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SYLLABUS Powered By Docstoc


FALL 2011

Division:         Arts & Sciences
Instructor:       V. Beth K. Olsen, M.S
                  Professor of Biology and Environmental Science
                  Office: AS 318
                  Phone: 410-287-6060 ext. 747
                  Web site:

Credit Hours: 1
Total Course Lab Hours: 28
Meeting day and time: Thursday 2 pm – 3:55 pm
Refund date: 09/09/2010
Withdrawal date: 11/11/2010

Prerequisites: C or better in EGL-093 and MAT-092 or satisfactory grades on respective
placement tests

Co requisite: ENV-106 (Environmental Science), EGL-101 (Freshman Comp.) and MAT-
093. Student must have successfully completed these courses prior to enrollment in ENV
116 or be presently enrolled and continue enrollment in these courses to remain enrolled
in ENV 116.

Course Description: Environmental Science Lab is designed to actively involve the
student in the process of science. The student will perform experimental activities that
include direct experience with real phenomena, use of technology, and the collection,
analysis, interpretation and presentation of data. Lab work will include observational
studies, experimental laboratory tests, and/or the use of computer modeling to predict

Learning Outcomes                                       Learning Indicators
Students will:                                          Students will:
1. Demonstrate an understanding of fundamental           1.1 Discuss scientific literacy including proficiency
concepts of environmental science.                      in evaluating reports on environmental science,
                                                        discriminating among sources, and understanding
                                                        the concept of peer review.
                                                        1.2 Develop an experiment to test an ecological or
                                                        environmental concept.

2. Be able to differentiate science from non-science.   2.1 Describe the testing of hypotheses about natural

                                                                   phenomena through observation
                                                                   2.2 Rewrite a given hypothesis in a testable form.
                                                                   2.3 Design a set of procedures to test a hypothesis in
                                                                   the field of environmental science.
                                                                   2.4 Discriminate between qualitative and
                                                                   quantitative data
                                                                   2.5 Identify variables that could bias data and take
                                                                   steps in an experiment to minimize or eliminate
                                                                   those variables.
                                                                   2.6 Measure and record natural phenomena and use
                                                                   that information to support or reject a hypothesis.

3. Demonstrate correct use of technology/                          3.1 Demonstrate ability to use electronic databases
equipment appropriate for environmental science                    in the discipline of environmental science.
research                                                           3.2 Locate and retrieve peer-reviewed journal
                                                                   articles from the library.
                                                                   3.3 Access archival lab data.
                                                                   3.4 Recognize the need for and correctly use safety
                                                                   equipment in an environmental science laboratory.
                                                                   3.5 Demonstrate the use of computer-generated
                                                                   statistical programs to interpret data.
                                                                   3.6 Demonstrate proficiency in the use of laboratory
                                                                   equipment to conduct an experiment in
                                                                   environmental science.
                                                                   3.7 Demonstrate proficiency in the use of
                                                                   environmental science field equipment to collect
                                                                   field data.

4. Demonstrate proficiency in the quantitative                     4.1 Determine appropriate equipment for use in
aspects of environmental science, with an                          measuring a natural phenomenon.
appreciation of the role of variability in the                     4.2 Calculate instrumental margins of error.
quantitative evaluation of data                                    4.3 Recognize variations in experimental data due to
                                                                   human error.
                                                                   4.4 Utilize basic statistical analyses to sample a
                                                                   population, as defined in statistical analyses.
                                                                   4.5 Use a control or reference to assist in identifying
                                                                   the degree of variability in experimental data.

Grade Determination:
Oral Presentation………………………........................................................100 points
Lab Report……………………………......................................................... 100 points
Average of quiz grades and evaluation(s) of other teams'
oral presentations [lowest grade dropped] ......................................................100 points
Post test.............................................................................................................10 points
Professor's Evaluation of Lab participation.....................................................100 points

TOTAL............................................................................................................450 points

8% will be deducted from the final grade for each 2-hour lab session missed. 16% will be

deducted from the final grade for each 4-hour lab session missed. A prorated deduction
will be applied to late arrivals and inappropriate early departures.

Grade Range:
        A = 405 points or greater (90 - 100%)
        B = 360-404 points (80 - 89%)
        C = 315-359 points (70 - 79%)
        D = 270-314 points (60 - 69%)
        F = 269 points or less (below 60%)
        K = audit
        W= withdrawn
        M= A post-deadline withdrawal grade, M, is issued only to students who cannot
complete the course on schedule because of illness or other extenuating circumstances.
The student or next of kin may apply for an M grade if the student has missed the
college’s official withdrawal date, was passing at the last date of attendance (60% or
higher), and has not taken the final exam and/or completed the final course project. For M
grade consideration, the student must make the request no later than the end of the
semester directly following the course in question. No refunds will be granted for an M
grade. Details as to how to apply for an M grade can be found on the

Lab Reports: Lab reports will be collected and oral presentations scheduled periodically.
For tentative activities and due dates, see schedule available online at .
The grade will be based on accuracy and completeness of information. Written reports
and require use of proper grammatical, sentence and paragraph structure where
appropriate; neatness; and accurate spelling. Lab reports should be completed on a word
processor unless otherwise stated. Graphs, diagrams and other visual supplemental
materials should be used where appropriate. These may be handwritten or computer-
printed. Inclusion of photographs as scientific documentation or to illustrate lab
equipment and/or procedures is encouraged. The lab room is equipped with some laptop
computers for use by student teams. Some digital cameras are available in the Math Lab
for student hourly sign-out. Students are encouraged to bring their own laptop computers,
electronic devices that access the Internet, and digital cameras to supplement the college
supply of equipment.

A report containing 10 or more spelling, punctuation or grammatical errors will be
considered unacceptable. A report, which, in the instructor’s opinion, is illegible, will be
considered unacceptable. An unacceptable lab report will receive 0%. The report may be
corrected and resubmitted following a session with a tutor in the Reading/Writing Lab.
The Reading/Writing Lab tutor’s signature must appear on the cover sheet of the
resubmitted report. Students will have one week or until the last day of class, which ever
comes first, in which to make corrections. All corrections, including those related to
content, must be completed in order to retain the original credit earned. Each mistake that
is not corrected will loose double the points assigned in the original grade. Therefore, it

is possible to receive a lower grade on the re-grade if too many mistakes remain. (See the
biology professor for more information.)

Students submitting an acceptable lab report may make corrections to their report and
submit for a re-grade. Students will have one week or until the last day of class, which
ever comes first, in which to make corrections and submit the improved report. Each
mistake that is not corrected on the re-grade will loose double the points assigned in the
original grade. Therefore, it is possible to receive a lower grade on the re-grade if too
many mistakes remain. The final grade for the lab report will be the average of the
original grade and the corrected re-grade.

A lab report submitted late will loose 3 percentage points per day late with a maximum of
7 days late or the last day of class, whichever comes first. No lab reports will be accepted
more than 7 days after their due date.

All lab work must be completed during scheduled class time. If students desire more
time to complete a lab, they may schedule additional lab sessions on days and at times of
the week when the professor or designated proctor is available (see attached schedule).

All lab reports earning a grade of 90% or higher may be made available to future students
as examples of outstanding work. Student names will remain on the report/presentation.
The professor’s comments will remain on the document available to other students. The
grade sheet will remain confidential. If a student prefers that their work not be made
available to future students, the student must submit that request in writing within one
week of the date on which the report is submitted.

Team Work: In the lab, students are encouraged to develop a team approach to
accomplishing tasks. Done with equal input from all participants, a team has the
potential to produce a higher quality product within a given amount of time than would be
possible if each individual worked independently. All students on a team will jointly
submit one lab report or give one joint presentation. Using the following formula, the
professor’s evaluation of the product and their fellow teammates’ evaluation of their
participation will determine the lab grade for each individual on the team:

[professor’s grade on the lab report/presentation] X [the average percent of participation
as determined by teammates’ peer evaluations] = individual student grade

All peer evaluations must be submitted to the professor on the day the lab report is due or
the day the presentation is given. Peer evaluations submitted late may, at the professor’s
discretion, be eliminated from the formula for determining a student’s grade. Any peer
evaluating a teammate at less than full participation must include an explanation for the
lower evaluation in order to have that evaluation considered valid. Thoughtful comments
on all peer evaluations are encouraged and are considered part of a student’s participation
grade. The professor reserves the right to void a peer evaluation if, in the professor’s
opinion, the student was not evaluated fairly. A sample peer evaluation form is available
online at under Teammate’s

Evaluation of Lab Participation (Peer Evaluation)

The professor may opt to have a student complete a lab individually.

Criteria used to grade each lab report and presentation is included in documents located in
your lab manual. When writing a lab report, your team may request copies of outstanding
student lab reports to use as a guide. These will not be labs addressing the same
hypothesis your team is addressing.

Lab Quizzes: There will be at least two and no more than ten unannounced quizzes, lab
practicals, and/or lab notebook checks designed to evaluate the individual student’s
comprehension of the lab material. If a student is not present when a quiz is distributed to
the class or when notebooks are collected for a grade, the student will receive 0% on that
quiz or notebook grade. The lowest of these grades will be dropped. The post-test may
not be dropped. Examples of quiz questions likely to be asked by the professor can be
found in the document “Practice for your lab quizzes” available at

Lab Participation: Students will be graded on the quality of their participation in labs.
Students are required to read the lab material PRIOR TO the date on which the lab is
scheduled. When necessary, students are required to meet with team members to
complete lab reports and/or presentation preparations. Criteria for evaluating student lab
participation are listed in the document “EVALUATION OF LAB PARTICIPATION”.

Peer-review Participation: Students will be graded on the quality of their participation in
peer-review sessions and on peer evaluations.

Outdoor Labs: As indicated on the Lab Schedule available online at , some of the labs will be
completed outdoors. Students should dress appropriately. An outdoor lab will be
postponed only in the case of dangerous winds or thunderstorms; or in case of a college-
initiated emergency closing or cancellation.

Smoking Policy: There is to be no smoking during any lab, including those conducted

Students with Disabilities: Any student with a documented disability (e.g. physical,
learning, psychiatric, vision, hearing, etc.) who wishes to arrange reasonable
accommodations must contact the ADA Coordinator in Enrollment and Student Support
Services. If you do not have a documented disability, and would like to learn more about
how to obtain documentation to receive ADA services, you can schedule an appointment
with the coordinator by calling 1-410-287-1000. The ADA Coordinator is located in the
CCC Community Cultural Center on the first floor.


Electronic Devices in the classroom: The use of electronic communication devices
(headphones, cell phones, beepers/pagers, laptops, etc.) in the classroom (to include both
incoming and outgoing transmissions), is prohibited, except as such use is required by the
nature of the course itself and authorized by the instructor. A student with disabilities
may make an electronic transcript of class lectures provided that his/her case is evaluated
by the ADA Coordinator and he/she is given permission to do so. The ADA Coordinator
must inform the course instructor that the making of an electronic transcript of class
lectures is permitted under the Americans with Disabilities Act. In all such cases, the
electronic recording of the class must not include class discussions, peer/group
discussions, and any other student presentations; consequently, the electronic recording
device must be turned off during such classroom activities.
Cell-phone Policy: All cell-phones, blackberries or beepers should be turned off unless in
use for lab-related activities.

Class-related Photography: Photography is encouraged as a form of scientific
documentation. This may include photographing students engaged in lab or field work.
Students preferring not to be photographed, should inform the professor prior to the lab

Required Texts:
a) Scientific Method: The Process of Science, A Laboratory Manual for Environmental
        Science (2009) by Olsen, V. Beth K. Cecil College.

b) Raven, Peter H., Linda R. Berg and David M. Hassenzahl. Environment, 7th Edition.
       2009. John Wiley and Sons, Inc: New Jersey.

Other Materials:
3 - ring binder
Dividers or Post-it flags for 3-ring binder
Loose-leaf paper for 3-ring binder (lined and unlined)
#2 pencils or black ink pens
Colored pencils
Calculator (basic)
If you choose to make graphs by hand (not on computer), you’ll need:
Graph paper

Digital camera
Photo-quality paper
Laptop computer
Blackberry, iphone, or other electronic device capable of connecting to wireless Internet
Graphing calculator

Suggested clothing and other materials for outdoor lab work:
      Flashlight if taking an evening lab class
      Digital camera
      Cell phone or 2-way radio set on channel 1
      Pocket notebook and 3-4 short pencils
      Thick socks and rain boots (Wellies)
      Unscented sunscreen / lip balm / body lotion (for windburn and sunburn
      Water bottle
      Daypack, fanny pack or large pockets for storing supplies
      Tetanus vaccination within the past 10 years

       On rainy days:
       Raincoat with hood (oil-skins are best)
       May also want to wear rain pants
       Waterproof bags for electronic equipment and other materials damaged by rain

       On cold-weather days:
       Layered top: turtleneck, sweater, jacket combination (Layers will allow you to
       remove some things to adjust thickness to temperature changes and/or sweat)
       Gloves with holes at the tips of the index finger and thumb of your dominant hand
       (i.e. righted-handed or left-handed people)
       Hat or ear-warmers
       Do not wear metal jewelry (if cold enough, metal can stick to skin)

       On hot-weather days:
       Insect repellant or bug suit
       Light jacket kept for 24 hours in a sealed plastic bag sprayed with insect repellant
       Do not wear cologne, scented hair products, scented body wash or similar
       products (these products often attract insects)

Attendance Policy: Students are required to attend all lab sessions, unless otherwise
stated. Students should arrive promptly. A student arriving after commencement of a lab
session will be permitted to participate in that session only at the discretion of the
professor. Failure to attend required labs will result in a lowering of the final course
grade by 8% per 2-hour lab and 16% per 4-hour lab. Students should remain until the lab
has been completed and equipment has been returned to its proper storage space. Late
arrival to a lab session and/or departure from a lab prior to a student’s completion of the
lab work for that session will result in a lowering of the final course grade by 1% for each
15 minutes missed. An “Incomplete Contract” is not available in this course.

If, in the professor’s opinion, a student’s behavior adversely affects the quality of
education for other students or poses a threat to the safety of that student or others, that
student may be dismissed from any or all labs. Upon dismissal, the student forfeits all
grades related to that lab. Dismissal from a lab will result in the lowering of the final

grade by 1% for each 15 minute-portion of the session from which they are dismissed.

Academic Honesty:
POLICY: Cecil College adheres to the highest standards of academic honesty. Students
at Cecil College are expected to maintain that high standard by taking responsibility for
their own academic success and achievement. All forms of academic dishonesty are
serious offenses and will not be tolerated. All members of the College community share
the responsibility for the academic standards of the College. Academic honesty is a
cornerstone of the development and acquisition of knowledge and is a critical component
of continued membership in the College community.
Violations of the Academic Honesty Policy include, but are not limited to:
    I.      Plagiarism
    II.     Cheating
    III.    Fabrication
    IV.     Other forms of academic dishonesty not specifically described here but in
            violation of the intent of the Academic Honesty Policy.
Plagiarism includes but is not limited to:
             The inclusion or use of someone else’s words, ideas, or data as one’s own;
             The use of an author’s exact words without acknowledging the source and
                enclosing the material in quotation marks;
             The use of an author’s words, ideas, opinions, thoughts, or theories in
                paraphrase or summary without acknowledging the source;
             Submitting in part or whole another person’s work as one’s own, or
                permitting someone else to do academic work for oneself.
Cheating includes but is not limited to:
             The use or attempted use of unauthorized materials, information, or study
                aids in an academic exercise or assignment;
             Copying any portion of another’s work and submitting it as one’s own;
             Allowing another person to copy one’s work;
             Soliciting to copy another person’s work;
             The unauthorized collaboration with any other person on any academic
             The unauthorized use of electronic instruments, such as cell phones,
                calculators, or other devices to access or share information;
             The unauthorized completion for another person of an academic work or
                permitting someone else to complete an academic work for oneself.
             The use of unauthorized knowledge of the contents of test, quizzes, or
                assessment instruments;
             Submitting a paper in two different classes during one semester without
                permission of the faculty members;
             Submitting previously graded work without permission of the faculty
             Taking an examination or writing a paper for another student;
             Inaccurately listing as a co-author of a paper or project someone who did

                 not contribute.
Fabrication includes but is not limited to:
             Fabricating, falsifying, or inventing any information or citation;
             Making up the data for a research project or lab experiment;
             Stating an opinion as a scientifically proven fact;
             Altering the results of a lab experiment or survey;
             Misrepresenting information such as data, facts, or results.
 Any violation of the CC Honesty Policy will result in failure on the exam, presentation,
or failure for the course. There will be no warnings given.

Office Hours: The professor is available to assist students with their course work. A
schedule of office hours will be distributed during the first week of classes and is also
posted outside her office door. The professor may be reached at:
Office: AS 318
Phone: 410-287-6060 ext. 747
During office hours, the professor may be found either in the office, in the lecture
room(s), in the science lab room(s), or in other areas as indicated by a note near the office
door. In case an emergency prevents the professor from holding office hours, a note will
be posted near the office door.

Telephone messages and email are checked at least once on each day the professor has
classes scheduled. When leaving an email message, include the course code, ENV 116,
in your title so that the professor will know to give your message priority. The professor
is not permitted to share information about a student’s grades via email unless the student
requests and completes a written form giving the professor permission to do so. Written
correspondence may be delivered via the “Student Drop Box” located near the Faculty
Reception Desk on the 3rd floor of the Arts and Sciences Building. In case of emergency,
please leave a message at the Dean’s Office Reception Desk on the 2nd floor of the Arts
and Sciences Building at (410) 287-6060, extension 208 or 300.

The professor will use BlackBoard email functions to communicate with students. It is
the student’s responsibility to register his/her correct email address on BlackBoard. The
final course grade will be received by each student via their “MyCecil” website located at

Lecture Notes: Copies of Beth Olsen’s lecture notes, as well as other supplemental
materials, are available on the Internet at: or use search words “Beth Olsen
Biology” to access via an Internet search engine. From the main page click “course
outline”, then click on the lecture topic of choice.

CC Resources:
Online databases are available in the college library. They are also available remotely
(from your home PC) on the library’s web page available at
. To access them from home, you’ll need your CC Library Card bar code and your user
name (usually your last name). There is a charge for copies printed from the online
databases when printed in the CC Library. Other useful biology websites are available on
the Internet at . Access to
the Internet, the CC Library online databases, and E-mail is available in the Science Lab
for purposes of scientific investigation only. Copies may be downloaded free of charge.
Access to the Internet and the CC Library online databases are available in the Computer
Lab located on the 3rd floor of the Technology Building. Copies may be downloaded free
of charge in the Computer Lab. E-mail is available for personal use by students in the
Computer Lab. This service is offered free of charge.

Free Tutoring: Tutoring in math skills is available. Contact Patty Voigt at 410-287-6060
ext. 374 or 410-287-1015; or visit the Math Lab on the 4th floor of the Arts and Sciences
Building. Tutoring in writing, reading, study skills, and computer skills is available
through the Reading/Writing Lab on the 3rd floor of the Arts and Sciences Building.
More information is available at 410-287-6060, extension 421. Information on learning
styles and the methods of study tailored to your individual strengths can be found at .

Assistance with the use of computers is available in the Computer Lab on the 3rd floor of
the Technology Building. Contact Sue Price at 410-287-6060, extension 525. Assistance
with the use of the electronic databases is available in the CC Library at 410-287-6060,
extensions 562 and 565 or 410-287-1005.

All of these services are offered free of charge.


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