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.
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. >
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.
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.
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.
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.
|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|
|Module 2||Climate||p. 281-282|
|Communities||p. 65-68, 73-75|
|Populations||p. 55, 58-60|
|Module 3||Human Populations 1, 2, 3||p. 114-129|
|Food Resources 1, 2, 3||p. 133-152|
|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|
|Module 5||Biodiversity 3a, b, c||p. 6: 185-203, 77-78|
|Water 1a, b||p. 5: 248-265|
|Module 6||Water 2a, b||p. 265-273|
|Air 1, 2||p. 278-296|
|Global warming 1, 2||p. 299-323|
|Module 7||Ozone||p. 289-290|
|Wastes 1, 2||p. 380-396|
|Risk 1, 2||p. 206-273|
|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 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.
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