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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Robert B. Harrison
ESRM 100
Seattle Campus

Introduction to Environmental Science

Covers the importance of the environment in society with particular emphasis on worldwide distribution and uses of resources, the role of natural and man-made environments, and causes of environmental degradation. Introduces ethics of conservation and recycling. Cannot be taken for credit if ESC 110 already taken. Offered: AWSpS.

Class description

Student learning goals

Students will develop an "Environmental Wisdom" that will allow them to understand basic environmental properties, how environmental "information" is used (and abused), and to be able to analyze environmental information skeptically and usefully.

Students will be able to understand basic environmental principles, at scales from molecular to global.

The role of increasing population, along with increasing per-person rates of consumption of resources, as the basis of environmental problems, will be covered.

Major current and emerging environmental problems will be covered.

Students will learn to separate actual from perceived environmental problems and risk. Understanding risk assessment practically is a major learning goal.

General method of instruction

Lectures are delivered through the internet, and are closely tied to readings in the book. Though we have a sample schedule to follow, students can study at their own pace as long as they keep up with the reading and online lecture schedule.

Recommended preparation

No technical prerequisites, only an interest in the Environment.

Class assignments and grading

Grading is as follows, exams = 50% of grade, group project = 25%, and online class discussion 25%. There will be ample opportunity for extra credit, primarily through organized volunteer work with local environmental organizations. The class can be taken for W credit.

Quality is extremely important. We are looking for insight into environmental concepts. Detailed descriptions of how we grade are given on the website.

The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
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Last Update by Robert B. Harrison
Date: 12/16/2013