Effective: Late Fall 8-Week, 2018/2019

ENVS 251: *Resource Management

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  Course Description

An introduction to the global range of natural resources, the economic and political contexts of their development and the resulting physical and societal impacts. Cross-listed as ENVS 251 and GEOG 251. Course meets Multicultural graduation requirement.

Prerequisite: C or better in GEOG 101 or ENVS 115

Proctored Exams: Midterm


As part of TruitionSM, students will receive their course materials automatically as described below.


  •  Chiras, D. D., & Reganold, J. P. (2010). Natural Resource Conservation: Management for a Sustainable Future (10th ed.). Pearson.  Physical Book

Bookstore Information

Visit https://www.ccis.edu/bookstore.aspx for details.

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 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.

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

  Course Overview

Welcome to ENVS 251 Resource Management, online! This course will address a variety of resource management issues and solutions from the local, regional and global perspective.  Each week we will focus on different issues relating to the concept of sustainable development through our online discussions that will be reinforced and expanded by readings in the text, Natural Resource Conservation, internet sites and online learning aids provided with the text. This course is designed to give you a good basic understanding of resource management.  

We will cover the following topics:

  • Week 1Natural Resource Conservation and Management: Past, Present and Future; Economics, Ethics and Critical Thinking: Tools for Creating a Sustainable Future; Lessons from Ecology

  • Week 2The Human Population Challenge; World Hunger: Solving the Problem Sustainably

  • Week 3The Nature of Soils; Soil Conservation and Sustainable Agriculture; Integrated Pest Management

  • Week 4 Aquatic Environments; Managing Water Resources Sustainably; Water Pollution

  • Week 5Fisheries Conservation; Rangeland Management; Forest Management

  • Week 6 Plant and Animal Extinction; Wildlife Management; Sustainable Waste Management

  • Week 7Air Pollution; Global Warming and Climate Change; Acid Deposition and Stratospheric Ozone Depletion 

  • Week 8 – Minerals, Mining, and a Sustainable Society; Nonrenewable Energy Resources:  Issues and Options; Creating a Sustainable System of Energy: Efficiency and Renewable  Energy

  Technology Requirements

Participation in this course will require the basic technology for all online classes at Columbia College:
  • A computer with reliable Internet access
  • A web browser
  • Acrobat Reader
  • Microsoft Office or another word processor such as Open Office

You can find more details about standard technical requirements for our courses on our site.

  Course Learning Outcomes

  1. Summarize the uses of the environment to benefit societies.
  2. Illustrate the impact of resource development on the environment.
  3. Demonstrate how the economy affects patterns of resource development.
  4. Explain the role of political processes in resource development decisions.
  5. Evaluate resource management decisions.


Grading Scale

Grade Points Percent
A 450-500 90-100%
B 400-449 80-89%
C 350-399 70-79%
D 300-349 60-69%
F 0-299 0-59%

Grade Weights

Assignment Category Points Percent
Discussions 80 16%
Papers 180 36%
Quizzes 40 8%
Midterm Exam 100 20%
Final Exam 100 20%
Total 500 100%

  Schedule of Due Dates

Week 1

Assignment Points Due
Discussion Assignment 1 5 Wednesday
Discussion Assignment 2 5 Friday
Quiz 1 10 Sunday
Paper 1 30

Week 2

Assignment Points Due
Discussion Assignment 3 5 Wednesday
Discussion Assignment 4 5 Friday
Paper 2 30 Sunday
Proctor Information N/A

Week 3

Assignment Points Due
Discussion Assignment 5 5 Wednesday
Discussion Assignment 6 5 Friday
Quiz 2 10 Sunday
Paper 3 30

Week 4

Assignment Points Due
Discussion Assignment 7 5 Wednesday
Discussion Assignment 8 5 Friday
Midterm Exam (proctored) 100 Sunday

Week 5

Assignment Points Due
Discussion Assignment 9 5 Wednesday
Discussion Assignment 10 5 Friday
Quiz 3 10 Sunday
Paper 4 30

Week 6

Assignment Points Due
Discussion Assignment 11 5 Wednesday
Discussion Assignment 12 5 Friday
Paper 5 30 Sunday

Week 7

Assignment Points Due
Discussion Assignment 13 5 Wednesday
Discussion Assignment 14 5 Friday
Quiz 4 10 Sunday
Paper 6 30

Week 8

Assignment Points Due
Discussion Assignment 15 5 Wednesday
Discussion Assignment 16 5 Friday
Final Exam (not proctored) 100 Saturday
Total Points: 500

  Assignment Overview

General Guidelines

Each student is responsible for:

  • Completing weekly reading assignments

  • Completing two weekly discussion questions

  • Completing six papers

  • Completing four quizzes

  • Completing two exams

Text Readings

Reading assignments should be completed prior to submitting assignments or weekly discussion postings. All graded assignments will rely on information derived from the text. All other sources must be identified. Please note that there are significant learning resources available through the text. These learning tools are incorporated into the course as optional assignments that include information from the text website – www.myenvironmentplace.com. Spend time reviewing these learning resources so you can maximize your learning experience. After you access the site (www.myenvironmentplace.com) click on “books available” then select the picture on the text (polar bear) and select a chapter then select the review and study aid material options along the left side of the page this will enable you to review the different materials associated with each chapter. Frequent use of this website is strongly encouraged throughout the course.


Each week there are two discussion assignments. You are required to actively participate in discussions, and you are strongly encouraged to read all postings of other students and the instructor. You must post at least one original “answer” for each discussion assignment—one due on Wednesday by midnight and the other on Friday by midnight. Additionally, within each discussion, you are required to meaningfully respond to at least one other student’s post or to one of the instructor’s posts, i.e. clarifying previous statements, extending answers to previous questions, and exploring concepts that need further fleshing out with details and examples. Once submitted and graded, answer postings will not be re-graded based on additional information submitted later. Discussion answer postings and response postings will be graded according to the rubric outlined in the course Content area.


There are 6 papers which must be completed and posted to the Dropbox by Sunday of each assigned week. The papers are to be submitted in .doc/.docx format, with 12 point font, 1 inch margins, and a heading that includes name, assignment and title.


There will be four quizzes throughout the course. There will be two quizzes before the Midterm and two before the Final. Each quiz will be composed of 10 multiple choice or true/false questions and is worth a total of 10 points (for a total of 40 points possible on quizzes in the class).  Quizzes are available through the Quizzes area of the course. You have 12 minutes to complete each quiz. The quizzes will be due no later than Sunday of the week in which they are assigned.


There will be a Midterm and a Final Exam, each worth 100 points. Each exam will consist of two parts. The Midterm is a proctored exam. You are responsible for arranging your own proctor. Please see the Proctor Policy below. For the Midterm, Part 1 will consist of 30 multiple-choice and true-false questions and Part 2 will consist of four essay type questions. Both Parts 1 and 2 of the Midterm will be taken online during the arranged, two-hour period of Week 4. The format of the Final Exam is different from the Midterm; it is not proctored. The Final also consists of 2 parts, but they are submitted separately. Part 1 consists of 30 multiple-choice and true-false questions taken online. Part 2 consists of 4 essays that will be posted by Tuesday of Week 8 and must be submitted via the Dropbox folder labeled “Final” by midnight Saturday of Week 8.

  Course Outline

Click on each week to view details about the activities scheduled for that week.


Chapters 1, 2, and 3

Optional and Recommended Activities
Class Activities

Tour the College's Web site - http://www.ccis.edu/. Next, take a look at your reference page. Become comfortable with techniques of e-mail management (using your browser's e-mail capability). This is very important because we will be using a lot of e-mail in this course.

Discussion Assignment 1

Sustainability and resource management are important recurring concepts in this course.  What is meant by “sustainability” from a natural resource viewpoint and what are the 4 ideologies for natural resource management? How do they differ and which do you favor.

Discussion Assignment 2

Chapter 2 focuses on the important role of economics in natural resource management decisions. What is meant by the term "sustainable economy"? Identify and explain at least 3 concepts that should be included to create a sustainable economic system.

Quiz 1

Your quiz will be 10 questions long (multiple choice or true/false) and you will have 12 minutes to complete the quiz online. If you exceed the 12 minutes, I will deduct 20% from your score for each minute you go over. The questions will come from Chapters 1 and 2. You must take and post the quiz by Sunday at midnight, Central Time.

Paper 1

Write a 1 - 2 page paper on one of the following statements. Do not change the topic but write a paper on the selected topic.

The pursuit of economic wealth can only result in resource consumption and environmental destruction.


Following an environmental ethic that emphasizes environmental stewardship can support sustainable development.

Your paper must be original and it must integrate concepts learned from the first three chapters and assigned websites, be persuasive and focused on the statement, be specific in the concepts used to support your argument such as green taxes and other appropriate concepts – need specifics not just passion. Take a position and support it based on text material. Do not use more than 2 short quotes, the paper should be your thoughts, not just a repeat of the text or other sources. Good writing style is important.


Chapters 4 and 5

Optional and Recommended Activities
Discussion Assignment 3

The world can be divided into “more developed countries” (MDC) and “less developed countries” and each type demonstrates a difference in human population growth that can be attributed to demographic transition. What is demographic transition and why have MDC benefited but LDC have not benefited from demographic transition?

Discussion Assignment 4

World hunger is a reality and food sustainability is a critical concern. Identify and discuss ways for satisfying current and future food needs of an ever increasing human population.

Paper 2

Write a 1 - 2 page paper that addresses the problems of human population growth and world hunger.  Identify potential solutions to each side of the problem (i.e. how to effectively control population; how to effectively manage food resources). No more than 1 quote if absolutely necessary (from any source). The paper should reflect an integration of ideas and information from the chapter into your thoughts and ideas.


Chapters 6, 7, and 8

Optional and Recommended Activities
Discussion Assignment 5

Soil is more than just “dirt” – it is a critical factor in the pursuit of sustainability on a global level.  Identify and briefly discuss 4 characteristics of soil and how they contribute to soil value and productivity. All characteristics must be identified before original ones are repeated.

Discussion Assignment 6

How does soil erosion due to water affect agricultural sustainability and how can it be controlled or reduced?

Quiz 2

Your quiz will be 10 questions long (multiple choice or true/false) and you will have 12 minutes to complete the quiz online. If you exceed the 12 minutes I will deduct 20% from your score for each minute you go over (I always round up). The questions will come from Chapter 7. You must take and post the quiz by Sunday at midnight, Central Time.

Paper 3

Erosion is a natural process so it should not be a concern of resource management.” Write a 1 – 2 page paper that supports or contests this statement. Include economic, ecological and sustainability concepts, to support your position.  Include types of erosion and their impacts.


Chapters 9, 10, and 11

Optional and Recommended Activities
Discussion Assignment 7

In addition to the material in the text, review the following USEPA website on wetlands: http://www.epa.gov/wetlands/ and answer the following question. What are wetlands and why are they considered a valuable natural resource? Give your answers in the appropriate topic.

Discussion Assignment 8

For centuries levees have been constructed to control flooding and protect people and property. Identify and discuss 3 cons and 3 pros for levee construction. State whether you believe levee construction is a good natural resource management tool and why.

Midterm Exam (proctored)

Your Midterm Exam will consist of 30 multiple-choice or true/false questions and 4 essay type questions. It will cover all the material from the first four weeks of class including Chapters 1 – 11. The Midterm will be administered online using a computer. A password is needed for you to access the test on D2L, and your proctor is required to enter the password for you.  Follow instructions and exercise caution while taking the test; avoid repeated clicking. The exam should be completed within the 2-hour time limit, under the supervision of your designated proctor.  Stay with the test, and do not submit or log off until all is completed. D2L will not let you to re-enter the test site. No notes, books or other reference materials are allowed during the exam. The exam must be taken between Tuesday and Sunday of Week 4. After the deadline you will not be able to turn in the test without explicit instructor approval and will receive a zero.


Chapters 12, 13, and 14

Optional and Recommended Activities
Discussion Assignment 9

Is it possible to have a sustainable freshwater fishery? If so what are some key elements that should be incorporated into a sustainable freshwater fishery plan? Identify and briefly discuss 3 important elements of such a plan.

Discussion Assignment 10

Define and explain the concept of “multiple use management” as it applies to forestry.  Include in your discussion how this does or does not support the concept of sustainability. Should fire management be part of this management philosophy – why or why not?

Quiz 3

Your quiz will be 10 questions long (multiple choice or True/False) and you will have 12 minutes to complete the quiz online. If you exceed the 12 minutes I will deduct 20% from your score for each minute you go over (I always round up). The questions will come from Chapter 13. You must take and post the quiz by Sunday at midnight, Central Time.

Paper 4

Go to: http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/162/3859/1243, and read the “tragedy of the commons” article. Sustainable resource management is critical to fisheries, rangeland and forestry management. Write a 1 – 2 page paper to explain how the “tragedy of the commons” concept applies to the sustainability of all three resources.


Chapters 15, 16 and 17

Optional and Recommended Activities
  • Review online resources at www.myenvironmentplace.com – select chapters 15, 16 and 17.

  • Using your favorite search engine (i.e. Google, Yahoo, etc.) search for “endangered species act revision.” This will produce many stories on the pros and cons of revising the 1973 Endangered Species Act; it will provide information on what the perceived problems of the Act are and potential solutions. Keep in mind the purpose of the Act is to protect endangered and threatened species; consider the impact of the revision.

Discussion Assignment 11

Identify and explain 4 causes of species extinctions.

Discussion Assignment 12

Identify and discuss at least 3 methods that will effectively sustain wildlife populations.

Paper 5

Waste management is a huge concern of society. Assume you are a mayor of a small town and have the responsibility to establish an effective waste management plan for the city which will address issues for residences and businesses. Write a 1 -2 page paper that sets forth your plan that must address household waste (garbage, not sewage), yard waste and industrial waste (assume some is toxic). The plan must be based on sound resource management and be sustainable.


Chapters 18, 19, and 20

Optional and Recommended Activities
Discussion Assignment 13

Identify at least 3 ways in which air pollution affects human health. Be as specific as possible.

Discussion Assignment 14

Define acid deposition, identify the causal atmospheric pollutants and identify three adverse impacts it can cause.

Quiz 4

Your quiz will be 10 questions long (multiple choice or True/False) and you will have 12 minutes to complete the quiz online. If you exceed the 12 minutes I will deduct 20% from your score for each minute you go over (I always round up). The questions will come from Chapter 20. You must take and post the quiz by Sunday at midnight, Central Time.

Paper 6

Global Warming. Is global warming really occurring? Write a 1 – 2 page paper that supports either side of the argument. Your position must be supported by text or other references (no more than 2 short quotes allowed). You must be persuasive, state your position and have it be supported.


Chapters 21, 22, and 23

Optional and Recommended Activities
Discussion Assignment 15

Do you favor using more nuclear power as a sustainable energy source? Why or why not.

Discussion Assignment 16

Based on the last 7 weeks of this course, do you believe sustainable development is possible?

Final Exam (not proctored)

Your Final Exam will cover Chapters 12-23 and consist of two parts: the first part will be a multiple-choice section that you will take online through the course website using the Quizzes function. You will have 90 minutes to take the test; however, you can take it at any time that you like as long as it is before midnight, Central Time on Saturday of Week 8. The second part will consist of 4 essay type questions. The questions will be posted on the course homepage on Tuesday of the last week of class. You will submit your answers in the “Final” Dropbox folder. All parts of the Final Exam must be completed and submitted by midnight on Saturday. After that time, you will not be able to turn in any part of the test and will receive a zero for that test grade.

  Course Policies

Student Conduct

All Columbia College students, whether enrolled in a land-based or online course, are responsible for behaving in a manner consistent with Columbia College's Student Conduct Code and Acceptable Use Policy. Students violating these policies will be referred to the office of Student Affairs and/or the office of Academic Affairs for possible disciplinary action. The Student Code of Conduct and the Computer Use Policy for students can be found in the Columbia College Student Handbook. The Handbook is available online; you can also obtain a copy by calling the Student Affairs office (Campus Life) at 573-875-7400. The teacher maintains the right to manage a positive learning environment, and all students must adhere to the conventions of online etiquette.

Plagiarism and Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a cumulative process that begins with the first college learning opportunity. Students are responsible for knowing the Academic Integrity policy and procedures and may not use ignorance of either as an excuse for academic misconduct. Columbia College recognizes that the vast majority of students at Columbia College maintain high ethical academic standards; however, failure to abide by the prohibitions listed herein is considered academic misconduct and may result in disciplinary action, a failing grade on the assignment, and/or a grade of "F" for the course.

Additionally, all required papers may be submitted for textual similarity review to Turnitin.com for the detection of plagiarism. All submitted papers may be included in the Turnitin.com reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism. This service is subject to the Terms and Conditions of Use posted on the Turnitin.com site.


There will be no discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, ideology, political affiliation, veteran status, age, physical handicap, or marital status.

Student Accessibility Resources

Columbia College is committed to creating a learning environment that meets the needs of its diverse student body. If you anticipate or experience any barriers to learning, communicate your concerns with the instructor. In addition to speaking with the instructor, the following resources are available to ensure an opportunity to learn in an inclusive environment that values mutual respect.

  • For students with disabilities/conditions who are experiencing barriers to learning or assessment, contact the Student Accessibility Resources office at (573) 875-7626 or sar@ccis.edu to discuss a range of options to removing barriers in the course, including accommodations.
  • For students who are experiencing conflict which is impacting their educational environment, contact the Office of Student Conduct at studentconduct@ccis.edu or (573) 875-7877.
  • For students who have concerns related to discrimination or harassment based on sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy or parental status, please contact the Title IX Office at titleixcoordinator@ccis.edu. More information can be found at http://www.ccis.edu/policies/notice-of-non-discrimination-and-equal-opportunity.aspx

Online Participation

You are expected to read the assigned texts and participate in the discussions and other course activities each week. Assignments should be posted by the due dates stated on the grading schedule in your syllabus. If an emergency arises that prevents you from participating in class, please let your instructor know as soon as possible.

Attendance Policy

Attendance for a week will be counted as having submitted any assigned activity for which points are earned. Attendance for the week is based upon the date work is submitted. A class week is defined as the period of time between Monday and Sunday (except for week 8, when the work and the course will end on Saturday at midnight.) The course and system deadlines are based on the Central Time Zone.

Cougar Email

All students are provided a CougarMail account when they enroll in classes at Columbia College. You are responsible for monitoring email from that account for important messages from the College and from your instructor. You may forward your Cougar email account to another account; however, the College cannot be held responsible for breaches in security or service interruptions with other email providers.

Students should use email for private messages to the instructor and other students. The class discussions are for public messages so the class members can each see what others have to say about any given topic and respond.

Course Evaluation

You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link will be sent to your CougarMail that will allow you to access the evaluation. Be assured that the evaluations are anonymous and that your instructor will not be able to see them until after final grades are submitted.

Proctor Policy

Students taking courses that require proctored exams must submit their completed proctor request forms to their instructors by the end of the second week of the session. Proctors located at Columbia College campuses are automatically approved. The use of ProctorU services is also automatically approved. The instructor of each course will consider any other choice of proctor for approval or denial. Additional proctor choices the instructor will consider include: public librarians, high school or college instructors, high school or college counseling services, commanding officers, education service officers, and other proctoring services. Personal friends, family members, athletic coaches and direct supervisors are not acceptable.

  Additional Resources

Orientation for New Students

This course is offered online, using course management software provided by Desire2Learn and Columbia College. The course user guide provides details about taking an online course at Columbia College. You may also want to visit the course demonstration to view a sample course before this one opens.

Technical Support

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.

Online Tutoring

Smarthinking is a free online tutoring service available to all Columbia College students. Smarthinking provides real-time online tutoring and homework help for Math, English, and Writing. Smarthinking also provides access to live tutorials in writing and math, as well as a full range of study resources, including writing manuals, sample problems, and study skills manuals. You can access the service from wherever you have a connection to the Internet. I encourage you to take advantage of this free service provided by the college.

Access Smarthinking through CougarTrack under Students -> Academics -> Academic Resources.