Westminster College



Instructor:       Dr. Alan Goldin;  Room: Coulter 140

             Office hours: MWF 10 A.M., T 11 A.M.      

            Phone: 592-5015 (goldina@jaynet.wcmo.edu)

Class:       TH 9:25-10:40 A.M.




This course investigates global, national, regional, and local environmental issues by critically analyzing available data and examining alternative situations.  Emphasis is placed on the use of scientific methods to investigate and solve environmental problems.  Students explore and practice effective advocacy techniques.  Off-campus field trips are required.  Class projects seek to extend the implications of the course material to the campus and local communities.

This course satisfies Tier 2: Scientific Inquiry Context.




Date                Lecture Topic                                      Chapter Reading*    


Jan. 15, 20   Introduction, Themes and Science of             1,2

Environmental Science        


Jan. 22,27       Earth Systems and Cycles                              3,4

**EXAM 1 January 29 **


Feb. 3, 5           Ecosystems: plant, animal and human             5,6


Feb. 10, 12        Succession, Biological Diversity                     9,7

**EXAM 2 February 17 **                   


Feb. 19, 24        Productivity and Energy Flow                   8


Feb. 26,Mar.2Agriculture and Its Effects on the Environment       10,11

                  **EXAM 3 March 4 **


Mar. 9, 11       Wild Living Resources, Landscapes and Seascapes      12,13


Mar. 16, 18       Environmental Health and Toxicology              14


Mar. 30       Energy and Fossil Fuels                         15, 16

                  **EXAM 4 April 1 **

April 6, 8      Alternative Energy and Nuclear Energy                  17,18


April 13         Water                                           19, 20

                  **EXAM 5 April 15 **


April 20,22      Atmosphere                                      21


April 27,29      Air Pollution                                       22


            EXAM 6 - Wednesday May 5, 8:30 A.M.



Required: Environmental Science by Daniel Botkin and Edward Keller, Fourth Edition,  John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 2003.




1. Six exams will be given: January 29, February 17, March 4, April 1, 15 and May 5 during final exam week.   These exams will be a combination of multiple choice, fill-in, definition, and essay.  All exams will cover only material discussed since the previous exam.  NO (repeat, No) make-up exams will be given.  The lowest exam grade will be dropped.  All students with an average of 79.9 or lower by April 22 are required to take the last exam.  Unusual circumstances in which two exams are missed must be discussed with the instructor as soon as possible.  A possible alternative to one exam is writing a 5- to 10-page paper on an environmental topic.  Use of this alternative must be approved by the instructor.  Title is due March 9 and paper deadline is April 8.  No extensions.


2. Each student will choose a college or university from the class list and determine its environmental policies.  Provide these policies directly from your source, summarize them, and from these policies, recommend appropriate actions for Westminster College to make the college more environmentally conscious.  Your most likely sources are the college's website and actually calling the college.  Deadline is February 5.


      3. Each student will choose a state and determine the ten most important environmental issues in that state.  The most likely reference is the state's department of natural resources or department of environmental quality or its consumer relations department.  Deadline is February 26.


      4. Each student will choose a president to determine the most important environmental issues that occurred in that president's term(s) in office.  Deadline is March 18.


      5. Each pair of students will choose a war/conflict and develop a poster (2'x3') explaining the effects of that war on the environment.  Examples are the French and Indian War, the Peloponnesian wars, the Crusades, Franco-Prussian War, Napoleonic Wars, Seven Years War, Indian Wars, and World War I.  The actual posters will be graded and hang in public (Coulter atrium?) the last two weeks in April.  The poster will include the title, authors, and a mixture of visual and verbal materials that can be read/interpreted from a distance of three feet.  Deadline is April 8.  Most likely source is the World Wide Web.


6. Attending class is an essential part of your grade. You are allowed a maximum of three excused (or unexcused) absences.  Each absence is worth 5 points.  If you use <3 for the semester, your attendance grade will be 100.  If you are absent 4 or more times, each of the absences will count its five-point grade loss, so that with four absences, your attendance grade will be 80.  It is YOUR responsibility to give me a doctor or coach's note for each and every absence.  This note MUST be delivered no later than the next class or the absence counts as "unexcused."  The note from the coach can be similar to the following: "Mary Jones is on the softball team.  She missed your class on February 4 due to her participation in a softball game in Springfield, Illinois." It MUST be signed and dated.  Similarly, the physician's note must be specific.  It is YOUR responsibility to get this note delivered on time.  It is also your responsibility to sign in for class each day as well as to deliver ALL assignments on time.  Lateness of assignments will result in a 10-point grade loss immediately after class ends and for each 24 hours thereafter.


7. Several required field trips will be taken in April.  Questions about them will be on the exams.


      8. Class notes: This is mostly a lecture-oriented class, but class participation is encouraged and expected.  You should expect to be called upon to express your understanding.  Your responses will affect your grade.  Everyone should have a notebook and take appropriate notes.  Exam questions will come from lectures, class discussions, and readings. 


      9. Reading assignments: The chapter for each lecture topic should be read before class and reviewed after class to get the full benefit.  The lectures will cover about one chapter per class period.


      10. Be sure to check our web folder regularly.  I will communicate with you in this fashion outside of class.


Any student who feels that he or she may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact the instructor to arrange an appointment at his/her earliest convenience.  At that time, we can discuss the course format, anticipate your needs, and explore possible accommodations.  Westminster's ADA policy can be found on the college's website for from the Learning Disability in the basement of Westminster Hall.



                                                Due Dates

     Five exams                               65%

     Poster                               11%      April 8

     College environmental policy                   8%      February 5

     State project                                8%      February 26

     President project                                8%    March 18