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ENVS 1401L

This is an archive of the Common Course Outlines prior to fall 2011. The current Common Course Outlines can be found at   
Credit Hours   1   
Course Title   Environmental Science Laboratory   
Prerequisite(s)   Exit from all Learning Support and ENSL requirements except ENSL0091   
Corequisite(s)   ENVS 1401   
Catalog Description   
This is a laboratory to accompany ENVS 1401. The laboratory investigates the scientific aspects of the impacts modern society has upon the natural environmental systems of Earth. The exercises will examine some of the problems associated with the future sustainability of critical components of Earth’s hydrosphere, atmosphere, geosphere and biosphere. This course is designed for non-science majors.
Expected Educational Results   
As a result of completing this course, the student will be able to:

1. Apply the scientific method and procedures to investigate a question, analyze data, and arrive at a conclusion.

2. Use laboratory techniques including the accurate recording of observations and measurements and the manipulation of data through graphing techniques and mathematical analysis.

3. Characterize some of the critical processes for the proper functioning of Earth’s natural environments found within the hydrosphere, atmosphere, biosphere and geosphere.

4. Utilize quantitative and qualitative methods to determine the human impact on the environment and to assess the effects of the growing population of humans on Earth.

5. Develop a greater understanding of the current rate of use of Earth’s resources and the problems associated with finding sustainable practices regarding future supplies of food and energy.
General Education Outcomes   
This is a laboratory course. This course directly involves the use of scientific inquiry in the quest to understand human interactions with the Earth’s natural environments. This course has primary responsibility for general education outcome number six: “Recognize and apply scientific inquiry in a variety of settings”. The performance of the weekly experiments will provide experience in applying scientific inquiry.
Course Content   
The course shall consist of laboratory exercises, one mid-term exam, and one comprehensive final exam.

I. Methodology of Science
A. Variables and measurement
B. Data collection – quantitative and qualitative
C. Hypothesis testing
D. Graphical analysis and correlations

II. Earth’s natural systems and human interactions
A. Hydrosphere
1. Following the water cycle at your campus
a. Infiltration of soils, slopes, runoff and stream discharge
b. River watersheds and aquatic, riparian / wetland habitats
2. Human interactions with the water cycle
a. Water quality issues- pesticides, fertilizers, & septic systems
b. Toxicology in aquatic habitats and water treatment systems

B. Atmosphere
1. Following atmospheric conditions at your campus
a. Composition of air and climate
b. Fundamentals of weather
2. Human interactions with the atmosphere....
a. SMOG and air quality in urban areas
b. Carbon dioxide production and analysis of climate change

C. Geosphere
1. Biogeochemical cycles of Earth
a. Rock cycle and geological time
b. Carbon cycle and production of limestone and fossil fuels
2. Human interactions with the carbon cycle
a. Strip mining and reclamation issues
b. Oil spills and clean up chemistry

D. Biosphere
1. Ecosystems
a. Food chains and keystone species
b. Adaptations and biodiversity
2. Human interactions with ecosystems…
a. Terrestrial habitat alteration and invasive species
b. Oceanic overfishing and coral reef endangerment

III: Sustainability
A. Population growth
B. Food production
D. Energy production and consumption
E. Waste disposal and landfills
Assessment of Outcome Objectives   
A. Lab examinations at mid-term and final will be prepared by each instructor as a major component in determining the course grade of each student.
B. Instructors will also use both lab reports and lab quizzes as significant components in determining the course grade.

A. An assessment test will be administered to all students enrolled in ENVS 1401L every Fall and Spring semester. Portfolio assessment of students\' performance on final exams may be included in the assessment process.
B. ENVS 1401L will be assessed according to the policies and procedures of Georgia Perimeter College and the Science Quality Committee.

Instructors will consult the assessment results and each other to determine which educational approaches are working well, and which could be improved. They will continue what works and explore improved approaches to instruction where that is needed.
Last Revised: May 12, 2011
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