University of Vermont

Community Development and Applied Economics at the University of Vermont

Community Development and Applied Economics

CDAE 195: Dominica Syllabus

Service Learning Areas

CDAE 195-Dominica Renewable Energy Workshop

Syllabus-draft Subject to change

Class Time and Place:
Spring Semester
Spring Recess: Field work in Commonwealth of Dominica, Eastern Caribbean
Credits: 4

Gary Flomenhoft, Research Associate Gund Institute
Adjunct Faculty, CDAE
590 Main St.

Course Description:

Energy is the most important natural resource because it is used to extract and produce all other resources, as well as powering transportation, industry, and housing. The availability of energy is key to economic development. Developing countries such as Dominica often have a large trade deficit due to importation of many essential items like fuel, food, etc. and often import all their energy.

Dominica imports all their motor fuel and produces 60% of their electricity from imported diesel fuel. At the same time the island has overwhelming domestic energy resources including hydro, wind, biomass, solar, and even geothermal. The philosophy of LOIS (Locally Owned Import Substitution) will guide our work there. Dominica has ample domestic renewable energy resources. Our purpose is to promote their development and use.

The purpose of this workshop is to provide students with direct experience in another culture doing hands-on projects to develop renewable energy. Projects during this workshop may include any of the following:

  • Repair and installation of a solar hot water system
  • Installation and wiring of a photovoltaic and inverter for back-up lighting
  • Installation of wind measuring equipment
  • Conducting a biodiesel workshop and researching biodiesel potential
  • Installing water collection and piping for micro-hydro system
  • Research of geothermal potential
  • Etc.

Class work:

Will involve training in all the various forms of renewable energy in order to have a basic understanding of the technology prior to the workshop. Students will communicate with partners in Dominica in order to choose a project to work on during the workshop.

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I reserve the right to make necessary changes and additions to this syllabus and to the Course Outline throughout the semester. These changes or additions will be announced in class.

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