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ENVR 1305 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE Credit: 3 (3 lecture)
Fall Semester 2015
Houston Community College System
Class: Monday 8:00am-11:00am (Felix Morales Building Rm 314)
Course Description:
The course will study Environmental Science including the interrelationships
humans and the natural world. Environmental challenges will be identified
scientific, social, political, historical and ethical background aspects will
be considered.
The class will also review environmental problems and discusses how they may
Course Goals
This course is designed to convey environmental science concepts and to
provide a
comprehensive background in basic interactions between humans and the natural
Student Learning Outcomes
The student will be able to:
1. Define, compare, and discuss environmental science principles.
2. Explain the interrelationships between humans and the natural world
3. Discuss how environmental problems may be solved
4. Examine the critical issues and challenges facing humans in a changing
Learning objectives
Students will:
1. Examine the historical, social, political and ethical aspects.
2. Review the general structure of environmental interrelationships.
3. Consider the principles, practices and benefits of solving environmental
4. Understand the importance of being responsible for the safekeeping of the
5. Examine the various regulations and policies that assist in safeguarding
environment and how those policies are changing.
6. Review what “going green” means and how that can impact the environment.
7. Examine how energy consumption patterns impact environmental issues.
Instructor Information
Dr. Douglas James (Jim) Siebert, Adjunct Geology Professor:
[email protected]
Phone: 713-479-2849
Office Hours: By special appointment
Enger & Smith// Environmental Science: A Study of Interrelationships//
14th Ed, 2016// ISBN 9781259298448
Lab Requirements (if any)
HCC Policy Statement - ADA
Services to Students with Disabilities
Students who require reasonable accommodations for disabilities are
encouraged to
report to Dr. Becky Hauri at 713-718-7910 to make necessary arrangements.
Faculty is
only authorized to provide accommodations by the Disability Support Service
HCC Policy Statement: Academic Honesty
A student who is academically dishonest is, by definition, not showing that
coursework has been learned, and that student is claiming an advantage not
available to
other students. The instructor is responsible for measuring each student's
achievements and also for ensuring that all students compete on a level
playing field.
Thus, in our system, the instructor has teaching, grading, and enforcement
roles. You are
expected to be familiar with the University's Policy on Academic Honesty,
found in the
catalog. What that means is: If you are charged with an offense, pleading
ignorance of the
rules will not help you. Students are responsible for conducting themselves
with honor
and integrity in fulfilling course requirements. Penalties and/or
disciplinary proceedings
may be initiated by College System officials against a student accused of
dishonesty. “Scholastic dishonesty”: includes, but is not limited to,
cheating on a test,
plagiarism, and collusion.
Cheating on a test includes:
Copying from another students’ test paper;
Using materials not authorized by the person giving the test;
Collaborating with another student during a test without authorization;
Knowingly using, buying, selling, stealing, transporting, or soliciting in
whole or
part the contents of a test that has not been administered;
Bribing another person to obtain a test that is to be administered.
Plagiarism means the appropriation of another’s work and the unacknowledged
incorporation of that work in one’s own written work offered for credit.
Collusion mean the unauthorized collaboration with another person in
preparing written
work offered for credit. Possible punishments for academic dishonesty may
include a
grade of 0 or F in the particular assignment, failure in the course, and/or
for probation or dismissal from the College System. (See the Student
HCC Policy Statements
Class Attendance - It is important that you come to class! Attending class
regularly is the
best way to succeed in this class. Research has shown that the single most
factor in student success is attendance. Simply put, going to class greatly
increases your
ability to succeed. You are expected to attend all lecture and labs
regularly. You are
responsible for materials covered during your absences. Class attendance is
daily. Although it is your responsibility to drop a course for nonattendance,
the instructor
has the authority to drop you for excessive absences.
If you are not attending class, you are not learning the information. As the
that is discussed in class is important for your career, students may be
dropped from a
course after accumulating absences in excess of 12.5% hours of instruction.
The six hours
of class time would include any total classes missed or for excessive
tardiness or leaving
class early.
You may decide NOT to come to class for whatever reason. As an adult making
decision not to attend, you do not have to notify the instructor prior to
missing a class.
However, if this happens too many times, you may suddenly find that you have
“lost” the
Poor attendance records tend to correlate with poor grades. If you miss any
including the first week, you are responsible for all material missed. It is
a good idea to
find a friend or a buddy in class who would be willing to share class notes
or discussion
or be able to hand in paper if you unavoidably miss a class.
Class attendance equals class success.
HCC Course Withdrawal Policy
If you feel that you cannot complete this course, you will need to withdraw
from the
course prior to the final date of withdrawal. Before, you withdraw from your
please take the time to meet with the instructor to discuss why you feel it
is necessary to
do so. The instructor may be able to provide you with suggestions that would
enable you
to complete the course. Your success is very important. Beginning in fall
2007, the
Texas Legislature passed a law limiting first time entering freshmen to no
more than SIX
total course withdrawals throughout their educational career in obtaining a
and/or degree.
To help students avoid having to drop/withdraw from any class, HCC has
instituted an
Early Alert process by which your professor may “alert” you and HCC
counselors that
you might fail a class because of excessive absences and/or poor academic
It is your responsibility to visit with your professor or a counselor to
learn about what, if
any, HCC interventions might be available to assist you – online tutoring,
child care,
financial aid, job placement, etc. – to stay in class and improve your
If you plan on withdrawing from your class, you MUST contact a HCC counselor
or your
professor prior to withdrawing (dropping) the class for approval and this
must be done
PRIOR to the withdrawal deadline to receive a “W” on your transcript. **Final
withdrawal deadlines vary each semester and/or depending on class length,
please visit
the online registration calendars, HCC schedule of classes and catalog, any
Registration Office, or any HCC counselor to determine class withdrawal
Remember to allow a 24-hour response time when communicating via email and/or
telephone with a professor and/or counselor. Do not submit a request to
withdrawal options less than a day before the deadline. If you do not
withdraw before
the deadline, you will receive the grade that you are making in the class as
your final
Course Requirements, Testing, and Grading Policy
The course is divided into two units approximately. About mid-way through the
there will be a test that covers the first half of the material and toward
the end of the
semester another exam will be given to cover the second half. Each of the
tests will
consist of 50 multiple-choice questions, which will also include matching and
questions. A review will be held before each exam and the class will be
notified of the
exam dates at least a week in advance.
A final exam will be given, which will also be a 50 multiple-choice and
true/false test.
A Term Paper will also be required (DUE On Monday November 2, 2015 at class
time), which should be at a bare minimum of two pages of text with double
spaced lines
and a font not more than 12 point, and the text requirement does not include
a title page.
To be safe the student should write into the third page to be sure the paper
is at least two
full pages. The topic of the paper is to be determined by the student, but
the topic should
be on an environmental issue that is or has been in the news and the paper
should offer
suggestions on how to solve the issue. The paper should include a lot of
detail about the
problem including historical, social, economic, and political aspects. The
paper should
demonstrate that the student has an excellent understanding of the issue and
then offers
way to solve it and they should offer opinions about the issue as well. This
is not a
research paper, but more of an opinion paper where the student identifies an
environmental problem and then offers ways to make things better. Pictures
and graphics
can also be included, but there should be a minimum of two pages of text and
if the
student has any questions about their paper or the topic, they are encouraged
to ask the
professor for help. The total grade for the paper will be scored based on the
formatting, and grammar. The paper should be a good quality paper.
Breakdown of Total Grade:
Test #1
Test #2
Final Exam
Term Paper
100 points
100 points
100 points
50 points DUE on Monday November 2, 2015 at Class Time
All applicable rules of HCCS will apply in this course.
Grade Scale: A=90-100%, B= 80-89%, C= 70-79%, D= 60-69%, F= below 60%
Make-up policy
Arrangements can be made to take a test early, but only “very” special
circumstances will
allow for a test to be made-up AFTER the exam date. Term papers will be
accepted after
the due date, but there will be a 10% mark-down for being late. All
applicable rules of
HCCS will apply in this course.
Course Content
Chapter 1 – Environmental Interrelationships
Chapter 2 – Environmental Ethics
Chapter 3 – Environmental Risk, Economics, Assessment, and Management
Chapter 4 – Interrelated Scientific Principles: Matter, Energy, and
Chapter 5 – Interactions: Environments and Organisms
Chapter 6 – Kinds of Ecosystems and Communities
Chapter 7 – Populations: Characteristics and Issues
Chapter 8 – Energy and Civilizations: Patterns of Consumption
Chapter 9 – Energy Sources
Chapter 10 –Nuclear Energy
Chapter 11 – Biodiversity Issues
Chapter 12 – Land-Use Planning
Chapter 13 – Soils and Its Uses
Chapter 14 – Agricultural Methods and Pest Management
Chapter 15 – Water Management
Chapter 16 – Air Quality Issues
Chapter 17 – Solid Waste Management and Disposal
Chapter 18 – Environmental Regulations: Hazardous Substances and Wastes
Chapter 19 – Environmental Policy and Decision Making
Notice of Instructor’s Right to Modify the Syllabus
The instructor reserves the right to modify this syllabus and will notify the
class of any
changes in a timely manner.
Environmental Science
Review Terms and Concepts for Test 1
Scientific Method
Presumptions with Scientific Method
Limitations of Science
Theory vs. a Law
First Law of Thermodynamics
Second Law of Thermodynamics
Matter (Solid, Liquid, Gas)
Latent Heat vs. Sensible Heat
Factors in Measuring Risk
Decision Making Process
& Prioritization
Measuring Risk (Risk & Cost)
Probability of Risk
Consequences of Risk
Economics of Risk
Risk Assessment & Carcinogens
Estimating Sensational Causes of Death
What’s Worse Mountain Climbing, Air
Travel, Cigarettes or Nuclear Power Plant
Environmental Problems & Economics
Supply & Demand
Market-Based Instruments
Tradable Emissions Permits
Information Programs
Performance Bonds
Government Subsidies
What does extending product lives
Do for the environment?
Extended Product Responsibility
Cost-Benefit Analysis
Sustainable Development
Common Property
Tragedy of the Commons
Problems with the environment &
developing nations?
Ethic vs. a Moral
Anthropocentric Ethical View
Biocentric Ethical View
Ecocentric Ethical View
Developmental Ethic
Preservation Ethic
Conservation Ethic
Societal Environmental Ethics
Corporate Environmental Ethics
Environmental Justice
Industrial Ecology
Global Environmental Ethics
Predominant feeling most
people have about
environmental ethics?
How does dealing with waste
materials impact profit
Why are changes to help the
environment hard to create?
What scientific fields of study
are included in
Environmental Science?
Definition of “Environment”
What is an Environmental Region?
Agricultural Middle
Dry West
Wilderness North
Industrial Northeast
Forested West
Diverse South
Environmental Science
Terms & Concepts Review for Test 2
Natural Selection Process
What is a Community
Nutrient Cycle
Mediterranean Shrubland
Tropical Dry Forest
Range of Tolerance
Tropical Rain Forest
Limiting Factors
Roles of Organisms
Temperate Deciduous Forest
Freshwater Ecosystem
Marine Ecosystem
Benthic Marine Ecosystem
Coal Reef Ecosystem
Species Extinction/How many
have gone extinct
Euphotic Zone
Symbiotic Relationship
Mangrove Swamp
Primary Consumer
Secondary Consumer
Stationary Water vs Running Water
Lake Productivity
Stream Productivity
Keystone Species
World Human Population Trends
Energy Flow & Tropic Levels
Factors of society impacts on natural resources
Food Web vs Food Chain
Total Fertility Rate
Nutrient Cycle
Influences of population growth in less-developed countries
Carbon Cycle
Children influences in less-developed vs developed countries Nitrogen Cycle
Programs to limit population growth
Phosphorus Cycle
Women dependency on men in poor counties
Ability to quantify Standard of Living for different countries
Primary Succession
Food growth in developed nations vs.
Secondary Succession
less-developed nations
Climax Community
Humanitarian aid influences good and bad
Pioneer Community
What’s wrong with population models in
Terrestrial Successions
Europe & North America
Aquatic Successions
Baby Boomer impacts on the United States
Expected Immigration growth in the United States
Choices for developed nations to deal with world population growth
1. Science
2. Biology
3. Ecology
GEOL 1305 Environmental Science Syllabus
Fall 2015.doc
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Chapter 14 - Mrs. Nicolella's Niche
About Science Prof Online PowerPoint Resources
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Predation & Competition
Symbiosis: Living together
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