Introduction to Environmental Studies

Jason C. Neff, Environmental Studies

University of Colorado at Boulder

Summary

The material covers the ecological and physical aspects of environmental change and the socioeconomic, political, and technological factors that influence the quality of life on Earth. Short course videos and corresponding PowerPoints are freely accessible for your use.


Course URL: https://www.colorado.edu/silc/changing-planet-educational-resources
Course Size:

greater than 150


Course Format:

Online course content resources


Institution Type:

Public four-year institution, primarily undergraduate

Course Context:

Resources are used in an introductory environmental studies course (ENVS 1000) at the University of Colorado Boulder. It serves as a required course for undergraduate students in the environmental studies major. It also contributes to the general education Natural Sciences requirement in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder. Resources also include Excel how-to video tutorials for students as well as an intro to graphing, calculations, and fitting trend lines to data.

Course Content:

The materials cover the ecological and physical aspects of environmental change and the socioeconomic, political, and technological factors that influence the quality of life on Earth. Additional PowerPoints are available for use with "A Changing Planet" – a fully online test and assessment platform for Environmental Science written by Jason Neff.

Course Goals:

Overarching learning objectives
1. Demonstrate an understanding of the key biological and physical systems that influence the Earth's environment.
2. Explain how humans are changing the environment and describe the impacts of those changes.
3. Evaluate policies and other interventions that can be used to mitigate the impacts of human activity.
4. Use Excel to manipulate, graph, and analyze environmental data sets.
5. Demonstrate an ability to use quantitative information to evaluate human-natural system change.

Course Features:

  • Weekly Recitations
  • Weekly assessments
  • Synchronous and asynchronous lectures
  • STEM skills applications (graphs, data, calculations...)
  • Discussions with students regarding the relevance to current local to global events

Course Philosophy:

This course was designed to provide an introductory overview of ecological and physical aspects of environmental change and the socioeconomic, political, and technological factors that influence the quality of life on Earth that are covered in depth within the major and that are highlighted in learning objectives for the course. Humanistic knowledge and meta knowledge are weaved throughout the course content and discussions.

Assessment:

Weekly assessments; TA/recitation periods, participation, and discussion; assignments. Tests and/or test examples are not included in the resources provided.

Syllabus:

Teaching Materials:

See URL provided for PowerPoints and Videos. https://www.colorado.edu/silc/changing-planet-educational-resources

References and Notes:

A Changing Planet by Jason Neff (Pearson) and Revel app
Videos and PowerPoints are available on the site as are additional recommended resources.

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