Richard Harwood's Courses

Environmental Science 101

Environmental Science 101
Course Syllabus - Fall 2018

Mudflats and dilapitated building along US 101 east of Gardiner, at Uncas, Washington

Course Description

Environmental Science 101 introduces scientific concepts underlying environmental processes and policies. This course will include topics such as method of science, biological and physical science concepts and the history of environmentalism. Students wishing to use NSCI 101 as a general education science course must also complete NSCI 102. IAI: LP 900

Class Meetings

Building 2 Room 219
9:30 - 10:45 a.m. Tuesday and Thursday


Richard Harwood

Office Hours

No Scheduled Office Hours. To arrange a meeting, talk to the instructor in class, or send an e-mail. E-mail: Click here to see Richard Harwood's schedule.

Course Schedule

Date Subject Reading List
Aug. 21 Introduction to Class: Outline, Expectations  
Aug. 23 Philosophy of Science Section I
Reading Material
Aug. 28 Basic Physics
Aug. 30 Basic Chemistry
Sept. 4 Basic Biology
Sept. 6 Solar Environment & Interactions
Sept. 11 Open Date
Sept. 13 Exam I  
Sept. 18 Ecology & Ecosystems Section II
Reading Material
Sept. 20 Earth Systems
Sept. 25 Evolution
Sept. 27 Biodiversity
Oct. 2 Open Date
Oct. 4 Exam II  
Oct. 9 Threats to Biodiversity Section III
Reading Material
Oct. 11 Sustaining Biodiversity: Saving Species & Ecosystems
Oct. 16 Hydrology
Oct. 18 Oceanography
Oct. 23 Open Date
Oct. 25 Exam III  
Oct. 30 Population and Exponential Growth Section IV
Reading Material
Nov. 1 Carrying Capacity & Limiting Factors
Nov. 6 Human Population: Demographics
Nov. 8 Limiting Human Population Growth
Nov. 13 Open Date
Nov. 15 Exam IV  
Nov. 20 History of Environmentalism Section V
Reading Material
Nov. 22 NO CLASSES - Thanksgiving
Nov. 27 Environmental Policy and Politics
Nov. 29 International Initiatives
Dec. 4 Environmental Economics
Dec. 6 Open Date
Dec. 11 Final Exam 8:00 - 9:50 a.m.  

The schedule is subject to changes during the semester. Students are responsible for keeping track of changes. The web page schedule will be updated when changes occur.

A detailed outline of each day's topics is available at the Lecture Material links on the course web page.

Reading Assignments

Textbook: Living in the Environment, by G.T. Miller and S.E. Spoolman, 19e (optional)

In addition to the traditional text book available for this course, the primary reading materials are available online through a variety of sources. Some of the material will be found on free access web pages on the internet from both government and commercial site; other articles will be available through online resource databases available through the Black Hawk College library. The reading materials for each topic are listed on the Reading Materials link on the course web page.

Students should check the Reading Material link often throughout the semester. New information, or additional articles may be added during the course of the semester.

Web Page Study Materials

Lecture outlines, study material, additional information and reading material may be found on the Environmental Science 101 Web Page under the Study Material link.

NOTICE: It is strongly recommended that students access, print out and read the lecture notes prior to attending class.

WARNING: The web page lecture notes are intended to be used to enhance and assist students in acquiring and learning the material presented in the lectures. They are designed to allow students to follow along and contribute to lectures without the need to write everything down in notes. The web page lecture notes, however, do not contain all of the material presented in class. The web page lecture notes are not a substitute for coming to lecture - attendance is required for successful completion of the course. The web page lecture notes alone will not see you through this course without attending lecture.

Students may access the Internet at any of the open computer labs on campus. Computers are available in the Independent Learning Center, Library and the Science Resources Lab (Rm 2-210). Students do not need an account or login name to access the Internet in these labs. Assistance is available in the labs for students that have never accessed material on the World Wide Web.


There are five exams. Each exam will be comprehensive. The majority of questions, approximately 80%, will cover material from the most recent lectures, with additional questions covering major topics, concepts and definitions from the previous sections and exams. Exams may not be taken before the scheduled exam time - no exceptions.

Exam Format

Each exam may contain one or more of the following items: multiple choice questions, true/false statements, matching, fill-in-the-blank statements, and short essay topics. All exams may contain a full length essay topic. Students should read the Essay Policy prior to taking an exam.

Missed Exams

Missed exams will be made up by class time the first day that the student returns to class - no exceptions. For example, let's say you miss the first exam on Thursday, Sept. 13th. You then come to the next class period on Tuesday, Sept. 18th. You would be required to take the exam at that time, during the class period. Failure to take the exam at that time will result in a score of zero. All missed exams will be taken in the ILC's Testing Center. Students may arrange to take the exam prior to the next class period, and are encouraged to do so. Contact the ILC for Testing Room hours.

Extra Credit

There are no extra credit assignments.


The final grade will be calculated according to the following percentages:
   Exams - 100%


All grades will be assigned using the following scale:
   90-100% = A
   80-89% = B
   70-79% = C
   60-69% = D
   <60% = F
No incompletes (I) will be given for any reason.

My policy on grades is that you will receive the grade that you earn. I do not "give" grades, you earn them. The grade that you earn will be based upon your knowledge of the required material, your skills in the required activities and your participation, performance and attitude.


Daily attendance is taken in this course. If you miss four lecture class hours, either consecutively or cumulatively, you may be officially withdrawn from the class for non-attendance. For additional information see the attendance policy section in the Student Handbook.

Missed Classes

I am not interested in hearing excuses for missed classes. Whether you are in class or not, you are responsible for all material and announcements presented in the lecture and lab sections. It is your job to make sure you have all of the current information. Missed assignments must be turned in by class time the first day that the student returns to class - no exceptions. Missed exams and lab practicals will be made up by class time the first day that the student returns to class - no exceptions. Failure to take the exam at that time will result in a score of zero.


You are all adults and I expect you to have behavior appropriate to a college level class - this is not High School. The classroom environment should be professional and friendly. Anyone showing disruptive behavior will be asked to leave. Disruptive behavior includes but is not limited to: a) using profanities, b) intentionally damaging classroom or laboratory materials, c) using cellular phones (Cell phones are to be turned off during class, labs and exams), d) playing video games, surfing the internet or using a computer for anything other than class related activities while the instructor is addressing the class, e) placing feet on the lab table tops while class is in session, f) excessive talking while the instructor is addressing the class, and g) creating an environment that is not conducive to learning for others.

Cheating in any form will not be tolerated. Copying another's work, plagiarism and cheating on tests may be punishable by a failing grade on that assignment or exam, or a failing grade for the course - depending on the severity of the incident.

Recording of Lectures

Whether in analog or digital format, audio recordings, video recordings and still imagery of lectures and lecture materials are permitted for the express purpose of assisting the student in learning the course materials. The instructor must be notified if you are making recordings. Recordings are for the personal use of the student only. No recording may be copied, reproduced, transferred, shared, sold or distributed for any reason. Recordings may not be posted on the internet or any intranet, web site, blog, social media site or any other electronically hosted site. Engaging in any of the proscribed activities may result in the student receiving a failing grade, and may result in additional legal actions. For additional information see the "Use of Copyright Materials" section in the Student Handbook.

Food in the Classroom

I have no objection to your bringing food or drink into lecture or lab. However, it is your responsibility to clean up after yourself. Because other instructors and students use the classroom, don't leave your trash on the lab benches. Put all aluminum cans, plastic bottles and office paper in the proper recycling containers in the hall. Throw all other trash in the waste can in the classroom. If I find trash being left on the lab benches in lab or lecture I will ban all food and drink for everyone for the remainder of the semester.

Due Dates

You are responsible for knowing due dates and exam dates. They are on your syllabus, know them, even if they are not announced in class.

Class Preparation

I expect you to have read the lecture assignments prior to coming to class. Be prepared to discuss the material. A discussion requires at least two people that have read the material and are prepared to examine that information. A discussion with only one participant is a lecture.

Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the student should be able to:
1) Explain and use the methods of science.
2) Summarize the history of environmentalism.
3) explain the environment as an interdisciplinary science.
4) Apply the methods of science to better understand the physical and biological features of our environment.
5) Demonstrate knowledge of the basic components of ecosystems and their functional relationships.
6) Demonstrate an understanding of geologic processes and their impact on the environment.
7) Identify the extent and impact of our use of natural resources.

Assessment of Student Learning

The following assessment methods, measures and techniques may be used during the semester to determine how well students are learning.

Background Knowledge Probes; Muddiest Point; Classroom Opinion Polls; Misconception/Preconception Check; Formal student evaluations; Group discussions and comments; Student research papers; Student oral presentations; Written exams; Questioning of prior material; Questioning and discussions during lab periods; Analysis of individual student's comments, questions and answers to instructor questions during the class period; Analysis of lab activities for clarity, workability and content, based on student participation, questions, assignment answers and comments in lab; Individualized tutoring for students.

Withdrawal from the Course

Students are strongly encouraged to talk with the instructor before withdrawing from the course to discuss your reasons for withdrawal, and to discuss options other than withdrawal. If you need to withdraw from the course for any reason, you may do so without instructor approval prior to completion of three-quarters of the course. Withdrawal from the course is the responsibility of the student. Students may either complete the Black Hawk College Add/Drop form or send a letter, fax, or email from the student's myBlackHawk account to the Registrar. After three-quarters of the course is completed, but no later than the last scheduled day of instruction, students must obtain instructor permission to withdraw from the course. Students may not drop the course after the last day of instruction. (see the Student Handbook for the official college policy on withdrawals)