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People and the Environment

Bemidji State University

Fall Semester 2011 [Tuesday, 12-1:15 PM, HS 100]
Calculate your Ecological Footprint

Course Format

The interdisciplinary survey of environmental issues will be provided in large group meetings. The approach will be problem-solving oriented in that environmental problems will be identified and related causes, implications, and principles will be evaluated. Some of the problems will be addressed as case studies from various disciplinary perspectives and others will be presented as panel discussions, role-playing exercises, and student interaction. In all cases, integrative thinking will be emphasized through interactions between students and members of the interdisciplinary teaching team.

The small-group sections will emphasize a more disciplinary perspective. The small-group setting will be more conducive to discussion, interaction, and collaboration in accord with the goals of the liberal education experience. Critical thinking and values clarification will also be enhanced by the blend of the interdisciplinary lecture and small-group meeting. Small groups will meet for 75 minutes per week as noted in the Teaching Team box below.

Grading & Exams

There will be a midterm (15%) and a final exam (15%) based on the readings and large-group lectures. Exams will be prepared by the teaching team and will consist of both multiple choice and short essay questions. Note that the syllabus specifies a reading assignment for each week. These readings are expected to be completed in advance of that week's large-group session. A regular feature of large-group meetings will be writing assignments and group activities (10%). 10% of grade will be assinged to large group activities and participation and another 10% to the service learning project (at least 2 hours). The remaining 50% of your grade will be based on small-group assignments and participation in discussions and other small-group activities. Assignments of additional work and grading of student performance in small-groups will be the responsibility of the instructor of the departmental section in which students are enrolled. Regular attendance in both large-group and small-group is expected.

Teaching Team and Contact Information
Instructor Perspective Send e-mail to Phone Office Small Group
Fu-Hsian Chang

Physical Science




Th 12:00-1:15 S212

Wendy Greenberg Biology wgreenberg 755-2477 S218J Thurs. 12-1:15 S203
Eric Medberry Economics emedberry 755-3770 PE229

Thurs. 12-1:15 S205

Back to Course Home Syllabus & Reading Assignments
(Read chapters prior to large group session!!)
Week Date Reading Focus
1 23 Aug Intro. and Chapter 1 Sustainability
2 30 Aug Chapter 14 Economics & Worldviews
3 6 Sep Chapter 2

Matter, Energy, & Science

4 13 Sep Chapter 3

Biodiversity and Evolution

5 20 Sept Chapter 4 Community Ecology & Population
6 27 Sept Chs. 5 and 6

Sustaining Biodiversity

7 4 Oct Chapter 7

Food and Soil

8 11 Oct Review

Review for Midterm

9 18 Oct MIDTERM

(Chs. 1-7 and 14)

10 25 Oct Chapter 8


11 1 Nov Chapter 9

Nonrenewable Energy

12 8 Nov Chapter 10 Renewable Energy
13 15 Nov Chapter 11

Environmental Hazards & Human Health

14 22 Nov Chapter 12

Air Pollution, Ozone Depletion, & Climate Change

15 29 Nov Chapter 13 Urbanization & Hazardous Waste
16 6 Dec Wrap-Up Review for Final, Chs. 8-13

Fall 2011 Final Exam -- Monday, December 12th 1:00 - 3:00 pm
Final Exam Essay Study Questions