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.
Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)
Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:
- Describe the energy flow within the Earth’s ecosystem using the first and second laws of thermodynamics and the Law of Conservation of Matter.
- Predict the role and use of alternative energy sources along with the impact of the world’s reliance on fossil fuels.
- Differentiate between endangered and threatened species and the role and interactions of species as they relate to the Earth and the human population.
- Interpret population statistics and discuss how population size is affected by fertility rates, birth and death rates, and immigration and emigration patterns.
- Examine the potential sources of water and pollution and their effect on human health, population, and plant and wildlife species.
- Examine the potential sources and relate the impacts of air pollution on human health and the Earth’s ecosystems.
- Illustrate how the potential impacts of varying weather patterns and climate changes affect the environment on a local, regional, and global level.
- 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)
Course Activities and Grading
Discussions Weeks 1-8; 14@20 points each
Quizzes Weeks 1-7; 7@40 points each
Essay (Week 4)
Final Exam (Week 8)
Available through Charter Oak's online bookstore
- Wright, Richard T. (2017). Environmental Science (13th Edition). Pearson Publishing. ISBN-10: 0-13-401127-9 or ISBN-13: 978-0-13-401127-1
Readings and Exercises
Topics: Introduction, Environmental Problems, and Earth's Natural Cycles
Topics: Science and Energy
Topics: Biodiversity and Human Interactions
Topic: Human Population
5, 6, 7
Topics: Human Health, Climate Change, and Air Pollution
Topics: Water Resources, Soil, Food, Pests, and Water Pollution
Topics: Solid and Hazardous Waste, Environmental Economics and Public Policy
Reading: Chapters 21, 22 and 2
Topic: Final Exam
Reading: Review chapters 1-23 for Final Exam
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.