ENVR1301 - Environmental Science I
Instructor of Record: John L. McClain, Ph.D.
Office Location: MBS 1153
Office Phone: 254.298.8406
Office Hours: posted on office door
Mailing Address: 2600 South First Street, Temple, TX 76504
Email: john.mcclain@templejc.edu

Course Description:
A general study of scientific knowledge needed to address issues and problems involving energy and the environment; an introduction to resources including animal, plant, energy, water, soil and air; a study of pollution problems and alternatives. Laboratory exercises include soil testing, air and water quality measurements, field sampling techniques, and related nature studies. Optional field trips.
State Approval Code: 03.0103.52 01
Lab Hours per Week: 2
Lecture Hours per week: 3

Core Curriculum: State Criteria
Basic Intellectual Competencies: Those marked with a reflect the State-mandated competencies taught in this course.
Reading
Writing
Speaking
Listening
Critical Thinking
Computer Literacy
Perspectives: Those marked with a reflect the State-mandated perspectives taught in this course.
Establish broad and multiple perspectives on the individual in relationship to the larger society and world in which he/she lives, and to understand the responsibilities of living in a culturally and ethnically diversified world.
Stimulate a capacity to discuss and reflect upon individual, political, economic, and social aspects of life in order to understand ways in which to be a responsible member of society.
Recognize the importance of maintaining health and wellness.
Develop a capacity to use knowledge of how technology and science affect their lives.
Develop personal values for ethical behavior.
Use logical reasoning in problem solving.
Integrate knowledge and understand the interrelationships of the scholarly disciplines.
Natural Sciences Exemplary Objectives: The objective of the study of a natural sciences component of a core curriculum is to enable the student to understand, construct, and evaluate relationships in the natural sciences, and to enable the student to understand the bases for building and testing theories. Those marked with a reflect the State-mandated perspectives taught in this course.
1.To understand and apply method and appropriate technology to the study of natural sciences.
2.To recognize scientific and quantitative methods and the differences between these approaches and other methods of inquiry and to communicate findings, analysis, and interpretation both orally and in writing.
3.To identify and recognize the differences among competing scientific theories.
4.To demonstrate knowledge of the major issues and problems facing modern science, including issues that touch upon ethics, values and public policies.
5.To demonstrate knowledge of the interdependence of science and technology and their influence on, and contribution to, modern culture.

Course Objectives
Successful completion of this course will promote the general student learning outcomes listed below. Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able:
1.To understand the basic laws of chemistry, biology, and physics that govern how the world functions.
2.To understand natural resources and environmental challenges associated with man's use of these resources.
3.To summarize pollution issues and alternatives.
4.To describe ways of living that minimize one's environmental footprint.
Successful completion of this course will promote the specific student learning outcomes listed below. Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able:
1.To provide a historical background of the impact of man on the earth's environment, including its climate and biesphere.
2.To describe the laws of physics, chemistry, and biology that relate to the environment.
3.To determine how these laws can be employed to positively impact the environment.
4.To delineate the relationships that exist between living and non-living components of the biophysical systems that comprise the biosphere, and to explain the development and interplay of these relationships.
5.To note the earth's reserves of resources, predict the environmental consequences of their use, and to describe methods of conserving them.
6.To provide basic comparisons concerning resource use and ethics, and to contrast the biocentric world view with the anthropocentric.
7.To review the chemistry and physics relating to water and air quality parameters and the scientific methods used to ameliorate pollution problems.
8.To work with water, soil, and air chemical testing in the laboratory and field.
9.To develop field measuring and observational skills.
10.To analyze data, to draw conclusions and inferences from the data, to record the data in an organized fashion, and to submit the data for review.

Course Content
This course convers the following topics:
Unit 1 - Introduction
 •   Distinguish between ecology and environmental science.
 • Distinguish among renewable resources, potentially renewable resources, and nonrenewable resources.
 • Summarize the root causes of environmental problems.
 • Describe the changes that generally occur during a cultural revolution.
 • Define environmental worldview.
 • Evaluate the sustainability of human societies at this point in time.

Unit 2 - Physical Laws and Processes
 •   Describe conservation of energy and matter.
 • Explain Newton's First and Second Laws of Motion.
 • Explain the units of the MKS System.
 • Explain the Second Law of Thermodynamics and its application to biological systems.
 • Explain atomic structure.
 • Describe the structure of the periodic table of the elements.
 • Distinguish between metals and nonmetals.
 • Explain electronegativity.
 • Differentiate between ionic and covalent compounds.
 • Differentiate between polar and non-polar solvents.
 • Describe biologically significant compounds.
 • Identify the significance of phosphate, sulfur, calcium, and carbon.
 • Explain water cycles.
 • Describe geologic processes that occur within the earth and on its surface.
 • Describe rocks and how they are recycled by the rock cycle.
 • Describe the hazards from earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
 • Define soils, and explain how they are formed.
 • Explain soil erosion and how it can be reduced.

Unit 3 - Ecosystems and Components
 •   Describe abiotic components of an ecosystem.
 • Describe biotic components of an ecosystem.
 • Define carnivores, omnivores, detritivores, and decomposers.
 • Explain ecosystem functions.
 • Describe energy circuits.
 • Describe food chains.
 • Explain biogeochemical cycles.
 • Describe homeostatic controls.
 • Explain Darwinian evolution.
 • Explain Shelfords Law of Tolerance and Liebig's Law of the Minimum.
 • Describe ecological succession.
 • Describe how land is used in the world and in the United States.
 • List the major types of public land and explain how they are used and managed in the world and in the United States.
 • Explain the importance of forest resources.
 • Explain how forest resources are used and managed in the world and in the United States.
 • Explain how tropical deforestation and fuelwood shortages have impacted resources.
 • Summarize the types of problems parks face and possible solutions.
 • Describe how terrestrial nature reserves are established, designed, protected, and managed.
 • Explain ecological restoration and its importance.

Unit 4 - Habitat and Biomes
 •   Explain how various processes affect the way organisms fit into their environment.
 • Describe an ecological niche, and explain how it relates to adaptation to changing environmental conditions.
 • Describe the key factors determining the earth's weather.
 • Describe the key factors determining the earth's climate.
 • Explain how climate determines where the earth's major biomes are found.
 • Describe the major types of desert biomes, and explain how human activities affect them.
 • Describe the major types of grassland biomes, and explain how human activities affect them.
 • Describe the major types of forest biomes, and explain how human activities affect them.
 • Explain the importance of mountain and arctic biomes and how human activities affect them.
 • Explain lessons that can be learned from a geographic perspective of ecology.

Unit 5 - Aquatic Issues
 •   Explain the basic types of aquatic life zones.
 • Explain the major types of saltwater life zones.
 • Describe the factors that influence the kinds of life contained in aquatic life zones.
 • Explain how human activities affect saltwater life zones.
 • Explain the major types of freshwater life zones.
 • Explain how human activities affect freshwater life zones.
 • Summarize methods to sustain aquatic life zones.
 • Explain aquatic biodiversity and its economic and ecological importance.
 • Describe how human activities affect aquatic biodiversity.
 • Describe how marine biodiversity can be protected and sustained.
 • Explain how the world's marine fisheries can be managed and sustained.
 • Explain how wetlands can be protected, sustained, and restored.
 • Explain how lakes, rivers, and freshwater fisheries can be protected, sustained, and restored.

Unit 6 - Population Dynamics and Species Sustainment
 •   Explain what determines the number of species in a community.
 • Describe how species are classified according to their roles.
 • Explain species interaction with one another.
 • Explain how communities and ecosystems change as environmental conditions change.
 • Explain the relationship of high species diversity and increased stability of ecosystems.
 • Explain changes in population size, density, and makeup in response to environmental stress.
 • Describe the role of predators in controlling populations.
 • Explain reproductive patterns that enhance the survival of different species.
 • Define conservation biology.
 • Explain the major impact human activities have on populations, communities, and ecosystems.
 • Summarize how individuals can live more sustainably.
 • Explain how human activities have affected the earth's biodiversity.
 • Describe human activities that have produced an extinction crisis.
 • Explain the importance of biodiversity and species extinction.
 • Summarize human activities that endanger wildlife.
 • Explain how to prevent premature extinction of species.
 • Describe ways game animals can be managed more sustainably.

Unit 7 - Pollution Issues
 •   Describe the layers of the atmosphere.
 • Describe the major outdoor air pollutants and their sources.
 • Describe the types of smog.
 • Explain acid deposition and how it can be reduced.
 • Explain the harmful effects of air pollutants.
 • Explain how air pollution can be prevented and controlled.
 • Explain how the earth's climate has changed in the past.
 • Predict how the earth's climate may change in the future.
 • Describe the factors that can affect changes in the earth's average temperature.
 • Describe some possible effects of climate change from a warmer earth.
 • Explain how to slow or to adapt to projected climate change caused by natural processes, human activities, or both.
 • Explain how human activities impact the depleting of ozone in the stratosphere.
 • Describe how to slow and eventually reverse ozone depleting in the stratosphere caused by human activities.
 • Describe what pollutes water, explain where the pollutants come from, and describe the effects of the pollutants.
 • Summarize the major water pollution problems of streams and lakes.
 • Describe groundwater pollution and its causes and prevention.
 • Describe water pollution problems of oceans.
 • Explain ways surface water pollution can be reduced and prevented.
 • Describe how drinking water can be made safer.
 • Describe the regulation of pesticide usage in the United States.
 • Explain alternatives to using conventional pesticides, and describe the advantages and disadvantages of each alternative.
 • Describe the types of pesticides.
 • Compare the pros and cons of using chemicals to kill insects and weeds.

Unit 8 - Environmental Worldviews, Ethics, and Energy
 •   Describe human-centered environmental worldviews that guide most industrial societies.
 • Describe life-centered and earth-centered environmental worldviews.
 • Explain ethical guidelines that might be used to guide environmental worldviews.
 • Describe how to live more sustainably.
 • Summarize how the world's food is produced.
 • Explain how green revolution and traditional methods are used to raise crops.
 • Explain how much food production has increased.
 • Explain the seriousness of malnutrition.
 • Describe environmental affects of producing food.
 • Explain how production of crops, meat, and fish and shellfish can be increased.
 • Summarize how government policies affect food production.
 • Explain how we could shift to more sustainable agricultural systems.
 • Compare the advantages and disadvantages of improving energy efficiency.
 • Differentiate the advantages and disadvantages of using solar energy to (1) heat buildings and water and (2) produce electricity.
 • Compare the advantages and disadvantages of using flowing water to produce electricity.
 • Compare the advantages and disadvantages of using wind to produce electricity.
 • Compare the advantages and disadvantages of burning plant material (biomass) to (1) heat buildings and water, (2) produce electricity, and (3) propel vehicles (biofuels).
 • Compare the advantages and disadvantages of producing hydrogen gas and using it to (1) produce electricity, (2) heat buildings and water, and (3) propel vehicles.
 • Compare the advantages and disadvantages of extracting heat from the earth's interior (geothermal energy).
 • Compare the advantages and disadvantages of using smaller, decentralized micropower sources to heat buildings and water, produce electricity, and propel vehicles.
 • Summarize how a transition to a more sustainable energy future can be made.

Methods of Instruction and Course Format
The delivery of material for this course may be accomplished by but is not limited to the following methodologies:
 •  Collaboration
 • Current events
 • Demonstrations
 • Discussion
 • Field trips
 • Internet
 • Lecture
 • Readings
 • Television
 • Tutorials
 • Video

Assessment
Both in-class and out-of -class activities that may be used to evaluate student learning and abilities may unitize but are not limited to the following:
 •  Attendance
 • Book and article reviews reviews
 • Class preparedness and participation
 • Collaborative learning projects
 • Exams/tests/quizzes
 • Homework
 • Internet-based assignments
 • Journals
 • Library assignments
 • Readings
 • Research papers
 • Scientific observations
 • Student-teacher conferences
 • Written assignments

Course Grade
Final grades are determined from:
Exams 40% to 50%
Homework/Quizzes 20% to 25%
Other 0% to 15%
Final Exam 20% to 30%
Final letter grades are determined from overall averages according to the following scheme:
A if 90% ≤ final average
B if 80% ≤ final average < 90%
C if 70% ≤ final average < 80%
D if 60% ≤ final average < 70%
F if final average < 60%

Disclaimers
Students should keep the following points in mind during the semester.
The contents of this syllabus may change to improve the class or clarify various policies. Such changes shall be announced in class.
Specific dates for assignments and assessments will be announced in class. It is the student's responsibility to obtain such information in the event of an absence.
The student may require access to a reliable high speed internet connection for completion of certain assignments.