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Credit- Degree applicable
Effective Quarter: Fall 2014

I. Catalog Information

E S 1
Introduction to Environmental Studies
4 Unit(s)

 

(See general education pages for the requirement this course meets.)

Requisites: Advisory: EWRT 1A or EWRT 1AH or ESL 5.

Hours: Lec Hrs: 48.00
Out of Class Hrs: 96.00
Total Student Learning Hrs: 144.00

Description: An introductory study of environmental issues, their underlying causes and potential solutions from an interdisciplinary perspective, considering history, culture, philosophy and ethics, law and regulation, politics, economics, and management practices. Topics include current environmental issues related to nature/wildlife preservation, natural resource use and conservation, pollution control and prevention, and energy use and climate change. Students learn how their personal and career choices and actions can protect nature, preserve natural resources, prevent pollution, reduce energy demands and decrease climate change impacts for the benefit of current and future generations.

(One field trip may be required outside of class time.)


Student Learning Outcome Statements (SLO)

 

• Student Learning Outcome: Assess (apply) the criteria necessary to be successful in the Environmental Studies class.


 

• Student Learning Outcome: Demonstrate a coherent understanding of environmental issues, their underlying causes and potential solutions from an interdisciplinary perspective.


II. Course Objectives

A.Examine environmental studies as an interdisciplinary field of study and its relation to the environmental science field and other disciplines
B.Assess and apply environmental and ecological concepts to modern life and a technologically based society
C.Assess and explore the career opportunities in environmental studies field
D.Analyze the history of human use and exploitation of the earth's natural resources
E.Examine the relationship between resource degradation and the changing role of humans in society
F.Compare and contrast the history of land use ethics in Western versus non-Western cultures
G.Explore the impact of the industrial revolution and other technological advances on the human relationship with nature
H.Evaluate the effects of the environmental movement in the United States; including key individuals in U.S. environmental history
I.Assess the political system within the United States and its relationship to environmental degradation including federal regulatory agencies and environmental laws
J.Analyze how ethics, politics and the current economic system within the United States has influenced environmental policies and regulation
K.Assess the relationship between environmental degradation and the cycle of poverty, including the status of women and children worldwide
L.Examine and describe the United States' natural resources and processes including national parks, national forests and wildlife refuges
M.Assess and debate the current status of the world's natural resources and the impacts on human populations
N.Analyze and explore possible solutions and sustainable projects occurring worldwide

III. Essential Student Materials

 None

IV. Essential College Facilities

 Kirsch Center for Environmental Studies including the Learning Maxes, Video-On-Demand System, Stewardship Resource Center (SRC), interactive classrooms (KC 115, KC 112, KC 239, KC 113), Cheeseman Environmental Study Area (ESA) and KC 113 Self-recording classroom for distance learning and videoconferencing technology.

V. Expanded Description: Content and Form

A.Examine environmental studies as an interdisciplinary field of study and its relation to the environmental science field and other disciplines
1.Analyze the characteristics of the discipline
2.Assess the relationship of environmental studies to other disciplines
3.Examine the role of environmental studies in a changing society such as significance in health field, agriculture, energy technology, industry and transportation
4.Assess the contributions to environmental studies by cultural, ethnic and gender groups
B.Assess and apply environmental and ecological concepts to modern life and a technologically based society
1.Compare and contrast the principles of a sustainable society and the services provided by nature and ecosystems
2.Assess the impacts of our industrial society on these life sustaining systems such as the impacts of toxic chemicals on human health
3.Understand the concept and importance of the “3 R’s”: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
C.Assess and explore the career opportunities in environmental studies field
1.Examine the sub-disciplines within environmental studies, including career opportunities in energy management, waste management, environmental compliance and law, and air and water quality analysis
2.Examine the sub-disciplines within environmental studies including environmental education, habitat restoration, sustainable studies and related fields
D.Analyze the history of human use and exploitation of the earth's natural resources
1.Examine resource use by hunter-gather societies including Native American civilization and resource degradation by agricultural societies
2.Explore the recent past to current use of natural resources by humans with an emphasis on the impact on water, air, soil, species, ecosystems, energy and minerals
E.Examine the relationship between resource degradation and the changing role of humans in society
1.Compare humans as a part of nature versus apart from nature
2.Explore humans as conquerors of the New World
F.Compare and contrast the history of land use ethics in Western versus non-Western cultures
1.Examine characteristics of Western cultures (i.e. Thoreau, Muir, Pinchot, Leopold, Carson and others)
2.Explore characteristics of non-Western cultures
3.Assess development of human rights and eventual acknowledgment of the rights of nature
G.Explore the impact of the industrial revolution and other technological advances on the human relationship with nature
1.Examine characteristics of an industrial society
2.Review industrial society's view of natural resources
3.Explore the concept of Natural capital
H.Evaluate the effects of the environmental movement in the United States; including key individuals in U.S. environmental history
1.Examine the time period of the1900's: First Wave of Conservation
2.Examine the time period of the1930's: Second Wave of Conservation
3.Examine the time period of the 1970's and 1980's: Modern Environmental Movement
4.Examine the time period of the 1990’s and 2000’s: Sustainable Development/Era of Sustainability
I.Assess the political system within the United States and its relationship to environmental degradation including federal regulatory agencies and environmental laws
1.Examine the U.S. political system
2.Examine the Federal, State and local government agencies involved in environmental regulation
3.Review environmental laws and regulations
J.Analyze how ethics, politics and the current economic system within the United States has influenced environmental policies and regulation
1.Examine Superfund Cleanup
2.Examine the Endangered Species Act
3.Examine the Clean Air Act
K.Assess the relationship between environmental degradation and the cycle of poverty, including the status of women and children worldwide
1.Examine the concept of the tragedy of the commons
2.Explore the concept of the cycle of poverty
3.Explore the concept environmental injustice
L.Examine and describe the United States' natural resources and processes including national parks, national forests and wildlife refuges
1.Assess the earth’s stock of natural resources (WASSEEM: water, air, soil, species, ecosystems, energy and minerals)
2.Assess the 3 categories of federal lands in the U.S. including national parks, national forests and national wildlife refuges
M.Assess and debate the current status of the world's natural resources and the impacts on human populations
1.Compare and contrast the United States' use of resources and evaluate the problems associated with the use of our resources
2.Evaluate the impact of human population growth on the world's resources and pollution.
N.Analyze and explore possible solutions and sustainable projects occurring worldwide
1.Examine long term versus short-term resource use
2.Assess sustainable uses of the world's resources, such as sustainable harvesting of our forests, protection of water, air and soil resources through regulations and citizen involvement
3.Assess local use of resources and develop solutions to local problems
4.Assess and evaluate renewable (solar, wind and hydroelectric) versus nonrenewable (oil, coal, natural gas and nuclear) forms of energy and the impact of each upon the world's resources
5.Evaluate alternative lifestyles, including waste management, energy use and ethics, as a means to reduce consumption of resources

VI. Assignments

A.Reading assignments from the text and other pertinent readings
B.Writing assignments involving summary, synthesis and critical analysis of data and information
C.Team project (including written summary and presentation) on an assigned topic
D.Completion of a Student Action Plan (personal actions aimed at reducing their environmental footprint)
E.Team assessment that will require students to demonstrate the ability to summarize, integrate and critically analyze principles and concepts
F.One field trip may be required outside of class time.

VII. Methods of Instruction

 Lecture and visual aids
Discussion of assigned reading
Discussion and problem solving performed in class
In-class exploration of Internet sites
Quiz and examination review performed in class
Homework and extended projects
Field observation and field trips
Guest speakers
Collaborative learning and small group exercises
Collaborative projects

VIII. Methods of Evaluating Objectives

A.Completion of reading and writing assignments including an assessment (quiz) process to evaluate student comprehension of concepts and principles (e.g., identification of public lands systems in the U.S.).
B.Completion of team project including an assessment process to evaluate student comprehension of concepts and principles (e.g., solar energy in California).
C.A final assessment (exam) that will require students to demonstrate the ability to summarize, integrate and critically analyze principles and concepts examined throughout the course

IX. Texts and Supporting References

A.Examples of Primary Texts and References
1.Withgott & Brennan, “Environmental Science: The Science Behind the Stories,” 1st Custom Edition. 2011.
B.Examples of Supporting Texts and References
1.Carson, R. “Silent Spring.” 40th Anniversary Edition. Houghton Mifflin. 2002.
2.Worldwatch Institute. “State of the World” series (annual publication). Worldwatch Institute.
3.Lovins, A. “Soft Energy Paths.” Harper Collins. 1979.
4.Hawken, P., Lovins, A., and Lovins, H. “Natural Capitalism.” 2nd Edition. Earthscan. 2010.
5.Leopold, A. “A Sand County Almanac.” Library of America Special Edition. 2013.
6.Hawken, P. “The Ecology of Commerce.” Revised Edition. Collins Business. 2010.
7.Ehrlich, P. and Ehrlich, A. “The Population Explosion” (sequel to 1971’s “The Population Bomb” by P. Ehrlich). Touchstone Books. 1991.
8.Colborn, T. “Our Stolen Future.” Plume Books. 1997.
9.Reisner, M. “Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water.” Random House. Re-release Edition. 2001.
10.Gore, A. "Earth in the Balance." Rodale Books. Re-release Edition. 2006.