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Center for Social Concerns


Home > Academic Courses and Programs > Fall Semester Seminars > Energy Climate, Environment, and Social Change


Social Concerns Seminar:

Energy, Climate, and Social Change



This course will examine the complex narratives around the role of energy in society and its relation to the current climate discussion. Focusing on various policies and practices and how those shape our global energy context, students will consider hopeful solutions toward a more sustainable energy and climate model. Traveling to Washington, D.C. and possibly other locations, students will meet with wide spectrum of industry leaders, government officials, regulatory agencies, and environmental advocacy groups in their efforts to resolve contemporary energy and environmental issues.

The course will utilize selected readings, writing assignments, class lectures and discussions, a day long field trip to Chicago (tentative), and a week-long immersion in Washington, DC. During their time in D.C., students will learn to assess the strengths and weaknesses of alternative energy technologies (wind, solar, geothermal, fuel cells, ethanol, improving fossil fuel utilization, etc.), and of the various policies and economics surrounding energy and climate. During the week in Washington, D.C. students will identify the limitations of current energy policies and environmental regulation through visits to industry lobbying groups, policy makers and government officials, environmental organizations, and federal regulatory bodies. Finally, students will begin to understand the relationship between energy consumption and environmental ethics, especially as understood in Catholic social tradition.

Immersion Dates: Sunday, October 18–Sunday, October 25, 2015

Location: Washington, D.C. and other relevant locations

Size: 12 students

Seminar Fee: $300



  • Final Application Deadline: Thursday, August 27, 2015, 11:59 p.m.

  • Application process consists of two parts: (1) Completed application and (2) Interviews (you will be notified about interviews via email)

  • You cannot register for the seminar until you receive registration information from Seminars staff.

  • Notification of seminar placement will happen on September 1.

    • If you are not selected for participation in your first choice of seminars, you will be given the opportunity to participate in another seminar if there is still availability.

  • No admittance into the seminar after the first class

  • By submitting the application, you confirm you are in good academic standing.
  • With questions about your application, email



Kyle Lantz

Seminar Director

Greg White

Seminars Administrative Assistant


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