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ENVS 1342 : Intro to Environment

and Society
Amy Riker / 773.505.7912
Office Hours: M&W 5:15-6:15pm; NC 3208-C1
DAY 1 -- Outline

Course Topics & Concepts
Participation Points Assignment #1
Reading Assignment
• Name
• Year in school / Job (s)?
• Home state
• Favorite weekend (Go
anywhere; Do anything)
• One thing you would like to get
out of this class
Course Texts

• One Planet Many People: Atlas of our Changing

Environment, United Nations Environment Programme
(UNEP), October 2005

• High Noon 20 Global Problems, 20 Years to Solve Them,

Jean-Francois Rischard, 2003

• Supplemental Readings (as provided by Instructor)

Recommended Readings

• Sand County Almanac (Aldo Leopold, 1949)

• Silent Spring (Rachel Carson, 1962)
• Global Bioethics (Van Rensselaer Potter, 1988)
• Living Down Stream (Sandra Steingraber, 1997)
• Many others…..
World Wide Web Access:

Students MUST have access to both e-mail and the

Internet for this course. UCDHSC has a FAST Lab
that students may use. It is located at 115 CU
Building, 1250 14th Street. The FAST Lab
equipment consists of 40 workstations, color printers
and plotter, system server, network access, and
computer projection systems. The lab has secured
site licenses for the most advanced GIS, image
processing and database management software
available in the industry.
Course Grading and Grading Scale:
Two Exams, 20% each
Participation, 20%
Two Assignments, 10% each
Group Project, 20%

90-100% = A; 80-89% = B; 70-79% = C;

60-69% = D; <60% = F

Grades are NOT curved; No Other Credit Given.

Pluses and minuses are given where warranted (i.e.
87-89% = B+).
Exams: Each exam will be worth 20% of a student’s
grade. Each will be cumulative and consist of a
combination of fifteen multiple choice, five short
answers, and one essay question. Exams must be
returned to instructor. Failure to do so will result
in an “F” for that exam.
Make-up Exams: Make-up exams will be given
only if there is a documented reason
(death/medical). If there is a conflict with the
exam date, the instructor must be notified prior to
the exam so that alternative arrangements can be
made. The make-up exam will consist of five
essay questions.
Assignments: These will be assignments that will
test your environmental knowledge and research
skills. These will require access to a computer and
the Internet.
Late Assignments: If students require extra time for
assignments or exams due to
medical/emergency/other conditions, students are
responsible for seeing the instructor during the
first week of class. Otherwise, late assignments
will NOT be accepted.
Group Project: Students will be split into groups of
four or five. The project will be split into two
sections. First, each group will be assigned a
business to research and evaluate its Greenness
and Sustainability. Second, each group must come
up with their own business, campus, or house and
create a Green & Sustainable Environment.

Groups will present a 30-minute lecture and write a

paper discussing their project. Groups will present
to students and a panel of professionals.
Participation: This class is structured so that it is an
interactive discussion-oriented course. It is imperative
that students attend the lectures to understand and
conceptualize key environmental issues and alternatives.
Participation will include 20% of the course grade. In-
class handouts will be used to monitor participation as
well as an attendance sheet. If a student misses a
lecture, it is up to him/her to obtain notes from
Guest Lecturers: There will be several guest lecturers
throughout this course. One, is so that you don’t get bored
of me! Two, so that the experts themselves provide us
with the most current information.

Students will be asked to research 10 questions pertaining to

guest lecturer’s practice. The day the lecturer is speaking,
students will be called upon to ask the speaker a question.
Additional questions can be formulated during the class.
Questions will be turned in at end of class hour (counts
toward participation points).
Classroom Conduct: ALL cell phones, pagers, beepers, and
handheld computer devices must be turned off or silenced
throughout the entire class. A student will be asked to leave if
interruptions occur. There is a zero tolerance policy for this

Students who engage in disruptive classroom behavior will be

reported to the Office for Student Life for appropriate
disciplinary action under the UCDHSC, Downtown Denver
Code of Student Conduct and, when appropriate to the Auraria
Campus Police for investigation of possible criminal action.
Disruptive behavior includes, but is not limited to, arriving
late to class without explanation or apology; leaving class
early without explanation or apology; reading material not
connected to content of course; engaging in private
conversations; sleeping in class; passing notes; and/or
harassment or verbal or physical threat to another student or
Introductory Course
My Goal: To make you aware!

Discussed in this course will be current and past

environmental events while revealing the different
perspectives and topics. Students will be introduced to new
business ideas (sustainability) and government
regulations/compliances. Alternatives will be discussed
and formulated. Students will research events, agencies,
data sources, technologies, and alternative ideas. Students
will present a final report based on class discussions and an
assigned topic.
Course Structure:

Theme 1: Current and Past Events

Theme 2: Businesses, Industries and Technologies

Theme 3: Alternatives & Sustainability

Theme 1: Current and Past Events

• Climate
• Population
• Pollution & Waste
• Natural Resources
• Natural Disasters
• Viewpoints
Theme 2: Businesses, Industries and

• Policies & Regulations

• Goals & Initiatives
• GIS-cartography & Remote Sensing
• Trains, Planes & Automobiles
Theme 3: Alternatives &

• Alternatives
• Green Environment
• Sustainability
Many OPINIONS out there…

Scientists versus Scientists

Industry versus Government
Nature versus Society

We will discuss…We will research…YOU will

come up with your own opinions…

We will look at local, regional, and global issues.

And now, a preview, of what is yet to come…
Global Warming:
Fact or Fiction?
And, what exactly is it?
What is Ozone? IS there a difference
from the Greenhouse Gases?
Do environmental factors
determine cultural characteristics
and fates?
OR, is it the reverse?
Rachel Carson :
Silent Spring (1962)

Aldo Leopold :
Sand County
Almanac (1949)
Our growing population

Population Change
from 1900-2000
Are there “Natural Limits”
or “Limits to Growth?”

Biafra, 1967
Greener pastures?
Air pollution due to wild fires

Wild fires in Africa are

a major source of air

Tens of thousands of
fires are detected
every year
Mexico’s largest natural lake –
Lake Chapala, Mexico

• 1983: Level of the lake

has declines; noticeable
decreases in wetlands

• 2001: Alteration in
the contours of the
shoreline is clearly
Disappearing Icecap of
Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

Africa’s highest mountain

with a forest belt having
rich diversity of

• 1976: Glaciers covered

most of the summit

• 2000: The glaciers had

receded alarmingly
World Energy Consumption Patterns and Types of
Energy (renewable and nonrenewable)
The Effects of
Human Population
Growth and
Asian Elephant
Range Loss Studied
With GIS
Latest Issues / News
Participation Points:
Due Monday (1/22) beginning of
1 or 2 paragraphs of YOUR
opinion of the current state of the
environment. No research, No
Internet, No outside sources.
Reading Assignment:

For Monday:
UNEP: Chapter 3.1 Atmosphere