the world attempt to protect themselves from tsunami events. Process seismic data to predict earthquake recurrence in the New Madrid seismic zone, right here in the breadbasket of the US. Sort through the millions of years of the geologic timeline to shed some light on what actually did, and did not, kill the dinosaurs. Finally, use global atmospheric data to understand how misrepresentation of data can be used to paint a distorted view of past, present, and future climate.

Material Type: Full Course

Author: Eliza Richardson

Cultural Intelligence

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GEOG 571 explores the relationships between culture and civil security and the process of geographically analyzing social, political, economic, and demographic information to understand human history, institutions, and behaviors. It is an elective course in the Geospatial Intelligence Certificate, the Intercollege Master of Professional Studies (iMPS-HLS), and the Master of Geographic Information Systems degree program that is offered exclusively through Penn State's World Campus. It is also one of the optional capstone courses that leads to Penn State's Postbaccalaureate Certificate in GIS. The course consists of projects, associated readings, and exams.

Material Type: Full Course

Author: George Van Otten

Cyber-Geography in Geospatial Intelligence

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Curious about how the notion of place and space is affected by Social Media, or how the Web differs from location to location? Cyber-Geography in Geospatial Intelligence looks at the geographies of cyberspace, the geopolitics of cyberwar, and at techniques that might be employed in such conflicts. Wondering how this all relates to censorship on the Internet? This class explores ideas on governance and network architecture, the politics of censorship and hacking, and the politics of grassroots activism enabled by the internet. Students in this class will use a range of information systems, engage with the emerging landscape as defined by the geographies of the Internet, and will examine the impact as new technologies and intelligence intersect with one another.

Material Type: Full Course

Author: Michael Thomas

Earth Surface Processes in the Critical Zone

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Rapid changes at Earth's surface, largely in response to human activity, have led to the realization that fundamental questions remain to be answered regarding the natural functioning of the Critical Zone, the thin veneer at Earth's surface where the atmosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere interact. EARTH 530 will introduce you to the basics necessary for understanding Earth surface processes in the Critical Zone through an integration of various scientific disciplines. Those who successfully complete EARTH 530 will be able to apply their knowledge of fundamental concepts of Earth surface processes to understanding outstanding fundamental questions in Critical Zone science and how their lives are intimately linked to Critical Zone health.

Material Type: Full Course

Author: Tim White

Earth in the Future

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Our planet is becoming hot. In fact, Earth may be warming faster than ever before. This warming will challenge society throughout the 21st century. How do we cope with rising seas? How will we prepare for more intense hurricanes? How will we adapt to debilitating droughts and heat waves? Scientists are striving to improve predictions of how the environment will change and how it will impact humans. Earth in the Future: Predicting Climate Change and Its Impacts Over the Next Century is designed to provide the state of the art of climate science, the impact of warming on humans, as well as ways we can adapt. Every student will understand the challenges and opportunities of living in the 21st century.

Material Type: Full Course

Authors: David Bice, Tim Bralower

Energy Conservation

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Much of the general population believes that the energy sources we depend on are perpetual. While people believe that energy use is the culprit for environmental damage, they are not aware of the methods and principles by which energy conversion devices operate. This course will provide you with knowledge and information on the main operating principles of devices/appliances in common use and will help you in making energy efficient and economical choices. The objective of the course is to expose you to energy efficiency in day to day life in order to save money and energy and thereby protect the environment. I hope the information in this course will help you become an environmentally-responsible individual of this Global Village.

Material Type: Full Course

Author: Sarma Pisupati

Energy Markets, Policy, and Regulation

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EME 801 provides a broad introduction to global markets for crude oil and refined petroleum products, natural gas, and electric power. A major goal of the course is to help students understand how market design, market institutions, and regulatory structures affect firm-level decision-making in the energy industries and ultimately, how these decisions affect the functioning of energy markets and the prospects for alternative technologies.

Material Type: Full Course

Author: Seth Blumsack

Energy Policy

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Energy policy sits at the crossroads of science and policy. And now, energy and climate policy are inextricably linked; the policies we choose have very real consequences for our climate. This intersection of science and policy is chaotic and bustles with activity motivated by various competing (and conflicting) interests and factors. We must understand the motivations driving them and bridge the divides between our reliance on fossil fuels and our need to transition to less carbon-intensive and renewable alternatives. While the science and math behind these problems is often fairly straightforward, the politics and behavioral changes are not. Come stand at this busy intersection with us as we navigate toward progressive climate policy alternatives at all scales of governance!

Material Type: Full Course

Author: Brandi Robinson

Energy and Sustainability in Contemporary Culture

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Do energy and sustainability issues capture your attention? Do you find yourself seeking out articles, books, and/or movies related to these topics? After learning about core energy and sustainability issues, as well as information source evaluation and rhetorical analysis, students in EM SC 240 get the opportunity to explore and critically evaluate selected media from contemporary culture that focus on topics related to energy and sustainability. These media selections will relate specifically to earth, material, and energy processes and how humans interact with them. Students will evaluate the energy and sustainability subject matter from both scientific and cultural perspectives, with special emphasis on the need to sustain a viable planetary life support system.

Material Type: Full Course

Author: Daniel Kasper

Energy and Sustainability in Society

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Experiential learning, yes! But...online? at a distance? independent undergraduate research? This capstone course in Energy and Sustainability Policy is a novel approach to exactly this. Each student follows the same overarching structure: a four-part written research report, weekly journals, group discussions, a LinkedIn presence, an in-person presentation and a video submission. Along the way, the student has numerous personal interactions with real world stakeholders and gives an in-person presentation to an interested local audience. Proven over many semesters now, this engaged scholarship model serves senior students well, guiding and building confidence and professional opportunities.

Material Type: Full Course

Authors: Brandi Robinson, Vera Cole