Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College
First-Year Seminar


FYS Section A18. Energy and Civilization

From fire to water mills to gasoline to solar panels, human civilization has been shaped by its ability to use and transform energy. We’ll look closely at the relationship between societies and their use of energy historically, in the modern world, and in planning for the future. Topics include agriculture from its invention to the Green Revolution to biofuels, the role of fossil fuels in everything from World War II to the American labor movement, sociopolitical impacts of modern energy sources like nuclear power and natural gas fracking, and strategic planning for a post-fossil-fuel world. Activities include field trips to nearby fossil, nuclear, and/or renewable energy facilities and a final project to help plan for the future of energy use at Wheaton.

Jason C. GoodmanJason C. Goodman
Associate Professor of Physics