Environmental Science (Bio 48)
Tuesday & Thursday 2:00-4:50
Date Lecture Topic Reading (Wright & Boorse)
Jan 25 Science and the Environment CH 1
Economics, Politics, and Public Policy CH 2
Feb 1 PCBs in the Last Frontier – Case Study Handouts
Basic Needs of Living Things CH 3
Feb 8 Populations and Communities CH 4
Feb 15 Ecosystems: Energy, Patterns, & Disturbance CH 5
Mystery in Alaska – Case Study Handouts
Feb 22 Wild Species and Biodiversity CH 6
The Use and Restoration of Ecosystems CH 7
Mar 1 The Human Population CH 8
Population and Development CH 9
March 8 EXAM 1
March 15 Water: Hydrologic Cycle and Human Use CH 10
Soil: The Foundation for Land Ecosystems CH 11
March 22 The Production and Distribution of Food CH 12
Pest and Pest Control CH 13
March 29 Energy from Fossil Fuels CH 14
Nuclear Power CH 15
April 5 Renewable Energy CH 16
Environmental Hazards and Human Health CH 17
April 12 EXAM 2
Date Lecture Topic Reading
April 19 SPRING BREAK!
Apr 26 Global Climate Change CH 18
An Inconvenient Truth Movie
May 3 Atmospheric Pollution CH 19
May 10 Water Pollution and its Prevention CH 20
The Dead Zone – Case Study Handouts
May 17 Municipal Solid Waste: Disposal and Recovery CH 21
May 24 Hazardous Chemicals: Pollution and Prevention CH 22
Sustainable Communities and Lifestyles CH 23
May 31 (TUES) FINAL EXAM (3:00-6:00)
Environmental Science (Bio 48)
Tuesday & Thursday 2:00-4:50
Instructor: Mrs. Nancy Wheat
Text: Environmental Science: Toward a Sustainable Future, Eleventh Edition (2011)
by Richard T. Wright and Dorothy F. Boorse
Lab text: Field and Laboratory Exercises in Environmental Science, Seventh Edition (2000) by
Eldon Enger and Bradley Smith.
Course website: I have set up a website for our course:
http://www.hartnell.cc.ca.us/faculty/nwheat/EnvironmentalScience.htm. This website will have the
PowerPoint lectures, copies of the syllabus and handouts, as well as many valuable links to websites
that we will use in class or that may help you with your studies.
Visionlearning: Our class has an excellent resource for your use: www.visionlearning.com. You
will need to register at the Visionlearning website and go to the MyClassroom link for Environmental
Science at Hartnell College. Once you have registered, you will have access to our Visionlearning
syllabus and links to all modules listed. These are excellent lessons covering some of the topics that
will be covered in lecture. They can be viewed in Spanish if you prefer. This provides an excellent
review for those of you having trouble with a topic as well as those of you who would like to explore
a topic in more detail.
Instructor: As the instructor for this course, I am available to facilitate your learning of the course
material. I can be reached using email at any time or you may come in early to talk to me before
class, or we can set up an appointment at another time. Make sure you keep my contact information
accessible so that you can contact me if you need to, or if you need to notify me of an absence.
Course Objectives: In this class we will examine a number of issues concerning the environment
and the effects we have on the environment. You will gain an understanding of the various
components of the environment, physical, chemical, and biological, and how those components
interact. It is my hope that you will come away from this class with the tools needed to make
educated decisions when voting on environmental policy, as well as when making personal decisions
that affect the environment.
Teaching Methodology: We have lots of material to cover, so most days will consist of lecture with
some discussion and in-class activities. Also, we will be reading and discussing several case studies.
It is very important that you read the case studies, attend and participate in the discussions. Labs are a
hands-on time for students to work together to learn about the topics covered in lecture.
Requirements: It is required that you attend both lecture and lab (if enrolled in lab) every week.
There will be some activities during lecture where you will break up into groups to perform an
activity and turn in group answers – your group members will depend on you to be present and
contribute to the group. If you are unable to attend lecture or lab, you are responsible for getting the
notes from another student and for finding out if there was any work that you could make up. You
are still responsible for any missed material! You may get the results of a missed lab from your lab
partners, but you must answer any questions and write your lab summary ON YOUR OWN!
Grading Criteria: Your grade will be determined by your performance on exams, quizzes, projects,
lab summaries & reports, attendance, participation, and attitude. You will have two (2) midterm
exams worth 100 points each. The final will be cumulative (including material from the whole
semester) and is worth 200 points. Also, there will be some in-class activities worth a few points
now and then during the semester. You will be given short 10-point quizzes in lab most weeks (a
great way to boost your grade, if you are prepared). A 10-50 point lab exercise must be turned in at
the beginning of the next lab period. In addition, attendance, participation, and attitude are very
important. If your grade is borderline, this is how I determine who gets bumped up or down. Grades
will be assigned as follows: >90% - A; 80-89% - B; 70-79% - C; 60-69% - D; <60% - F.
Classroom Management Policies: Please do all you can to avoid being late to class and lab. Coming
in late disrupts the class. Habitual tardiness will affect your grade. Please do not disrupt class in any
way by talking, passing notes, texting friends etc. Please turn off or silence all cell phones and
pagers. I will ask you to leave the class if you are making it difficult for others to listen. There will
be no make-up quizzes or exams except for excused, documented absences. Repeated absence from
lecture or lab, in addition to hurting your ability to learn the material, may result in your being
dropped from the class. Attendance in lab is especially important because you really need to be there
to learn the material and see what is happening, you can't just copy a friend's notes. Needless to say,
cheating will not be tolerated and will result in a zero on the assignment and/or being dropped from
How to Study for this Course: You are responsible for your own learning of this material. Think
about how you learn best, how much time you will need to spend on reading, studying and other
assignments and learn to budget your time. Remember that the more often you are exposed to the
material (read it, hear it in lecture, read it again, review it at the Visionlearning website, do a lab
related to the material) the more likely you are to retain that information. Try forming a study group
and discuss what we are doing in lecture or lab. Relate information to your own experiences. Read
all assigned material BEFORE coming to class! Make a list of vocabulary words to learn for the
exams. Flashcards may help if you feel overwhelmed by the vocabulary, but it is essential that you
understand the concepts instead of just memorizing vocabulary. If you don’t understand something
you can always ask me as well. It really helps to go through the material again after lecture. You
must read lab material before going to lab in order to work efficiently and get the most out of the lab.
Make your schoolwork a priority and do the best job you possibly can on all your assignments!
Field Trips: Field trips are an opportunity to see some marine and terrestrial habitats and look for
many of the organisms that we will talk about, and they will be fun! If you choose not to, or cannot,
attend a field trip, you must do a supplemental report. See me to set up details. Transportation is up
to the individual students.
Some important tips for field trips:
NEVER turn your back on the ocean. Even when it seems calm, a large set of waves may be
Dress warmly – in layers! It is always cooler and windier at the coast.
Wear shoes or boots that you don't mind getting wet or muddy.
Be careful when handling organisms.
As a student, you are the center of the learning process. I can’t force you to learn the
material, I can only expose you to it in what I hope will be an interesting way. You must do the
actual learning yourself. It is your responsibility to set goals for yourself, plan how you will use the
materials provided to you, and schedule your time. Developing good study skills will save you time
and energy by helping you work more efficiently. This will help you not only in this course, but
every other course you take. The following list is a set of learning tools that may help you. This list
was adapted from The Course Syllabus by Judith Grunert.
Self Management Techniques
Set learning goals for yourself
Plan and organize a study schedule
Break down work into manageable units
Study in a place free from distractions
Reading to Learn
Preview the chapter (titles, pictures, summaries, etc)
Read for main ideas
Summarize in your own words
Reread, visualize, relate, think aloud
Making Useful Notes
Identify the main ideas
Summarize ideas or text
Create outlines, flowcharts or concept maps
Underline selectively (not the whole book)
Rewrite notes (but only spend time doing this if you are focused on the material!)
Study with Others
Discuss the material with a friend
Quiz each other on terms and concepts
Review notes and texts; pay special attention to points emphasized in lecture
Think up possible questions and answer them.
Review key terms
Get a good night sleep before the exam
Read questions carefully
If you don’t understand something on the test – ASK!!