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Columbia College
Evening Campus
1001 Rogers Street
Columbia, MO 65216
(800) 231-2391


17 / SPRG2 - Late Spring 8-week Session

Course Syllabus

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Course Syllabus
17 / SPRG2 - Late Spring 8-week Session
Evening Campus
1001 Rogers Street
Columbia, MO 65216
(800) 231-2391

Course Prefix and Number: ENVS 115L
Course Title: *Introduction to Environmental Science Laboratory
Semester Credit Hours: 2
Class Day and Time: Tue Thu 
7:45 PM-10:35 PM
Additional Notes:

There will be no labs on March 27 and 29.  There is a field trip scheduled for Saturday March 31st at the Runge Nature Center in Jefferson City.

This course is web-enhanced, taught entirely in a classroom setting using D2L course management software to supplement in-seat content.


Catalog Description

Laboratory experiences to complement ENVS/BIOL 115. $40 laboratory fee. Cross-listed as BIOL 115L. Prerequisite: BIOL/ENVS 115 or concurrent enrollment. BIOL/ENVS 115 must be taken as a corequisite or completed before ENVS 115L can be used as G.E. credit. G.E.


BIOL/ENVS 115 or concurrent enrollment.


Field and Laboratory Exercises in Environmental Science 8th edition
Author: Enger, E. D. & B. F. Smith (McGraw-Hill)
ISBN: 9780077599829

Course Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate basic laboratory techniques of experimentation and measurement in environmental science
  • Write a comprehensive laboratory report using primary literature pertaining to a project applying the scientific method

Instructional Methods

Lecture, laboratory exercises, a quiz, instructional videos, a research paper and research presentation, a field trip, and a final exam.

Out of Class Activities

Read assigned labs prior to class.  Study for quiz and exam.  Complete research paper and research presentation.  Locate a natural area near your home that you can use to reinforce course concepts.

Graded Activities

Laboratory Assignments120 Points33% of grade
Description -

An assigned laboratory exercise(s) shall be completed by the student for each of the 12 laboratory sessions. Laboratory exercises may be found in the laboratory manual or on course handouts provided to students. You may work in small groups at times, but each individual must submit her/his own work and assignment sheet. My expectation is that all lab exercises will be completed within the class session. If it becomes necessary for an assignment to be completed outside of class I will provide specific guidance on its due date. Each laboratory period is worth 10 points. The field trip is ungraded, but lessons from the trip may be included on the final exam.

Method of Evaluation -

Graded for completeness and comprehension by the instructor and returned to the students.

Quiz20 Points6% of grade
Description -

A quiz covering the first three weeks of the course will be given in Week 5. 

Method of Evaluation -

Quiz will be taken in the computer lab and will be autograded.

Research Paper100 Points28% of grade
Description -

Each student will select an environmental topic to research. Topic description and summary of the research approach due to instructor on Thursday of Week 3.
Paper shall be between 5 and 8 pages in length, exclusive of title page and bibliography. Students may use either MLA or APA format. Paper is to be typed using 1 inch margins, 12 point Arial font, and double spaced.  In text citations are required and must conform to either APA or MLA format.  I expect a minimum of seven scientific articles to be used as references.

Method of Evaluation -

I will evaluate your paper based on how well you address the topic, the quality of your writing, and how well you adhere to the guidance established in the preceding paragraph and additional guidance provided in class.  I am an advocate of the 3 C's of writing and KISS principles - Clear, concise, and complete writing and Keep It Simple Student.  Remember, you are telling me a story, so make it a good story.

Research Paper Presentation20 Points6% of grade
Description -

Each student will summarize the results of their research into an eight minute presentation with two minutes for questions (total of 10 minutes). 

Method of Evaluation -

The presentation will be evaluated on presentation style, quality of graphics, organization and length of the presentation. 

Final Exam100 Points28% of grade
Description -

The final exam is a comprehensive examination.  It will be given in the computer laboratory.  It will consist of multiple choice questions.


Grading Scale

90-100 A
80-89 B
70-79 C
60-69 D
0-59 F

Additional Information / Instructions

1.  Research Paper/Presentation. If you are enrolled for the lecture and the lab you MUST select a DIFFERENT research topic for the lab than you select for the lecture course.

2.  The Field Trip is Not Optional.  However, I understand that family commitments may prevent you from attending or require you to leave early.  I will handle circumstances on an individual basis.

3.  My intent is for this class to be FUN while being educational. 

Schedule of Activities and Assignments

Meeting 1

Lecture on Introduction to the Course; Population Size; Introduction to the Research Paper; and Finding Literature Sources
Conduct Labs 4 & 5 from Lab Manual


Labs 4 & 5

Additional Notes:

Handouts will be given as appropriate.

Meeting 2

Lecture on Biomes and Habitat.
Review Literature Sources.
Conduct Lab 2 (from Lab Manual)
Introduction to Statistics


Lab 2
Three literature sources - skim.


Using the guidance on searching for literature, research and find three scientific articles that interest you and may relate to your research paper.  Print them and bring them to class.
HINT:  For this assignment, try to select articles that are no more than six pages of content. 

Additional Notes:

You will be given a practical exercise on statistics to complete prior to the next class meeting.  The practical exercise is not graded, but is meant to assist you in understanding and working with rudimentary statistics. Completing the practical exercise will help you learn and identify the areas where you have questions.

Meeting 3
Collecting and Analyzing Data

Discussion on statistical methods, data analysis, and plotting data in Excel.
Lecture on trophic levels, predation, and ecological succession.
Conduct Lab 3.


Lab 3.


Complete practical exercise on statistics.

Meeting 4
Human Population Dynamics

Lecture on human population dynamics.
Conduct Lab 7


Lab 7

Meeting 5
Species Diversity

Lecture on Species Diversity.
Practical exercises on the use of a microscope and species diversity.



Meeting 6

Lecture on Soils, Soil Health, and Soil Chemistry.
Conduct Lab 9


Lab 9
Handouts provided in class.


Turn in Research Paper Topic Outline

Meeting 7
No Class

Students are expected to spend at least two hours this week working on their research paper.

Meeting 8
Field Trip

Spend two hours at Runge Nature Center in Jefferson City on Saturday March 31st.

Additional Notes:

Runge is located on HWY 179N.  From Columbia, take HWY 63S to HWY 50W in Jefferson City (bear right after crossing the bridge).  Exit HWY 50W at HWY 179N exit.  Turn right at light, proceed through next light.  Runge will be on the left about 1/4 mile from the light. (If you get to Sonic on the right, you've overshot Runge).

For initial planning purposes, we will meet in the Visitors' Center at 9:00 am.  The time may adjust based on weather and class member preferences.

We will be walking the trails, so wear good shoes and dress appropriately for the weather.  You are invited to bring your family members with you.

Meeting 9
Introduced Species

Lecture on Introduced Species.
Quiz on material presented in weeks 1-3.


Handouts will be passed out in class.


Quiz over material presented during weeks 1-3.

Meeting 10
Cycles and Pollution

Lecture on Water and Nitrogen Cycles and Water Pollution.
Conduct Labs 10 & 17


Labs 10 & 17.

Meeting 11
Air Pollution

Lecture on Air Pollution.
Conduct Lab 18.


Lab 18.

Meeting 12
Carbon and Climate Change

Lecture on the Carbon Cycle, Climate Change, and Energy Policy.
Conduct Lab 14.


Read Lab 14 before class.

Meeting 13
Finite Resources

Lecture on Finite Resources.
Practical exercise on Finite Resources.


Handouts provided in class.

Meeting 14
Personal Energy Consumption

Discussion on Personal Energy Consumption and how to reduce it.
Conduct Lab 11.


Lab 11.


As you read over Lab 11, you might find it helpful to gather information from your utility bills to complete the exercises in class. 

Additional Notes:

This should be a FUN exercise that is also informative. 

Meeting 15
Research Presentations

Students will present an 8 minute summary presentation of their research.  Students should allow two minutes for questions at the end of their 8 minute presentation.
Turn in Research Paper.

Meeting 16
Last Class

If required, students will complete their research presentations.
Final examination.


Library Resources

Columbia College Resources - Online databases are available at the Columbia College Stafford Library.  You may access them using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

Course Policies and Procedures


Columbia College Policy - Columbia College students are expected to attend all classes and laboratory periods for which they are enrolled.  Students are directly responsible to instructors for class attendance and work missed during an absence for any cause.  If absences jeopardize progress in a course, an instructor may withdraw a student from the course with a grade of "F" or "W" at the discretion of the instructor.  For additional information, see the Columbia College policy on Student Attendance.

Academic Integrity

Columbia College Policy - Columbia College students must fulfill their academic obligations through honest, independent effort.  Dishonesty is considered a serious offense subject to strong disciplinary actions.  Activities which constitute academic dishonesty include plagiarism, unauthorized joint effort on exams or assignments, falsification of forms or records, providing false or misleading information, or aiding another in an act of academic dishonesty.  For more information, see the Columbia College Academic Integrity Policy and Procedures.

Class Conduct and Personal Conduct

Columbia College Policy - Students must conduct themselves so others will not be distracted from the pursuit of learning.  Students may be disciplined for any conduct which constitutes a hazard to the health, safety, or well-being of members of the College community or which is deemed detrimental to the College's interests. Discourteous or unseemly conduct may result in a student being asked to leave the classroom.  For more information, see the Columbia College Student Code of Conduct and Student Behavioral Misconduct Policy and Procedures.

Cancelled Class Make-Up

Columbia College Policy - Classes cancelled because of inclement weather or other reasons must be rescheduled.  For more information, see the Columbia College Inclement Weather Policy.

Make-Up Examinations

Columbia College Policy - Make-up examinations may be authorized for students who miss regularly scheduled examinations due to circumstances beyond their control.  Make-up examinations must be administered as soon as possible after the regularly scheduled examination period and must be administered in a controlled environment.

Campus Policy - Make up examinations are scheduled on designated Saturday mornings 9am in 103 Buchanan. Students must present a picture I.D. in order to be admitted to the testing session. Students must arrange with the instructor to take the exam before or after it is given in class and permission to take a makeup examination (or any graded activity) is granted at the discretion of the instructor.

Adding, Dropping, or Withdrawing from a Course

Columbia College Policy - Students may add a course through Wednesday of the first week of the session and drop a course without academic or financial liability through close of business on Monday of the second week of the session.  Once enrolled, a student is considered a member of that class until he or she officially drops or withdraws in accordance with College policy.  An official drop/withdrawal takes place only when a student has submitted a Drop/Add/Withdrawal form.  A failure to attend class, or advising a fellow student, staff or adjunct faculty member of an intent to withdraw from a class does not constitute official drop/withdrawal.  The drop/add/withdrawal periods begin the same day/date the session starts, not the first day a particular class begins. If a student stops attending a class but does not submit the required Drop/Withdrawal form a grade of "F" will be awarded.  For more information, see the Columbia College Registration Policy and Procedures.

Withdrawal Excused

Columbia College Policy - A student may request an excused withdrawal (WE) under extraordinary circumstances by submitting a Drop/Withdrawal form accompanied by a complete explanation of the circumstances and supporting documentation to the location director.  The WE request must include all classes in which the student is currently enrolled.  The Vice President for Adult Higher Education is the approving authority for all WE requests.  A student who receives approval of their WE request may still be required to return some or all of the federal financial assistance received for the session.  For more information, see the Columbia College Withdrawal Policy.


Columbia College Policy - A student may request that the instructor award a grade of "I" due to extraordinary circumstances (unforeseen or unexpected circumstances beyond the student's control) that prevent a student from completing the requirements of a course by the end of a session.  An "I" will not be given because a student is failing, negligent or not meeting requirements.  If the instructor believes an "I" is appropriate, the instructor will specify the work needed to complete the course and the time allowed to complete the work.  Work missed must be made up within two subsequent sessions unless the instructor specifies an earlier date.  Extensions beyond two sessions must be approved by the Vice President for Adult Higher Education.  If the work is completed during the specified time period, the instructor will change the "I" to the grade earned.  If the work is not completed during the specified time, the instructor may allow the incomplete to remain on the student's permanent record or change it to any other letter grade.  For more information, see the Columbia College Undergraduate Grading Policy.

Grade Appeal

Columbia College Policy - A student may appeal any grade given if it is believed to be in error or in conflict with Columbia College policy and procedures.  The student must state in writing to the location director why the grade awarded is believed to be in error and request a desired remedy.  The faculty member who awarded the grade will be given the opportunity to comment on all student allegations.  If the issue cannot be resolved at the location the appeal will be transmitted through the location director to the Vice President for Adult Higher Education.  A grade appeal must be received for review by the Vice President for Adult Higher Education prior to the end of 60 days from the date the grade was awarded.  For more information, see the Columbia College Undergraduate Grading Policy.


Columbia College Policy - Course prerequisites are established to ensure that a student has adequate academic preparation to succeed in a particular course.  Staff members will attempt to ensure that students meet prerequisite requirements.  However, it is the student's responsibility to closely examine the course descriptions to determine if prerequisites exist and to enroll in courses in the proper sequence.  In some exceptional cases it may be apparent that the student possesses the required skills and knowledge to succeed in a particular course, even though they have not taken the prerequisite course.  In this case the prerequisite course may be waived by the location director.  Waiver of a course as a prerequisite does not remove the requirement to complete the course if it is a requirement for the student's degree program.


Columbia College Policy - The College provides all students access to CougarMail (the official means of e-mail communication for the College), online resources from the Stafford Library, and their Columbia College records (transcripts, grades, student schedules, etc.) through CougarTrack.


Columbia College Policy - The official student email address (also known as CougarMail) will be used for all official correspondence from faculty and staff.  Students are responsible for the information received and are required to monitor their CougarMail account on a regular basis.  Students may forward their CougarMail to another email account but will be held responsible for the information sent over CougarMail, even if there is a problem with the alternate mail service.

Cell Phones

Columbia College Policy - Cell phones can be a distraction to the learning process.  Location directors or course instructors may require that cell phones be turned off or set to vibrate during class periods.  Students requiring special arrangements to receive a cell phone call during class should make prior arrangements with their location director or course instructor.

Bookstore Information

Columbia College Policy - As part of Truition, students will receive their course materials automatically as described below. 

eText Information

If a course uses an eText, (see Textbook information above) the book will be available directly in Desire2Learn (D2L) and through the VitalSource eText reader the Friday before the session begins, if registered for courses prior to that date.  Students will have a VitalSource account created for them using their CougarMail email address.  Upon first login to VitalSource, students may need to verify their account and update their VitalSource password.  More information about how to use the VitalSource platform, including offline access to eTexts, can be found in D2L.  Students that would like to order an optional loose-leaf print-on-demand copy of eligible eTexts can do so through the VitalSource Bookshelf at an additional cost.  Once orders are placed, it can take approximately five to seven business days for students to receive their print-on-demand books.

Physical Course Materials Information

Students enrolled in courses that require physical materials will receive these materials automatically at the address on file with Columbia College.  Delivery date of physical materials is dependent on registration date and shipping location.  Please refer to confirmation emails sent from Ed Map for more details on shipping status.

Returns:  Students who drop a course with physical course materials will be responsible for returning those items to Ed Map within 30 days of receipt of the order.  More specific information on how to do so will be included in the package received from Ed Map.  See here for Ed Map's return policy.  Failure to return physical items from a dropped course will result in a charge to the student account for all unreturned items.

Students who opt-out of having their books provided as part of TruitionSM are responsible for purchasing their own course materials.  Visit for details.


Columbia College Policy - The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records.  For more information, see the Columbia College Family Education Rights and Privacy Policy.

Student Accessibility Resources

Columbia College Policy - Students with documented disabilities who may need academic services for this course are required to register with the office of Student Accessibility Resources.  Until the student has been cleared through this office, accommodations do not have to be granted.  If you are a student who has a documented disability, it is important for you to read the entire syllabus as soon as possible.  The structure or the content of the course may make an accommodation not feasible.  Student Accessibility Resources is located in Student Affairs in AHSC 215 and can be reached by phone at (573) 875-7626.  For more information, see the Columbia College ADA and Section 504 Policy for Students.

Alcohol and Other Drugs: Columbia College Policies & Resources

Columbia College Policy - Columbia College recognizes the negative health effects associated with the use, possession, and distribution of controlled and/or illicit substances, and their detrimental impact on the quality of the educational environment.  Therefore, all members of the College community share in the responsibility of protecting the campus environment by exemplifying high standards of professional and personal conduct.  For more information and resources, see the Columbia College Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy.

Tobacco-Free Policy

Columbia College Policy - The following policy goes into effect on August 21, 2017.  Columbia College values and is concerned for the health and well-being of its students, employees and visitors. The College is committed to providing a healthful and productive educational and employment environment for members of the College community. Consistent with this commitment and in the interest of the general health and welfare of the College community, the College prohibits the use of all tobacco products and related devices on all College property and premises.  For more information, see the Columbia College Tobacco-Free Policy.


Columbia College Policy - Discrimination, harassment, and retaliation on the basis of protected status (see Notice of Non-Discrimination and Equal Opportunity for a definition of "protected status") are strictly prohibited. Persons who engage in such conduct are subject to discipline up to and including termination or dismissal.  For more information, see the Columbia College Non-Discrimination and Equal Opportunity Policy and Complaint Resolution Procedure.

Columbia College Policy Library

Columbia College Policy - The policies set forth in the Online Policy Library are the current official versions of College policies and supersede and replace any other existing or conflicting policies covering the same subject matter.  The Online Policy Library is currently under construction with new policies being added on a frequent basis and the policies currently listed are not comprehensive of every College policy.  Questions regarding the Online Policy Library should be directed to the Office of the General Counsel.  For more information on policies applicable to students, see Student Policies.  For more information on policies applicable to the entire Columbia College community, see College-Wide Policies.

Technical Support

Columbia College Policy - If you have problems accessing the course or posting your assignments, contact your instructor, the Columbia College Technology Solutions Center, or the D2L Helpdesk for assistance.  If you have technical problems with the VitalSource eText reader, please contact VitalSource.  Contact information is also available within the online course environment.

        - Columbia College Technology Solutions Center:, 1-800-231-2391 ext. 4357

        - D2L Helpdesk:, 1-877-325-7778

        - VitalSource:, 1-855-200-4146


Course Evaluations - All students are encouraged to complete the online course evaluations. Students are notified by way of CougarMail when the evaluations are available. The evaluations are used to help instructors improve their teaching techniques. They are reviewed carefully by the Evening Campus Director, Assistant Director, and several AHE Administrators. Student should know that all responses are completely confidential, instructors only view results after grades are posted. Your input is valued and appreciated.

Late graded assignment/activity policy - All graded assignments or activities are due when stated in the syllabus or by the instructor. Graded assignments or activities submitted after the stated due date/time will not receive any credit unless the instructor has specifically stated that full or partial credit may be awarded to late submissions.


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