Spring 2022 - MBB 302 D100

Energy: From Cells to Society (3)

Class Number: 2662

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu, Th 2:30 PM – 4:20 PM
    RCB 5118, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    45 units. This course is only open to students in the Faculties of Applied Sciences, Arts and Social Sciences, Communication, Art and Technology, Education, Environment, Beedie School of Business and Health Sciences (Bachelor of Arts Degree Program only).



Energy flow drove the origin of life and is required to sustain life. From molecular machines to ecosystems, the capture and flow of energy defines life. Human use of fossil fuels is explored as a transformative evolutionary development. Breadth-Science.



  1. Energy and Matter
  2. The Origin of Life
  3. The Emergence of Complex Life
  4. Human Use of Fossil Fuels


  1. To engage with and critically respond to the scientific content underlying three transformative events: the origin of life, the emergence of complex life, and human use of fossil fuels.
  2. To discern between well-founded science and misinformation.
  3. To express intellectual and emotional responses to new understandings about human connections to the biosphere.


  • Written responses to readings 10%
  • Quizzes & worksheets 15%
  • Midterm 1 15%
  • Midterm 2 15%
  • Essay 1 15%
  • Essay 2 15%
  • Peer feedback on essays 5%
  • Team presentation 1 5%
  • Team presentation 2 5%


This course is restricted to non-Science majors.



The Vital Question: Energy, Evolution, and the Origins of Complex Life, Nick Lane. 2015. W.W. Norton & Company. Available on Vital Source.
ISBN: 9780393248197

Saving Us: A Climate Scientist's Case for Hope and Healing in a Divided World, Katharine Hayhoe. ‎ Atria/One Signal Publishers. ISBN (hardcover) 978-1982143831.

Department Undergraduate Notes:

  • For help with writing, learning and study strategies please contact the Student Learning Commons at
  • Students requiring accommodations as a result of a disability, must contact the Centre for Accessible Learning (778-782-3112 or e-mail:  caladmin@sfu.ca)

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in spring 2022 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with safety plans in place.  Some courses will still be offered through remote methods, and if so, this will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the spring 2022 term.