Let's start by reminding ourselves that "General Education" DOES NOT mean "easy", all it means is "general education". Let's also remind ourselves that this is a science course and as such it will require you to (1) read, (2) calculate, (3) synthesize what you've read, (4) draw conclusions from your calculations and (5) demonstrate to me that you have accomplished all of these things. I know that it may seem like a tall order but if you work hard at it, I know you can do it. I expect that you will spend on average about 6 - 9 hours per week for this course outside of classtime. OK, at this point you're saying to yourself "6 - 9 hours per week?? What is this dude's problem?" In general a traditional course such as ours, will require 45 hours of in-class time and an additional 2 - 3 hours for each of those in-class hours. Do the math; there'll be a quiz later.
Reading the material will be the easy part. Doing the calculations may not be as easy but it shouldn't be difficult. Taking all of the readings and all of the quantitative exercises and combining, condensing, and/or synthesizing them into something that makes rational sense is the challenge. If you have trouble with any of these parts I expect you to seek out my help. You can also use the tutorials at your textbook's website. And remember, I can't help you if you don't let me know that you're having trouble. After all, if I had psychic abilities you'd see me on those late night infomercials :-)
I expect each member of the class to participate in ALL assigned activities and to work hard to develop a mastery of the scientific concepts that are presented in the text. Your participation in class discussions and your submissions of assignments and exams should provide tangible evidence that you have achieved a sophisticated understanding of these concepts. Additionally, everyone should try to keep up with current environmental events. You can do this easily by visiting such websites as The Environmental News Network or any others you can find. Quiz and/or exam material may at times be taken from the news on this site.
One last thing... The worst possible thing you could do in this course is to cheat. I take academic dishonesty very seriously and exhaust all means possible, short of risking the death penalty, to purge it from my classes. All work on assignments, quizzes, and exams is to be your own. Submitting someone else's work as your own is a serious form of academic dishonesty. The college handbook notes, that the penalty for a violation of this sort includes at best a failing grade in the course and at worst expulsion from the college.
All material (except for some code and external links) © Jeffery A. Schneider, 2003