Department of Biology
University of Scranton
"RACE TO SAVE THE PLANET"!
INSTRUCTOR: Dr. John R. Conway
Office-104 Loyola Hall
Office phone-941-6216; home phone-689-9823
TEXTBOOK: Living in the Environment 10th Edition (1998) by G. Tyler Miller, Jr.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course provides a current outlook on the threats to world’s ecosystems and examines the complex interactions between humans and the environment. The course helps students develop a scientific understanding of environmental problems so that they can evaluate them intelligently. It includes background information on evolution and ecology and considers the historical, social and economic basis of the various environmental problems that plague us currently. RACE TO SAVE THE PLANET is part of the Annenberg/CPB Multimedia Collection. The course has several components:
1. A series of 10 one-hour programs produced by PBS
2. A up-to-date textbook
3. Six two-hour class meetings at the University of Scranton
1. Television Programs - Ten one-hour programs, produced by PBS, will be aired by WVIA/TV Channel 44 every Sunday at 4-5 AM from September 6 to November 8, 1998. Students are urged to use a VCR to record the programs. You will also be able to view any of the programs at Media Resources Center on the first floor of the University of Scranton Library.
2.Textbook – This well-written, thought-provoking, and up-to-date environmental science textbook is a superb complement to the television series. Over the course of the semester, much of the text will be assigned, so each student should have a copy. In addition to viewing the relevant TV programs, students should carefully read and be ready to discuss the textbook assignments on the syllabus before coming to each of the six class meetings. The textbook is available at the University Bookstore.
Course grades will be based on the following:
20% - Attendance and participation in class meetings. The instructor will ask questions to several students each session over the assigned reading and TV programs.
60% - Three exams, each worth 20% of the final grade. Exams will consist of multiple-choice and essay questions based on the TV programs, textbook, and lectures.
20% - Present a 5-8 minute oral report on a recent article (1992-present) from a scientific journal. The article must relate to a topic in the assigned reading or on a TV program. Topics must be selected by the second meeting on September 16. Approximately half the reports will be given on October 7 and half on November 18.
The report guidelines are as follows:
A.Outline your oral report on an overhead transparency. Explain and define difficult terms in common language.
B.Briefly summarize information on the topic in the textbook or TV program and give pages where it is discussed.
C.Summarize the overall findings or conclusions of the articlein one concise sentence and put at end of overhead outline.
D.At the end of your presentation, hand in your notes, overhead outline, and a copy of the journal article.
E.You will be graded on your coverage of the article, organization, adherence to time limit, and clarity. You are encouraged to be innovative and to use other audio-visuals besides the overhead outline.
RACE TO SAVE THE PLANET
Instructor: John R. Conway, Ph.D.
Textbook: Living In the Environment, 1998 Revised, 10th Edition
By: G. Tyler Miller, Jr.
Week of TOPIC Readings PROGRAMS Meetings
Aug 31 The Environmental Revolution Chap 1, 2, 3 Sept 6 Sept 2
Sept 7 Only One Atmosphere Chap 14, 17 Sept 13
14 Do We Really Want to Live Chap 10, 12, 19 Sept 20 Sept 16
This Way? 1ST EXAM
21 In the Name of Progress Chap 11 Sept 27
28 Remnants of Eden Chap 13, 25 Oct 4
Oct 5 More for Less Chap 15, 16 Oct 11 Oct 7
12 Save the Earth – Feed the World Chap 22, 23 Oct 18
19 Waste Not, Want Not Chap 18, 21 Oct 25
26 It Needs Political Decisions Chap 26, 27 Nov 1 Oct 28
Nov 2 Now or Never Chap 28 Nov 8
Nov 9 Ecosystems and How They Work Chap 5
Nov 16 Ecosystems: Niches, Species
Interactions, Succession, and
Stability Chap 6 Nov 18
Nov 23 THANKSGIVING
Nov 30 Sustaining Ecosystems: Forests,
Rangelands, Parks, and
Wilderness Chap 24 Dec 9
DATE: 1 June 1998
TO: Dr. Joseph Dreisbach, Dean CAS
FROM: Dr. John R. Conway
Department of Biology
SUBJECT: GE course proposal
Race to Save the Planet – Telecommunications Course 025
This course provides a dynamic report of the current outlook for the global environment, describing the threats that different natural systems face and dissecting the complex web of interconnections that bind human society to the environment. It includes a background survey of the evolution and ecology of life on Earth and considers the historical, social, economic, and ecological basis of the various environmental problems that plague us currently.
The course is part of the Annenberg/CPB Multimedia Collection and has several components:
1.A series of 10 one-hour programs produced by PBS
2.A study guide
3.A up-to-date textbook
4.Six two-hour class meetings at the University of Scranton
The course will help develop a set of intellectual tools, an understanding of the sciences involved, and ways of thinking about people and the environment that will enable students to evaluate for themselves how serious a given environmental problem might be.
More specifically the telecourse is designed to help students:
1.Understand how human impacts on the earth have changed through history and why environmental concerns have recently become so prominent
2.Recognize the major environmental challenges facing modern societies and understand the choices and trade-offs these challenges pose
3.Grasp the scientific principles underlying basic phenomena of environmental change
4.Understand the technologies associated with major environmental problems and the technologies that may help solve these problems
5.Distinguish the environmental impacts of industrial and developing societies, and understand why different types of societies perceive different problems and pursue different solutions
6.Broaden their familiarity with world geography and international affairs
7.Understand how the issues discussed in the telecourse are connected to the decisions and choices they make in their personal lives
See attached sheet for topics
See attached sheet for textbook reading assignments and TV programs to be viewed
Course grades will be based on the following:
10% - Attendance and participation in the six mandatory class meetings. The participation grade will be determined in part by questions asked to students each session over the required reading and TV programs
60% - Three exams, each worth 20% of the final grade. Exams will consist of multiple-choice and essay questions over the TV programs, textbook readings and lectures
20% - An in-depth library research paper (at least 10 typed pages). This paper should survey or investigate an environmental issue of regional, national, or global significance. The topic of each paper must be approved by the instructor and selected by the third week of the semester. The paper should survey recent scientific literature on the subject and document sources with internal citations. The literature cited section should contain at least four current references (1990 or more recent).
10% - Oral report to class based on the research paper. Oral reports should be 10-15 minutes long.