E R M 210
Environmental Factors and Their Effect on Your Food Supply (3) An exploration of how urban environmental problems influence our ability to obtain food and natural resources.
E R M 210 Environmental Factors and Their Effects on Your Food Supply (3)
(BA) This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements.
Environmental Factors and Their Effect on Your Food Supply will study links between environmental issues and the agricultural systems from an urban perspective. Insects, one the most diverse groups of organisms, will be used to provide examples of human impact on ecosystem structure and function. Differences between sustainable and non-sustainable systems, along with efforts to create sustainable human systems, will be explored. This course looks at the Earth as a single ecosystem composed of interacting biological, chemical and physical systems. The social and economic dimensions of issues will be discussed. We will focus on how non-human systems interact with each other and with the human population. The course focus will be on the principles and concepts from biology, chemistry, geology and physics. Specific topics treated within the context of this interdisciplinary course include but are not limited to: human response to (insecticide use) and influence on (reduction in diversity) insects, the unique and life-giving properties of water, nutrient cycles, energy flows, species diversity, the dose-response relationship, risk assessment and perception, global climate change, and conservation of energy and matter.
We will also be learning about how the use of the scientific method an interdisciplinary setting. Scientific situations found in everyday life will be used to explore and practice how to ask questions, gather data, and reach conclusions.
Evaluation of student performance will be based upon critical thinking exercises, class discussion, short in-class writing assignments, and examinations. The critical thinking exercises will be assessed by written material submitted by the student. The written material will include the steps undertaken in the exploration (methods), the observations made (results) and description of what was learned (conclusions). These explorations will help students learn to solve problems and think critically using information they have discovered. The explorations will require students to supplement their observations with information found on the Web and in the Library. Students will be required to participate in class discussions using CourseTalk. Contributions will be evaluated for content and quality. Short, in-class, written student feedback will be collected frequently to determine the level of understanding and attendance. Two midterm evaluations and a comprehensive final will be given. These exams will consist of higher-order thinking questions requiring the student to synthesize information to solve problems. Self-quizzes will accompany each unit to help the student determine when they understand the concepts being learned.
Environmental Factors and Their Effect on Your Food Supply is an introductory level, general education science course without prerequisites. This course is not a prerequisite for any other course. An introductory level course in sustainable environmental systems will provide a useful context for future course work.
Recitation sections will be used to increase the student's understanding of concepts discussed during lecture. Computer exercises develop specifically for this course, the textbook
CD-ROM, and data found on the Web will be used to aid students in their understanding of course concepts.
The course will be offered annually in the spring. Expected enrollment is 100 students.
Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.