SCI 201: Environmental Science

Course Description

This course will focus on drawing information from several traditional sciences such as chemistry, biology, geology, physics, and botany, along with concepts from engineering, geography, economics, and sociology, to explore key aspects and controversial issues in the field of environmental science. Topics such as local and regional environmental problems, natural cycles, energy, biodiversity, population, human health, air and water pollution, weather, food and water supply, and waste issues will be covered and discussed. The course identifies and emphasizes the connections among all living things and the physical world.  (3 credits)

Those students interested in receiving lab credit associated with this course should enroll in the 1-credit SCI 202: Interdisciplinary Science Lab.

Prerequisite

  • None

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:

  1. Describe the energy flow within the Earth’s ecosystem using the first and second laws of thermodynamics and the Law of Conservation of Matter.
  2. Predict the role and use of alternative energy sources along with the impact of the world’s reliance on fossil fuels.
  3. Differentiate between endangered and threatened species and the role and interactions of species as they relate to the Earth and the human population.
  4. Interpret population statistics and discuss how population size is affected by fertility rates, birth and death rates, and immigration and emigration patterns.
  5. Examine the potential sources of water and pollution and their effect on human health, population, and plant and wildlife species.
  6. Examine the potential sources and relate the impacts of air pollution on human health and the Earth’s ecosystems.
  7. Illustrate how the potential impacts of varying weather patterns and climate changes affect the environment on a local, regional, and global level.
  8. Relate how hazardous wastes are managed and discuss the potential impacts of their release on the human health and the environment.

General Education Outcomes (GEOs)

Please check the applicable GEOs for this course, if any, by outcomes at GEO Category Search, or by subject area at GEO Discipline Search.

Course Activities and Grading

Assignments

Weight

Discussions (Weeks 1-8)

25%

Quizzes (Weeks 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6)

25%

Essay (Week 4)

20%

Final Exam  (Week 8)

30%

Total

100%

Required Textbooks

  • This course uses Open Educational Resources (OER). OER are openly licensed, educational resources that can be used for teaching, learning and research. OER may consist of a variety of resources such as textbooks, videos and software that are no cost for students.

Course Schedule

Week

SLOs

Readings and Exercises

Assignments

1

1,5

Topics: Introduction, Environmental Problems, and Earth's Natural Cycles

  • Reading:
    • Chapter 1
  • Read the assigned chapter
  • Review the lecture material
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Complete the Week 1 Quiz

2

1, 2

Topics: Science, Energy, Fossil Fuels, Nuclear Power, Renewable Energy

  • Reading:
    • Chapters 3 and 4
  • Read the assigned chapters
  • Review the lecture material
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Complete the Week 2 Quiz

3

3

Topics: Wildlife Populations, Ecosystems, Biodiversity

  • Reading:
    • Chapter 1 (Review)
    • Chapter 2
  • Read or review the assigned chapters
  • Review the lecture material
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Complete the Week 3 Quiz
  • Begin work on the Essay assignment, which is due by the end of Week 4

4

 4

Topics: Human Population, Development, Sustainable Communities; Essay

  • Review:
    • Chapters 1 and 2 (Review)
  • Review the assigned chapters
  • Review the lecture material
  • Participate in the Discussion
  • Submit the Week 4 Essay

5

5, 6, 7

Topics: Human Health, Air Pollution, Climate Change, Carbon Cycle

  • Reading:
    • Chapter 2 (Review)
    • Chapters 5 and 6
  • Read or review the assigned chapters
  • Review the lecture material
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Complete the Week 5 Quiz

6

3, 5

Topics: Soil, Food, Water Resources, Water Pollution

  • Reading:
    • Chapter 2 (Review)
    • Chapters 7 and 8
  • Read or review the assigned chapters
  • Review the lecture material
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Complete the Week 6 Quiz
  • Begin preparations for the Week 8 Final Exam

7

8

Topics: Municipal Solid Waste, Hazardous Chemicals and Wastes

  • Reading:
    • Chapters 1 and 4 (Review)
  • Review assigned chapters
  • Review the lecture material
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Continue preparations for the Week 8 Final Exam

8

1-8

Topic: Conclusions, Final Exam

  • Reading:
    • Review Chapters 1-8 for Final Exam
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Complete the Week 8 Final Exam
  • Participate in the Course Evaluation process

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COSC Accessibility Statement

Charter Oak State College encourages students with disabilities, including non-visible disabilities such as chronic diseases, learning disabilities, head injury, attention deficit/hyperactive disorder, or psychiatric disabilities, to discuss appropriate accommodations with the Office of Accessibility Services at OAS@charteroak.edu.

COSC Policies, Course Policies, Academic Support Services and Resources

Students are responsible for knowing all Charter Oak State College (COSC) institutional policies, course-specific policies, procedures, and available academic support services and resources. Please see COSC Policies for COSC institutional policies, and see also specific policies related to this course. See COSC Resources for information regarding available academic support services and resources.