BIOL 2406
Environmental Biology

Western Texas College

  1. Basic Course Information
    1. Lecture—Principles of environmental systems and ecology, including biogeochemical cycles, energy transformations, abiotic interactions, symbiotic relationships, natural resources and their management, lifestyle analysis, evolutionary trends, hazards and risks, and approaches to ecological research.
    2. Lab—the required laboratory activities will reinforce the lecture material.
    3. Any required prerequisites:  Co-requisite of Math 1314 or its equivalent.
    4. Required grade for enrolling in the next course in this sequence: None
  2. Student Learning Outcomes
    1. Apply scientific reasoning to investigate questions and utilize scientific tools such as microscopes and laboratory equipment to collect and analyze data.
    2. Use critical thinking and scientific problem-solving to make informed decisions in the laboratory.
    3. Communicate effectively the results of scientific investigations.
    4. Explain the structure and impact of biogeochemical cycles.
    5. Describe energy transformations across trophic levels.
    6. Illustrate abiotic/biotic interactions and symbiotic relationships.
    7. Identify carious types of natural resources, human impact on these resources, and common resource management practices.
    8. Quantify and analyze the impact of lifestyle on the environment.
    9. Depict evolutionary trends and adaptations to environmental changes.
    10. Describe environmental hazards and risks and the social and economic ramifications.
    11. Describe ecological and statistical techniques and approaches used in the study of environmental biology.
  3. Testing Requirements
    1. The Chapter Test and Final exam must be proctored by an approved testing organization.  (Ask you instructor for more details.)
    2. Students are NOT allowed to use their book or notes of any kind while taken their proctored tests and exam.
    3. All Chapter Tests and the comprehensive Lab and Lecture Final Exams are timed.
  4. Course Requirements
    1. 10 multiple-choice quizzes
    2. 4 current science article write-ups and associated class discussion
    3. 10 total lab assignments
    4. 3 non-cumulative multiple-choice chapter exams
    5. 1 cumulative multiple-choice final exam
  5. Information on Books and Other Course Materials
    1. Required Book:  Environmental Science 15th Edition by Miller and Spoolman ISBN 978-1-305-09044-6
    2. Other: Lab materials are provided by the instructor
  6. Grading Breakdown:
    Articles…….….………….………………………………………………...…...15%
    Quizzes………………….………………………………………………….…….10%
    Lab………………………………………………………………………..…….....30%
    Chapter Tests…………….….………………………………………………...25%
    Final Exam……………………………………………………………………….20%
  7. Other Policies, Procedures and important dates. Please refer to the WTC Catalog for the following
    1. Campus Calendar
    2. Final exam schedule
    3. How to drop a class
    4. Withdrawal information
    5. Student Conduct/Academic Integrity
    6. Students with disabilities
  8. Course Content

Chapters Covered

Sections Covered

1 – Environmental Problems, Their Causes, and Sustainability

Principles of sustainability, ecological footprints, causes of environmental problems, sustainability

2 – Science, Matter, Energy, and Systems

Function of science, matter and energy, environmental systems

3 – Ecosystems: What Are They and How Do They Work

Life-supporting systems of Earth, components of ecosystems, matter and ecosystems, scientific study of ecosystems

4 – Biodiversity and Evolution

Biodiversity, role of species, changes in biodiversity over time, factors affecting biodiversity

5 – Species Interactions, Ecological Succession, and Population Control

Species interaction, ecosystem responses to changing environments, limits on population growth

6 – The Human Population and Urbanization

Carrying capacity, human population growth, age structures, attempts to slow population growth, problems with urbanization, impacts of transportation, sustainable urbanization

7 – Climate and Biodiversity

Factors influencing climate, terrestrial ecosystems, marine ecosystems, freshwater ecosystems

8 – Sustaining Biodiversity: Saving Species and Ecosystem Services

Human impacts on loss of species, wild species sustainability, accelerated species extinction

9 – Sustaining Biodiversity: Saving Ecosystem and Ecosystem Services

Threats to forest ecosystems, forest sustainability, grassland sustainability, ecosystem approach to sustainability, aquatic biodiversity sustainability

10 – Food Production and the Environment

Food security, food production, environmental problems of food production, pest control, improving food security, sustainable food production

11 – Water Resources and Water Pollution

Water resources, sources of freshwater, sustainable water use, water pollution

12 – Geology and Nonrenewable Mineral Resources

Earth’s geologic processes, nonrenewable mineral resources, sustainable mineral use, geological hazards

13 – Energy Resources

Net energy, advantages and disadvantages of using fossil fuels, advantages and disadvantages of using nuclear power, energy efficiency, advantages and disadvantages of renewables, energy sustainability

14 – Environmental Hazards and Human Health

Human environmental health hazards, biological hazards, chemical hazards, risk assessment

15 – Air Pollution, Climate Change, and Ozone Depletion

Composition of the atmosphere, causes of air pollution, solutions to air pollution, climate change on Earth

16 – Solid and Hazardous Waste

Problems related to solid and hazardous waste, solutions to solid waste, sustainable waste handling, impacts on humans

17 – Environmental Economics, Politics, and Worldviews

Biospheres and economic systems, economic solutions to environmental problems, environmental worldviews, human sustainability

 

 

Last Modified: August 23, 2016