SC 111 Environmental Science

Course Description:
This course provides an understanding of the ecological principles that are basic to organism interactions and the flow of matter and energy in the ecosystem. Principle of population structure and organization are developed with particular attention to the implications of these principles to growth and impact of human populations. This course emphasizes the impact of human activity on natural ecosystems by dealing with the major types of pollution and how it affects the health and welfare of humans and other organisms.

  • Prerequisite Courses: ESL 089

A. PROGRAM LEARNING OUTCOMES (PLOS):
The student will be able to:

  1. Define and explain scientific concepts, principles, and theories of a field science.
  2. Perform experiments that gather scientific methods as part of the enquiry process.

B. STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES (SLOS) - GENERAL
The student will be able to:

  1. Describe the main concepts of environmental science and the history of the environmental movement.
  2. Describe the scientific method, how science operates and be able to communicate using scientific literacy regarding environmental issues.
  3. Describe the structure of matter, energy principles, energy flow, photosynthesis, cellular respiration and chemosynthesis.
  4. Describe the basic principles of ecology and the levels of biological and ecological organization within the biosphere.
  5. Recognize the difference between primary and secondary succession and compare/contrast terrestrial biomes.
  6. Demonstrate understanding of the characteristics used to predict population growth, the fundamental concepts of population ecology and the impact of human population growth on the planet.
  7. Demonstrate understanding of energy resources and describe how they are used worldwide.
  8. Understand biodiversity, biodiversity loss and describe the conservation of biodiversity.
  9. Explain the importance of soils in agriculture, describe the impacts of agriculture on soils, list soil conservation practices and give examples of sustainable agriculture.
  10. State the freshwater supplies available on earth and describe their use, pollution and sustainability.
  11. Discuss the major pollutants and solutions related to air quality.
  12. Outline the problems associated with solid and hazardous wastes and their recycling alternatives.

SLO

PLO 1

PLO 2

1

ID

 

2

ID

 

3

IDM

ID

4

IDM

I

5

ID

 

6

ID

I

7

IDM

 

8

ID

 

9

IDM

I

10

ID

 

11

ID

 

12

ID

I

I = Introduced
D = Demonstrated
M = Mastered

C. STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES (SLOS) – SPECIFIC
The student will be able to:

General SLO 1: Describe the main concepts of environmental science and the history of the environmental movement.

Student Learning Outcomes

Assessment strategies

1.1. Define environment, environmental science, pollution, sustainable development and ecological footprint.

Quiz.

1.2 List the 5 major stages of the history of the environmental movements.

Quiz or oral presentation (scored with rubric).

General SLO 2: Describe the scientific method, how science operates and be able to communicate using scientific literacy regarding environmental issues.


Student Learning Outcomes

Assessment strategies

2.1 Outline the steps undertaken in the scientific method.

Quiz

2.2 Use scientific reasoning, literacy and communication to discuss a current environmental issue.

Group or class debate (scored by rubric).

General SLO 3: Describe the structure of matter, energy principles, energy flow, photosynthesis, cellular respiration and chemosynthesis


Student Learning Outcomes

Assessment strategies

3.1 Describe, define and give examples of matter.

Quiz.

3.2 List the main energy principles: type of energy, law of thermodynamics and energy flow.

Quiz.

3.3 Define and explain photosynthesis.

Quiz or oral/poster presentation (scored with rubric).

3.4 Define and explain cellular respiration.

Quiz or oral/poster presentation (scored with rubric).

3.5 Define and explain chemosynthesis.

Quiz or oral/poster presentation (scored with rubric).

General SLO 4: Describe the basic principles of ecology and the levels of biological and ecological organization within the biosphere.


Student Learning Outcomes

Assessment strategies

4.1. Define the following terms: abiotic factors, biotic factors, limiting factors, habitat, niche, species, species interactions and natural selection.

Quiz, written research report on a chosen selection or oral/presentation (scored with rubric).

4.2 List the levels of ecological organization in a population, community and ecosystem.

Quiz or written assignment (scored with rubric).

4.3 Classify organisms according to their feeding relationships and energy flow.

Quiz or written assignment (scored with rubric).

4.4 Construct and draw food webs and trophic levels and describe the main biogeochemical cycles.

Quiz or written assignment (scored with rubric).

General SLO 5: Recognize the difference between primary and secondary succession and compare/contrast terrestrial biomes.


Student Learning Outcomes

Assessment strategies

5.1 Define primary and secondary succession and demonstrate an understanding of their main differences.

Quiz

5.2 Describe the world’s terrestrial biomes and outline some human activities that affect these biomes.

Quiz

General SLO 6: Demonstrate understanding of the characteristics used to predict population growth, the fundamental concepts of population ecology and the impact of human population growth on the planet.


Student Learning Outcomes

Assessment strategies

6.1 List and define the following terms: growth rate, population size, population density, population distribution, sex ratio, age structure, birth and death rate, migration and biotic potential.

Quiz

6.2 Draw and explain a logistic growth curve.

Quiz

6.3 Outline and discuss the how human population growth is influenced by social, theological, philosophical and political thinking and how population growth can be reduced.

Written assignment or oral presentation (scored with rubric).

General SLO 7: Demonstrate understanding of energy resources and describe how they are used worldwide.


Student Learning Outcomes

Assessment strategies

7.1 Outline the history of energy consumption from the industrial revolution to the modern day society.

Written assignment or research project (scored with rubric).

7.2 Describe fossil fuels, their use, future trends and environmental and economic impacts.

Written assignment (scored with rubric).

7.3 List and define the following renewable/alternative energy sources and their environmental advantages and disadvantages: hydroelectric, solar, wind, geothermal, tidal hydrogen fuel cells and nuclear power.

Quiz, poster/oral presentation or a class debate arguing the pro’s and con’s of renewable/alternative energy sources (scored with rubric).

General SLO 8: Understand biodiversity, biodiversity loss and describe the conservation of biodiversity.


Student Learning Outcomes

Assessment strategies

8.1 List and define biodiversity, biodiversity loss, conservation of biodiversity and the importance of biodiversity.

Quiz.

8.2 Describe ways to measure biodiversity and list the causes of biodiversity loss.

Quiz

General SLO 9: Explain the importance of soils in agriculture, describe the impacts of agriculture on soils, list soil conservation practices and give examples of sustainable agriculture.


Student Learning Outcomes

Assessment strategies

9.1 Describe the importance of soils in agriculture and how agriculture impacts soils.

Quiz or written assignment (scored with rubric).

9.2 List the causes and consequences of soil erosion and degradation and the impact of fertilizers and pesticides.

Quiz

9.3 List soil conservation practices.

Quiz

9.4 Explain the problems of feeding a growing population and discuss the issue of genetically modified products.

Group debate/discussions or oral/poster presentation (scored with rubric).

General SLO 10: State the freshwater supplies available on earth and describe their use, pollution and sustainability.


Student Learning Outcomes

Assessment strategies

10.1 Explain, describe and draw the hydrological cycle and explain the importance of groundwater, aquifers and runoffs.

Quiz

10.2 Outline problems of water supply and water quality and investigate current solutions to these problems.

Written assignment or research project (scored with rubric).

General SLO 11: Discuss the major pollutants and solutions related to air quality.


Student Learning Outcomes

Assessment strategies

11.1 Draw and describe the earth’s atmosphere.

Quiz

11.2 Outline outdoor and indoor air pollution and the solutions.

Quiz or written assignment (scored with rubric).

General SLO 12: Outline the problems associated with solid and hazardous wastes and their recycling alternatives.


Student Learning Outcomes

Assessment strategies

12.1 Describe the major categories of water we generate: municipal, industrial, solid, and hazardous and wastewater.

Quiz

12.2 List the reasons why solid waste is a worldwide problem.

Quiz

12.3 List examples of recycling alternatives available to manage solid and hazardous waste both worldwide and within the Pacific Islands.

Quiz and written assignment (scored with rubric).

D. COURSE CONTENT

  1. Environmental Science: an introduction
  2. The scientific method
  3. Matter, energy, photosynthesis, cellular respiration and chemosynthesis
  4. Ecology
  5. Succession and biomes
  6. Population
  7. Energy resources
  8. Biodiversity
  9. Soils
  10. Freshwater
  11. Pollution
  12. Waste
E. METHODS OF INSTRUCTION

Lecture, class discussion, oral presentations, "hands-on" practical's and audio visual material.

F. REQUIRED TEXT AND MATERIALS

Enger, E.D. and Smith, B.F. (2010). Environmental Science. A Study of Interrelationships.12th
Edition
Boston, NY: McGraw Hill Companies (or most recent edition).

G. REFERENCE MATERIALS
None

H. INSTRUCTIONAL COST
None

I. EVALUATION
None

J. CREDIT BY EXAMINATION
None

 

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