Energy Transitions in the US

Kevin Gamble
Day/Time Taught: 
MWF 8:00 - 8:50; MWF 9:00 - 9:50
Course Number: 

The current state of energy use in the United States might best be understood by examining the transitions in energy that have occurred over the past 200 years.  The harnessing of energy resources and societal development go hand-in-hand. The rise to prominence of different energy resources (including coal, oil, natural gas, nuclear, and renewables) both mirrors and fundamentally affects environmental, social, political, and economic ideals and circumstances of a nation. Through the use of historical and current examples, this course will help students better understand why and how energy transitions have occurred in the US.  This examination will also serve to highlight the many factors involved in global energy shifts, with a special focus on the energy issues currently facing recently developed and developing nations.  With growing pressures on energy production as a result of rising populations, increasing industrialization, and the threat of global climate change, emphasis will be placed not solely on historical transitions, but also the diverse blueprints and forecasts for our global energy future.

Instructor Bio: 

Kevin Gamble received his B.A. in Religious Studies from Appalachian State University and went on to complete a M.S. in Appropriate Technology, with a focus on sustainable waste management and bioenergy.  Kevin’s current research interests include: sustainable energy technologies, energy transitions, energy policy, nuclear power, the role of technology in society, and futurism. 

Kevin is of the mind that an interdisciplinary approach is essential in understanding complex technical issues and their larger role in society.  He teaches through the application numerous fields of inquiry including: historical, sociological, political, economic, psychological, and technical methods and theories towards garnering a greater understanding of the role of technology, particularly energy, in society.  A firm believer in the importance of a well-rounded education, he encourages his students to think outside of their individual disciplines.

A North Carolina native, Kevin has lived in the High Country for the past 10 years.  When not teaching, researching, or traveling, he can usually be found at home with his wife, two dogs, and their ever-growing flock of chickens.  He also enjoys reading sci-fi, gardening, tending his compost, and brewing up new batches of homebrewed beer.

Contact FYS

The First Year Seminar is part of the General Education Program located in Anne Belk Hall, Room 250.

Phone: 828-262-2028

Our mailing address:
First Year Seminar
ASU Box 32065
Appalachian State University
Boone, NC 28608

Director of First Year Seminar:
Dr. Martha McCaughey

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