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Introduction to Environmental Science

College of Arts and Sciences Syllabus

Course Information

Course Description
This course introduces environmental science as the interdisciplinary study of environmental issues related to human impact on the natural environment. The course addresses environmental science literacy and scientific methods through inquiry into and discussion of biogeochemical cycles, ecosystem dynamics, climate change, conventional and renewable energy, resources, and sustainability. Lecture (2 hrs) and laboratory (2 hrs). 3.0 Credit Hours.
MATH-091 - 499 or MATH-091A - 499Z or NEIU Math Placement Result 02 - 45 or ACT Math 19 - 36 or Accuplacer Elementary Algebra 060 - 084 or Accuplacer College Level Math-020 - 120
Meeting Times
Lecture: T 9:25 AM - 10:40 PM in Remote
Lab: R 9:25 PM - 11:30 PM in Remote

Faculty Information

Dr. Greg Anderson (Physics)
Dr. John Kasmer (Biology)
Office Hours
Anderson: M 3:00-4:00, T 10:45-11:45, W 11:00-12:00, R 2:00-3:00.
Kasmer: T 12:30-1:30, W 1:30-3:00, R 11:30-1:00.
Contact Information
Email:, Phone extension: 5753.
Email:, Phone extension: 5717.

Course Materials

Required Textbook
textbook photo
Study Materials
Your study materials for this course include the required textbook, lecture notes, the lab handouts, and any notes and annotations that you take. These assignments and materials can be found on the study guide along with advice from former students.
As you use these materials, be an active learner. Either take notes during lecture, or annotate the notes that I have provided for you. Numerous academic studies on learning have repeatedly shown that active learning beats passive learning. If you make your own synopsis - you are an active learner. If you uses someone else's summary - you are engaging in passive learning. Summarizing the course material and organizing your thinking about the content provided is an essential part of the learning process. No one can do this for you without compromising your learning. When you have made your own chapter summary verify that you can answer the review questions at the end of each lecture.
Other Useful Texts on Environmental Science
Other Useful References:

Assignments and Expectations

Goals and Learning Outcomes
The Learning Outcomes for this course are derived from the Environmental Science Learning Outcomes which align with NEIU's Baccalaureate Goals.
Time Commitment
We cover three credit hours worth of material in this course. For university courses, the canonical expectation is that students should spend at least two to three hours per week outside of class for every hour of class time. That means you should be spending at least six to nine hours every week (outside of class time) reading, studying, making notes from the astronomy text and studying lecture notes. Please consult the study guide for these assignments. There is a very large correlation between study time and performance on exams. Students who do not devote enough time to outside of class study should not expect to perform well on tests and quizzes.
Assigned Reading
The schedule and study guide page lists the chapters to be covered each week. You should read the chapters when the are assigned. Take notes on the reading and make your own summary of the important points. Many of the questions on the quizzes and will be taken or adapted from the review questions at the end of the lecture notes.
Note Taking
Effective note-taking stills involve active learning as opposed to passive learning. This link explains the Cornell Note-Taking System which is a tried and true note taking system.
Laboratories and Lab reports
These activities will address three of the course objectives: Understand the use of scientific methods to formulate and test hypotheses, demonstrate basic laboratory and field skills, and communicate ideas effectively orally and in writing. Assignments will be penalized 10% for each calendar day it is late. If an assignment is late more than a week (7 calendar days) from the original due date, you will not receive any points.
Quizzes will be given after each unit. These will contain multiple choice, short answers, and essay type questions. Students will have one week from the time a graded exam is handed back to meet with the instructors regarding questions they may have about exam grading. The lowest two quiz scores will be dropped when your final grade is calculated. This includes any missed quizzes without an excused absence.
Midterm and Final Exams
The Midterm and Final
Attendance & Absence Policy
Lectures: Attendance to lectures is required but not noted; be aware that any class participation points cannot be earned or made up if you are not present in class. Many lectures will include material that is not covered in your textbook, so missing lectures will put you at a disadvantage.
Laboratories and Field Trips: Labs and field trips account for a number of points that can only be obtained if you are present. If you arrive late or miss a crucial component of a lab, field, or in-class writing exercise, your grade for that exercise will be penalized by a deduction of up to 100% of the assignment’s grade.
You will be asked to submit labs and other assignments as PDFs to a folder D2L. Consider enhancing them with:
Quizzes: You are allowed to drop two quizzes for the term - this is in place to covers any and all health, family or other circumstances. For this reason, there are no make-ups for missed quizzes under any circumstances. With sufficient reason and prior notification, you may arrange to take a quiz ahead of time.
Exams: Make-ups will only be allowed in the case of excused absences such as a documented illness (doctor’s note required) or other documented emergency. If you need to be excused from class/lab due to a religious holiday, you MUST tell us in advance of the holiday in order for the absence to be considered excused. In those circumstances we can arrange for you to take the exam ahead of time. Absences that are not excused include (but are not limited to) car problems, public transportation issues, wedding/baby shower, sick without documentation, taking sister/friend/grandma to the dentist/doctor/mechanic, going out of town/trips, etc.. Exams will be administered through D2L using
The final grade will be based on 440 points:

Any student who achieves a percentile score of above 90%, 80%, 70%, 60% is guaranteed to receive an A, B, C, or D respectively. These percentile scores may be adjusted downwards based on a class curve and other considerations.

Regular weekly hours are set up in the library for tutorials. Tutors can be found in the learning center on the fourth floor of the library.

Additional Information

General Education Program
This course is part of the General Education Program at NEIU. Please print out this General Education Syllabus Attachment for your records.
Electronics Policy
Any use of electronic devices during quizzes or exams will be considered cheating.
Academic Integrity
By enrolling in this course, you are bound by the NEIU Student Code of Conduct (HTML), (PDF).
ADA Statement
Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU) complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in making reasonable accommodations for qualified students with disabilities. To request accommodations, students with special needs should make arrangements with the Student Disability Services (SDS) office, located on the main campus in room D104. Contact SDS via (773) 442-4595 or
Campus Safety
Emergency Procedures and Safety Information can be found on NEIUport on the MyNEIU tab or at:
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