Intro to Environmental Studies


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Intro to Environmental Studies

  1. 1. Syllabus for ENST-100 Spring 2013 MW 3:30-4:50 (WPH 102)Instructor: Kristen Weiss, Ph.D.Email: weissk@usc.eduTelephone: (213) 740-4062Office: SOS B15COffice Hours: TTh 1-2pm and by appointmentREQUIRED TEXT: Friedland, Relyea, & Courard-Hauri. Environmental Science:Foundations and Applications. W.H. Freeman & Co., 2011. ISBN-13: 978-1-4292-4029-1.COURSE INTRODUCTION:As the gateway to the majors and minors in Environmental Studies, this course willprovide students with an overview of the field. Environmental Studies draws on manydisciplines for the purpose of understanding how life on Earth is sustained, the cause ofenvironmental problems, and which solutions will satisfactorily address the problems weface. This course will introduce students to the interdisciplinary approach ofEnvironmental Studies. It will emphasize the scientific background and process ofcritical thinking necessary to address current and future environmental problems.Students will examine environmental issues from local, national, and internationalperspectives.GRADING:Grades will be determined on the basis of in-class presentations, a final project, twomidterms and a final exam. Exams will emphasize material presented in lecture, and onmaterial drawn from the reading. The questions will include multiple choice and shortanswer. The PowerPoint presentations used in class will be available for download fromblackboard. Mid-Term 2 will include only the material covered after the first mid-term.The final will only include material covered after the second midterm. The weightedpercentage of each graded assignment is as follows:Presentations throughout the semester 5%Midterm 1 February 20 25%Midterm 2 April 3 25%Final Project May 1 20%Final May 10 25%ATTENDANCE:
  2. 2. Students are expected to be on time and prepared for every lecture. If a student must missclass please contact the instructor AT LEAST a week in advance to discuss making upcoursework.FINAL PROJECT--Timeline:Each student will create a timeline (using Microsoft Word or similar program to logentries) following the news coverage of an environmental issue of his or her choice.Students will compare the weekly coverage of the event between two contrastingmediums, one of which must be a newspaper, the other can be another periodical orsocial media such as Twitter. Each student will be required to present once during thesemester with an update of what is happening that week with his or her issue (i.e. one-twostudents will present in each class). At the end of the semester students will present theirfinal timelines to the class.STATEMENT FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES:Any student requesting academic accommodations based on a disability is required toregister with Disability Services and Programs (DSP) each semester. A letter ofverification for approved accommodations can be obtained from DSP. Please be sure theletter is delivered to me as early in the semester as possible. DSP is located in STU 301and is open 8:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. The phone number for DSP is(213) 740-0776.STATEMENT ON ACADEMIC INTEGRITY:USC seeks to maintain an optimal learning environment. General principles of academichonesty include the concept of respect for the intellectual property of others, theexpectation that individual work will be submitted unless otherwise allowed by aninstructor, and the obligations both to protect one’s own academic work from misuse byothers as well as to avoid using another’s work as one’s own. Plagiarism will not betolerated under any circumstances. Any plagiarism or cheating will result in failure of thecourse in accordance of university policy. All students are expected to understand andabide by these principles. SCampus, the Student Guidebook, contains the StudentConduct Code in Section 11.00, while the recommended sanctions are located inAppendix A: Students will be referred to the Office ofStudent Judicial Affairs and Community Standards for further review, should there beany suspicion of academic dishonesty. The Review process can be found at: ON RELIGIOUS OBSERVATION ACCOMODATIONS:University policy grants students excused absences from class for observance of religiousholy days. Students may be given an opportunity to make up work missed because ofreligious observance. I will be responsive to requests for an excused absence when madeIN ADVANCE. Students are advised to scan their syllabi at the beginning of the semesterto detect potential conflicts with their religious observances. Please note that this appliesonly to the sort of holy day that necessitates absence from class and/or whose religiousrequirements clearly conflict with aspects of academic performance.
  3. 3. COURSE SCHEDULE: (Subject to change)Jan 14 Course introductions, format, goals, assignmentsJan 16 Studying the state of our earth (Ch. 1)Jan 21 MLK day *NO CLASS* Jan 23 Matter, Energy, and Change (Ch. 2)Jan 28 Interactions between the living and nonliving world (Ch. 3)Jan 30 Geographic variations in temperature and precipitation (Ch. 4)Feb 4 Origin and Diversification of Organisms (Ch. 5)Feb 6 Distribution and Abundance of Species (Ch. 6)Feb 11 Patterns and Processes of Human Population Growth (Ch. 7)Feb 13 Review for midterm/class activity (prioritizing species conservation)Feb 18 Presidents day *NO CLASS* Feb 20 Midterm 1Feb 25 Water Resources: Supply, Distribution & Use (Ch. 9)Feb 27 Water Case Study: California (Cadillac Desert excerpts)Mar 4 Agriculture: feeding the world (Ch. 11)Mar 6 Agriculture Case Study: The Dust BowlMar 11 Nonrenewable Energy: Coal, Oil, Natural Gas, & Nuclear Fuel (Ch. 12)Mar 13 Renewable Energy: Earth, sun, wind, & water (Ch. 13)Mar 18-22 SPRING BREAK NO CLASSMar 25 Water Pollution: Causes & Effects (Ch. 14)Mar 27 Human Health & Toxicology (Ch. 17)Apr 1 Review for midtermApr 3 Midterm 2Apr 8 Waste: Solid waste generation & disposal (Ch. 16)Apr 10 Air Pollution: Causes, Effects, & Ozone depletion (Ch. 15)Apr 15 Air Pollution cont., and Natural DisastersApr 17 Global Change: Climate alteration and global warming (Ch. 19)Apr 22 Critical evaluation of web resourcesApr 24 Conservation of biodiversity (Ch. 18)Apr 29 Sustainability (Ch. 20)May 1 Student presentations- final projectsFriday May 10 FINAL 2-4pm