Course Content and Outcome Guide for ESR 201 Effective Fall 2015

Course Number:
ESR 201
Course Title:
Applied Environ Studies:
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Introduces environmental laws and the regulations promulgated under them. Includes examinations of the genesis of these laws (e.g. NEPAA, Clean Air and Water Acts, RCRA, Endangered Species Act) and their history of compliance and violation. Prerequisite: ESR 160. Audit available.

Addendum to Course Description

To clarify the teaching of evolution and its place in the classroom, the Portland Community College Science Departments stand by the following statements about what is science and how the theory of evolution is the major organizing theory in the discipline of the biological sciences.
  1. Science is a fundamentally nondogmatic and self-correcting investigatory process. In science, a theory is neither a guess, dogma, nor myth. The theories developed through scientific investigation are not decided in advance, but can be and often are modified and revised through observation and experimentation.
  2. The theory of evolution meets the criteria of a scientific theory. In contrast, creation "science" is neither self-examining nor investigatory. Creation "science" is not considered a legitimate science, but a form of religious advocacy. This position is established by legal precedence (Webster v. New Lenox School District #122, 917 F. 2d 1004).
Science (ESR) instructors of Portland Community College will teach the theory of evolution not as absolute truth but as the most widely accepted scientific theory on the diversity of life. We, the Biology Subject Area Curriculum Committee at Portland Community College, therefore stand with such organizations as the National Association of Biology Teachers in opposing the inclusion of pseudo-sciences in our science curricula.

Intended Outcomes for the course

A student will be able to collaboratively and independently:
  1. Identify and express orally and in writing basic components of environmental laws.
  2. Identify and express how humans interact with the environment.
  3. Express an understanding of the history behind major environmental laws.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Assessment Tasks:
  1. Essay exams
  2. Research paper on environmental problem and associated laws
  3. Oral presentation of environmental problem and associated laws
  4. Self-assessment of group dynamics

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Concepts and Themes:
  1. Hazardous waste laws
  2. Clean Water Act
  3. Fundamentals of the legal system
  4. Clean Air Act
  5. Water Quality
  6. Human Impacts
  7. Air quality
  8. Endangered Species Act
  9. International environmental laws
  10. Resource management laws
  11. Enforcement of environmental laws
  12. History of compliance

Process Skills (Competency skills):
  1. Read and process environmental laws
  2. Write using the scientific format
  3. Locating and accessing information in reference to environmental issues and associated laws
  4. Think critically
  5. Collaborate with peers -- Work effectively in groups
  6. Present conclusions logically