12:008 – Introduction to Environmental Science

Fall 2004, TTH 2:30-3:45, AUD MH

Instructor: Jeff Dorale

Office: Room 35A Trowbridge Hall

Office Hours: TTH 10:00-11:30, and by appointment

Phone: 319-335-0822

Email: jeffrey-dorale@uiowa.edu

TA: Brenda Nations

Office: Room 19 Trowbridge Hall

Office Hours: Tuesday 1:00-2:30, Thursday 10:00-12:00, and by appointment

Phone: 319-335-0704

Email: brenda-nations@uiowa.edu



Important Note:

The lecture and reading schedule contained in this syllabus may change slightly according to our pace, the availability of guest lecturers, and other factors. Please note these changes as they are announced in class and/or posted on the course WebCT site.

Course Description, from ISIS:

This course presents a broad overview of earth system processes and resources. Emphasis is given to the role of humans in natural systems; the effect of geologic, biologic, and climatic processes on human settlement and lifestyle; the short and long term effects of human activities on the environment; and the search for sustainability. Topics covered in lectures include ecosystems and their management, climate, soil and food supply, energy systems, surface water and groundwater, population, effects on human health, future availability of resources, waste management, and opportunities for conservation.

Learning Objectives:

Upon successful completion of this course you will be able to:

1. Describe the structure and function of significant environmental systems.

2. Use scientific reasoning to identify and understand environmental problems.

3. Critically evaluate arguments regarding environmental issues.

4. See the impact your choices and actions have on the environment.

6. Propose and evaluate potential solutions to environmental problems.

Required Resources:

Available at the IMU Bookstore:

Textbook: "Environment: The Science Behind the Stories", by Scott Brennan & Jay Withgott.

HITT remote transmitter (these will not be available until August 30th).

Internet-based materials and supplemental readings will be assigned throughout the semester.

Assessment and Grading:

Your lecture grade will be based on your exam scores. Three midterm exams and a comprehensive final exam will be offered. Your lowest midterm exam score will be dropped. Thus, your grade will be based on two midterm exam scores each with a value of 100 points, and your final exam with a value of 200 points. There are no make-up exams. If you miss one of your midterm exams you may simply drop that score. Shortly after every exam, your scores will be posted on the course Web CT site. If you are taking the course that includes the lab, your course grade will be weighted 75% lecture, and 25% lab.


Your final course grade will be based on your cumulative point total according to the following scale:

99-100% of high score in class = A+

94-99% of high score in class = A

90-93% of high score in class = A-

87-89% of high score in class = B+

83-86% of high score in class = B

80-82% of high score in class = B-

77-79% of high score in class = C+

73-76% of high score in class = C

70-72% of high score in class = C-

60-69% of high score in class = D

0-60% of high score in class = F

Important Note Regarding Exam Preparations:

Exams will be multiple choice and short essay. Questions will be based on lectures, readings, films, and assignments, including the chapter quizzes, simulations, and "Graph It" exercises for each chapter (included in the CD-ROM accompanying the book). All of these materials will be considered fair game for the exam.

Important Dates

August 24 First Day of Class

September 14 Midterm Exam 1

October 12 Midterm Exam 2

November 18 Midterm Exam 3

December 14 Final Exam – 2:15 p.m. AUD MH


Course Schedule

Week 1:

Tues. 8/24 Ch. 1: An Introduction to Environmental Science

Thur. 8/26 Ch. 2: Environmental Ethics and Economics: Values and Choices


Week 2:

Tues. 8/31 Ch. 3: Environmental Policy: Decision-making and Problem-solving

Thur. 9/2 Ch. 4: From Chemistry and Energy to Life

Week 3:

Tues. 9/7 Ch. 4: Ecology and Evolution: Populations, Communities and Biodiversity

Thur. 9/9 Ch. 5: Environmental Systems: Connections, Cycles and Feedback Loops

Week 4:

Tues. 9/14 Midterm Exam 1(100 points)

Thur. 9/16 Ch. 7, Human Population Growth (Film: "6 Billion and Beyond")

Week 5:

Tues. 9/21 Ch. 8: Agriculture and Soil Formation, Degradation, and Conservation

Thur. 9/23 Ch. 9: Agriculture, Biotechnology & the Future of Food


Week 6:

Tues. 9/28 Ch. 9: Agriculture, Biotechnology & the Future of Food, cont. (Film: "Ancient Futures")

Thur. 9/30 Ch. 10: Toxicology and Environmental Health


Week 7:

Tues. 10/5 Ch. 11: Atmospheric Science and Air Pollution

Thur. 10/7 Ch. 12: Atmospheric Function and Human Impacts on the Climate System

Week 8:

Tues. 10/12 Midterm Exam 2 (100 points)

Thur. 10/14 Ch. 13: The Oceans: Natural Systems, Human Use, and Marine Conservation

Week 9:

Tues. 10/19 Ch. 13: The Oceans, cont. (Film: "Blue Planet: Deep Trouble")

Thur. 10/21 Ch. 14: Freshwater Resources

Week 10:

Tues. 10/26 Ch. 15: Biodiversity and Conservation Biology (Film: “In the Shadow of the Tiger”)

Thur. 10/28 Guest Lecture

Week 11:

Tues. 11/2 Ch. 16: Land Use, Forest Management, and Creating Livable Cities

Thur. 11/4 Ch. 17: Nonrenewable Energy Sources and Their Environmental Impacts

Week 12:

Tues. 11/9 Ch. 18 Energy Alternatives

Thur. 11/11 Ch. 18: Energy Alternatives, cont.

Week 13:

Tues. 11/16 Ch. 19: Waste Management

Thur. 11/18 Midterm Exam 3 (100 points)

Week 14: Thanksgiving Recess – NO CLASS

Week 15:

Tues. 11/30 Ch. 20: Sustainable Solutions

Thur. 12/2 Ch. 20: Sustainable Solutions, cont. (Film: "Connect: A New Ecological Paradigm")

Week 16:

Tues. 12/7 Guest Lecture

Thurs. 12/9 Course Wrap-Up


Tuesday December 14 -- Final Exam 2:15 p.m AUD MH (this room)

The final exam is comprehensive. It will cover all material we have covered in lecture, the text, in films, assignments, online readings, and guest lectures.


Department of Geoscience Syllabus Information - Fall Semester 2004

Department Office: 121 Trowbridge Hall Telephone: 319-335-1818

Department Chair (DEO): Prof. C.T. Foster Jr. DEO Office: 121C TH

DEO Telephone: 319-335-1820 DEO Email: geology-deo@uiowa.edu

This course is offered by the Department of Geoscience in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS). Class policies on matters such as requirements, grading, and sanctions for academic dishonesty are governed by the CLAS. Students wishing to add or drop this course after the official deadline must receive the approval of the Dean of the CLAS. Details of the University policy of cross enrollments may be found at: http://www.uiowa.edu/~provost/deos/crossenroll.doc

Amount of Work Expected: The College guideline is that one semester hour of credit is the equivalent of approximately three hours of work (class time + out-of-class preparation) each week over the course of a whole semester. In a typical lecture/discussion course, each hour of class normally entails at least two hours of outside preparation for the average student (e.g., in a three-credit-hour lecture course, standard out-of-class preparation is six hours per week). This standard is the basis on which the Registrar's Office assigns hours of University credit for courses.

Student's Rights and Responsibilities: All students in the College have specific rights and responsibilities (see: http://www.uiowa.edu/~vpss/policies/policies.html; and http://isis5.uiowa.edu/isis/handbook.page). For example, you have the right to adjudication of any complaints you have about classroom activities or instructor actions. Information on these procedures is available below and in the College's Student Academic Handbook. You also have the right to expect a classroom environment that enables you to learn, including modifications if you have a disability.

Your responsibilities to this class, and to your education as a whole, include attendance and participation. You are also expected to be honest and honorable in your fulfillment of assignments and in test-taking situations (see below and the University's Code of Student Life.). You have a responsibility to the rest of the class, and to the instructor, to help create a classroom environment where all may learn. At the most basic level, this means that you will respect the other members of the class and the instructor, and treat them with the courtesy you hope to receive in turn.

Students who are physically or verbally disruptive in a class may be dealt with summarily by the instructor or referred to the dean of students. The instructor reports in writing to the dean of students any disciplinary action undertaken against a student. If you have questions, please talk to your instructor, your adviser, or CLAS Academic Programs & Services.

Availability of modifications: The instructor of this class needs to hear from anyone who has a disability which may require some modification of seating, testing, or other class requirements so that appropriate arrangements may be made. Please contact the instructor during office hours. Students with disabilities should also contact the Office of Student Disabilities Services (335-1462).

Student Complaints: A student who has a complaint related to a Geoscience course should follow the procedures summarized below. The full policy on student complaints is on-line in the College's Student Academic Handbook (http://www.clas.uiowa.edu/students/academic_handbook/ix.shtml)

• Ordinarily, the student should attempt to resolve the matter with the instructor first. Students may talk first to someone other than the instructor (for instance, to the department's director of undergraduate studies, the departmental executive officer, or the University Ombudsperson) if they do not feel, for whatever reason, that they can directly approach the instructor.

• If the complaint is not resolved to the student's satisfaction, the student should go to the course supervisor (if the instructor is a teaching assistant) or to the departmental executive officer.

• If the matter remains unresolved, the student may submit a written complaint to the associate dean for academic programs. The associate dean will attempt to resolve the complaint and, if necessary, may convene a special committee to recommend appropriate action. In any event, the associate dean will respond to the student in writing regarding the disposition of the complaint.

For any complaint that cannot be resolved through the mechanisms described above, please refer to the College’s Student Academic Handbook for further information.

Academic Misconduct: Instructors who detect cheating or plagiarism may decide, in consultation with the DEO, to reduce the student's grade on the assignment or in the course, even to assign an F. The College's full policy on plagiarism and cheating is on-line in the College's Student Academic Handbook.