Syllabus

Introduction to Environmental Science

1185-FIU01-EVR-1001-SECRVAA-55671

General Information | Important Information | Course Detail | Course Calendar

General Information

Professor Information

Professor Photo

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      Instructor: Rodolfo Rego, M.S. Phone: 305-348-1478 Office: AHC5 384 (MMC) Office Hours: Day/Time: Wednesday 1-3 PM Methods: -Adobe Online Chat  -Office Visit -Phone call Appointment: e-mail for additional questions E-mail:

rrego@fiu.edu NOTE: This course requires you to check daily your student portal on Canvas (http://online.fiu.edu/login/) since all of the assignments and lectures will be posted there.

Course Description And Purpose

This physical science course introduces students to the study of climate, atmospheric composition, nutrient cycling, air and water pollution and water resources. Through discussions of these topics, students will better understand the complex issues surrounding the human ecological footprint, global climate change, degradation of water resources, reliance on fossil fuels for energy and industrial scale agricultural practices.

Learning Objectives

Learning objectives for this course are based on a definition of scientifically literacy in Environmental Science. This definition of scientific literacy is based on the National Science Education Standards (2011). After completing this course, students should:

  • Understand the principles of environmental science and their impact on everyday life
  • Understand and reflect critically on information included in and omitted from reports concerning environmental science
  • Take part confidently in discussions with others about issues involving environmental science
  • Make informed personal decisions about things that involve environmental science

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.

  • An understanding of the scientific foundation and key concepts that describe the patterns and processes of Earth’s natural systems.
  • Awareness of the interrelationship of human activities and natural systems.
  • 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 a computer based formative assessment activity and in-class exams.

Global Perspective – Students will be able to examine environmental issues within a multi-perspective framework that supports creative ideas to promote environmental sustainability.

  • Comprehension of the many interrelated technical, social and cultural contributions responsible for the complexity of environmental issues.
  • The ability to examine environmental issues from the perspectives of multiple stakeholders.
  • Develop an understanding of how environmental degradation may impact both natural systems and human societies in the future.

Global Engagement – Students will demonstrate a willingness to reflect on their own relationship to the environment and take responsibility to reduce their own ecological footprint as well as engaging in local, global and intercultural environmental problem solving.

  • Students will evaluate and reflect on their ecological footprint through its calculation using an on-line ecological footprint calculator.
  • 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 within a personal ecological footprint assignment. In addition, students will participate in a community service/co-curricular activity designed to reduce environmental degradation and promote the health of the community.
  • Both assignments will be evaluated using the appropriate rubrics that will be provided to students.

Important Information

Course Policies

Late Assignment Policy
All assignments submitted after the assignment due date are subject to the following deductions.

# of Days Late Deduction
1 – 2 10%
3 – 5 15%
7 – 10 20%
10 – 14 25%
> 14 Cannot be submitted

You must contact your instructor before attempting late assignments.
Online Assessment Issues Policy
If you encounter a problem when conducting an assessment (e.g., exam, quiz, discussion, etc.) and/or have problems uploading documents to the assignment dropbox, then you must contact FIU online for assistance. They will contact me with additional instructions at which point a determination will be made regarding the next course of action. There is no exception to this policy.
Proctored Exam Policy
This online section does not require an on-campus exam.

Technical Requirements & Skills

One of the greatest barriers to taking an online course is a lack of basic computer literacy.  By computer literacy we mean being able to manage and organize computer files efficiently, and learning to use your computer’s operating system and software quickly and easily. Keep in mind that this is not a computer literacy course; but students enrolled in online courses are expected to have moderate proficiency using a computer. Please go to the “What’s Required” webpage to find out more information on this subject.
This course utilizes the following tools:

      • Canvas
      • YouTube/Vimeo
      • Adobe Connect

Please visit our Technical Requirements webpage for additional information.

Accessibility And Accommodation

      • Please visit our ADA Compliance webpage for information about accessibility involving the tools used in this course.
      • Please visit Accessibility within Canvas webpage for more information.
      • For additional assistance please contact FIU’s Disability Resource Center.

If a student has a disability and needs assistance with class, please contact the Disability Resource Center (GC 190; 305-348-3532). It is the responsibility of each student to work with the Center and Instructor to make arrangements as needed for their accommodations.

Academic Misconduct Statement

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 honestly to 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 Misconduct includes: Cheating – The unauthorized use of books, notes, aids, electronic sources; or assistance from another person with respect to examinations, course assignments, field service reports, class recitations; or the unauthorized possession of examination papers or course materials, whether originally authorized or not. Plagiarism – The use and appropriation of another’s work without any indication of the source and the representation of such work as the student’s own. Any student who fails to give credit for ideas, expressions or materials taken from another source, including internet sources, is responsible for plagiarism.
Learn more about the academic integrity policies and procedures as well as student resources that can help you prepare for a successful semester.

Course Prerequisites

There are no prerequisites for this course.

Expectations Of This Course

This is an online course, which means most (if not all) of the course work will be conducted online. Expectations for performance in an online course are the same for a traditional course. In fact, online courses require a degree of self-motivation, self-discipline, and technology skills which can make these courses more demanding for some students.
Students are expected to:

  • Review the how to get started information located in the course content
  • Review and select your notification settings in Canvas
  • Introduce yourself to the class during the first week by posting a self introduction video in the appropriate blog
  • Take the Practice quiz to ensure that your computer is compatible with Canvas.
  • Interact online with instructor/s and peers
  • Review and follow the course calendar
  • Log in to the course at least four (4) times per week
  • Respond to discussion boards within: Initial post in three (3) days-Wednesday.  After the initial post, all students are required to comment on two (2) posts from other students.  This is referred to as the “Peer Review” stage of the assignment.  The Peer Review stage is due by the seventh (7th)-following Monday day of the assignment.
  • Respond to messages within no more than two (2) days
  • Submit assignments by the corresponding deadline

The instructor will:

  • Log in to the course at least five (5) times per week
  • Respond to messages within 2 days (48 hours)
  • Grade assignments within ten (10) days of the assignment deadline.

Textbook

Textbook Image

      Scientific American Environmental Science for a Changing World Susan Karr, Jeneen InterlandI, Anne Houtman W. H. Freeman, 2nd Edition, 2015 ISBN-10: 1464162204 ISBN-13: 9781464162206 You may purchase your textbook online at the

FIU Bookstore

      .

The text is an e-book. YOU DO NOT NEED ACCESS TO THE EXTRA’s (e.g., LaunchPad). If students prefer a paper textbook, the loose-leaf version with Enviroportal access can also be purchased; however, the e-book/website purchase is more cost effective.

Course Detail

Course Communication

Communication in this course will take place via Canvas.
It is recommended that students check their inbox routinely and adjust the Canvas notification settings accordingly to ensure up-to-date communication.
How do I set my Canvas notification preferences as a student?
Visit our Writing Resources webpage for more information on professional writing and technical communication skills.

Discussions

Keep in mind that your discussion forum postings will likely be seen by other members of the course. Care should be taken when determining what to post.
Discussions and participation are required, just as if you were in a face to face class. Online does not mean silent or student guided. The course will be dependent on thoughtful participation during the discussion forums. Responses such as ‘I agree’ or ‘yea…what he said’ will result in zero points of credit. You can earn your grade and exemplary participation will earn higher scores. Read the rubric below for more information. Each discussion requires an individual (1) post as well as two (2) responses (e.g., Peer Review)

CRITERIA EXEMPLARY
Development of Ideas Well-developed ideas; introduces new ideas; and stimulates discussion.
Evidence of Critical Thinking Clear evidence of critical thinking – application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation. Postings are characterized by clarity of argument, depth of insight into theoretical issues, originality of treatment, and relevance. Sometimes include unusual insights. Arguments are well supported.
Quantity of Postings Interact at least twice with other students and/or the instructors.
Timeliness Individual message and at least two responses posted before the deadline.
Respond to discussions within: Initial post in three (3) days by Wednesday and Peer Review by the seventh (7th) day-following Monday.

Quizzes & Exams

In order to mitigate any issues with your computer and online assessments, it is very important that you take the “Practice Quiz” from each computer you will be using to take your graded quizzes and exams.  It is your responsibility to make sure your computer meets the minimum hardware requirements. Assessments in this course are not compatible with mobile devices and should not be taken through a mobile phone or a tablet. If you need further assistance please contact FIU Online Support Services.
There will be five quizzes over the course of the term. Typically, each quiz will focus on the chapters for that given period. However, given the nature of science, many concepts are interconnected with each other and therefore all content may be found within a quiz. Quizzes will be multiple choices format.
There are two exams for this course. The last exam will be given at the scheduled exam time as stated on the syllabus and will be semi-comprehensive. Exams will be multiple choices format. No make-ups will be allowed for exams without a written excuse from a doctor, parent, or legal guardian. For more information contact me.

Assignments

Campus Audit Assignment
This is a project worth 10% of your final grade. You are not required to be on campus to complete this assignment. Instructions for this exercise will be given beforehand.
My Ecological Footprint Assignment
This activity concerns the calculation of the personal ecological footprint using a website footprint calculator. Students will be asked to reply to questions with a thoughtful consideration of the steps that could be taken to reduce an individual’s ecological footprint. Please visit the following websites to do so:

      • Earth Day Network Footprint Calculator or
      • World Wildlife Fund Footprint Calculator (uses uk standards i.e., Liters, Kilometers, etc.)

To verify the originality of your work, certain assignments will use a Turnitin dropbox in Canvas. These and all assignments must be your original individual effort, and any sources used must be cited. No credit will be given if the assignment lacks sources or there is evidence of a lack of originality. Review the detailed Turnitin Instructions on how to submit your assignments and how to review the Grademark comments (feedback) from your professor.

Adobe Connect Pro Meeting

Adobe Connect is an online meeting room where you can interact with your professor and fellow students by sharing screens, sharing files, chatting, broadcasting live audio, and taking part in other interactive online activities. We will be utilizing this tool to conduct online office hours.
Meetings will be available on Wednesdays from 1pm – 3pm
Requirements for using Adobe Connect:

  • Disable any window pop-up blocker.
      • Adobe Flash Player is required to successfully run your Adobe Connect meeting. You can test your computer to make sure your computer and network connections are properly configured to provide you with the best possible Adobe Connect meeting experience.
      • Use of a combination headset and microphone with USB connection is recommended to ensure quality sound and reduce technical difficulties. Reference Adobe Connect (Tutorials & Help) to learn about the tool, how to access your meeting rooms and recordings.

Grading

Course Requirements # of Items Weight
Introduce Yourself Video Blog 1 3%
Quizzes 5 25%
Discussions 5 25%
MidTerm – Online 1 15%
Final – Online 1 15%
Campus Audit 1 10%
My Ecological Footprint 1 7%
Extra Credit 1 up to 5%
Total 15 100%
LETTER RANGE LETTER RANGE LETTER RANGE
A Above 93% B 83% – 86% C 70% – 76%
A- 90% – 92% B- 80% – 82% D 60% – 69%
B+ 87% – 89% C+ 77% – 79% F <60%

Course Calendar

Weekly Schedule

  • Introduction to Course
  • Introduction to Environment, Science, and Scientific Literacy
  • Human Populations
Date Tasks
Week 1 May 7 – May 14 Course Introduction
Unit Video(s):

  • Introduction Video

Reading:

      1. Chapter 1 (Environmental Literacy and the Goal of Sustainability)

Unit Video(s):

      • ​All video content in learning module

Presentation:

      • Chapter 1 PPT

Reading:

      1. Chapter 2 (Science Literacy and The Process of Science)

Unit Video(s):

      • All video content in learning module

Presentation:

      • Chapter 2 PPT

Reading:

      1. Chapter 3 (Information Literacy and Toxicology)

Unit Video(s):

      • All video content in learning module

Presentation:

      • Chapter 3 PPT

Reading:

      1. Chapter 4 (Human Populations)

Unit Video(s):

      • All video content in learning module

Presentation:

      • Chapter 4 PPT

Assignments:

    1. Introduce yourself to the class
    2. Practice Quiz
    3. Discussion #1
    4. Quiz #1
  • Consumption and the Environmental Footprint
  • Ecology
Date Task
Week 2 May 14 – May 21 Reading:

  1. Chapter 6 (Ecological Economics and Consumption)

Unit Video(s):

  • All video content in learning module

Presentation:

  •  Chapter 6 PPT

Reading:

  1. Chapter 7 (Managing Solid Waste)

Unit Video(s):

  •  All video content in learning module

Presentation:

  • Chapter 7 PPT

Reading:

  1. Chapter 8 (Ecosystems and Nutrient Cycling)

Unit Video(s):

  • All video content in learning module

Presentation:

  • Chapter 8 PPT

Reading:

  1. Chapter 9 (Population Ecology)

Unit Video(s):

  • All video content in learning module

Presentation:

  • Chapter 9 PPT

Reading:

  1. Chapter 10 (Community Ecology)

Unit Video(s):

  • All video content in learning module

Presentation:

  • Chapter 10 PPT

Assignment:

  1. Discussion #2
  2. Quiz #2
  • Biodiversity
  • Marine Ecosystems
  • Water Resources
Date Task
Week 3 May 21 – May 28 Reading:

  1. Chapter 12 (Biodiversity)

Unit Video(s):

  •  All video content in learning module

Presentation:

  •  Chapter 12 PPT

Reading:

  1. Chapter 13 (Preserving Biodiversity)

Unit Video(s):

  •  All video content in learning module

Presentation:

  • Chapter 13 PPT

Reading:

  1. Marine Ecosystems (Web based Information)

Unit Video(s):

  • All video content in learning module

Reading:

  1. Chapter 14 (Freshwater Resources)

Unit Video(s):

  • All video content in learning module

Presentation:

  • Chapter 14 PPT

Reading:

  1. Chapter 15 (Water Pollution)

Unit Video(s):

  •  All video content in learning module

Presentation:

  • Chapter 15 PPT

Assignment:

  1. Discussion #3
  2. Midterm Exam
  3. Campus Audit Assignment Posted
  4. Ecological Footprint Assignment Posted
  • Food Resources
  • Conventional Energy: Fossil Fuels
Date Task
Week 4  May 28 – June 4 Reading:

  1. Chapter 16 (Feeding the World)

Unit Video(s):

  • All video content in learning module

Presentation:

  • Chapter 16 PPT

Reading:

  1. Chapter 17 (Sustainable Agriculture)

Unit Video(s):

  • All video content in learning module

Presentation:

  •  Chapter 17 PPT

Reading:

  1. Chapter 18 (Coal)

Unit Video(s):

  • All video content in learning module

Presentation:

  • Chapter 18 PPT

Reading:

  • Chapter 19 (Oil and Natural Gas)

Unit Video(s):

  •  All video content in learning module

Presentation:

  • Chapter 19 PPT

Assignment:

  1. Discussion #4
  2. Quiz #3
  • Air Pollution: Consequences of Using Fossil Fuels
  • Alternatives to Fossil Fuels
Date Task
                Week 5           June 4 – June 11 Reading:

  1. Chapter 20 (Air Pollution)

Unit Video(s):

  • All video content in learning module

Presentation:

  •  Chapter 20 PPT

Reading:

  1. Chapter 21 (Climate Change)

Unit Video(s):

  •  All video content in learning module

Presentation:

  •  Chapter 21 PPT

Reading:

  1.  Chapter 22 (Nuclear Power)

Unit Video(s):

  • All video content in learning module

Presentation:

  •  Chapter 22 PPT

Reading:

  1. Chapter 23 (Sun, Wind, Water, and Earth Energy)

Unit Video(s):

  • All video content in learning module

Presentation:

  • Chapter 23 PPT

Assignments:

    1. Quiz #4
    2. Discussion #5
  • Environmental Policy
  • Sustainable Living in Community
Date Task
Week 6 June 11 – June 15 Reading:

  1. Chapter 24 (Environmental Policy)

Unit Video(s):

  •  All video content in learning module

Presentation:

  •  Chapter 24 PPT

Reading:

  1. Chapter 25 (Urbanization and Sustainable Communities)

Unit Video(s):

  • All video content in learning module

Presentation:

  • Chapter 25 PPT

Assignments:

  1. Quiz #5
  2. Final Exam
  3. Ecological Footprint Due
  4. Campus Audit Assignments Due

 

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