NDSU Distance & Continuing Education (DCE)

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Course Descriptions

Energy & the Environment

ECON 2000

This course provides students with an understanding of energy, the environment, and the economy from a social science perspective and junior/senior level lesson plans/activities for economics, history, and government courses. The U.S. corn-ethanol industry will be used as a case study. The course includes a one-day field experience that include classroom activities, a tour of a corn farm, corn-ethanol refinery, and retail fuel stations.


  • Define energy.
  • List characteristics of transportation fuels.
  • Definite and give examples of environmental externalists.
  • Identify major US and state energy laws and regulations.
  • Describe the importance and use of carbon accounting.
  • Be able to calculate a products financial and environmental cost using carbon accounting.
  • Describe the U.S. corn-ethanol supply chain.

Required Student Resources:

  • Internet access
  • No text is required, readings will be assigned from publicly available sources.