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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: Physical and Biological Sciences Department
Course Prefix and Number: BIOL 115
Course Title: *Introduction to Environmental Science
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description:

Survey of environmental science, ecosystems and human impact.  Cross-listed as ENVS 115. Course meets Multicultural graduation requirement.  G.E.


Course Rotation for Day Program: Offered Fall and Spring.
Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

Textbooks listed is/are not necessarily the textbook(s) used in the course.

Environmental Science
By R. T. Wright (Prentice Hall)
Environmental Science: A Global Concern
By Cunningham, W. P., & B. W. Saigo (McGraw-Hill)
Course Learning Outcomes
  1. Examine the basic principles of ecology and apply them to natural and artificial systems
  2. Critically evaluate the role and impact of humans on natural systems, including the impact on biodiversity
  3. Describe the principles of population dynamics, and relate them to humans and other species
  4. Analyze causes and effects of land, air and water pollution
  5. Define sustainability, and understand the economic, social and political implications of sustainable practices
  6. Describe the relationships between climate and biomes
  7. Illustrate how matter and energy cycle in ecosystems, including the basic geochemical cycles
  8. Describe sources, uses and problems associated with renewable and nonrenewable energy 
Major Topics/Skills to be Covered:
  • Essential biological principles
  • Population and community ecology
  • Non-biotic issues- air, water, geology, energy, waste
  • Sustainability
  • Human impacts and environmental policy

Recommended maximum class size for this course: 35

Library Resources:

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

Prepared by: Peggy Wright Date: August 9, 2016
NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course learning outcomes and cover the subjects listed in the Major Topics/Skills to be Covered section. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

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