Week 1

Course Objectives

  1. Explain the basic elements of Environmental Science
  2. Analyze the role of culture, economics and politics in shaping environmental issues.

Information covered in class

  • Course Introduction- Syllabus, class policies, cell phone/lap top policy, topics covered in course, grading policy, late policy, attendance policy, participation policy
  • Intro to environmental science
  • Local Environmental Issues
  • Environmental Science and Environmentalism
  • Theory vs. Hypothesis
  • Scientific Method
  • Chapter 1

In-Class Activities

Scientific method group activity x2

Graded Assignments

Applying the Scientific Method

When European explorers reached the Easter Island in 1722, they found a barren landscape populated by fewer than 2,000 people. This was amid evidence that there was once a sophisticated civilization on the island. Indeed, further studies found that the island was once lushly forested, supporting a society of 6,000 to 30,000 people. Evidence indicates that “…the once-flourishing civilization overused its resources, cut down all its trees, destroying itself in a downward spiral of starvation and conflict.” Today, Easter Island stands as a parable and a warning for what can happen when a population consumes too much of the limited resources that support it. For this assignment, you need to review the story of Easter Island and consider it in terms of the scientific method.

}  Review the story of Easter Island presented in pages 8–9 of the text.

}  Using the scientific method, analyze and prepare a report on the story of Easter Island. In your

}  report, include responses to the following questions:

?       Observation: What were some of the key observations at Easter Island?

?       Hypothesis: What hypothesis was formed as a result of the observations?

?       Results: What were the results and conclusions after applying the scientific method?

}  Do you agree with the assertion that Easter Island holds important lessons for our world today, regarding the use of natural resources? Why or why not? Support your answer with examples.

}  Submit your answer in approximately 350 words in a Word document.

}  Font: Arial; 12 point

}  Line Spacing: Double

}  Due Date: Monday Friday June 21

  Project – Part 1

  Using Appendix 1, begin part 1 of the project.

 Due Friday June 27th- Your chosen environmental issue and the annotated bibliography.