Environmental Science: Chemical Perspectives

Course Number: ESR 172
Transcript Title: Environ Science:Chem Perspect
Created: September 1, 2012
Updated: August 14, 2019
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
Repeats available for credit: 0

Prerequisites

MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Prerequisite/concurrent: WR 121.

Course Description

Develops an understanding of environmental topics that are primarily chemical in nature. Includes air pollution, global warming, toxicology, risk assessment, water pollution, and hazardous waste. The associated laboratories will illustrate these topics. Prerequisites: MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Prerequisite/concurrent: WR 121. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes

A student will be able to collaboratively and independently:

  1. Express graphically, orally or in writing form, basic elements of chemistry in the environment.
  2. Identify and express interactions of humans and the environment.
  3. Utilize field and laboratory methods/technologies to measure and describe environmental factors.
  4. Understand environmental chemistry and human effects upon it.

Alignment with Institutional Core Learning Outcomes

Major 1. Communicate effectively using appropriate reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills. (Communication)

Major

2. Creatively solve problems by using relevant methods of research, personal reflection, reasoning, and evaluation of information. (Critical thinking and Problem-Solving)

Major

3. Extract, interpret, evaluate, communicate, and apply quantitative information and methods to solve problems, evaluate claims, and support decisions in their academic, professional and private lives. (Quantitative Literacy)

Minor

4. Use an understanding of cultural differences to constructively address issues that arise in the workplace and community. (Cultural Awareness)

Major

5. Recognize the consequences of human activity upon our social and natural world. (Community and Environmental Responsibility)

To establish an intentional learning environment, Core Learning Outcomes (CLOs) require a clear definition of instructional strategies, evidence of recurrent instruction, and employment of several assessment modes.

Major Designation

  1. The outcome is addressed recurrently in the curriculum, regularly enough to establish a thorough understanding.
  2. Students can demonstrate and are assessed on a thorough understanding of the outcome.
    • The course includes at least one assignment that can be assessed by applying the appropriate CLO rubric.

Minor Designation

  1. The outcome is addressed adequately in the curriculum, establishing fundamental understanding.
  2. Students can demonstrate and are assessed on a fundamental understanding of the outcome.
    • The course includes at least one assignment that can be assessed by applying the appropriate CLO rubric.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Course outcome assessment will be achieved using a combination of the following: essay tests, multiple choice and short answer quizzes, write-ups of field and laboratory experiences, a journal for self-assessment and exploration of topics, and an oral presentation with accompanying visual/graphical representations (may be done individually or collaboratively).

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

  • Energy flow and matter transformations
  • Human mediated environmental change (ozone depletion, global climate change, acid rain)
  • Fundamentals of periodic table
  • Chemical pollution of atmospheric, hydrologic, and 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

To clarify the teaching of evolution and its place in the classroom, the Columbia Gorge Community College Science Departments stand by the following statements about what is science and how the theory of evolution is the major organizing theory in the discipline of the biological sciences.

·         Science is a fundamentally non-dogmatic and self-correcting investigatory process. In science, a theory is neither a guess, dogma, nor myth. The theories developed through scientific investigation are not decided in advance, but can be and often are modified and revised through observation and experimentation.

·         The theory of evolution meets the criteria of a scientific theory. In contrast, creation "science" is neither self-examining nor investigatory. Creation "science" is not considered a 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).

Science (ESR) instructors of Columbia Gorge Community College will teach the theory of evolution not as absolute truth but as the most widely accepted scientific theory on the diversity of life. We, the Biology Subject Area Curriculum Committee at Columbia Gorge Community College, therefore stand with such organizations as the National Association of Biology Teachers in opposing the inclusion of pseudo-sciences in our science curricula.