Richard Harwood's Courses

Environmental Science 102

Environmental Science 102
Course Syllabus - Spring 2012

Grampian Mountains, Australia

Course Description

Environmental Science 102 is an introductory course which will examine the science and environmental issues in the following topics: ecology and biodiversity, food resources, soil resources, air and water pollution, the hydrologic cycle and hydrosphere, energy resources, and climate change and global warming. IAI: P1 905

Class Meetings

Building 2 Room 219
11:00 a.m.- 12:15 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday (Lecture)
11:00 a.m. - 12:50 p.m. Wednesday (Lab)


Richard Harwood

Office Hours

Monday 11:00 - 1:00 p.m., Tuesday 12:15 - 2:15 p.m., Thursday 12:15 - 1:15 p.m., Building 2, Rm 215, Tel. 309-796-5271. To arrange a meeting, talk to the instructor in class or during office hours. E-mail: Click here to see Richard Harwood's schedule.

Course Schedule

Date Subject Reading List Lab
Jan. 17 Introduction to Class: Outline, Expectations   1 (Jan. 18)
Jan. 19 Composition of the Atmosphere Section I
Reading Material
Jan. 24 Temperature Structure of the Atmosphere 2 (Jan. 25)
Jan. 26 Humidity and Cloud Formation
Jan. 31 Precipitation Processes 3 (Feb. 1)
Feb. 2 Weather Systems: Fronts and Cyclones
Feb. 7 Climate Classification and Climates 4 & 5 (Feb. 8)
Feb. 9 Open Date
Feb. 14 Exam I   6 & 7 (Feb. 15)
Feb. 16 Air Pollution Section II
Reading Material
Feb. 21 Global Energy System and the Greenhouse Effect   8 (Feb. 22)
Feb. 23 Global Warming
Feb. 28 Global Warming Lab Practical I
Feb. 29)
Mar. 1 Hydrosphere and Hydrologic Cycle
Mar. 6 Open Date 9 (Mar. 7)
Mar. 8 Exam II  
Mar. 13-15 Spring Break - NO CLASSES   NO LAB
Mar. 20 Surface Water Section III
Reading Material
10 (Mar. 21)
Mar. 22 Amazon River and Flooded Forest
Mar. 27 Ground Water and Water Pollution 11 (Mar. 28)
Mar. 29 Erosional Processes and Mass Wasting
Apr. 3 Spring Symposium: Topic TBA: Meet in Room 1-306 12 (Apr. 4)
Apr. 5 Erosional Processes and Mass Wasting
Apr. 10 Open Date 13 (Apr. 11)
Apr. 12 Exam III  
Apr. 17 Soil and Soil Erosion Section IV
Reading Material
14 (Apr. 18)
Apr. 19 Soil and Soil Erosion
Apr. 24 Soil Conservation 15 (Apr. 25)
Apr. 26 Natural Resources and Resource Management
May 1 Energy Sources and Production Lab Practical II
Feb. 29)
May 3 Energy Sources and Production
May 8 Open Date  
May 15 Exam IV - 10:15 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

There will not be a traditional text book used in this course. All of the 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.

While this course does not use a traditional text book, many students feel more comfortable having a text book. Below is a recommendation for a text book appropriate to the topic of environmental science. However, this book does not cover all of the materials that will be discussed in class nor is it a replacement for the online reading assignments.

Living in the Environment, by G.T. Miller and S.E. Spoolman (ISBN: 978-0-538-73534-6)

Web Page Study Materials

Lecture outlines, study material, additional information and reading material may be found on the Environmental Science 102 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 four 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 will 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 Tuesday, Feb. 7th. You then come to the next class period on Thursday, Feb. 9th. 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 - 75%
   Lab Assignments - 25%

Click here to use a Grade Calculator to figure out your grade in the course.


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 not taken in this course. However, if you miss four lecture or lab class hours, either consecutively or cumulatively, you may be officially withdrawn from the class for non-attendance. You will be checked off for attendance on a weekly basis during lab.

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, lab and exams), d) playing video games 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.

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) Describe and explain the interaction between the physical characteristics and properties of the atmosphere, weather and climate.
2) Explain the evidence and causes of the current global warming of the climate.
3) Classify and describe soil, soil types, and their distribution.
4) Demonstrate an understanding of the hydrosphere and hydrologic cycle.
5) Understand the sources and causes of air and water pollution.
6) Describe and explain resource management and energy 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)

Lab Schedule

Lab Date Subject
1 Jan. 18 Introduction to Lab
Introduction to the Philosophy of Science
2 Jan. 25 Metric System, Scientific Notation and Graph Analysis
3 Feb. 1 Topographic Maps
4 & 5 Feb. 8 Mineral and Igneous Rock Identification
6 & 7 Feb. 15 Sedimentary, and Metamorphic Rock Identification
8 Feb. 22 Demographics
  Feb. 29 Lab Practical I
9 Mar. 7 Insolation
  Mar. 14 Spring Break - NO LAB
10 Mar. 21 Temperature Cycles and Temperature Maps
11 Mar. 28 Humidity and Orographic Precipitation
12 Apr. 4 Spring Symposium: Meet in Room 1-306
13 Apr. 11 Waste Treatment Facility Field Trip
14 Apr. 18 Surface Water Discharge
15 Apr. 25 Stream and Mass Wasting Field Trip
wear footwear for muddy conditions; rain gear if needed
  May 2 Lab Practical II
  May 9 no lab (make-up lab date if needed)

Lab Exercises

Lab exercises are to be completed during the lab period and turned in at the end of the lab. Students are expected to remain in lab for the full hour and fifty minutes, working on the lab assignment and studying past lab assignments.

Missed Labs

Missed labs must be completed within one week of the date of the assigned lab. For example, if you miss Lab #2, it must be complete prior to Lab #3. Labs completed before the following week's lab will receive full credit for that lab. No credit will be given for labs completed after the one week grace period. However, it is to your advantage to complete all labs, even late labs, as you will be tested over the material on the lab practical. You are responsible for making arrangements to make up a lab.

Lab Practicals

There will be two lab practicals. These are equivalent to exams and will test your knowledge and skills on the lab material. Missed lab practicals will be made up by class time the first day that the student returns to class. Failure to take the lab practical at that time will result in a score of zero.

Lab Materials

The only materials that you will need to bring are your lab manual, and writing utensils. USE A PENCIL to complete each assignment. Errors will be made and are easier to correct in pencil than in pen. The lab manual, and textbook should be brought to lab. A calculator with trigonometric (sin, cos, tan) functions is recommended. All other materials will be provided.

Working on Lab Assignments

Do your own work. You may work in groups or alone but you alone are responsible for knowing the material. Students often fail the lab portion of the course because they let someone else do the work. You will be tested as an individual on your knowledge and skills during the lab practical - you will not be tested as a group. Do your own work.

Evaluation of Completed Lab Assignments

Lab assignments will be evaluated prior to the student being dismissed from lab. The instructor and student will go over the lab assignment together to check for errors and make corrections. Upon completion the lab will contain all the correct answers. The student will only receive credit for the lab once the instructor and student have gone over the lab assignment.

Web Page Lab Supplements

Additional lab activities can be found Online. To find this material, click on linked labs listed in the table above.