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Essential Objectives

Course Syllabus

Revision Date: 14-May-24

Fall 2024 | ENV-1010-VO02 - Introduction to Environmental Science

Online Class

Online courses take place 100% online via Canvas, without required in-person or Zoom meetings.

Location: Online
Credits: 3 (45 hours)
Day/Times: Meets online
Semester Dates: 09-03-2024 to 12-16-2024
Last day to drop without a grade: 09-16-2024 - Refund Policy
Last day to withdraw (W grade): 11-04-2024 - Refund Policy
Open Seats: 5 (as of 07-19-24 8:05 PM)
To check live space availability, Search for Courses.


Jaimi DeFeo
View Faculty Credentials

Hiring Coordinator for this course: Jen Guarino

General Education Requirements

This section meets the following CCV General Education Requirement(s) for the current catalog year:
VSCS Natural Science
  1. Many degree programs have specific general education recommendations. In order to avoid taking unnecessary classes, please consult with additional resources like your program evaluation, your academic program catalog year page, and your academic advisor.
  2. Courses may only be used to meet one General Education Requirement.

Course Description

This course is a multidisciplinary study of the interrelationship between living things and their environment. The fundamentals of biology, chemistry, geology, and energy flow are studied so that current environmental issues can be understood and discussed from a scientific perspective. Emphasis is placed on maintaining and restoring sustainable ecosystems.

Essential Objectives

1. Identify concepts of ecology as they relate to environmental issues.
2. Summarize the foundations of nutrient cycling and energy flow as they relate to the movement of matter and energy within ecosystems.
3. Analyze the impacts of population changes on ecosystems, including issues of human population growth.
4. Identify the role of atmospheric thermodynamics and chemistry as they relate to the biosphere.
5. Analyze the causes and effects of major ecological issues and outline strategies to restore ecosystem balance.
6. Compare and contrast methods, impacts, and sustainability of traditional and alternative energy.
7. Discuss the history behind the creation of public lands in the United States and how scientific discoveries influenced the laws and policies behind the modern environmental movement.
8. Analyze the influence of science, economics, ethics, and culture on environmental management and social justice issues.
9. Evaluate environmental issues and solutions from a global, national, local, and personal perspective.
10. Explore educational, career, and professional options in the field of environmental science through assignments such as informational interviews, job shadows, or other career-exploration activities.
11. Demonstrate proficiency in understanding, interpreting, applying, and evaluating the accuracy of data and information sources.
12. Explain how knowledge created in the natural sciences has contributed to the creation, maintenance, and dismantling of social inequalities and discuss the impacts of diversity and inclusion on scientific research and practice.

Required Technology

More information on general computer and internet recommendations is available on the CCV IT Support page. https://support.ccv.edu/general/computer-recommendations/

Please see CCV's Digital Equity Statement (pg. 45) to learn more about CCV's commitment to supporting all students access the technology they need to successfully finish their courses.

Required Textbooks and Resources

This course uses one or more textbooks/books/simulations.

Fall 2024 textbook details will be available on 2024-05-20. On that date a link will be available below that will take you to eCampus, CCV's bookstore. The information provided there will be specific to this class. Please see this page for more information regarding the purchase of textbooks/books.

ENV-1010-VO02 Link to Textbooks for this course in eCampus.

The last day to use a Financial Aid Advance to purchase textbooks/books is the 3rd Tuesday of the semester. See your financial aid counselor at your academic center if you have any questions.

Artificial Intelligence(AI) Policy Statement

CCV recognizes that artificial intelligence (AI) and generative AI tools are widely available and becoming embedded in many online writing and creative applications.

Prohibited: The use of generative AI is not allowed in this course, with the exception of spellcheck, grammar check and similar tools. This course rests in the value of students engaging in the learning process without relying on AI-generated content. Students will develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills independently, owning their learning journey from start to finish. If you use these tools, your actions would be considered academically dishonest and a violation of CCV's Academic Integrity Policy.


* Weekly discussion forum

* Quizzes and essays

* Internet research activities

* Homework reading and writing assignments

* Video reaction paper

* Interpreting and evaluating data

Evaluation Criteria

70% Homework Assignments (Includes reading and writing assignments from the textbook; reaction papers; internet activities; data analyses; essay writing; and quizzes)

30% Weekly Participation in Discussion Forums and Activities (Includes research on specific topics; discussions on water/energy/ecological footprints; condensed news stories and your essays; and engagement with others using critical thinking)

Grading Criteria

CCV Letter Grades as outlined in the Evaluation System Policy are assigned according to the following chart:

A Less than 9893
A-Less than 9390
B+Less than 9088
B Less than 8883
B-Less than 8380
C+Less than 8078
C Less than 7873
C-Less than 7370
D+Less than 7068
D Less than 6863
D-Less than 6360
FLess than 60 
NPLess than 600

Weekly Schedule

Week/ModuleTopic  Readings  Assignments


The Environment and Sustainability


Environmental Science 17th Edition

Chapter 1


Watch supporting videos. Answer questions.

Discussion: Introductions



Science, Matter, Energy, and Systems


Environmental Science 17th Edition

Chapter 2



Chapter Questions

Discussion: Environmentalists





Environmental Science 17th Edition

Chapter 3



Quiz on chemical and energy cycles

Discussion: Ask Nature-Biomimicry



Biodiversity, Evolution, and Saving Species


Environmental Science 17th Edition

Chapters 4 & 8

Supplemental Reading,Videos


Chapter Questions

Choose Paper Topic

Discussion: Invasive Species



Sustaining Biodiversity and Ecosystems


Environmental Science 17th Edition

Chapters 8 & 9



Write paper on chosen topic

Discussion: Movie Topics



Water Resources


Environmental Science 17th Edition

Chapter 11




Case Study on Ogallala Aquifer

Discussion: Water Footprints



Water Pollution


Environmental Science 17th Edition

Chapter 11

Supplemental Reading - Oceans


Video notes; Additional questions

Discussion: Water pollution topics



Food Production and the Environment


Environmental Science 17th Edition

Chapter 10



Chapter Questions; Food Journal and Stories

Discussion: Food Topics



The Human Population & Urbanization


Environmental Science 17th Edition

Chapter 6



Human Population Worksheet-Data collection

Discussion: Sustainable Country or City



Nonrenewable Energy & Mineral Resources


Environmental Science 17th Edition

Chapter 13

Supplemental Readings,Videos



Energy Consulting Plan, Part 1

Discussion: Ecological Footprint & Mineral Resources



Renewable Energy & Efficiency


Environmental Science 17th Edition

Chapter 13



Footprint Analysis; Questions

Energy Consulting Plan, Part 2

Discussion: Energy Innovations



Climate Change, Part 1


Environmental Science 17th Edition

Chapter 15



PowerPoint, Part 1

Discussion: Air Pollution



Climate Change, Part 2


Environmental Science 17th Edition

Chapter 15



PowerPoint, Part 2

Discussion: Climate Stories



Environmental Hazards & Health


Environmental Science 17th Edition

Chapter 14



3/1 Assignment, Toxic Inventory, Chemical Apps

Discussion: Harmful Chemicals in the Home and Work



Waste and Circular Economy


Environmental Science 17th Edition

Chapter 16


Reaction paper to Plastic Wars and Chapter 16

Discussion: Circular Economy


Attendance Policy

Regular attendance and participation in classes are essential for success in and are completion requirements for courses at CCV. A student's failure to meet attendance requirements as specified in course descriptions will normally result in a non-satisfactory grade.

  • In general, missing more than 20% of a course due to absences, lateness or early departures may jeopardize a student's ability to earn a satisfactory final grade.
  • Attending an on-ground or synchronous course means a student appeared in the live classroom for at least a meaningful portion of a given class meeting. Attending an online course means a student posted a discussion forum response, completed a quiz or attempted some other academically required activity. Simply viewing a course item or module does not count as attendance.
  • Meeting the minimum attendance requirement for a course does not mean a student has satisfied the academic requirements for participation, which require students to go above and beyond simply attending a portion of the class. Faculty members will individually determine what constitutes participation in each course they teach and explain in their course descriptions how participation factors into a student's final grade.

Participation Expectations

A note about time: CCV lists a 3-credit course as taking about 8-10 hours a week, and a 4-credit course requires 14-16 hours, including the contact time and homework. Because this is an online course, we cannot cover the 3 hours of instruction and activities that would have been provided in an in-person class. Therefore, you will need to compensate for this by dedicating time to reading and completing tasks that would have been covered during our lectures. Additionally, you will still be responsible for completing the homework that would have been assigned outside of class. Sometimes, the homework from an online class may seem like more, but we cover the same material as we would have if we met in person. (Just think of all the time you save getting ready to go out and then commuting and being in class!)

I understand it may take some people longer to do the work than others, as we all go at different paces for different reasons. Getting into the flow and routine may also take a couple of weeks. How long it takes you is very subjective; I've had some students finish assignments in 2 hours that took other students 4 hours or more. It also depends on how detailed and complete your assignments are; more effort results in better grades. Be patient, learn how to pace yourself, and finish early if you can to reduce the anxiety and stress of a deadline, especially if you aren't grasping something right away. Also, ask for help when you need it. If you feel the work is exceeding these hours, please reach out and let me know.

Missing & Late Work Policy

Please remember to check the Canvas modules every Tuesday as the semester progresses so that you can stay updated on the latest news and assignments. Assignments are due every week. If you fail to submit an assignment on time, a penalty of 5% will be deducted for each day it is late, up to a maximum of one week. If you do not submit an assignment within that time, it will automatically close in Canvas, and you will no longer be able to upload it. If you require any assistance or have special circumstances, please contact me, and I will do my best to help you. However, please do not wait until the end of the semester.

It's important to keep in mind that the discussion topics cannot be created for the previous week after a new week has started. I suggest that you complete these discussions early in the week.

Accessibility Services for Students with Disabilities:

CCV strives to mitigate barriers to course access for students with documented disabilities. To request accommodations, please
  1. Provide disability documentation to the Accessibility Coordinator at your academic center. https://ccv.edu/discover-resources/students-with-disabilities/
  2. Request an appointment to meet with accessibility coordinator to discuss your request and create an accommodation plan.
  3. Once created, students will share the accommodation plan with faculty. Please note, faculty cannot make disability accommodations outside of this process.

Academic Integrity

CCV has a commitment to honesty and excellence in academic work and expects the same from all students. Academic dishonesty, or cheating, can occur whenever you present -as your own work- something that you did not do. You can also be guilty of cheating if you help someone else cheat. Being unaware of what constitutes academic dishonesty (such as knowing what plagiarism is) does not absolve a student of the responsibility to be honest in his/her academic work. Academic dishonesty is taken very seriously and may lead to dismissal from the College.