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Essential Objectives

Course Syllabus

Revision Date: 17-Dec-22

Spring 2023 | ENV-1230-VO01 - Current Environmental Issues

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: 01-24-2023 to 05-08-2023
Last day to drop without a grade: 02-12-2023 - Refund Policy
Last day to withdraw (W grade): 03-26-2023 - Refund Policy
This course has started, please contact the offering academic center about registration


Jaimi DeFeo
View Faculty Credentials

Hiring Coordinator for this course: Catherine Garland

General Education Requirements

This section meets the following VSC General Education Requirement(s) for Catalog Year 21-22 and later:
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 investigates the science that underpins environmental issues. It also analyzes these issues from a variety of different perspectives, including the legal, ethical, political, sociological, and economic considerations that combine to shape our understanding of environmental issues and their possible solutions.

Essential Objectives

1. Examine the scientific research behind environmental issues.
2. Investigate environmental and natural resource management issues on the regional, national, and global scale as they relate to forestry, mining, wildlife, and recreation.
3. Examine the relationship between the scientific study of environmental issues and the creation and enforcement of environmental policy and regulation.
4. Examine the division of jurisdiction and environmental management responsibility between federal, state, and local government.
5. Discuss current environmental issues from the lens of sociocultural perspectives, ethical influences, and racial disparities.
6. Analyze how politics and economics influence the ways that environmental problems develop and how we respond to environmental issues.
7. Analyze the accuracy with which environmental issues are reported in a variety of sources and discuss why widely different perspectives on the same environmental issues are reported.
8. Discuss the origins of national environmental laws and evaluate the processes that create international treaties (including The Clean Air and Water Acts, NEPA, Endangered Species Act, The Paris Accord, and The Kyoto and Montreal Protocols).
9. Demonstrate proficiency in understanding, interpreting, applying, and evaluating the accuracy of data and information sources, and extrapolating quantitative data.
10. 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.

Spring 2023 textbook details will be available on 2022-11-14. 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.

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.


  • Weekly reading assignments
  • Reaction papers, essays
  • Chapter review questions
  • Internet research activities
  • Video assignments
  • Presentation
  • Quizzes
  • Discussion forum

Evaluation Criteria

65% - Homework assignments: readings, papers, chapter questions, presentation, quizzes, videos

35% - Weekly participation in discussion forums and activities

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


Jan 24 -Intro to CEI


Book: Regeneration

Pages 6-15


Video: Earth Emergency; Reaction paper

Discussion: Introductions



Jan 31 - Oceans


Book: Regeneration

Pgs: 17-33


Chapter questions

Discussion: Ocean, Action Items



Feb 7 - Forests


Book: Regeneration

Pgs: 34-61



Discussion: Forests, Action Items



Feb 14 - Wilding


Book: Regeneration

Pgs: 63 - 79


3-2-1 Assignment, Part 1

Discussion: Wilding, Action Items



Feb 21 - Wilding


Book: Regeneration

Pgs: 80 - 93


3-2-1 Assignment, Part 2

Discussion: Research question



Feb 28 - Land


Book: Regeneration

Pgs: 95 - 115



Discussion: Land, Action Items



March 7 - Food


Book: Regeneration

Pgs: 171 - 191


Chapter questions

Discussion: Food, Action Items



March 14 - Water Resources




Video Questions

Discussion 8: Water Footprints



March 21 - Water Pollution




Video - Notes

Discussion 9: Water Pollution



March 28 - Industry


Book: Regeneration

Pgs: 215 - 231


Presentation, Part 1



April 4 - Industry


Book: Regeneration

Pgs: 232 - 247


Presentation, Part 2

Discussion: Share presentation



April 11 - Energy




Fossil fuels/climate change - questions

Discussion: Carbon footprint



April 18 - Energy


Book: Regeneration

Pgs: 193 - 213



Discussion: Assigned topics



April 25 - The City


Book: Regeneration

Pgs: 149 - 169


Essay on sustainable cities

Discussion: Post researched topic



May 2 - People


Book: Regeneration

Selected readings from pages 116 - 147


Theme questions

Discussion: Reflections


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

Check into the Canvas Modules every Tuesday for the most up-to-date news and assignments as we move through the semester. Attendance is very important for the successful completion of this course and will be marked at the end of each week when assignments are due. Students are expected to participate in all discussion forums, take any quizzes, and do all homework weekly in order for their attendance to be marked as “Present” and to get their weekly grades. Each week we will cover new material, therefore, it is important to stay on top of all assignments.

You can check your most recent grades in the "Grades" section of Canvas, which can be found to the left of the page under the course section. Your average is calculated with each new grade. Communication goes a long way and ultimately you are responsible for your final grade so take advantage of all available resources. Those who do best in the class are the ones who complete all the assignments on time each week. You will be responsible for passing in your work, asking for help or clarification, or making arrangements if there are issues beyond your control. Please reach out if this happens so we can work on a plan together.

Do not hesitate to ask for extra help if you need it or clarification if you don't understand something. It may help me to clarify things for others, too. I am always available for questions through email and we can set aside some time on Zoom, if necessary. Also, you can use the Q & A section in the discussion forum where you can ask other students questions. The tutoring center is also available.

Check your email consistently, as I will send out "Announcements" about new modules as well as any updates or notices. Please take a moment to set your preferences for notices, and check your school email unless you forward it to your personal account.

All assignments must be uploaded or go through Canvas to be graded. Do not email me any assignments.

Formats allowed for uploads include PDFs and DOCX. Do not try to submit anything in the "Pages" format from a Mac. You will have to convert it to a PDF first. Let me know if you need help. JPGs are also allowed in case you need to write an assignment by hand and take a picture to submit it.

All posts and assignments should be in your own words. Copy and pasting from sources is not allowed and will be considered plagiarism, unless it is a quote and identified as such. Proper grammar and spelling is expected in all assignments.

For more information, please read the "Netiquette" document that will be posted the first week of class in the Modules section about online communication expectations for this class.

I'm looking forward to a great semester!

Missing & Late Work Policy

Weekly discussion board topics cannot be made up since everyone will move on to the next topic each week and it will no longer be a "live" discussion. Focus on completing this first, when possible, since it can't be done after it has closed.

For each day an assignment is late (other than the discussions, which cannot be done late), 5% will be deducted per day for up to one week. The assignment will automatically close in Canvas after that and you will no longer be able to upload it. Please contact me if you need any help or to discuss special circumstances and I will do my best to work with you, but do not wait until the end of the semester. You will not be able to make up a whole semester's worth of work at the end.

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.