Environmental Impacts and Living Systems

Zipangani Vokhiwa, Mathematics, Science, and Informatics
Mercer University


Students will examine how human activities have resulted in changes to many of the earth's life forms and ecosystems. An interdisciplinary approach including biological conservation, preservation, and protection, ecology, resource use, and environmental sustainability will be used to investigate changes to organisms and ecosystems. In case studies from around the world, consequences to living systems associated with such phenomena as deforestation, pollution, and over-exploitation of natural resources will be studied. Integrated lecture/laboratory course.

Course Size:

Course Format:
Lecture and lab

Institution Type:
Private four-year institution, primarily undergraduate

Course Context:

Course Goals:

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

1) Identify the ethical and operational principles of sustainability, and some causes of unsustainability. (AOCDI/Examination)

2) Identify the world's terrestrial and aquatic biomes and their biological communities and elements of threats on various ecosystems and populations. (Laboratory/Examination)

3) Interpret the effects of human activities on the earth's life forms and ecosystems. (Case Studies)

4) Explain how anthropogenic activities can affect the major features of ecosystems and populations, including the acquisition and use of energy in individuals and communities, and the role of producers, consumers and decomposers. (Laboratory/Examination)

5) Synthesize results of environmental science investigations and experiments to understand potential problems and suggest mitigation measures. (Lab/ Research Paper)

6) Explain methods for conserving and protecting earth's life forms and ecosystems and describe the associated environmental international treaties, conventions and protocols that contain those methods. (Research Paper)

7) Describe the primary environmental challenges to earth's resources from the continuing increase in human population and describe how sustainable uses of resources could be implemented to manage those challenges. (Examination)

8) Describe environmental public policy initiatives in the USA and other countries that aim to achieve environmental sustainability. (Quiz/poster presentation)

9) Analyze and interpret case studies in ecological footprint, environment, natural resource management and sustainability. (Case Study analysis)

10) Give examples of sustainable development related to earth's life forms and ecosystems – the use of renewable and nonrenewable resources in a manner that satisfies current needs of earth's life forms and ecosystems without compromising future availability of resources. (AOCDI/exam)

11) Understand why businesses have to be "Green" and reduce their ecological footprint to help. (Field Trips).



Environmental Impacts and Living Systems (Microsoft Word 183kB May22 17)

Teaching Materials:

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