Fall 2023  |  PA 5715 Section 002: Deliberating Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy -- AI in Sustainability Practice and Policy (33517)

Class Component:
1.5 Credits
Repeat Credit Limit:
6 Credits
Grading Basis:
A-F only
Instructor Consent:
No Special Consent Required
Instruction Mode:
In Person
Class Attributes:
Topics Course
Enrollment Requirements:
Grad or Masters or Law
Times and Locations:
Regular Academic Session
09/05/2023 - 12/13/2023
Wed 04:00PM - 05:15PM
UMTC, West Bank
Hubert H Humphrey Center 50A
Enrollment Status:
Open (5 of 15 seats filled)
Also Offered:
Course Catalog Description:
Exploration of the conceptual and ethical dimensions of science, technology, and environmental policy. Discussion-based course with rotating topics.
Class Notes:
Class Description:
AI in Sustainability Practice and Policy. This course is focused on Artificial Intelligence in environmental and energy related work, in both the public and private sector. We will not only look at how it might be used in policy and various environmental and energy applications, we will use it to write a policy brief. Will also examine potential pitfalls, including how to ensure it doesn't perpetuate inequities or misinformation.

AI is already a significant part of much of the existing technology infrastructure. But it's really burst into consciousness in the last year. You can't turn around without seeing an article about the implications of ChatGPT. We will certainly talk about that in this course, but the scope is much broader. We will cover how AI is used, or could be used, in Environmental studies and research. How can the combination of big data and AI be used to improve Environmental monitoring and impact? What needs to be done to ensure that inequities and misinformation doesn't just get propagated even more through AI and AI generated reports? How can AI be used to assist policy developers? There's plenty of interesting case studies to highlight these challenges. The discussion format of this course will lend itself well to these endeavors. The course will give everyone a chance to try out a variety of technologies as well.

I spent a career moving a variety of technologies and methods from the lab out into production. You have to embrace the technology, understand it and then figure out how it might be useful (or where it's not useful). Simply to say society should be afraid of it is insufficient. People will use it, or try to use it. Policy makers need to be there with them.

Learning Objectives:
  • Understand basics of AI and apply that knowledge to discussion of it's applications.

  • Grow intellectual and professional curiosity related to different approaches and applications of AI through deliberation and reflection.

  • Debate core issues related to AI and their application to current issues.

  • Students will co-lead class discussions and help design in-class activities. Students will develop and practice facilitation skills.

Exam Format:
No exams.
Class Format:
Discussion based course, with some writing and reflection assignments. Students will rotate in leading discussions on topics.
There will be a fair amount of reading and other research involved but nothing more than normal. Not a writing intensive course. We will experiment with some AI tools.
Past Syllabi:
http://classinfo.umn.edu/syllabi/rosex122_PA5715_Spring2020.pdf (Spring 2020)
Instructor Supplied Information Last Updated:
4 April 2023

ClassInfo Links - Fall 2023 Public Affairs Classes Taught by Fred Rose

To link directly to this ClassInfo page from your website or to save it as a bookmark, use:
To see a URL-only list for use in the Faculty Center URL fields, use:
To see this page output as XML, use:
To see this page output as JSON, use:
To see this page output as CSV, use:
Schedule Viewer
8 am
9 am
10 am
11 am
12 pm
1 pm
2 pm
3 pm
4 pm
5 pm
6 pm
7 pm
8 pm
9 pm
10 pm
Class Title