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BIOL 1520 (formerly ESC 1120) Syllabus

Course Syllabus

BIOL 1520 (formerly ESC 1120) - Environmental Science II (formerly Introduction to Environmental Studies II)

4 Credit Hours

Course Information

Course Description:

This course is a study of environmental problems at global, national and local levels. Laboratory emphasis is on local field experiences.

The topics studied in this course include:

  • soil, water and mineral resources
  • food resources and pesticides
  • hazardous wastes and air pollution
  • energy, land and species resources
Course Outcomes:

Upon completion of this course, the student should be able to:

Understand management of soil, food, water, forest, energy, mineral, land, and biological resources.

Discuss the ways in which humans have degraded resources and how resources can be restored.

Discuss the problems faced in resource management by more-developed and less- developed countries.

Understand the role of government in resource management and environmental policy.

Identify and discuss the contributions of prominent people who have influenced environmental policy.

Discuss important case histories concerning environmental policy.

Make educated environmental decisions in their personal and public life. 

Prerequisites & Co-requisites:

College-level Math, English and Reading.

Course Topics:

1. Introduction and Environmental Policy
2. Agricultural Resources
3. Water Resources
4. Hazardous Waste and Air Resources
5. Mineral Resources 
6. Land and Biodiversity Resources
7. Energy Resources 

Specific Course Requirements:

To succeed in this course the student should be curious, self-motivated, and well-organized. The student must be computer-literate having the abilities to access and browse the web, to use word processing software, to send and receive attachments via email, and to use a digital camera to capture and process images. Modules will use Microsoft Excel workbooks, PowerPoint presentations, and Windows Movie Maker. 

Textbooks, Supplementary Materials, Hardware and Software Requirements

Required Textbooks:

Please visit the Virtual Bookstore to obtain textbook information for this course. Move your cursor over the "Books" link in the navigation bar and select "Textbooks & Course Materials." Select your Program, Term, Department, and Course; then select "Submit."

Supplementary Materials:
Hardware and Software Requirements:

Minimum hardware requirements can be found here.

Minimum software requirements can be found here.

Common applications you might need:

Web Resources:

Purdue OWL Online Writing Lab (for APA, MLA, or Chicago style)

The Writing Center Online Writer's Handbook

Student Resources:
  • Technical support information can be found on the TN eCampus Help Desk page.
  • Smarthinking virtual tutoring is available FREE of charge. to access Smarthinking, visit the course homepage and select Smarthinking under Course Resources. You also view sample sessions to see what Smarthinking offers and how it works.
  • Information on other student issues or concerns can be located on the TN eCampus Student Resources page.

Instructor Information

Please see "Instructor Information" in the Getting Started Module for instructor contact information, virtual office hours, and other communication information. You can expect to receive a response from the instructor within 24-48 hours unless notified of extenuating circumstances.

Participation, Assessments, & Grading

Testing Procedures:

Module Quizzes: At the conclusion of each module is a 20-25 question timed quiz. Students should study the module unit materials carefully and be ready to take the quiz without the use of notes or a textbook.

Final Exam: The final exam will consist of a 100 question test. This exam will be proctored. Students must make arrangements for the time and place they will take the final; this should be done as early in the semester as possible. Students must provide this information to the instructor. 

Grading Procedures:

The final course grade will be determined by the following criteria: 

Module Activities: 7 at 100 points each = 700 points
Reflection Papers: 5 at 100 point each = 500 points
Module Quizzes: 7 at 50 points each = 350 points
Proctored Final Exam: 200 points

A score of at least 140 points (70%) is required on the proctored final exam for other course work to be included in the overall course grade.

Module Activities: Each module has a series of activities which give students first-hand experience with the topics presented. The modules are presented either as Microsoft Excel workbooks, PowerPoint presentations, or Windows Movie Maker.

Reflection Papers: Five reflection papers will be assigned based on current issues relevant to the topics being studied in the modules. The papers will require internet research as well as personal reflection. Papers are expected to be 2 to 3 pages in length with at least 2 internet sources. 

 Summary of Assignments and Projects 
Assignment NameNumber of AssignmentsTotal Points
Module Activities7 Activities700
Reflection Papers5 papers500
Module Quizzes7 Quizzes350
Proctored Final Exam1 exam200
Takeaways (Reflection)7 takeaways14 bonus points
 Total Points1750


Grading Scale:
Assignments and Projects:
  1. Introduction and Environmental Policy: Evaluation of personal attitudes toward environmental resources and processes.

  2. Agricultural Resources: Web-based project using the NCSS Web Soil Survey. Local soils will be evaluated based on internet resources. Alternatives to pesticide use will be considered in the context of integrated pest management. Reflection paper will be required.

  3. Water Resources: Litter pickup along a river or stream will be documented using the International Coastal Cleanup data form. Data will be submitted to the Ocean Conservancy for analysis. Reflection paper will be required.

  4. Hazardous Waste and Air Resources: Household sources of indoor air pollution will be documented and evaluated using information from the EPA. Reflection paper will be required.

  5. Mineral Resources: Web based project evaluating the use and availability of mineral resources. Specific attention will be devoted to the environmental impact of mineral extraction and use. Reflection paper will be required.

  6. Land and Biodiversity Resources: PowerPoint presentation will be produced to display land and biodiversity resources local to each student. Students will interview a local land manager to obtain information for the presentation.

  7. Energy Resources: Students will develop a public service announcement using Movie Maker or PowerPoint software. The PSA will promote alternative energy sources or high efficiency products in meeting the energy needs of future populations. The presentation will be narrated by the student. Reflection paper will be required. 

Class Participation:

An online course will require at least as much commitment of time and energy as a regular course, with the added importance of self-motivation. The standard time recommendation for a college course is two hours of outside work and study for every hour spent in class. Students taking this course at Chattanooga State are in class for six hours per week (lecture and lab), which means another 12 hours per week in study and completing work. This seems like a lot of time, and it is. However, using available time effectively can be more important than the actual number of hours spent. While there is no requirement for scheduled blocks of time spent on this class, the successful student will devote some time to the class nearly every day. 

Late Policy:

Students should monitor the course calendar and stay abreast of due dates. Students should pay close attention to the discussion boards and class announcements. 

Course Ground Rules

The following two statements (1., 2.) were derived from the TBR System-wide Student Rules document, released January 2012:


Read the document in its entirety here.

1. Standards of Conduct:

  • Students are required to adhere to the same professional, legal and ethical standards of conduct online as on campus. In addition, students should conform to generally accepted standards of "netiquette" while sending e-mail, posting comments to the discussion board, and while participating in other means of communicating online. Specifically, students should refrain from inappropriate and/or offensive language, comments and actions.

2. Review the TN eCampus Academic Integrity/Academic Honesty Policy:

  • In their academic activities, students are expected to maintain high standards of honesty and integrity. Academic dishonesty is prohibited.

Such conduct includes, but is not limited to:

  • an attempt by one or more students to use unauthorized information in the taking of an exam
  • to submit as one's own work, themes, reports, drawings, laboratory notes, computer programs, or other products prepared by another person,
  • or to knowingly assist another student in obtaining or using unauthorized materials.

Plagiarism, cheating, and other forms of academic dishonesty are prohibited.

Students guilty of academic misconduct, either directly or indirectly through participation or assistance, are subject to disciplinary action through the regular procedures of the student’s home institution.  Refer to the student handbook provided by your home institution to review the student conduct policy.

In addition to other possible disciplinary sanctions that may be imposed, the instructor has the authority to assign an "F" or zero for an activity or to assign an "F" for the course.

Other Course Rules:

Students are expected to:

  • Participate in all aspects of the course
  • Communicate with other students
  • Learn how to navigate in Brightspace
  • Keep abreast of course announcements
  • Use the assigned course management (Brightspace) email address rather than a personal email address
  • Address technical problems immediately:
  • Observe course netiquette at all times.

Guidelines for Communications


  • Always include a subject line.
  • Remember without facial expressions some comments may be taken the wrong way. Be careful in wording your emails. Use of emoticons might be helpful in some cases.
  • Use standard fonts.
  • Do not send large attachments without permission.
  • Special formatting such as centering, audio messages, tables, html, etc. should be avoided unless necessary to complete an assignment or other communication.
  • Respect the privacy of other class members


  • Review the discussion threads thoroughly before entering the discussion. Be a lurker then a discussant.
  • Try to maintain threads by using the "Reply" button rather starting a new topic.
  • Do not make insulting or inflammatory statements to other members of the discussion group. Be respectful of other’s ideas.
  • Be patient and read the comments of other group members thoroughly before entering your remarks.
  • Be cooperative with group leaders in completing assigned tasks.
  • Be positive and constructive in group discussions.
  • Respond in a thoughtful and timely manner.


The Tennessee Virtual Library is available to all students enrolled in TN eCampus programs and courses. Links to library materials (such as electronic journals, databases, interlibrary loans, digital reserves, dictionaries, encyclopedias, maps, and librarian support) and Internet resources needed by learners to complete online assignments and as background reading will be included within the course modules. To access the Virtual Library, go to the course homepage and select the Virtual Library link under Course Resources.

Students with Disabilities

Qualified students with disabilities will be provided reasonable and necessary academic accommodations if determined eligible by the appropriate disability services staff at their home institution. Prior to granting disability accommodations in this course, the instructor must receive written verification of a student's eligibility for specific accommodations from the disability services staff at the home institution. It is the student's responsibility to initiate contact with their home institution's disability services staff and to follow the established procedures for having the accommodation notice sent to the instructor.

Syllabus Changes

The instructor reserves the right to make changes as necessary to this syllabus. If changes are necessitated during the term of the course, the instructor will immediately notify students of such changes both by individual email communication and posting both notification and nature of change(s) on the course bulletin board.


The information contained in this syllabus is for general information purposes only. While we endeavor to keep this information up-to-date and accurate, there may be some discrepancies between this syllabus and the one found in your online course. The syllabus of record is the one found in your online course. Please make sure you read the syllabus in your course at the beginning of the semester. Questions regarding course content should be directed to your instructor.

Last Revised on July 26, 2018