SC 117 Tropical Pacific Environments

Course Description:
This course will present ecological principles made relevant by examples from Pacific Island ecosystems and from interactions of humans with our island reefs and forests. It will focus on the close interrelationship between the physical (hydrosphere, lithosphere, atmosphere) and biological (biosphere) environments of tropical Pacific islands and the impact of human colonization. Emphasis will be placed on islands as “closed” systems with limited surface area and resources. Drastic alteration to Pacific island environments by rapid population growth, industrialization and modern technology within the last century will be explored.

  • Prerequisite Courses: ESL 089 Reading V and recommended completion of one other 100 plus-level Natural Science course and SS 150 (History of Micronesia).

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

  1. Demonstrate understanding and apply mathematical concepts in problem- solving and in day to day activities.
  2. Present and interpret numeric information.
  3. Communicate thoughts and ideas effectively using proper mathematical terms.
  4. Define and explain scientific concepts, principles, and theories of a field of science.
  5. Perform experiments that use scientific methods as part of the inquiry process.

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

  1. Become familiar with the scientific concepts of "environment" and "ecology."
  2. Describe four major Pacific island types and explain their origins.
  3. Develop understanding of the past and present impact of humankind on the tropical Pacific island ecosystems.
  4. Develop a vocabulary that allows students to discuss environmental realities linked to environmental challenges.
  5. Identify "global issues" concerning the world environment and their impact on Tropical Pacific Islands.
  6. Understand environmental ethics in relation to traditional or cultural knowledge of the environment.
  7. Recognize sustainable patterns in tropical island environments.

SLO

PLO 1

PLO 2

PLO 3

PLO 4

PLO 5

1

 

 

 

ID

IDM

2

 

 

 

ID

IDM

3

 

I

 

ID

ID

4

 

 

 

ID

ID

5

 

ID

 

ID

ID

6

 

 

 

ID

I

7

 

 

 

I

I

I = Introduced
D = Demonstrated
M = Mastered

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

General SLO 1: Become familiar with the scientific concepts of "environment" and "ecology".

Student Learning Outcomes

Assessment strategies

1.1 Identify the relationship among the scientific concepts, At least 70% correct Principles and theories of environment and ecology, as on objective tests they pertain to the following:

  1. physical and biological environments; and
  2. ecosystem and the lower levels of organization.

At least 70% correct on objective tests

1.2 Apply procedures of scientific methods as part of the inquiry process in weekly lab experiments on topics of environment and ecology.

At least 70% correct on lab checklists

General SLO 2: Describe four major Pacific island types and explain their origins.

Student Learning Outcomes

Assessment strategies

2.1 Identify and explain geologic processes in the development of Pacific islands as well as their resources and limitations

At least 70% correct on lab checklists

2.2 Apply procedures of scientific methods as part of the Inquiry process in weekly lab experiments on topics of Island geologic development, resources, and limitations.

At least 70% correct on lab checklists

General SLO 3. Develop understanding of the past and present impact of humankind on the tropical Pacific island ecosystems.

Student Learning Outcomes

Assessment strategies

3.1 Express mathematically human impact, including how technology influences these impacts on a variety of ecosystemss.

At least 70% correct on lab checklists

3.2 Describe and explain how human activities affect the tropical Pacific islands and their ecosystems:

  1. Land resources and their exploitation (such as deforestation, agriculture, mining)
  2. Freshwater resources and their importance and Protection measures
  3. Saltwater environment, its potential and overuse
  4. Human population growth on land water management and on waste management

At least 70% correct on lab checklists

3.3 Identify such human impacts on tropical Pacific island ecosystems

At least 70% correct on lab checklists

General SLO 4. Develop a vocabulary that allows students to discuss environmental realities linked to environmental challenges.

Student Learning Outcomes

Assessment strategies

4.1 Use appropriate vocabulary to discuss environmental topics (in classroom discussion, exercises, assignments, and exams)

At least 70% correct on objective tests

4.2 Apply vocabulary in the use of scientific methods in lab reports

At least 70% correct on objective tests

General SLO 5. Identify “global issues” concerning the world environment and their impact on tropical Pacific islands.

Student Learning Outcomes

Assessment strategies

5.1 Explain graphic presentations (charts, tables, maps, and graphs)related to "global issues".

At least 70% correct on objective tests

5.2 Describe and explain global environmental issues, such as global warming and ozone layer depletion, and link them to projected catastrophes in tropical Pacific island communities

At least 70% correct on objective tests

5.3 Apply procedures of scientific methods as part of the Inquiry process in weekly lab experiments related to "global issues".

At least 70% correct on objective tests

General SLO 6. Understand environmental ethics in relation to traditional or cultural knowledge of the environment.

Student Learning Outcomes

Assessment strategies

6.1 Compare and contrast traditional and modern ethics related to environment, and identify those that would benefit our environment today

At least 70% correct on objective tests

6.2 Apply procedures of scientific methods as part of the inquiry process in weekly lab experiments related to traditional practices of benefit today.

At least 70% correct on objective tests

General SLO 7. Recognize sustainable patterns in tropical island environments.

Student Learning Outcomes

Assessment strategies

7.1 Identify best conservation practices (both traditional and modern), as presented by guest speakers from local conservation agencies.

At least 70% correct on objective tests

7.2 Describe and identify best conservation practices in the context of scientific methods

At least 70% correct on objective tests

D. COURSE CONTENT

  1. Tropical Pacific Islands, people, and knowledge.
  2. Ecosystems: Relationships between organisms.
  3. Habitats and Climate: Relationship between organisms and their environment.
  4. Soil, Grassland, and Forest Communities, and our use of them.
  5. Aquatic Habitats.
  6. Coral Reef Ecosystems and our use of them.
  7. Island Population---I: How Species get to islands and what happens when they do.
  8. Island Population---II: Pests and Endangered Species.
  9. Sustainability: Wise use of Resources.
  10. Dealing with our wastes.
  11. Global issues on Island Earth.
E. METHODS OF INSTRUCTION
  1. Lectures
  2. Group discussion/presentation
  3. Audiovisiual, and
  4. Laboratory experimentations.

F. REQUIRED TEXT AND COURSE MATERIALS
Lobban, S.C. and M. Schefter. Tropical Pacific Island Environments. Guam: University of Guam Press.1997 (or most recent edition).

G. REFERENCE MATERIALS
PCunningham, W. P. and B. W. Saigo. Environmental Science. A Global Concern. 6th ed. Boston: McGraw Hill Higher Education. 2001 ( or most recent edition).
Enger E.D. & B.F. Smith. Environmental Science. A Study of Interrelationships. 7th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Higher Education. 2000 ( or most recent edition).
Tyler Miller G. Jr. Living in the Environment. 11th ed. New York: Brooks/Cole Publishing Co. 1999 ( or most recent edition).

H. INSTRUCTIONAL COST
$25.00 for gasoline for lab field trips.

I. EVALUATION
None

J. CREDIT BY EXAMINATION
None

 

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