When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
- John Muir, My First Summer in the Sierra , 1911, page 110.
Connecting Course With TextThe goal of the environmental science course is to provide you with an understanding of the interrelationships of the natural world and humans impact on those interrelationships. It will address the application of scientific process to environmental analysis, the management of natural resources, and analysis of private and governmental decisions involving the environment. Since there will be no money for textbooks for the new environmental science course, my students will be accessing a free online textbook, The Habitable Planet published by Annenberg Learner. To facilitate this, I am taking an online course using the text. [Oh yes, what a good idea, Sandra! I knew you'd agree.]
The order of the textbook makes perfect sense because the climate controls the planet systems, but I wish to start by showing how interconnected everything is, as it says in the quote above [one of my favorite quotes]. So I think I have the order worked out, with a reasonable separation between the fall and the spring semesters. I am still trying to decide if the first unit of both courses should be the same or if the spring semester should have a summary of the fall, or if I should just not worry so much.
|The Habitable Planet, Table of Contents|
Unit 1 Science and the Environment
Unit 2 The Dynamic Earth
Unit 3 Organization of Life
Unit 4 Ecosystems and How They Work
Unit 5 Land, Food, and Agriculture
Unit 6 Water Resources
Unit 7 Atmosphere and Climate Change
The Spring course explores the effect that human activities have on the different natural systems, such as energy, environmental hazards and human health, economics and public policy, and the political economy of sustainability.
Unit 1 Science and the Environment [??]
Unit 2 Understanding Populations
Unit 3 Biodiversity and Its Decline
Unit 4 The Environment and Human Health
Unit 5 Mining and Mineral Resources
Unit 6 Energy Challenges
Unit 7 Waste
Unit 8 Economics, Policy, and the Future
Deciding the order consumed quite a bit of thought but now I am ready to start filling in the pieces. If you think I lost the ocean unit from the book, fear not - I integrated it into the Dynamic Earth unit. I have a preliminary pacing schedule which looks impossible to keep without assigning a lot of homework. Ugh - I'm not a big fan of homework but it seems necessary.