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Environmental Science 1
The Human Impact on the Natural World
co-taught with
Speech 104

Course Syllabus  

InstructorOffice HoursCourse LocationCourse Objectives
Required TextbooksWeb Sites You Must VisitLearning ContractAttendance and Timeliness
Course OutlineAssignment PhilosophyAssignment SummaryDetails of Assignments
GradingSaturday MeetingsVideo AssignmentsVideo Worksheets
Writing TipsWriting Scoring GuideOral Presentation GuideAssessing Your Own Work


Required texts (all books are available in the WLA bookstore)

  1. Kaufman, Donald G. and Franz, Cecilia M., Biosphere 2000: Protecting our Global Environment, Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company: Dubuque, Iowa, 1996. ISBN 0-7872-0460-9 (hardback).
  2. Glendinning, Chellis, My Name Is Chellis and Iím In Recovery From Western Civilization, Shambhala: Boston, 1994, ISBN 0-87773-996-X (paperback).
  3. Course Syllabus and Supplemental Reading Packet
  4. Writing Style Guide of your choice
  5. EMAIL account and INTERNET access.

Each week you MUST visit and read material at some of the following web sites:

Instructor Information

Jackie Alan Giuliano, Ph.D.
Ph.D., Environmental Studies, The Union Institute, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1998
M.S. in Environmental Studies, California State University, Dominguez Hills, 1983.
B.A. in Astronomy, USC, 1977.

In addition to his West L.A. College teaching, Jackie has taught Environmental Science, Environment and Human Health, Astronomy, Community Action and Social Responsibility, and the History of Science for Antioch University, Los Angeles. He has also taught Environmental Science and Environmental Ethics, for the University of Phoenix Southern California Campuses as well as Project Management, Critical Thinking and Decision Making, and Communications. His professional experience includes fifteen years as a mission planner for NASA space exploration programs at Caltech's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He lectures widely in the fields of environmental studies, science and society, ecofeminism, social activism, and critical thinking.


  • (310) 390-3502 [voice/fax] between 10am and 9pm for voice or FAX
  • email anytime: jackie@deepteaching.com (email is a very reliable means to communicate with the instructor since he is connected 24-hours a day with a high speed line.)

The instructor may be contacted between the hours of 10am to 9pm Monday thru Saturday at the above phone number to arrange for individual meetings with students or to discuss any issue.

Office Hours

  • Tuesday: 5pm-6pm at Kaiser; Wednesday and Thursday: 4pm - 6pm at WLA Room ATA 218
  • If you need to call during these office hours, use the instructor's pager: 310-564-2362.

Class Meetings

Course Description
This course will examine human impacts on the Earth's environment that affect the planet's delicate life support systems. We will survey pollution in many forms and explore air quality, pesticide use, acid rain, water resource issues, municipal waste problems, and land use planning issues such as airport and highway impacts. How humans can determine their impact on the environment will be studied as well as how to understand the social and economic impact of our actions. Ecological cycles and energy flows on the Earth and the impact of human activities on their delicate balances will be explored.

Learning Contract

Student Understandings

  1. I understand that although I am very busy and lead a full life, I have signed up for this class to learn and to expand my knowledge. I am committed to fulfilling the objectives of the class to the best of my ability.
  2. I understand that I have signed up for an accelerated program that will require more work done in a shorter period of time than if I took a standard course.
  3. I understand that the class will focus on practice not on lecture.
  4. I understand that I will be held regularly responsible for assessing my own work using criteria and standards discussed in class.
  5. I understand that in this class, I will be exploring new concepts, many of which will challenge the assumptions I have made about how society and the world operates.
  6. I understand that many of the subjects covered in this class will be controversial with many differing viewpoints possible.
  7. I understand that I must try to keep an open mind and to challenge the assumptions I have made about the world.
  8. I understand that for every class day I will have a written assignment due that must be computer generated or typed.
  9. I understand that there are 11 short written assignments, 3 mini papers, 9 video assignments, 1 nature journal and 1 final paper (made up of the mini papers) due for this class.
  10. I understand that Saturday workshops and weekly viewing of required videos are required element of the course.
  11. I understand that I must keep a Nature Journal as described in the syllabus during the course.
  12. I understand the standards in this course and that I am responsible for monitoring my own learning.
  13. I understand that I must do a Self-Evaluation, in which I "make a case" for receiving a particular grade using criteria provided in class and citing evidence from my work throughout the course.
  14. I understand that this course requires consistent classroom attendance and active participation.
  15. I understand that the class will not be graded on a curve. I understand that it is theoretically possible for the whole class to get an A or an F.
  16. I understand that there is a grade penalty for missed classes. Every one unexcused absence after the first one results in a 1/3 of a grade penalty. (Hence, with two absences, if my final grade had been C+, it would be reduced to a C; if C- it would be reduced to D+).
  17. I understand that I must keep in touch with the instructor and notify him at once of any absences, problems, questions and to negotiate to turn in late work it that becomes necessary.
  18. I understand that no late work will be accepted unless prior negotiations have been made with the instructor. Late work turned in without prior negotiation will receive 0 points.


  1. I understand that all the students are working adults with full schedules and busy lives. I have done my best to create meaningful assignments that are worth spending time on and that will contribute to the student's life and learning.
  2. I understand that the students need feedback and I will do my best to have assignments returned in the following week.
  3. I understand that I need to be available to the students. I am available anytime by email, by telephone (at the hours posted in the syllabus) and will be present before each class as indicated in the syllabus.
  4. I understand that I must keep the class focused, present material in an engaging manner and to engage the students in the learning to the best of my abilities.
  5. I understand that I must behave in a professional manner at all times.


1. To understand the Earth's ecological cycles and the processes responsible for life on our planet. To appreciate the Earth's place as a unique planet in the Solar System.

2. To increase the student's awareness of the impact of human activities on the planet and to understand the means by which these impacts can be mitigated.

3. To understand the political forces that affect the environmental balance. To gain an appreciation of the legal aspects of environmental management.

4. To consider that in this and the next century, the choices we make may shape the future of our planet for all time. What course should we follow? Should we force business to cease the production of harmful atmospheric pollutants. Should we accept the risks and affects of a technological society? What are the sociological and psychological aspects of environmental management?

5. To expand the student's range of thought and perception. To provide a vehicle for the student to contribute intelligently to national (and international) environmental policy.

6. To encourage the student to think on a global scale and to consider the far-reaching consequences of any action.

7. To elucidate and clarify the substantial contributions of women and non-white scientists to the evolution of the understanding of the Earth's place in the universe.
The PACE teaching/learning model includes mandatory class attendance. Saturday workshops as well as weekly class sessions must be attended in full. If an absence is necessary, students must contact the instructor prior to the absence. Remember that individual participation is required of each student for the successful completion of this course to demonstrate familiarity with the assignments and the ability to combine practical experience with theory. ABSENCE FROM CLASS WILL HAVE A PROFOUND NEGATIVE EFFECT ON YOUR GRADE. Students must make up all missed work and additional replacement assignments will be assigned. Class participation points will be lost in the event of an absence and they cannot be made up.

Be advised that late arrivals can accrue into workshop absences. For example, if you are one hour late for two workshops, you have missed the equivalent of one entire class.

Timeliness of Required Assignments
Deadlines for assignments are an important element of the learning experience. In "real life," we are rarely given an unlimited amount of time to complete an assignment of any kind, and the discipline to budget your time is a skill that is one of the most important you can learn. NO LATE WORK WILL BE ACCEPTED unless prior negotiations have been made.

It is the policy of West L.A. College to grant Incompletes upon request by the student and with the concurrence of the instructor. If your situation is such that you are unable to complete the requirements of the course and would like an Incomplete for the course, you must specifically request it from me. I will not automatically give an Incomplete for unfinished work. If your work is unfinished at the end of the quarter and I have not had any communication from you, you will not receive any points for that work.

Timeliness of Required Assignments
Deadlines for assignments are an important element of the learning experience. In "real life," we are rarely given an unlimited amount of time to complete an assignment of any kind, and the discipline to budget your time is a skill that is one of the most important you can learn. NO LATE WORK WILL BE ACCEPTED unless prior negotiations have been made.

Keep Track of Your Progress
You should keep careful track of your points during a class. There should never be any doubt in your mind what grade you are getting at anytime during the class.

Study Groups
Study groups will be formed during the first class and these groups will work together for the duration of the course. The study groups serve to:

  1. Strengthen each member's learning and problem-solving skills and develop each member's skills in written and oral communication.
  2. Encourage cooperation and team building among the members and enable members to cover more material together than they could cover alone.

You are encouraged to do as much of the course work together as you can. This can include watching videos, discussing assignments, reading each other's work for typos, etc.

Course Requirements
  1. Students are expected to attend class, complete homework assignments, and participate in field trips. The instructor should be contacted in advance when conflicts arise that may interfere with attendance.
  2. Be an active participant in class activities and discussions.
  3. Complete the assignments, attend all Saturday meetings, and watch the required outside video assignments

All Images and Content
Copyright (c) 2009, Jackie A. Giuliano Ph.D.