UCSF 137 The Scientific Basis of Environmental Issues
Summer 2016 - Session I
UCSF 137 - The Scientific Basis of Environmental Issues
Office Hours: by appointment.
TEXTBOOKS: The Environment and You, 2e.
Taking Sides, Easton, Thomas A., 15th ed.
GRADING: 90% and above = A
87% - 89% = A-
84% - 86% = B+
80% - 83% = B
77% - 79% = B-
74% - 76% = C+
70% - 73% = C
67% - 69% = C-
64% - 66% = D+
60% - 66% = D
Below 60% = F
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Many of the most important policy and societal decision of the 21st Century will be driven by environmental issues. These critical issues include (but are not limited to) climate change, loss of biodiversity, pollutants and toxins in the atmosphere, water and soil, and the growing difficulty of providing food, water, shelter and energy to an ever increasing and energy using population. This course is designed to provide the scientific background needed to understand these issues in order to allow students to be able to meaningfully participate in the policy discussions of the next several decades.
COURSE OUTLINE: There are 8 class meetings. Typically, I will lecture for half the period and the other half will consist of student groups leading discussions on issues from the Taking Sides readings. Four or five class sessions will begin with a short, 10 point quiz. There will be two exams on lecture material. The class outline is listed below:
This schedule is tentative and subject to change. Changes will be announced in class and posted to Sakai
DATE LECTURE TOPIC C&L)
5/24 The Environment, Sustainability, and Science Chs. 1-3
Environmental Ethics, Economics, and Policy
The Physical Science of the Environment
An Inconvenient Truth
5/26 Organism and Population Ecology and Chs. 4,5
Human Population Growth
5/31 Communities and Ecosystems Chs. 6,7
The Geography of Life
6/2 Biodiversity Conservation Chs. 8,9
Climate Change and Global Warming
6/7 Exam I
Air Quality Chs. 10, Water 11
6/9 Agriculture and the Ecology of Food Chs. 12, Forest Resources 13
6/14 Non-Renewable Energy and Electricity Chs. 14, Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation 15
6/16 Urban Ecosystems Chs. 16,
Waste Management 17
6/21 The Environment and Human Health Chs. 18, The Environment and You 19 Taking Sides
6/23 Exam II
2 Exams @ 100 points each = 60 pts.
4 (appx.) Quizzes @ 10 points each = 40 pts.
Class participation = 30 pts
Total = 130 pts.
There is no “extra credit” in this course nor are there any “bonus points” of any sort. So don’t ask.
Laptop or tablet computers are permitted for note taking only. Students who are surfing the web, texting or using any electronic device for any non-course related purpose will be asked to leave the class. All cellphones, PDAs, etc. must be turned off during class.
It is every student’s responsibility to check Sakai for any announcements or other important information, especially regarding any necessary corrections, amendments, etc. to this syllabus.
All students are expected to be in class and prepared to begin working at the start of class. Anyone who is chronically late for class may be denied admission to the classroom until such time as the instructor deems fit.
Cheating or any other form of academic dishonesty will not be tolerated. Students are advised to refer to the university policy on academic dishonesty which can be found at http://www.luc.edu/cas/faculty_resources.shtml