Dr. Marcus Key, Earth Science

Integrating Chinese Energy and Fossil Examples Into Courses

My goal in participating was to use my experiences from the Valley & Ridge Goes to China program to integrate sustainable energy issues from Yunnan Province into my regularly offered Energy Resources class as well as my Fall 2014 First Year Seminar on local energy production and consumption.  This will be easy after my three weeks in China this summer.  I learned so much about how Chinese use renewable energy in the form of solar power for electrical generation and heating water.  I took lots of pictures for use in my classes of solar powered street lights and solar hot water heaters.  I also got a picture from the bus of what will be Asia’s largest photovoltaic array being installed next to the Stone Forest.  I also got some great shots of several hydroelectric dams.  I will be able integrate these examples and their environmental implications into my energy related classes.

For my Earth History I got some great pictures of unsustainable farming practices and water use in China.  If there was any doubt about the reality of a new human-induced geological epoch (i.e., the Anthropocene), it has long since been erased.  China is the poster child of the Anthropocene.  For my Paleontology classes, I got some great pictures of the spectacular Cambrian arthropod fossils in Chengjiang and the amazingly large Jurassic dinosaurs in Lufeng.  There will more Chinese examples now in all these courses.