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Introduction to Environmental Science

Christina Gallup

University of Minnesota Duluth (University with graduate programs, primarily masters programs)


We will explore Earth's physical and biological systems and human interaction with the environment. This will include coverage of: climate, rocks, soils, ecosystems, human population, land use, energy use and its consequences, environmental policy, air and water pollution, and conservation issues.

Course URL: http://www.d.umn.edu/~cgallup/
Course Type:
Entry Level:Environmental Geology

Course Size:

Course Context:

This is an introductory course with no pre-requisites and is one of several possible prerequisites for other courses in Geology and the Environmental Science program. Typically, 80% of the students take the course to satisfy a general education requirement. The course has a required lab. Students who decide to major in geology are encouraged to take a subsequent course in physical geology.

Course Goals:

Skills Goals
- critical thinking
- quantitative abilities
- graphing abilities
- expressing concepts in their own words
Attitudinal Goals:
- improving students' awareness of how their personal choices affect other people, other species, and the broader environment
- building students' confidence in course- or discipline-related abilities
- developing students' sense of stewardship of the Earth
- improving students' sense of healthy skepticism
- increasing student excitement/personal wonder about learning about the Earth/Environment
- improving students' awareness of the issues of ethics in doing science
- changing student attitudes toward science


There are two midterms and one final. The exams are short answer/fill in the blank. They need to be able to put concepts in their own words and use concepts/ideas they have learned to answer challenging questions. There are multiple choice quizzes to gauge their understanding of certain concepts along the way. In lab, they complete a worksheet each week that is graded by the TA.


Syllabus (Acrobat (PDF) 43kB Jun22 06)

Teaching Materials:

My powerpoint lectures are available on my website.

References and Notes:

Environmental Science: A Global Concern, Cunningham and Saigo, Ninth edition.