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Essential Objectives

Web Schedule Fall 2019

Revision Date: 26-Aug-19

ENV-2050-VO01 - Natural History of Vermont

Synonym: 186404
Location: Online
Credits: 3 (45 hours)
Day/Times: Meets online
Semester Dates: 09-03-2019 to 12-16-2019
Last day to drop without a grade: 09-23-2019 - Refund Policy
Last day to withdraw (W grade): 11-04-2019 - Refund Policy
Faculty: Jennifer Guarino | View Faculty Credentials
This course has started, please contact the offering academic center about registration

Service Learning Hours: 1-5

In this course, a service learning project is required for each student. Students have a choice of (1) participating in an ongoing salamander monitoring project with the North Branch Nature Center or (2) choosing and implementing their own service learning project. Students who choose the first option will work with the instructor and NBNC to schedule a fieldwork session.

This section meets the following General Education Requirement(s):
Global Perspective/Sustainability
Scientific Method
  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 page, and your academic advisor.
  2. Courses may only be used to meet one General Education Requirement.

Course Description:

Introduces the geology, weather, wildlife, and vegetation of Vermont as part of the larger northeast natural region. Compares and relates present day natural history to that of ancient times. Students uncover patterns in the natural environment that demonstrate both the uniqueness of Vermont and its place within the larger northeast region. Field trips required.

Essential Objectives:

1. Explain the basic ecological principles necessary to interpret past, present, and future trends within natural settings.
2. Describe the geological time scale as it applies to the major geologic events affecting Vermont.
3. Explain the nature and value of aquatic ecosystems such as wetlands, lakes, and streams, discuss human impacts upon them, and examine principles of their management.
4. Describe and discuss how geological, glacial, ecological, and human processes have shaped and continue to shape Vermont's landscape.
5. Analyze the causes and effects of Vermont's weather patterns and discuss the implications for Vermont’s ecosystems and wildlife due to possible changes to its climate.
6. Describe the major biomes and ecosystems present in Vermont taking into account the reasons for and boundaries of vegetation zones and the distribution of wildlife.
7. List the major zoological and botanical groups present in Vermont along with their distinguishing features.
8. Determine from maps the physiographic regions of Vermont and be able to compare and contrast their associated geology, fauna, and flora.
9. Connect the effects of climate, vegetation, wildlife and topography to each other.
10. Use common field techniques to assess ecological dynamics operating in a specific ecosystem.
11. Explain human impact on the land in pre- and post-colonial history and describe how ideas around land use and conservation have evolved.
12. Demonstrate proficiency in understanding, interpreting, evaluating, and applying quantitative data and information.

Additional Instructor Pre-Assignments/Notes/Comments:

Vermont's natural landscape contributes great value to our well-being and is an important part of our cultural heritage. This course will investigate various natural environments found in Vermont, and explore the ways in which Vermonters interact with and impact them.


Methods include online, computer-based work and outdoor fieldwork. Required resource books will provide much of the content, and additional readings will be assigned. Students will participate in weekly discussion forums and complete homework assignments on the readings, short papers, fieldwork reports, and other work assigned by the instructor. There is also a required service learning project, which is briefly described above.

Please note: Outdoor fieldwork will take place in areas that you choose.

Evaluation Criteria:

30% - attendance and participation. Students are noted as "present" for a class when they participate in the weekly discussion forums. Participation includes thoughtful and thorough contributions to the discussion forums, posting on time, and submitting the required number of posts.
40% - homework assignments and short papers
30% - fieldwork assignments
Specific details on the various assignments will be posted by the instructor.
Please note: Assignments will be turned in online and the link to which they are posted will close on a specific due date. If you miss the due date, please email me to discuss making it up.One point will be deducted for each day that an assignment is late, unless you have extenuating circumstances that you discuss with me.

Grading Criteria:

Final Grade - based on this scale:

90% to 100% - A

80 to 89% - B

70 to 79% - C
60 to 69% - D
59% and below - F

Canvas Gradebook

I will enter all grades into our canvas gradebook. Please check the gradebook regularly to receive updates on your grades. If a grade does not show up for a specific assignment (that is, the cell for that assignment is blank), it means that I have not entered it yet. Please check back later. If you receive a zero for a grade, it means that I have graded that assignment for the class and I have not received your work for it. If you have questions about your grades, please feel free to contact meafter checking the canvas gradebook.


Fall 2019 textbook data will be available on May 13. On that date a link will be available below that will take you to eCampus, CCV's bookstore. The information provided there will be for this course only. Please see this page for more information regarding the purchase of textbooks.

ENV-2050-VO01 Textbooks.

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

Contact Faculty:

Email: Jennifer Guarino
Hiring Coordinator for this course: Katharine Cooper

Notes: To contact me, please use my CCV email address: If you can't reach me there, you can use this one as a back up:

Attendance Policy:

Regular attendance and participation in classes are essential components of a student's success in college and are completion requirements for courses at CCV. Please be aware that missing three (3) or more classes will result in a failing grade. "Classes" are weekly online forums. I may waive this policy if there are extenuating circumstances for the absences, and if missed coursework is completed. A pattern of late on-line posts can be counted as an absence at my discretion.

If you anticipate missing a discussion forum or turning in a late assignment, please communicate with me beforehand whenever possible. If you can't communicate beforehand, please do so as soon as possible afterwards. You are responsible for making up missed work.

Please note: In order to receive accommodations for disabilities in this course, students must make an appointment to see the Americans with Disabilities Coordinator in their site and bring documentation with them.

Academic Honesty: 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.

Course description details subject to change. Please refer to this document frequently.

To check on space availability, choose Search for Classes.

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