Jul 12, 2024  
College Catalog 2021-2022 
College Catalog 2021-2022 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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ENVS 1050 - Environmental Science

Credit Hours: 4.00

Prerequisites: None

This interdisciplinary science course is a study of environmental problems and alternative solutions to these problems. The integral nature of all parts of the environment as well as specific environmental problems are stressed. Such topics as man and his relationship to the environment, energy resource limitations, land use, water and air pollution are included.

Billable Contact Hours: 4

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Outcome 1: Upon completion of this course, students will be able to demonstrate knowledge of science, technology, and the environment.


  1. Define the science terms environmental science, interdisciplinary science, law and theory.
  2. Explain environmentalism and its place in human history and technology.
  3. Demonstrate competency with scientific method.
  4. Analyze modern scientific techniques such as data, statistics, graphing, systems and models.
  5. Explain environmental terminology; stewardship, sustainability, conservation, preservation, economics, natural resources.
  6. Evaluate the human impact on the environment and problem solving techniques for environmental issues.
  7. Critique carbon footprints.

Outcome 2: Upon completion of this course, students will be able to demonstrate knowledge of the environment and ecosystems.


  1. Define the biology terms ecology and ecosystems.
  2. Explain how energy flows through a food web and transfers between trophic levels.
  3. Interrelate producer, consumer detritivore, heterotroph, autotroph, decomposer, prey, predator, succession, niche, habitat, competition, resource partitioning, keystone, and indicator species.
  4. Analyze the major terrestrial biomes, giving attention to the climate, soil, and characteristics organisms of various biomes.
  5. Explain biodiversity and natural conservation applying concepts such as species endangerment, species richness, invasive species and extinction.
  6. Justify processes such as evolution, natural selection, adaptation and environmental services.
  7. Appraise the human impact on a variety of ecosystems.

Outcome 3: Upon completion of this course, students will be able to demonstrate knowledge of matter and energy.


  1. Define the chemistry terms matter, element, atom, molecule, formula, chemical reaction, organic, inorganic, ion, radioactivity and use these terms to interpret environmental science concepts.
  2. Explain the properties of water.
  3. Explain the first and second law of thermodynamics.
  4. Analyze renewable and nonrenewable energy resources.
  5. Explain energy sources; generators, biomass, fracking, fossil fuel, mining, refining, nuclear fission, photovoltaic cells, geothermal, hydrogen fuel cell, turbines, dams and energy efficiency.
  6. Evaluate the anthropogenic factors in the biogeochemical and hydrologic cycles.
  7. Support Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Refuse

Outcome 4: Upon completion of this course, students will be able to demonstrate knowledge of earth’s structure and solid waste.


  1. Define the geology terms minerals, resources, layers of the earth and plate tectonics.
  2. Explain the rock cycle.
  3. Interpret soil structures, soil development and soil as a resource
  4. Analyze land use for homesteads, landfills, agriculture, forestry, recreation, mining and wilderness.
  5. Explain solid waste; types, sources, handling and disposal.
  6. Evaluate the human impact related to use of land including national and state parks and monuments.
  7. Critique types of mining practices over time.

Outcome 5: Upon completion of this course, students will be able to demonstrate knowledge of atmosphere and climate.


  1. Define the physical science topics forces, states of matter, air pressure, climate, weather and the greenhouse effect.
  2. Explain the layers of the atmosphere.
  3. Discover the action and history of ozone and greenhouse gasses.
  4. Analyze climate change including historical and modern evidence.
  5. Explain smog, acid rain, and the major classes of air pollutants.
  6. Summarize the role of air pollution in relation to the human experience including, asthma, bronchitis and COPD.
  7. Summarize the implementation of the Clean Air Act and its result.

Outcome 6: Upon completion of this course, students will be able to demonstrate knowledge of water resources.


  1. Define hydrology topics such as fresh water, reservoirs, aquifers, wells, watersheds, groundwater, runoff and de/salinization.
  2. Explain the various ways water is essential to life.
  3. Interpret aquatic ecosystems and their components.
  4. Analyze causes of eutrophication and oxygen sag.
  5. Explain the processes of water treatment and waste water managment.
  6. Summarize water pollution in relation to the human experience including sources; chemicals, sewage, sediment, pathogens and the effects.
  7. Assess human and water relationships including waterborne pathogenic diseases, The Great Lakes recreation/shipping and access to clean water.

Outcome 7: Upon completion of this course, students will be able to demonstrate knowledge of population.


  1. Define sociology topics such as population history, models and demographics.
  2. Explain biological and then human reproductive factors in terms of developing and developed countries.
  3. Interpret population science concepts including carrying capacity, growth rates, birth/death rate, immigration/emigration and biotic potential.
  4. Analyze human hazards and risks.
  5. Explain mortality, morbidity, urbanization, and affluence.
  6. Evaluate world population distributions.
  7. Consider reproductive issues such as women’s rights, sexual education, birth control and government/cultural/religious involvement in reproduction issues.

Outcome 8: Upon completion of this course, students will be able to demonstrate knowledge of food and the big picture.


  1. Define nutrition topics such as undernutrition, overnutrition, malnutrition and deficiencies.
  2. Explain historical and modern agricultural methods.
  3. Interpret government policy making as it relates to farming and nutrition in the United States.
  4. Critique aquaculture and overfishing.
  5. Explain industrialized agriculture/monculture, CAFOs, pesticides, fertilizers and GMOs.
  6. Analyze food security and how it relates to the environment.
  7. Assess the consequences of obtaining food energy from primarily animals.

• Communication: The graduate can communicate effectively for the intended purpose and audience.
• Critical Thinking: The graduate can make informed decisions after analyzing information or evidence related to the issue.
• Global Literacy: The graduate can analyze human behavior or experiences through cultural, social, political, or economic perspectives.
• Information Literacy: The graduate can responsibly use information gathered from a variety of formats in order to complete a task.
• Quantitative Reasoning: The graduate can apply quantitative methods or evidence to solve problems or make judgments.
• Scientific Literacy: The graduate can produce or interpret scientific information presented in a variety of formats.

CDO marked YES apply to this course:
Communication: YES
Critical Thinking: YES
Global Literacy: YES
Information Literacy: YES
Quantitative Reasoning: YES
Scientific Literacy: YES


  1. Understanding Science, Technology, and The Environment
  2. Ecosystems
  3. Matier and Energy
  4. The Structure of the Earth and Solid Waste
  5. Atmosphere and Climate
  6. Water Resources
  7. Human Population
  8. Food Supply

Primary Faculty
Sadorski, Joseph
Secondary Faculty
Schafer, Carl
Associate Dean
Young, Randall
Pritchett, Marie

Official Course Syllabus - Macomb Community College, 14500 E 12 Mile Road, Warren, MI 48088

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