Professor Pamela Kim Van Fleet, Biology

Introduction to Environmental Science: Natural Ecosystems and Human Disruption

Course Syllabus: ENST 131

Students will have the opportunity to work in small groups to explore a product commonly used or consumed by the general populace and assess whether or not it is currently sustainable in nature. They will work together researching and tracing their chosen product, from cradle to grave, through a variety of resources including the internet, news media outlets, primary journals and personal interviews. Not only will students examine the environmental and ecological aspects, they will also explore the economic, political, cultural and social ramifications (good and bad) as they apply at local, regional, continental and global levels. They will compile and evaluate the information at hand to determine whether or not it is produced and consumed in a sustainable way. If not then they will be asked to develop creative solutions based on sound science that could facilitate positive changes. Finally students will submit a short paper about what they’ve learned and relate it back to their own lives, behaviors and consumption patterns.