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Environmental Science: Biological Perspectives

Course Number: ESR 171
Transcript Title: Environ Science:Bio Perspect
Created: September 1, 2012
Updated: December 19, 2014
Total Credits: 4
Lecture Hours: 30
Lecture / Lab Hours: 0
Lab Hours: 30
Satisfies Cultural Literacy requirement: No
Satisfies General Education requirement: Yes
Grading options: A-F (default), P-NP, audit

Prerequisites

WR 115, RD 115, MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores

Course Description

Develops an understanding of environmental topics that are primarily biological in nature. Includes human population issues, matter and energy resources, ecosystems, environmental ethics, and food and land resources. The associated laboratories will illustrate these topics. Prerequisites: WR 115, RD 115 and MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores.

Intended Outcomes

A student will be able to collaboratively and independently:

  1. Express graphically, orally or in writing form, basic elements and functions of ecosystems.
  2. Identify and express interactions of humans and the environment.
  3. Utilize field and laboratory methods/technologies to measure and describe ecosystems.
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of ecosystem functioning and human effects upon ecosystems.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Written assessments:

  • Essay, short and multiple choice exams.
  • Write-ups of field and laboratory experiences.
  • Research paper on environmental topic.
  • Journal: self-assessment and exploration of topics.
  • Oral presentations with accompanying Visual/graphical representations.
  • Concept Maps
  • Graphs
  • Maps

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Concepts and Themes

  • Energy flow and matter transformation within biologic systems
  • Carbon cycle
  • Fundamentals of ecosystems
  • Human Impacts on biologic systems

Process Skills (Competency skills)

  • Relate scientific concepts to local and regional issues.
  • Understand the sources of scientific uncertainty.
  • Locate and access information from non-governmental organizations and governmental agencies.
  • Think critically.
  • Collaborate with peers - Work effectively in groups.
  • Present conclusions with scientific rigor.

Department Notes

Columbia Gorge Community College Science Department stands by the following statement about regarding science instruction:

Science is a fundamentally nondogmatic and self-correcting investigatory process. Theories (such as biological evolution and geologic time scale) are developed through scientific investigation are not decided in advance. As such, scientific theories can be and often are modified and revised through observation and experimentation. "Creation science", "Intelligent design" or similar beliefs are not considered legitimate science, but a form of religious advocacy. This position is established by legal precedence (Webster v. New Lenox School District #122, 917 F. 2d 1004).

The Science Department at Columbia Gorge Community College therefore stands with organizations such as the National Association of Biology Teachers in opposing the inclusion of pseudo-sciences in our science curricula except to reference and/or clarify its invalidity.

Lab B Notes: The lab for this course has been approved as "Lab B". This means that Faculty effort in preparation and evaluation generally occurs outside of scheduled class hours. Class format is a combination of Faculty lectures and demonstrations, guided student interactions and supervised student application of lectures. Students produce written work such as lab notebooks, reports, and responses in writing to assigned questions, and the Instructor is expected to comment on and grade this written work outside of schedule class hours. This evaluation will take place on a regular basis throughout the term.