Environmental Science: Biological Perspectives

Course Number: ESR 171
Transcript Title: Environ Science:Bio Perspect
Created: September 1, 2012
Updated: June 9, 2016
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 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: 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 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. Understand the functions of ecosystems and human effects on them.

Alignment with Institutional Core Learning Outcomes

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

In-depth

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

In-depth

3. Apply the knowledge, skills and abilities to enter and succeed in a defined profession or advanced academic program. (Professional Competence)

Minimally

4. Appreciate cultural diversity and constructively address issues that arise out of cultural differences in the workplace and community. (Cultural Awareness)

In-depth

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

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

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.

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

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.

Instructor is expected to comment on and grade written work outside of scheduled class hours. Evaluation will take place on a regular basis throughout the term.