Introduction to Environmental Science|
|Certificates: Environmental Studies|
In this course we address: How does the natural environment function and what are the impacts of human activities on our natural environment. Discussions about global warming, nuclear pollution and disappearance of species crowd the headlines every day, but what is natural variation and what is human impact? The course provides a short introduction to the four spheres of the earth (rock, water, air, life) and their interactions. Active earth processes (plate tectonics, weathering, volcanism etc) are reviewed, and than we discuss in some detail five main topics:
1. Population growth, 2. Energy supplies and demand, 3. Global climate change, 4. Ecology - biodiversity, 5. Pollution of air, water and food together with a host of smaller topics and issues.
Quantitative Reasoning, Writing
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Lecture||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (CES)(E&ES)(ENVS)(SISP)
||Past Enrollment Probability: Not Available
|Major Readings: Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore
Much of the course content is covered by the textbook (McKinney and Schoch, ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE). Some sections have exercises using Excel (e.g., when do we run out of oil, what alternate energy sources are available and viable). Help sessions are available for those who lack experience with Excel. Economic, social and public policy aspects of global change are discussed within the context of scientific evidence.
|Examination and Assignments: |
Midterm and a final exam, 5 assignments, and final projects and/or a term paper. Group projects in the past have covered environmental movies, theater, paintings, sketches, music as well as more conventional term papers. There are optional lab demonstrations and a fieldtrip.
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
Basic (high school) science skills required but no prior knowledge of the topic is assumed.
|Instructor(s): Varekamp,Johan C. Times: .M.W.F. 10:00AM-10:50AM; Location: TBA|
|Total Enrollment Limit: 80||SR major: 0||JR major: 0|| || |
|Seats Available: -3||GRAD: 0||SR non-major: 5||JR non-major: 10||SO: 20||FR: 45|