ENVS 170 Introduction to Natural Resources            Syllabus        Fall 2008      


Instructor: Dr. Lisa Carlson  

Email: lcarlson@centralia.edu

Office: Kemp 124; 736-9391x324

Office hours: M-Th 9-9:50, F 11-11:50


Lecture:  MTWThF  12:00-12:50am    Kemp 128

Text:  Introduction to Forest & Renewable Resources,

                        by Sharpe, et al 2003

Web page:  www.centralia.edu/academics/envscience


Schedule  (subject to change)



Lecture Topic





22 Sept

History of natural resource use and policy

Ch. 1, 2

The Greatest Good part 1



29 Sept

State & Federal Agencies Forest ecology

online Ch. 4

The Greatest Good part 2



6 Oct



Ch. 5

Sustainable Forest

News Review due Thursday

No class Friday


13 Oct



Ch. 13

Ch 8


Exam 1 Wednesday



20 Oct

Insects and disease

Ch. 6, 7

Wildfire: Fighting Fires with Fire

News Review due Thursday


27 Oct

Watersheds and streams

Ch. 10

Last Chance for Pacific Salmon



3 Nov



Empty Oceans

News Review due Thursday

Exam 2 Friday


10 Nov


Ch. 9

From Time Immemorial

No Class Tuesday



17 Nov



The Good, the Bad, and the Grizzly

No Class Monday

News Review due Thursday



24 Nov

Urban Forestry


Ch. 20


God Squad

No Class Thursday or Friday


1 Dec


Emerging challenges

Ch. 12


Roadless Washington



8 Dec

Finals week



Exam 3 Tuesday 11:30


Course Objectives

This course will introduce you to issues related to forests, fish and wildlife: some important species and where they’re found, a history of their management, current and future challenges to sustainable management, specifics interests of our region, and career opportunities. 


Course Requirements: Points are earned for video assignments and other, news reviews, and three exams, with consideration for class participation.

Lectures and Reading:  Textbook reading assignments are given in your syllabus schedule.  Lectures are intended to clarify and supplement your textbook, not replace it.  I recommend that you read the chapter before lecture so that you come to class prepared to ask questions and supplement your reading. 

Videos:  Ten video programs will be viewed through the quarter, usually once a week.  A worksheet for each video will be due within one week.  Most answers will be found in the video, but some will require outside research (the internet usually does it).  Assignments turned in late will be worth half credit. 

News Reviews:  To be an educated person is in part to be aware of current issues relevant to our region and to the world.  During your routine scan of current events, you will find news items relating to natural resource issues, analyze them, and form your opinions on the issues.  The format for your reviews is outlined on page 3.  You will do four of these news reviews, as indicated on your syllabus schedule.  Reviews turned in late will be accepted for half-credit. 

Class participation:  Participation is expected of each student.  This includes regular attendance, participation in class discussions in a constructive manner, timely arrival, and no disruptive behavior. You must be present in class, in person, to participate.  Expect to be called on at random during lectures as part of your participation in this class.   Participation may increase or decrease your final grade by up to 0.2 points. 

Exams:  Computerized forms will be used for part of each exam.  Forms will be provided in class, but students must provide their own #2 pencil with good eraser.  Be sure to thoroughly erase all mistakes and stray pencil marks during the exam.  No corrections will be made for you, nor will any be made after exams are graded and returned.  A review sheet will be posted at least one week prior to each exam.  See me as soon as possible regarding conflicts with exam dates.  If you should miss an exam due to illness, contact me by phone that day to arrange possible makeup.  Failure to contact me on exam day may result in reduced or zero credit for that exam, at my discretion.

Web page: Information for this course is posted on the web page listed on the first page of this syllabus.  You will find this syllabus, copies of class handouts, links to useful web pages, and lecture outlines.  

Inclement Weather:  If this class or all classes on campus are cancelled due to bad weather, I will leave a message on both my office voice mail and the web site with notification and instructions, hopefully by 8am. 





decimal grade




grade adjusted for participation ± 0.2

3 lecture exams (100 each)



4.0  (A)

95% or higher

10 video assignments (10 each)



3.0  (B)


4 news reviews (10 each)



2.0  (C)


Other assignments (TBA)



1.0  (D)


Total points



0.7  (D-)



Attendance  I take attendance during the first week 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.  Those who make a habit of skipping classes never bring home the best 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 posted on the web page.


Behavior:  Please be courteous to your classmates and instructor and avoid activities disruptive to the learning environment. 

·          No talking 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. 

·          Turn your cell phone off!

·          Any student continually disruptive to the learning environment may be asked to leave.


Please Note:

·          Students with disabilities may contact the Director, Center for Disability 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.


News Review Assignment

Choosing articles:

·         Choose an article that discusses a conflict over a natural resource issue.  Conflicts may be between groups of people, or between people and some aspect of natural resources.  When in doubt, ask me. 

·         Articles should come from newspapers, either in print or online; links to some sources are provided on the class web page.

·         Articles should be at least 8-10 paragraphs to provide enough information for you to review. 

·         Choose articles discussing current events.  They should be no more that one month older than the assignment due date. 

·         Avoid using articles published as editorials (opinions, columns) or press releases.  While often interesting and informative, these tend not to be as thorough or present only one opinion on a topic. 

·         Attach a copy of the news item to your review.


News Review Format:

Your reviews will be typed, single-spaced, 1-1.5 pages, minimum of about 400 words.  I encourage you to conserve resources when you do this assignment by doing one or more of the following:

·         reuse paper already printed on one side, or

·         use recycled and/or unbleached paper, or

·         use no paper (keep reading).  

Or, use email.  Follow the same formatting guidelines. 

·         Place your name, class, and assignment in the subject line. 

(Example subject line: Your Name, ENVS 150 News Review #1) 

·         To be sure I can read your assignments on my computer, send them within an email message, or as a Microsoft Word document, with the article copied into the same document.  You may attempt to email a link to an article, but know that it is not always successful. 

·         Points will be deducted for not following these format guidelines. 


In addition to your own name and date of your assignment, the header of your review must include the proper citation for the article:


(include both where you saw the article as well as where it was originally published, if applicable)

Date published:


      (indicate wire service if author is not given, for example: AP, author unknown)



The body of your review should be a paragraph addressing each of the following six questions.  Number each paragraph according to each question.  (Please do not include the questions with each paragraph.) 

1.       What is the central issue or problem in this news item?  What is the location or setting of the issue? 

2.       Who are the stakeholders in this situation and what are their interests?  Discuss how they are involved or affected.  Non-human species and ecosystems may be included here. 

3.       What actions were taken or proposed, and what were the actual or expected consequences of the action(s)?  How effective was (or might be) each action in dealing with the issue?

4.       What is missing from this article?  Is the story one-sided?  Are there any parties whose interests are not covered in this article? 

5.       What is the scientific basis of this issue?  How is science used to argue either side?  Use concepts from class whenever possible. 

6.       What are the financial issues?  Are there economic or political interests in this issue?  These may or may not be addressed directly in the article.  Speculate on what you think the economic or political impacts may be. 

7.       What is your opinion on the situation?  What suggestions can you offer to improve the situation?  Do you think this situation is or can be resolved?  (Note: "They are doing everything that can be done" is not an acceptable answer.)


Examples are available for viewing on the class web page.