Highly Recommend!!!!Professor Kelemen is amazing and his lectures are really enjoyable. Even if you have no background in the field the information is really easy to understand.The in class quizzes are really helpful because they prepare you for the final and midterm. The in class quizzes mostly count for attendance so don't stress it. As long as you pay attention you don't really need to do much reading.
I took this class for the science requirement and highly recommend it if you're looking for the easiest way to get rid of the req. VERY low effort class, just have to go to class for the attendance policy but otherwise you don't have to pay attention at all. I hated going to class because it was boring and not very conducive. that being said, the material we had to learn for the tests was interesting and very informative so i don't regret taking it. i got an A+ in the class just by studying for the exams (which are easy because he gives you the questions in advance) and doing well on the paper (which is graded generously by the TAs).
I loved this class. I took it for my physical science requirement, and I found it very interesting. Some of the lectures could have been more engaging, but Kelemen tries hard to make it interesting. I always looked forward to class!
I really enjoyed this class. While I agree with other reviewers that Kelemen's lectures can sometimes be boring because they really are mostly just graphs that don't mean much when you're presented with them in such rapid sequence, I think that Kelemen tries (and often succeeds) to be an engaging professor. He's witty and sharp and tends to break up the monotony of the data- and memorization-driven slides with interesting stories about his past and ramblings about kayaking, politics, and Willie Nelson (lol). He also tries to present all of the information in the context of a larger story, which helps. I completely disagree that he expects prior knowledge of geological concepts (or really of anything). I think that in order to completely and fully understand everything he discusses, this may be necessary, but to follow along, you don't need to know anything (this is coming from someone who knows nothing lol). This class was the first one I took in the Sustainable Development major and I actually think it did a decent job of presenting me with the basic issues in the environmental science/earth science fields. Because of the requirement of two term papers OR one term paper and one presentation, you also get to know a couple of topics (you can literally choose anything) fairly in-depth, which I liked a lot. If you're looking to learn a lot of in-depth stuff about climate change, renewable energy, etc., this probably isn't the class you want to take. But if you want a general overview of resources available across the globe and the basic background of some of the most important issues in sustainability, go ahead and take this class. Kelemen is a smart guy who cares about what he teaches and who's done some really cool work with carbon capture and sequestration, which was really interesting to learn about. Also, it's pretty easy. The term papers can take a lot of time if (like me) you're not used to writing research papers, but other than that I literally didn't do any work or reading outside of class (except for some studying for exams). I think it would make a pretty good class to fulfill the science requirement because of this. I opted for doing two term papers rather than a discussion section so I can't say how those are. As long as you pay attention during lectures and put a moderate amount of work into studying and your papers/presentation, you can probably expect to get above a B+.
This class is very boring to say the least. Professor Kelemen simply rambles on about geological processes and data for the entire class period. His lectures consist solely of graphs and random data often taken from other sources including Wikipedia. He expects his students to be versed in highly technical geological terms and calculations and as a result most of his lectures are impossible to follow and understand fully. If you take this class expect to not understand the majority of topics discussed. The textbook that is required reading is hardly ever discussed in class and also highly technical. I guess the workload can be considered as light--two essays for the entire term plus a midterm or final, or one essay and participation in a discussion section (in which you give one presentation) plus a midterm and final. The midterm is simply 50 multiple choice questions so you can get away with not paying attention at all in class and studying the possible midterm questions posted on coursework. If you are genuinely interested in learning about sustainable development I would not recommend this class unless you are prepared to do all the reading and suffer through incredibly boring lectures. If you are someone looking to get the science requirement out of the way, this is a class that you can get by doing little work and still do reasonably well.
I'm not really interested in sustainable development so I honestly found this class to be pretty boring. Professor Kelemen isn't a particularly engaging professor so I had a really hard time paying attention in lecture, although I wish I did because I missed out on easy points on the easy pop quizzes he gives out. That is probably going to bring my grade down significantly. That being said, the class is really easy. The two term papers are graded really generously and have easy requirements, the midterm and final are based on questions we get before hand and vote on. If you're looking for an easy way to deal with the science requirement, I recommend this class. Just take it more seriously than I did.
Overall, I'd recommend this course and Professor Kelemen. It was definitely a painless and interesting way to deal with the science requirement. (Note, however, that this course doesn't count for sustainable development, despite its deceptive title...) The material covered was generally interesting, and there was a great deal of latitude with the papers; we could write about virtually anything. His lectures were often interesting and relevant, although I'd get bored just because this isn't my passion. Grading was lenient. Professor Kelemen is easily approachable and unpedantic. My one complaint is that he is EXTREMELY slow at getting out grades; it's already Jan 11 and my winter term grade hasn't been posted yet. Oh yeah, and he sometimes jets off to Oman because he works for the Sultan in desalization. No biggie. I highly recommend both this course and Professor Kelemen if you're looking for an interesting way to deal with the science requirement in a course that isn't intended to be a joke (as some science requirement courses are wont to be.) As with most things, you will definitely get out of it as much as you put into it. Difference is, no one is going to threaten you or twist your arm to make you learn. In short: I learned a lot in a relatively stress-free atmosphere.
This class was ridiculously easy. I haven't gotten my grade yet, but right before the final I was getting 101%, and I don't have a particular talent for earth science. Professor Kelemen curves very generously. I definitely got a good overview of earth science in the class. We didn't go too in-depth on any of the topics, but learned enough to understand the concepts. For some reason our class moved really slowly. We would review lectures two or three times before quizzes and I got pretty bored sometimes. If you like earth science, though (and really, who doesn't?!), this is a fun class that fulfills part of the CC science requirement. There is a lab section, but you can also just sign up for the lectures, which is what I did. Professor Kelemen is really nice. I never talked to him after class or during office hours, but he seemed very willing to help. He managed to be knowledgeable, yet not pompous like some professors. I would recommend this class.