Teach the Earth > Course Design > Course Goals/Syllabus Database > Environmental Analysis

Environmental Analysis

Lois K. Ongley

Unity College in Maine
Private four-year institution, primarily undergraduate


All of the physical processes which interact with the environment are covered at a more advanced level. The laboratory portion will include a major environmental project related to topics in aquatic chemistry, atmospheric chemistry, geochemistry, and solid and hazardous wastes. NB Unity students expect experiential student-centered learning.

Course URL:
Subject: Geoscience:Hydrology:Surface Water, Ground Water, Geoscience:Hydrology
Resource Type: Course Information, Goals/Syllabi
Grade Level: College Upper (15-16)
Course Type: Upper Level:Hydrogeology
Topics: Hydrosphere/Cryosphere, Groundwater, Surface Water
Theme: Teach the Earth:Teaching Topics:Water, Teach the Earth:Course Topics:Hydrology/Hydrogeology
Course Size:

less than 15

Course Context:

This is an upper-division capstone course with prerequisites of introductory geology, biology, and general chemistry. The course has a required three-hour laboratory. Community-based research and service learning are used to guide the development of the laboratory and project experiences.

Course Goals:

Students will be able to:
  1. Evaluate a watershed and determine if there are any water quality issues that need to be addressed.
  2. Plan a method to study a water quality issue.
  3. Collect and analyze water samples.
  4. Interpret water quality data in the context of the particular watershed.
  5. Propose appropriate legal, social and scientific remedies to a water quality problem.

How course activities and course structure help students achieve these goals:

Students will be actively involved in evaluating watersheds including the Unity College watershed. Primary literature and student reports of watersheds from around the world will give students ideas they can synthesize to study the subject watershed which may change from year to year.

Skills Goals

Student will acquire chemical analytical skills through practice.

Students will improve scientific writing skills by revising and resubmitting peer reviewed project reports.


Formative assessment will be by informal observation, concept drawings, and preliminary work.

Summative assissment will focus on project reports.