1 Syllabus EVR 1001: Introduction to Environmental Science and Sustainability Florida International University, Spring 2016 Professor: Dr. Jeff Onsted Phone: (305) Office: AHC5 395 Office hours: M & W 1:30 3:30 PM or by appointment Class Meets: M, W, F 10:00 10:50 AM at Paul Cejas Architecture 135 I can also be contacted using Blackboard (See below). Blackboard is a good way to view posted lectures, the online syllabus (which may change over time) and any other announcements or links. To get there: Go to Log in with your User ID and password User ID = Your My Accounts user ID Password = Your My Accounts password Purpose of Course: The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the science behind environmental problems and issues. The approaches range from the physical, chemical, and biological and topics covered include air pollution, water pollution, energy resources, solid waste, habitat destruction, as well as the persistent creation and aggravation of these problems by human institutions, philosophies, and economic systems. This course is not all gloom and doom, however, as we will also discuss a number of possible solutions to address the myriad environmental problems in the world today. In this course students investigate scientifically the impact human beings have had on the Earth and its systems: water, air, biota, and soils. After this course, students will understand more specifically the actual scientific processes behind the Earth s natural cycles, the way human beings have affected these cycles, and discussed solutions to remedy these problems. Students should walk away from the class better prepared and more confident to weigh in on important environmental dilemmas and controversies because they will be armed with scientific knowledge rather than political rhetoric. Course Designation: This course is a Global Foundations Course. It also satisfies the requirement for the University Core Curriculum Natural Sciences category Physical Sciences sub-category when taken with the lab course, EVR 1001L. Essential Questions
2 What is scientific knowledge and how does it differ from other kinds of knowledge about the environment? How does science explain the functioning of Earth s natural systems and how do different human societies interact with and depend on those systems? How do human societies need to change their interrelationship with Earth s natural systems to halt environmental degradation and use natural resources and services sustainably? Global Learning Outcomes and Assessments Students will be assessed for the following Global Learning Outcomes with specific course outcomes listed below them. Global Awareness Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the scientific information and key concepts that underlie the functioning of natural systems with an emphasis on the interrelatedness of these systems with each other and human societies, as well as the negative impacts of environmental degradation on both. o An understanding of the scientific foundation and key concepts that describe the patterns and processes of Earth s natural systems. o Awareness of the interrelationship of human activities and natural systems. o Ability to use scientific knowledge together with prior knowledge to engage in critical thinking about environmental issues arising from the interrelationship between human societies and natural systems. Assessments for Global Awareness will include in-class exams. Global Perspective Students will be able to examine environmental issues within a transdisciplinary and multi-perspective framework that supports creative ideas to promote environmental sustainability. o Comprehension of the many interrelated technical, social and cultural contributions responsible for the complexity of environmental issues. o The ability to examine environmental issues from the perspectives of multiple stakeholders. o Develop an understanding of how environmental degradation may impact both natural systems and human societies in the future. Assessment for Global Perspective will take the form of group-based debates on environmental topics where groups will represent the positions of different stakeholders. Students from groups that are not participating on a panel for that session s debate will provide input on the performance of the groups. Groups will also submit a position paper on their topic. Global Engagement Students will demonstrate a willingness to reflect on their own relationship to the environment and take responsibility to reduce their own ecological
3 footprint as well as engaging in local, global and intercultural environmental problem solving. o Students will evaluate and reflect on their ecological footprint through its calculation using an on-line ecological footprint calculator. o Students will experience and appreciate the challenges facing human communities in their efforts to achieve the sustainable use of natural resources and services. Assessment for Global Engagement will take the form of a reflection posting to the course discussion forum regarding their personal ecological footprint. In addition, students are encouraged to participate in a community service/co-curricular activity designed to reduce environmental degradation and promote the health of the community. Text: 1. Miller, G.T. and Scott Spoolman, Environmental Science 15 th Ed. Additional on-line readings, short videos, documentary films and talks may be posted online to offer other perspectives on the environmental topics under discussion. Frequent reliable access to Blackboard is required for this class. Lack of Internet access will not be an excuse for missed assignments. Plan ahead. Responsibilities As the Instructor, It is my responsibility to organize, prepare and provide the content for this course. I will clearly state the guidelines for the course in this syllabus and put my best effort into completing grading and responding to inquiries in a timely manner. I will promote a culture of courtesy and respect in the classroom that offers each student an opportunity to question, discuss and learn within the limitations of a large class. Students have the responsibility to: Arrive at class on-time and remain until the end of class, out of consideration to the Instructor and the other students Complete class preparations, readings and assignments when due, following the syllabus and announcements in class Participate in class discussions and other activities, ask questions and reflect on the topics under consideration Follow classroom policies for electronic devices and refrain from private conversations in class Learn from the diverse group of people in this class by listening and considering what each person says and writes. You may disagree, but it must be in a way that shows respect and values each person. Laptop Computer/Tablet/cellphone Usage: Technology is a great tool to facilitate learning in the classroom; however, it can also be a distraction to both the Instructor and other students. If your computer usage disrupts the class, you will lose your computer privileges. Students are not allowed to use their cellphones in class.
4 They must be put away and set on vibrate mode. Students violating this policy will be asked to leave the class. Turn-it-In To verify the originality of the work, certain assignments may be submitted for grading to by way of a link in Blackboard Lean. Such assignments must be your original individual effort, and any sources used must be cited. No credit will be given if the assignment has not been submitted to Turnitin, it lacks sources or there is evidence of a lack of originality. Assignments will be archived at the Turinitin website. Additional details will be provided in class. On Plagiarism: (As quoted from the Office of the Provost) Florida International University is a community dedicated to generating and imparting knowledge through excellent teaching and research, the rigorous and respectful exchange of ideas, and community service. All students should respect the right of others to have an equitable opportunity to learn and to honestly demonstrate the quality of their learning. Therefore, all students are expected to adhere to a standard of academic conduct, which demonstrates respect for themselves, their fellow students, and the educational mission of the University. All students are deemed by the University to understand that if they are found responsible for academic misconduct, they will be subject to the Academic Misconduct procedures and sanctions, as outlined in the Student Handbook. Academic dishonesty will not be tolerated and will result, at the very least, in a 0 on the assignment and, at most, could result in your expulsion from the University, depending on the severity of the offense. If you wish to learn more about FIU policy regarding this look here: Early Alert: In an effort to help you succeed in your academic courses, FIU utilizes an Early Alert system. Instructors are now able to notify students academic advisors if there are concerns about class performance. If an alert is submitted, your academic advisor will send you a message via your Student Dashboard (accessed via your MYFIU page) to discuss ways to improve your performance. Please respond to any communication you receive from your academic advisor about an early alert. Our goal with this program is to help you to be successful by identifying any issues as early on as possible and working to address them. Notice: If a student has a disability and needs assistance with class, please contact the Disability Resource Center (GC 190; ). It is the responsibility of each student to work with the Center and Instructor to make arrangements as needed for their accommodations. Course Activities: Exams 60% of grade
5 There will be 3 in-class exams each covering about 1/3 of the course material. Exams will consist of multiple-choice questions, and topics included in exams will be announced in class. Students must attend the exams at the scheduled times. If a student cannot attend, the student must contact the Instructor in advance to take the exam at the different time. If a student supplies proof that he/she could not attend the regular exam due to a serious personal emergency at the time (note from physician, court, death certificate, military orders), that student may be allowed to take a makeup exam. Family vacations, work schedule, oversleeping, forgetting about the exam and similar occurrences do not constitute a personal emergency. All exams not taken during the regular exam time will be essay exams with a high degree of difficulty. The Instructor will make the final decision about eligibility for a makeup exam. A missed exam will receive a 0 grade. Group Activities 20% of grade Group activities will consist of a series of debates with peer review and the preparation of a position paper. At the beginning of the semester, students will be placed into groups of 6-8 students each. Groups will participate in debates representing the perspectives and interests of various stakeholders concerned with an environmental topic that is being covered in the course. The number of debates and the distribution of groups within a debate session will be determined at the beginning of the semester when the class size is known. Groups will have two weeks of preparation time for their debate session. Assessment of a debate will include three parts: an evaluation of the effectiveness of the debate by the instructor and students in the audience, a peer evaluation of the level of participation by each team member by their fellow team members, and the grading of a five page position paper submitted by the group. The five page position paper will be submitted through a Turnitin assignment link in Blackboard. A complete description of the guidelines for the debates, and a schedule will be provided at the beginning of the course. Current Events Essay and Presentation 10% of grade Find one article on the internet (CNN or some other popular news media website, etc.) related to the class discussion for the particular day on which you are assigned. Summarize this article, discuss how it relates to the topics in the class. You will this assignment to me and you should be prepared to discuss it in class. This assignment is meant to keep all of us up to date on the latest news and information on Environmental Change worldwide. I will discuss this further in class. Co-Curricular Activity 10% of grade This activity concerns the calculation of the personal ecological footprint using a website footprint calculator and a reflection posted to the Ecological Footprint Discussion Forum. Evaluation: Three lecture exams (60% of your grade). Group Activities (20% of your grade). One Essay Assignment worth 10% of your grade. Co-Curricular Activity worth 10% of your grade. Extra Credit Environmental Service worth up to an extra 10% of your grade.
6 IN (incomplete) grades and drops: IN grades are only for students in good standing who have completed the majority of the course but cannot complete it for extenuating circumstances. IN grades have to be cleared with me personally at least two weeks before the end of the term. If you are doing poorly and want out, drop the course. Don t ask for an IN. By the way, if you decide you want out and stop attending, you must do the paperwork or go to a kiosk and formally drop the course. If you just stop coming and don t drop, you ll receive an F or F0 grade at the end of the term. Grades: *Grades will be assigned according to the following scale: A s: % B s: 80-89% C s: 70-79% D s: 60-69% F: < 60% * If the tests result in too few students performing well (in the A or B range) I will curve the points so that student grades will improve. NOTE: this curve can ONLY help your grade, it will never hurt it. Therefore, you will be assigned a grade either based on the curve or based on the scale above, whichever is higher. Laboratory: To fulfill the requirement for UCC physical sciences, you must take the lab (EVR- 1001L) also. It is by far the best to take it in the same term, but if necessary, the lab can be taken in another term. Environmental Service: All students are encouraged but not required to perform environmental service. Fulfilling this service will give bonus points at the rate of 1 extra % per hour up to a maximum of 10 %. This can be accomplished by participating in volunteer work at FIU s Nature Preserve or FIU s Organic Garden. Details on these particular opportunities will be forthcoming throughout the semester. You may also do your service also at a national, state, county or city park or with a genuine environmental organization by volunteering and obtaining official written documentation of your work from a park or organization employee. Pulling weeds in your front yard does not count. The documentation must include the following information: 1. Your name 2. The date of the service 3. the number of hours worked. 4. What you did. The service must be completed during the term the course is offered. SCHEDULE OF LECTURES Please note: The schedule below may be changed throughout the course of the semester if the need arises. Please think of it as a tentative schedule and check the Blackboard site for updates (see above for address). Also, please note it does not yet include the dates of your debates nor your essay discussion. DATE TOPICS READINGS AND ACTIVIES Monday, January 11 th Course overview
7 Wednesday, January 13 th Sustainability and Human Chapter 1, Supplement 2 Impact Friday, January 15 th Sustainability and Human Chapter 1, Supplement 2 Impact Monday, January 18 th Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday No Class Wednesday, January 20 th Science, Matter, and Energy Chapter 2, Supplement 4 Friday, January 22 nd Science, Matter, and Energy Chapter 2, Supplement 4 Monday, January 25 th Science, Matter, and Energy Chapter 2, Supplement 4 Wednesday, January 27 th Ecosystems: What are they? Chapter 3, Supplement 1 Friday, January 29 th Ecosystems: What are they? Chapter 3, Supplement 1 Monday, February 1 st Ecosystems: What are they? Chapter 3, Supplement 1 Wednesday, February 3 rd Human Population and Chapter 6, Supplement 7 Urbanization Friday, February 5 th Human Population and Chapter 6, Supplement 7 Urbanization Monday, February 8 th Human Population and Chapter 6, Supplement 7 Urbanization Wednesday, February 10 th Human Population and Chapter 6, Supplement 7 Urbanization Friday, February 12 th Exam Review Monday, February 15 th EXAM #1 (All Chapters (1, 2, 3, and 6), Supplements (1, 2, 4, and 7), lectures and videos up to this point) Wednesday, February 17 th Climate and Chapter 7, Supplement 5 Biodiversity Friday, February 19 th Climate and Chapter 7, Supplement 5 Biodiversity Monday, February 22 nd Climate and Chapter 7, Supplement 5 Biodiversity Wednesday, February 24 th Sustaining Biodiversity: The Chapter 8 Species Approach Friday, February 26 th Sustaining Biodiversity: The Chapter 8 Species Approach Monday, February 29 th Sustaining Biodiversity: The Chapter 8 Species Approach Wednesday, March 2 nd Sustaining Biodiversity: The Chapter 9, Supplement 3 Ecosystem Approach Friday, March 4 th Sustaining Biodiversity: The Chapter 9, Supplement 3 Ecosystem Approach Monday, March 7 th Sustaining Biodiversity: The Chapter 9, Supplement 3 Ecosystem Approach Wednesday, March 9 th Food, Soil, and Pest Management Chapter 10, Supplement 6
8 Friday, March 11th Food, Soil, and Pest Chapter 10, Supplement 6 Management Monday, March 14th Spring Break no class Wednesday, March 16th Spring Break no class Friday, March 18th Spring Break no class Monday, March 21st Food, Soil, and Pest Chapter 10, Supplement 6 Management Wednesday, March 23rd Food, Soil, and Pest Chapter 10, Supplement 6 Management Friday, March 25th EXAM REVIEW Monday, March 28th AAG Conference - TBD Wednesday, March 30th AAG Conference - TBD Friday, April 1st AAG Conference - TBD Monday, April 4th EXAM #2 (All Chapters (7, 8, 9, and 10), Supplements (5, 3, and 6), lectures and videos between the first exam and this exam) Wednesday, April 6th Water Resources and Water Chapter 11 Pollution Friday, April 8th Water Resources and Water Chapter 11 Pollution Monday, April 11th Water Resources and Water Chapter 11 Pollution Wednesday, April 13th Energy Chapter 13 Friday, April 15th Energy Chapter 13 Monday, April 18th Energy Chapter 13 Wednesday, April 20th Air Pollution, Climate, and Ozone Depletion Chapter 15 Friday, April 22nd Air Pollution, Climate, and Ozone Depletion Chapter 15 Monday, April 25th Air Pollution, Climate, and Chapter 15 Ozone Depletion Wednesday, April 27th Sustaining Human Society Chapter 17 Friday, April 29th EXAM REVIEW Monday, May 2 nd 9:45 11:45 AM EXAM #3 (All Chapters (11, 13, 15, and 17), lectures and videos between the second exam and this exam)