Introduction to Environmental Sustainability

Course Number: ESR 140
Transcript Title: Intro to Envtl. Sustainability
Created: September 1, 2012
Updated: August 14, 2019
Total Credits: 4
Lecture Hours: 40
Lecture / Lab Hours: 0
Lab Hours: 0
Satisfies Cultural Literacy requirement: No
Satisfies General Education requirement: No
Grading options: A-F (default), P-NP, audit
Repeats available for credit: 0


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

Course Description

Introduces concepts of environmental sustainability and their applications. May include field trips. Prerequisites: WR 115, RD 115 and MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes

A student will be able to collaboratively and independently:

  1. Apply an understanding of environmental sustainability relative to human activity.
  2. Identify the challenges and limitations of achieving environmental sustainability and applying sustainability to their personal life.
  3. Use critical thinking skills to address environmental sustainability issues in their personal life.
  4. Use the scientific method in analyzing problems in environmental sustainability.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

  1. Essay, short answer, and/or multiple choice exams.
  2. Write-ups of field experiences/journaling.
  3. Research paper or project on environmental sustainability topic.
  4. Oral presentations.

Course Activities and Design

The determination of teaching strategies used in the delivery of outcomes is generally left to the discretion of the instructor. Here are some strategies that you might consider when designing your course: lecture, small group/forum discussion, flipped classroom, dyads, oral presentation, role play, simulation scenarios, group projects, service learning projects, hands-on lab, peer review/workshops, cooperative learning (jigsaw, fishbowl), inquiry based instruction, differentiated instruction (learning centers), graphic organizers, etc.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Concepts and Themes

  1. Basic concepts of environmental systems
  2. Human impacts and environmental sustainability
  3. Technology and environmental sustainability
  4. The roles of the media and culture in environmental sustainability

Process Skills (Competency skills)

  1. Read and evaluate scientific information
  2. Use basic math and statistics appropriately
  3. Understand the scientific method
  4. Locate and access information
  5. Think critically
  6. Collaborate with peers - work effectively in groups
  7. Present conclusions logically

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.