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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: Physical and Biological Sciences Department
Course Prefix and Number: ENVS 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 BIOL 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:

Textbook(s) 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 W.P. Cunningham and B.W. Saigo (McGraw-Hill)
Course Objectives
  • To identify specific principles that help explain interaction in the natural environment.
  • To explain the basic principles of ecology and apply them to natural and artificial systems.
  • To identify the major environmental issues confronting society.
  • To critically evaluate the role and impact of humans on natural systems.
    Measurable Learning
  • Define sustainability.
  • Describe the relationships between climate and biomes.
  • Illustrate how matter and energy cycle in ecosystems.
  • Identify how species interact with each other and the environment.
  • Outline human population characteristics and analyze their past and future impacts.
  • Connect basic economic principles to human population dynamics.
  • Describe basic geochemical cycles.
  • Assess major patterns of food production and distribution.
  • Appraise the value of wild species and biodiversity.
  • Describe the costs and benefits of conservation, preservation and restoration.
  • Describe sources, uses and problems of energy sources including fossil, nuclear, renewable and alternative fuels.
  • Analyze causes and effects of land, air and water pollution.
  • Describe causes and effects of global climate change.
  • Model sustainable economic, social and political methods.
    Topical Outline:
  • Essential biological principles
  • Population and community ecology
  • Nonbiotic 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 You may access them using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

    Prepared by: Nathan Means Date: August 27, 2014
    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 objectives and cover the subjects listed in the topical outline. 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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