since 1965  (really?)

Extreme Energy Extraction in the XXI Century

This course listing applies to a Spring 2015 course. To find current courses, check out the Find a Course page.

Spring 2015
ESPM 98 / 198
2 Unit(s)

Human friendly URL (OBSOLETE)


About the Course:

Where does our energy come from? How are fossil fuels extracted and how does that impact people? What the frack is fracking? What alternatives are there to current methods of energy extraction and how do we work towards climate justice?


In October 2014, California aquifers were contaminated with fracking wastewater. How does this affect us? What other instances has energy extraction had direct consequences on local communities and what can be done about it?


This course aims to introduce students to the impacts of extreme forms of fossil fuel extraction (with an emphasis on fracking) on public health, local economies, ecosystems, natural resources, and agriculture. In this course, students will be exposed to alternatives of the current energy infrastructure and will be empowered to take action based on community engagement and grassroots organizing. Additionally, students will acquire tools to hold California’s policy makers accountable to make responsible decisions for our future, and engage in political action to instigate tangible changes in local, state, and national level.


Learning Objectives

  • Identify different methods of fossil fuels extraction

  • Understand root causes of climate change

  • Understand historical context behind the fossil fuel industry

  • Identify local, state, and national political initiatives

  • Engage with local campaigns

  • Acquire grassroot student organizing skills

  • Explore alternative solutions to current social, economic, and political systems

  • Learn how to work in cooperation with others



Assignments will be comprised of short readings, videos, reflection and a final group project. The final group project can be done in small or large groups at the students discretion. The goal of the project is to implement organizing skills learned in the decal to address both the positive and negative impacts of extreme energy extraction. It will take a minimum of three hours to complete, and can range from grassroots organizing to research to educational efforts.


Grading Policy

Students must complete the weekly assignments as well as the final group project in order to receive a Pass. Students also may not miss more than two classes to receive a passing grade  (unless an emergency arises, in which case it is expected that the student will contact the facilitators).


How to Enroll:

Enrollment is on first come, first serve basis.

Course Contact: shrutichari AT, s_klein AT, emalis AT

Faculty Sponsor: Ron Amundson

Time & Location:

Samantha Klein
Eva Malis
Shruti Patrachari
20Dwinelle 263M 6p-8p2/09started

Uploaded Files:

Syllabus: DecalSyllabus.docxJan 2316kbWord Doc (Viewer)View Download

Course info last modified December 10, 2014. This page has been viewed 1869 times.

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