ENVS&100:  Introduction to Environmental Science



Instructor: Pat Pringle  

Email:        ppringle@centralia.edu

Office: è  Kemp 111B; 360-736-9391 x550   Pat Pringle's schedule

Office hours:                         to be announced

Lecture:  MTWThF 12-12:50   è Room: Kemp 128

Text:  Sustaining the Earth by Miller, 9/e, Eighth Edition

Centralia College Earth Sciences web: http://www.centralia.edu/academics/earthscience/index.html

See the class web page for the class schedule as well as reading and other assignments; This page will be updated throughout the course, so please check it regularly. Assignments, misc. resources, and occasionally pdfs of lectures will be available online via the Centralia College Moodle page under the “geology” link and the sublink for this class.

Publisher’s web page: http://biology.brookscole.com/miller8



Lecture Topic Overview







5 Jan

Environment and sustainability overview


Silent Spring




12 Jan

Science of nature; scientific method



Saving the Sound




19 Jan





Fire Wars


No class Thursday or Friday;


26 Jan







2 Fef




God Squad


Exam 1 after Chapter 3; Global warming review due


9 Feb




Empty Oceans




16 Feb





Thurs: Exam 2 after Chapter 6

No class Friday Feb 15 (Advising Day)


23 Feb



Oil and Ice




2 Mar

Climate and Air


Dimming the Sun


Exam 3 after Chapter 9


9 Mar

Waste; Natural Hazards


Blue Vinyl




9 Mar

Environment and society




Exam 4 Monday March 16

Course Objectives:  Through this course you will learn about the interactions between humans and the natural world.  In the first few weeks we learn how the natural world functions, then follow with how humans impact and interact with that natural world.  We will also study environmental history and environmental disturbances. The goal of this course is to increase our knowledge of past environmental history, and to increase our awareness of how we use science to evaluate Earth’s natural systems and processes and the interactions and impacts humans have had and continue to have on natural systems. As a consequence we will develop a better understanding and consciousness of our role in the natural world. 

Course requirements:

Additionally, you will need a basic calculator and simple ruler.

Useful learning aids (optional):    

Dictionary of Geological Terms, American Geological Institute [can find at used bookstores or via web]

Used (and recent) physical geology textbooks (web, used bookstores, and friends)

Link to an online Physical Geography textbook by Michael Ritter

Link to the introductory Geoscience Virtual Textbook

Link to The Georoots Etymological Dictionary of Geology by Matt Horrigan

Check resources link at Earth Sciences at Centralia College  for useful links 


GRADING POLICY:  Your final grade for Geology 101 is based on the total number of points you accumulate from the following sources (values approximate):

LECTURE and FINAL EXAMS (4 total)                                         75%

ASSIGNMENTS, QUIZZES, PARTICIPATION                               25%


ABOUT TESTS: Tests will include material from lectures and labs. * This component assesses a student’s contributions to the learning environment in the classroom. Disciplinary problems that interrupt or impede the progress of the class will also be assessed as part of this component.  Exams:  There will be no make-up tests except for in extreme cases.  You will need a physicians note and/or provide me with advance notice of a schedule conflict if such a situation arises. Exams will include material from the books, lectures, and videos.

Do your own work.  Suspected cheating, intellectual parasitism, plagiarism or other forms of academic dishonesty will not be tolerated.  Additionally, instances of such will be reported to the Centralia College administration for disciplinary action.

Grade assessment: see grading scale to find out the point and letter grade equivalents for percentage scores on tests.

Term assignment: There will likely be a Term Assignment required.  Information regarding the assignment will be provided in another handout.  Term Assignments must be turned in at the beginning of the class period on the due-date assigned for full credit. 

Web site: Information for this course is posted on the class web page listed above in this syllabus. This web page is a work in progress and will change as we go through the class. Look there for this syllabus, copies of selected class handouts, links, reading suggestions, assignments, and additional information. Don’t forget to check out   


·         Late assignments: For you own sake, hand in assignments on time. Assignments turned in late will lose 50% credit per day.

·         All multipage assignments must be stapled with the students name on each page; trim perforation “frizzies” off the edge of pages—unless I specify otherwise, it is acceptable to recycle paper that has previously been printed on one side. Simply draw and “x” across the previously printed page.

·         Handwritten assignments:  You will be expected to provide a review of each video shown in class or of the presentations of any guest speakers. I will provide a video review form on the web page. For video reviews and essays on quizzes, please write neatly, and use pencil or blue or black ink only.  Unreadable assignments will be returned for no credit. If possible, please type assignments. Please staple all assignments and write you name on each page.

·         Typed assignments: Please follow guidelines given for each typed assignment.  This generally includes 10 or 12 point font, preferably Times or Arial, margins 1 - 1.25 inches, black ink, white, unbleached or reused paper, with no report covers. 

·         Evaluation of written assignments and essay questions: I will use rubrics (grading guidelines) such as those noted on http://www.centralia.ctc.edu/depts/English/rubric.html (short rubric) or a more detailed one at:  http://trc.ucdavis.edu/TRC/ta/tatips/rubrics.pdf  in order to evaluate the quality of any written assignments and essay questions. A great way to get a better grade is to look at the guidelines shown in the rubrics for assessing good writing and then make sure your written products “measure up”.

·         Quizzes:  I will provide computerized forms for some quizzes.  Bring a #2 pencil with good eraser.  Be sure to thoroughly erase all mistakes and stray pencil marks during the quiz.  No corrections will be made for you, nor will any be made after quizzes are graded and returned. 


We have two lab modes: in the classroom and field trips. During the field trips and in the lab you will be given problems to solve. These lab assignments will be graded on a point basis. The point value of each lab will be indicated.

For field trips, you need to bring some footwear that does not have slick soles and rain gear or an umbrella. Your feet may get very wet from the wet grass, so you may want to have a change of shoes for after the trip. You should bring something to write on and write with on the trips.


Information regarding class assignments will be provided during the term.  Assignments must be turned in at the beginning of the class period on the due-date for full credit.


The overall goals of the exercises and content of this class follow the Centralia College's general education learning themes and the Centralia college distribution outcomes listed for the Natural Sciences and quantitative skills.


I take attendance during the first week or so of class; if you don't show up you may be dropped to give your place to someone on the waiting list.  While attendance is not required, skipping classes won’t help you become a successful student. In fact, ALL class members benefit from fellow students’ consistent attendance and thoughtful questions and comments. Those who make a habit of skipping classes typically struggle to bring home the good grades.  If you do miss a lecture, you don't need to inform me.  Plan to get notes or special instructions from one of your classmates.  Do not rely on lecture outlines that may be posted on the web page because the cadence of each class differs.

This is a demanding course with a lot of material covered in a short period of time.  Regular class attendance is essential to ensure adequate mastery of the material.  If, due to credit load, work schedule, family requirements or health reasons, you will be unable to attend regularly, PLEASE DO NOT TAKE THIS CLASS!  From time to time, pop quizzes will be given at the beginning of class, so please be on time—if you are absent for a pop quiz, you will miss the quiz.

Be respectful of everyone in class. Many people, including me, have chemical sensitivities, so please refrain from wearing excessive perfume, cologne, or hairspray.

If you need to talk with me about your grade, please do not do this before, during, or after class. Please make an appointment with me or visit during my office hours, which are posted on the door of my office and on the “class links” web page.

I want you to do well in this class!  Forming a study group and quizzing one another on class material can be very helpful.  I will be available during my office hours if you have questions or concerns.  If, however, you should get into academic difficulty, know that it is your responsibility to keep track of drop dates and other deadlines.


·         Please be courteous to your classmates as well as your instructor and avoid activities disruptive to the learning environment. 

·         No side conversations during lecture class!  Even if you whisper, even if you sit in the back, even during a video, talking bothers other people in class. 

·         Be punctual.  If you must arrive late or leave early, let me know in advance and sit near the door. 

·         Please turn your cell phone off! Making calls & text messaging during class time is rude and distracting and will count as negative class participation points.

·         NOTE: If a student is disruptive to the learning environment, they will be given a verbal warning. Further disruptions of the class will be followed by a written warning, and will likely be asked to leave. Students who continue to be disruptive in class will referred to Vice President of Academic Affairs

Please Note:

Students with disabilities may contact the Director of Special Services to determine their eligibility for reasonable accommodation.  The director's office is located with the Counseling Center in the Student Services Building.

Centralia College provides equal opportunity in education and does not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, color, religion, national origin, age, marital status, sexual orientation, or disability.

Materials used in connection with the course may be subject to copyright protection under Title 17 of the United States Code.

Reviewed By:                                                    


Revised 01/07/2009