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EARTH 344: Sustainable & Fossil Energy

June 14 - July 8, 2019

Students visiting a solar array.

We are exposed on a daily basis to conflicting views on the options and consequences of various forms of energy production. Should the United States implement a “Manhattan Project” type of effort in alternate energy to free us from energy imports?  Can and should homeowners go “off the grid” and generate their own power?  Does “Clean Coal” live up to its name?  What are the costs and benefits of hydraulic fracturing for oil and natural gas?  What materials resources are necessary to produce renewable energy? Is energy from wind and solar really renewable? Is nuclear power worth the cost?  What is our national energy policy?  Have we reached a climate “tipping point”?  Are the new EPA coal and carbon dioxide rules worth the potential cost?  We live at a unique and dynamic moment when it comes to energy and climate issues, and these are just a few of the questions that must be addressed.  We believe energy literacy is a primary skill that all citizens need to navigate the transitions in energy production and usage that will be shaping our collective future world.   

This course will be taught at and near the University of Michigan’s Camp Davis Rocky Mountain Field Station in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.  The facility is situated near hydroelectric generators, wind farms, solar arrays, a nuclear reactor, gas fields, coal mines, uranium mines and geothermal areas.  If Wyoming were a country, it would be the 11th largest energy producer in the world.  The course will integrate lectures and group projects with visits to energy-related facilities in the Wyoming region (including parts of Idaho).  Students will benefit from seeing first-hand the engineering requirements, environmental impacts, social consequences and policy implications of a wide range of types of energy production.  Discussions will be held with individuals who work in these facilities and grapple with the complex issues related to energy production.  Students will also meet with political leaders and debate future energy policy options.


Earth 344 will be team taught by Professors and graduate student instructors. Faculty for this summer include:

Prof. Adam Simon U-M E&ES, Prof. Shelie Miller U-M SNRE, Prof. Mike Shriberg NWF


Successful completion of college level course in science, math or another closely related subject.

Requirement Fulfillment

Satisfies 4 LS&A Natural Science credits.

Satisfies field experience requirement for PITE concentration. 

For a full list of requirements this course fulfills please click here.

Fees & Tuition

Fees: In addition to tuition, a tentative $1760 program fee will apply which covers the cost of food, lodging, books, & transportation. Accepted students have until April 30th, 2019 to cancel. Student cancellations after this date will be assessed the full Camp Davis program fee.

Tuition: Current tuition rates can be found at the U-M Registrar website. Non-UM (guest) students are charged upper division rates.  If you are unsure how to calculate your tuition cost, please contact us, and we would be happy to help.

Tuition and program fees will be billed electronically to your student account in the 2nd week of June and will be due by June 30th.

Financial Aid

Earth & Environmental Sciences Grants:  The dept. of EE&S distributes funds each summer to student applicants based on both need and merit. Interested students should visit our Financial Aid page to apply.

Scholarships:  Students interested in obtaining external scholarships to help offset Earth 116 costs should visit our Financial Aid page for more information. It's important to note that while students are encouraged to apply, these external scholarship programs are not affiliated with U-M or the Dept. of Earth & Environmental Sciences.

U-M College of LS&A Financial Aid: The LSA Spring and/or Summer Scholarship provides financial support for spring and summer terms to qualified LSA students who have demonstrated financial need as determined by the Office of Financial Aid. This application process is separate from the Dept. of E&ES Grant program.

U-M PITE Financial Aid: The PITE department has funding available for qualifying PITE students. Please visit thier website for more information

U-M Office of Financial Aid: Interested University of Michigan students are encouraged to apply directly for financial aid through the U-M Fin-Aid Office. This application process is separate from the Dept. of E&ES Grant program. 

Unfortunately, guest students are not eligible for E&ES Grants and U-M Fin-Aid.



Frequently Asked Questions

Please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page for answers and additional information.  Please feel free to contact us directly with any additional questions or concerns. 

Phone: 734-615-8600


Application & Registration

To apply to the Earth 344 program:

  1. Click the link below and complete our online application. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis per U-M registration policy. Accepted students will be notified via email.
  2. Within 10 business days of acceptance students will be required to make a Commitment to Participate via the U-M M-Compass portal.
  3. In early March, committed U-M students will receive permission, via email, to register for the course in the Wolverine Access system. Committed students without an active U-M account will be required to submit a guest student application and registration will be handled by the E&ES Dept.
  4. Committed students who decide not to attend Camp Davis after the April 30th cancellation deadline will be charged the full $1600 program fee.

Camp Davis Application