Course Content and Outcomes Guide for ESR 172 Effective Summer 2020
- Course Number:
- ESR 172
- Course Title:
- Environmental Science: Chemical Perspectives
- Credit Hours:
- Lecture Hours:
- Lecture/Lab Hours:
- Lab Hours:
- Special Fee:
Course DescriptionCovers environmental topics that are primarily chemical in nature. Includes water pollution, air pollution, climate change, environmental hazards, toxicology, risk assessment, and hazardous waste. Includes associated laboratories which illustrate these topics and may include fieldwork. Prerequisites: WR 115, RD 115 and MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Audit available.
Addendum to Course Description
Fieldwork is a professional competence in many areas of Environmental Studies. Standard field practices include measurements of abiotic and biotic components in a variety of environmental conditions and habitat types. Fieldwork includes use of all the senses to make observations in natural and built environments. Field training may include developing skills in site characterization, application of key terms and concepts, species identification, and measurement and data collection using appropriate equipment. Fieldwork may include inherent risks (uneven terrain, off-trail work with map & compass, variable weather, insects, environmental irritants, travel, stress, etc.).
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.
• 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.
• 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
Upon completion of the course students should be able to:
- Express graphically, orally or in writing, an understanding of basic environmental processes that are chemical in nature.
- Identify human influences on global nutrient cycling and on water, soil, and air chemistry.
- Employ field and laboratory techniques to quantify terrestrial, aquatic and atmospheric factors in a local environment.
- Demonstrate an understanding of environmental chemistry and human effects upon it.
Outcome Assessment Strategies
- Essay, short and multiple choice exams.
- Write-ups of field and laboratory experiences.
- Research paper on environmental topic
- Journal: self-assessment and exploration of topics
- Oral presentations with accompanying Visual/graphical representations
- Concept Maps
Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)
Concepts and Themes:
- Energy flow and matter transformations
- Human mediated environmental change (ozone depletion, global climate change, acid rain)
- Fundamentals of periodic table
- Chemical pollution of atmospheric, hydrologic, and biologic systems
Process Skills (Competency skills):
- Relate scientific concepts to local and regional issues.
- Understand the sources of scientific uncertainty.
- Locate and access information from non-governmental organizations and governmental agencies.
- Think critically.
- Collaborate with peers -- Work effectively in groups.
- Present conclusions with scientific rigor.