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Environmental Science II
Instructor Joe Maser, Ph.D.

PCAT 120, Thursday 4:00 to 5:50pm

Lab sections

SB2 313
Th 6:00 to 7:50pm, F 9:00 to 10:50am, F1:00 to 2:50pm

Office SB2 218
Mail box SB2 218, the ESR office
course website or the class link at


ESR 102 Environmental Science II. Introduction to the analytical study of the interaction between humans and the environment. This term will focus on issues of environmental degradation. Topics will include human population growth, pollution of the air and water, energy resource use, and social and economic basis for sustainability. One 2-hour laboratory session. The laboratory projects will focus on impact of population growth, pollution, and resource conservation.



The text will be used extensively in this course. There will be assignments that require access to the text.

The text is Miller, "Living in the Environment", 13th edition.

Types of assignments:

There will be four types of graded assignments. Two of the assignments in each unit will be done via e-mial. You will need to access the internet to complete these assignments.


Vocabulary&Concepts 5 points

This assignment is designed to test your associations between vocabulary terms and concepts. The assignment will be available on the web. After you have worked on the assignment, you will submit your answers via e-mail.


Media 5 points

This assignment requires each student to choose an article from current popular media (newspaper, magizine, etc.) relevant to the unit topics and discuss that article in class with a group of other students.


Application 5 points

This assignment is designed to test your ability to apply the concepts to a new question. The assignment will be available on the web. After you have worked on the assignment, you will submit your answers using e-mail.


Quiz 15 points The quiz will be done at the beginning of class. The quiz will contain several vocabulary words, several concepts to explain and an application question.


Online portion of the course:

There are required assignments that require access to an internet browser and email. These assignments count for about one hour of structured instructional time per day. Students can do these at anytime before the due time. All PSU students have access to computers at PSU that have these capabilities. This work can be done from any other computer, however it is not the responsibility of the instructor or the teaching assistant to solve computer problems.



There is one laboratory section per week. For a more complete description of the laboratory sessions, please see the Laboratory Information . The laboratory counts for 25% of the course grade.



Between the lecture and lab portions of the class there are a total of 160 points possible. These points are assigned based on performance expectations for each assignment and the quiz. In addition there are 100 "academic honesty points". Everyone starts with these points because we assume that no one is cheating. If however you are caught cheating you will loose all 100 points, making it almost certain that you will fail the course.

The course grade schedule is based roughly on a 90-80-70% for A, B, C respectively. This schedule can be adjusted down (in your favor) by the instructor but will never be shifted up. The schedule might be shifted down for example if a quiz question was more difficult than expected.

The final exam period will be used for two quizzes. Each quiz will be worth 15 points. One will focus on the last unit and the other quiz will cover all of the material in the course. If you missed a quiz, or want to improve your score on any of the quizzes, you can take the "make up" quiz.

The course is not graded on a curve. Helping a fellow student study can't hurt you and will probably help both of you.

If you are using the P/NP option you must get 70 % to pass.


Late Work Policy:

The vocabulary&concept and application assignments should be submitted using e-mail by midnight on the Monday due. If you are late in submitting the work, the assignment is late. You will loose 1 point for each day the assignment is late.

Intellectual Honesty:

Academic honesty is the cornerstone of adult education.

Academic honesty points will be forfeited if you are caught cheating on an exam or represent someone elses work as your own.

For a more complete statement of academic honesty


Joe Maser
December 29, 2003