Thank you!


Thank you for taking the Our Energy Future course! We hope you found it to be a fun and informative way to learn more about energy from UC San Diego and Scripps Institution of Oceanography faculty.

We encourage you to complete our survey to help improve the course. Your feedback is greatly appreciated!

Please visit the course Final Recap to complete the course and for links to other related programs and the organizations that made this course possible.

-Our Energy Future Course Team

Final Assessment


Congratulations on making it to the end of the Our Energy Future course! Now that you've gone through all of the lectures, it's time to test what you've learned. The final assessment for the course is now available here. You will have one week to complete the exam before you final score is recorded. You will be able to retake the exam as many times as you want during that week, and your highest score will be recorded. Feel free to go back through the slides and video materials to refresh your memory before attempting the exam. 

Good luck!

-Our Energy Future Course Team

Our Energy Future Week 4


This is the final week of the Our Energy Future MOOC! This week's topic is Energy, Water, and Food Security. Here are this week's lectures:

Energy and Modern Agriculture 
Instructor: Dr. Steven Briggs 
Learning Objectives

  • Understand the history of modern agriculture  
  • Understand how energy and agriculture relate (production/processing, transportation) 
  • Understand how food and energy are “coupled” 
  • Examine ways to manage the connection of food and energy
Climate Change: Water and Energy in California 
Instructor: Dr. Dan Cayan 
Learning Objectives

  • Examine how California’s water and energy are connected 
  • Understand how climate change has affected California’s water supply and energy demand 
  • Examine how climate models can help inform policy makers on decisions related to water and energy
Energy, Climate Change, and Food Security 
Instructor: Dr. Jennifer Burney 
Learning Objectives

  • Understand the dimensions of food security 
  • Understand how the global food system affects climate change and vice versa 
  • Identify how pollutants affect climate change 
  • Examine how climate change specifically affects the world’s poor, and how the world’s poor contribute to climate change
Next week will be the final assessment. You will have one week to complete the assessment before it is no longer available. Make sure to go through all of the materials including the slides, glossary, and video lectures before attempting the exam.

-Our Energy Future Course Team

Our Energy Future Week 3


Welcome to Week 3 of the Our Energy Future MOOC! You are half way through the course and well on your way to having a better understanding of energy in the modern world. Remember, if you have any questions about course material, post it on the Forum. You have a student community just like you who may have the same question or might know the answer. This week will cover the Economic and Social Issues of Energy. Here are this week's lectures:

Economic and Social Impact of Energy Production and Use
Instructor: Dr. Josh Graff Zivin
Learning Objectives

  • Identify positive aspects of energy use 
  • Understand the different ways combustion pollution affects humans 
  • Examine social and economic impacts of alternative energy (combustible and non-combustible) 

The Importance of Energy for the Bottom Billion
Instructor: Dr. Gordon McCord
Learning Objectives

  • Examine how modern economic life affects productivity and environmental damage
  • Examine how impoverished communities use energy and how it affects them negatively 
  • Understand how access to modern energy technology for the poor can increase wellbeing 

Regulation of Energy Use and Energy Efficiency
Instructor: Dr. Mark Jacobsen
Learning Objectives

  • Examine current energy regulation 
  • Identify different kinds of energy regulation 
  • Understand how and why taxes on pollution promotes energy conservation 
  • Examine advantages and challenges of Cap and Trade 
  • Examine situations where price regulation does and doesn't work, and understand the key differences
Happy learning!

-Our Energy Future Course Team

Our Energy Future Week 2


Great job getting through Week 1!

Now that you've learned about the different sources of energy, including some renewable energy, we will look at The Impact of Energy on Climate Change. Below are this week's lessons:

Lesson 2.1-2.2 Climate Change and the Impact of Carbon Dioxide
Instructor: Dr. Richard Somerville
Learning Objectives  

  • Know the history of researching carbon dioxide as a cause for climate change 
  • Identify key points of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC) 2013 Report 
  • Examine how climate change is portrayed in the media 

Lesson 2.3-2.4 A New Approach to Slowing Down Climate Change and Sea Level Rise in Our Life Time
Instructor: Dr. Veerabhadran Ramanathan
Learning Objectives 
  • Know the different pollutants that cause climate change 
  • Understand the importance of decreasing Short-lived Climate Pollutants (SLCPs) to mitigate climate change 
  • Examine specific climate pollutants emitted from the Bottom Three Billion (B3B) and their effect locally and globally 
  • Know current projects implemented to monitor and reduce pollutants from B3B

Lesson 2.5-2.6 International Politics of Climate Change
Instructor: Dr. David G. Victor
Learning Objectives

  • Examine the reality of international efforts to combat climate change 
  • Examine fragmentation of international climate laws and its effect 
  • Examine how technology development affects climate change 
  • Understand how globalization is problematic for fighting climate change 
  • Look at solutions to encourage political efforts for decreasing emissions
Have you visited the Forum yet? Go there to ask or answer questions, or to provide feedback to the Our Energy Future Course Team. 

Have a great week!

-Our Energy Future Course Team

Welcome to Our Energy Future Week 1


Welcome to Week 1! This week's unit is Energy Production and Options for a Sustainable Future and will include three lessons with review quizzes. Take a look at the lectures below to see your instructors and the learning objectives for each lesson. You have a couple of different resources to help you if you are having trouble. On each lesson, there are two buttons on the top right: glossary and slides. Check those out if you're having a hard time following the videos or if you need to look something up. Also, make sure to post any questions you have in the Forum. You can post your questions specific to this week's unit in its respective section. Feel free to answer someone else's question if you know the answer!

Lesson 1.1-1.2 Our Energy Future: Intro to Energy and Food
Instructor: Dr. Stephen Mayfield
Learning Objectives

  • Understand what energy is, why it’s important, and its primary sources 
  • Examine why we use liquid fuels and the current global state of availability and consumption 
  • Understand how food and fuel are linked and why that could be a problem 

Lesson 1.3-1.4 Future Energy Needs and Consequences From a Physical Sciences Perspective
Instructor: Dr. Mark Thiemens
Learning Objectives

  • Understand the basic mechanisms, challenges, and applications of artificial photosynthesis 
  • Understand the basic mechanism, challenges, and applications of superconductivity 
  • Examine how nanoscience can change how energy is used 
  • Examine the current state of fusion energy research 

Lesson 1.5-1.6 Where Do We Go From Here? Biological Options
Instructor: Dr. Susan Golden
Learning Objectives

  • Understand what biofuels are and how they are produced 
  • Identify different types of biofuel 
  • Know different sources of biofuel and their advantages and limitations 
  • Examine and compare different algae sources for biofuels 
Feel free to ask questions if you need help in the Forum. Have a great week of learning!

-Our Energy Future Course Team

Welcome to the Our Energy Future MOOC!


The Announcements page will be where the Our Energy Future staff will post news, updates, and information relating to the course. We will announce when class units are available as well as any other additional materials to help you with the course. 

To start off, please join this courses email list. On that page, click on Join Group. In the dialog box that appears, under How do you want to read this group?, choose Email. Once you've joined, you will receive announcements through your email. Also, make sure to join the Forum, where you can ask course-specific questions. 

Want to be social? Follow us on Google+

This course is made up of four separate units: 

  • Energy Production and Options for a Sustainable Future 
  • The Impact of Energy on Climate Change 
  • Economic and Social Issues of Energy 
  • Energy, Water, and Food Security
If you have not already done so, make sure to look at the Introduction and take the Pre-course Assessment. Unit one will be available on Monday, February 24. Until then, feel free to let your friends, family, and colleagues know your're taking this course. The more people who are informed on the issues of energy, the better off our future will be!

Pre-course Checklist
  1. Join course email list
  2. Join course  Forum
  3. Follow Our Energy Future course on Google+
  4. Go through course Introduction
  5. Take Pre-course Assessment
  6. Let people know you are taking the course! 

-Our Energy Future Course Team