Environmental Biology

BIOL 173 XW Cross Listed: ENV S

Course Description

An introduction to the structure and function of natural systems at scales from the individual to the biosphere and the complex interactions between humans and their environment. Discussions of human population growth, biodiversity, sustainability, resource use, and pollution. Non-majors only.

3 credits

Textbook

Essential Environment by Jay Withgott and Matthew Laposata 4th ed. 2012.. The book is available from the University Bookstore. This book is also available as an e-book which is cheaper than the print version.

Course Access

This course is completely online and is taught through Blackboard. If you are registered for the course then you are already enrolled in Blackboard and can get into Blackboard as soon as the course is due to start. Your username for login is your ISU Net-ID (the first part of your ISU e-mail address, without the @iastate.edu). Your password for login is the password you use to get your e-mail. Once you have logged into Blackboard you will find a link called "Getting Started". Click on that for further instructions.

Lectures

The lectures are audiovisual. You view a series of screens consisting of text, photos and illustrations. The audio provides an explanation of the material you are viewing. You listen to the audio files and view the slides using Breeze Presenter. To use the Presenter you will need the free Adobe Flash Player. The computer you are using needs to have a sound card. Once you have downloaded the free player you can test it and see what a lecture is like by clicking on the link to the Sample Lecture. All the other lectures are only available by registering for the course.

Tests

All tests are taken on-line. The tests are password protected so you need a proctor to put in the password for you. If you live near the ISU campus there will be a computer lab open some daytime and evening hours during the week with a proctor present. If you do not live near campus you will need to make your own arrangements to find a proctor. Click here for more information on finding and getting a proctor approved.

Homework Assignments

There will be a number of homework assignments throughout the course. These will be submitted online.

Pace of the Course

You can go at your own pace to some extent but tests are only available for a limited number of days. The Syllabus has a schedule to help you pace yourself and there is an Exam Schedule in Blackboard listing test deadlines.

Please Note: If you are taking the course in the SUMMER session there are no due dates for tests EXCEPT THAT THE FIRST 4 TESTS AND ASSOCIATED HOMEWORKS MUST BE COMPLETED BY THE NEXT TO THE LAST WEEK IN JUNE AND THE LAST 4 TESTS BY THE ENDING DATE OF THE COURSE.

Course Outline

Module Topics Text Chapters
Module 1 Overview pg. 2-6, 11-18
Scientific Process - matter p. 6-11, 22-29
Scientific Systems - energy p. 29-31
Ecological Principles-Part 1 p. 52-53
Ecological Principles-Part 2 p. 31-42
Exam 1
Module 2 Climate p. 281-282
Biomes p. 78-85
Communities p. 65-68, 73-75
Populations p. 55, 58-60
Exam 2
Module 3 Human Populations 1, 2, 3 p. 114-129
Food Resources 1, 2, 3 p. 133-152
Exam 3
Module 4 Food Resources 4, 5 p. 152-158
Food Resources 6, 7 p. 273-275
Biodiversity 1 p. 45-52
Biodiversity 2a, b p. 162-182
Exam 4
Module 5 Biodiversity 3a, b, c p. 6: 185-203, 77-78
Water 1a, b p. 5: 248-265
Exam 5
Module 6 Water 2a, b p. 265-273
Air 1, 2 p. 278-296
Global warming 1, 2 p. 299-323
Exam 6
Module 7 Ozone p. 289-290
Wastes 1, 2 p. 380-396
Risk 1, 2 p. 206-273
Exam 7
Module 8 Energy 1a, b, c p. 327-351
Energy 2a, b, c p. 354-377
Exam 8, optional Final Exam

About the Instructor

John Pleasants John Pleasants researches plant/insect interactions, especially plants and pollinators and host plants and herbivores. Also, the effects of GMO's on native species, in particular the effects of Bt corn and RoundupReady soybeans on monarch butterflies and the possibility of gene flow between native Hawaiian cotton and GMO cotton.

Questions

Instructor Contact

John Pleasants
jpleasan@iastate.edu
515-294-7204

Contact Us

Engineering-LAS Online Learning
2273 Howe Hall, Suite 1328
Ames, IA 50011-2273
Main Office: elo@iastate.edu
Technical Support: elotech@iastate.edu
Curriculum Development: elodev@iastate.edu