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Academic Year 2005/2006
Introduction to Environmental Science
E&ES 199 SP
In this course we address: How does the natural environment function and what are the impacts of human activities on our natural environment. Discussions about global warming, nuclear pollution and disappearance of
crowd the headlines every day, but what is natural variation and what is human impact? The course provides a short introduction to the four spheres of the earth (rock, water, air, life) and their interactions. Active
processes (plate tectonics, weathering, volcanism etc) are reviewed, and than we discuss in some detail five main topics:
1. Population growth, 2. Energy supplies and demand, 3. Global climate change, 4. Ecology -
5. Pollution of air, water and food together with a host of smaller topics and issues.
Much of the course content is covered by the textbook (McKinney and Schoch, Environmental Science). Some sections have exercises using e.g., Excel spread sheets (e.g., when do we run out of oil, what alternate energy
sources are available and viable).
Help sessions are available for those who lack experience with Excel. Economic, social and public policy aspects of global change are discussed within the context of scientific evidence.
EXAMINATIONS AND ASSIGNMENTS
Examinations and assignments:
There is a midterm and a final exam, 5 assignments, and final projects and/or a term paper. Group projects in the past have covered environmental movies, theater, paintings, sketches,
music as well as more conventional
term papers. There are optional lab demonstrations and a fieldtrip.
ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS and/or COMMENTS
Basic (high school) science skills required but no prior knowledge of the topic is assumed.
Gen Ed Area Dept:
Links to Web Resources For This Course.
- Instructor(s): Varekamp,Johan C.
- Times: .M.W.F. 10:00AM-10:50AM; Location: SCIE121;
- Reserved Seats: (Total Limit: 80)
- SR. major: 0 Jr. major: 0
- SR. non-major: 5 Jr. non-major: 10 SO: 20 FR: 45
- Curricular Renewal: Quantitative Reasoning, Writing
Last Updated on MAR-30-2006
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