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Lecture 1

NATS 1840 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Long Term Ecological Research Network, Funeral Director, Bethune College


Department
Natural Science
Course Code
NATS 1840
Professor
Carl Wolfe
Lecture
1

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NATS 1840.06 Section A
SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY & THE ENVIRONMENT
2015–2016
LECTURES
Tuesday 2:30 pm to 4:00 pm LAS C
AND
Thursday 2:30 pm to 4:00 pm LAS C
TUTORIALS
ONE OF (time & location depending on registration)
Tuesday (6,7) 10:30 am to 12:00 pm Vari 1018, Ross S104
Tuesday (8,9) 12:30 pm to 2:00 pm TEL 0011, TEL 0009
Tuesday (10) 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm Stong 219
Thursday (1,2) 10:30 am to 12:00 pm Stong 220, Bethune 325
Thursday (3,4) 12:30 pm to 2:00 pm Stong 221, Stong 220
Thursday (5) 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm Bethune 325
Professor
Name Dr. Carl Wolfe (Course Director)
Office 227 Petrie Science & Eng. Bldg.
Office Hours TBA
or by appointment.
Phone (416) 736-2100 ext. 20882
Email wolfe@yorku.ca (see note below)
Moodle http://moodle.yorku.ca
Tophat http://www.tophat.com, Course code #355205
NATS Website http://www.nats.yorku.ca
NATS Office 218 Bethune College
Please consult this course outline and the Moodle news forum prior to con-
tacting the professor about routine administrative matters - your questions may
already have been answered. For technical help with Tophat please contact
Tophat support directly at the URL shown above.
Introduction
Science is a part of everyday life. It is therefore important to become familiar, to some
extent, with the scientific method and outlook, and to be cognizant of some of the achieve-
ments of scientific thought. The Natural Science courses at York University are designed to
promote the scientific literacy of students in non-science programmes.
Natural Science 1840A, Science, Technology and the Environment, is a six-credit course
concerned with the impact of humanity, and in particular technological advancements ac-
companying the development of humanity, upon the environment. The course endeavours to
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Natural Science 1840.06, Section A 2
convey basic knowledge concerning the interplay between technology and the environment,
and in the process develop powers of scientific reasoning which will help you to better assess
key environmental issues. It is hoped that the course will enable you to make more informed
(i.e., less emotional) decisions about environmental matters and help you to make meaning-
ful contributions to environmental debates. After all, the environment is something we all
have to live with, so the more you know about humanity’s interactions with it, the more
likely it is that you will be able to have a positive influence on the course of our lives.
Format of the Course
Lectures Two 90-minute lectures each week.
Tutorials One 90-minute tutorial, very roughly every second week.
Eight tutorials in total, four per term.
Which day of the week and which weeks you attend tutorials is determined by the tutorial
section for which you registered, with odd- and even-numbered sections meeting in alternate
weeks. Associated with each tutorial will be a take-home activity which will be graded. The
tutorials may also include discussion of a topic assigned beforehand by the course director.
Attendance at lectures is highly recommended because
1. the professor greatly enhances the material covered in the textbook, and often covers
material which is not in the textbook;
2. in-class interactive quizzes and discussions aid in mastering the material and will also
count toward participation marks;
3. notes obtained from a classmate rarely convey the full content of a lecture, and many
students benefit from actually writing down material as opposed to merely reading it.
The bottom line is that neither the textbook nor notes substitute for the learning enabled
by the interplay between professor and students in the classroom.
Rough Outline of Lectures
A rough outline of the general topics to be covered in the first and second terms is shown
below. Among the specific issues which will be addressed are the population explosion,
the greenhouse effect, global warming, the ozone hole, acid rain, agriculture, genetically
modified foods, renewable and non-renewable energy sources, nuclear power, radioactivity &
radioactive waste, water pollution, and depletion of the fisheries.
Fall Term Winter Term
1. Environmental Science and Thinking 1. Soil Fertility and Agriculture
2. The Ecosphere 2. Water Pollution
3. Cycling of Matter and Energy 3. Energy Sources and Needs
4. Life: Evolution, Diversity, Extinction 4. Air Pollution
5. The Human Population 5. Climate Change
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Natural Science 1840.06, Section A 3
Text Book
The main textbook for the course is Living in the Environment (Third Canadian Edition)
by G. T. Miller and D. Hackett. The text is available from the campus bookstore. As a
less expensive alternative students may purchase a one-year subscription to the electronic
version of the text (visit http://hed.nelson.com for details), or a used copy. Students are
encouraged to carefully consider their choice of textbook format.
The second required text is Down and Dirty! A Kit of Activities in Environmental
Science (Second Edition) by M. McCall and C. Wolfe. The kit contains a book and most of
the supplies needed to complete the activities described in the book, and has been specifically
created to meet the needs of this course. It is also available from the campus bookstore. Each
student should have a new copy in order to obtain a complete set of consumable supplies.
DO NOT PURCHASE A USED COPY OF THE KIT UNLESS YOU ARE
CERTAIN ALL OF THE SUPPLIES ARE INCLUDED!
Several additional resources which may be of help to you are on 2 hour reserve in the
Steacie Science Library.
Workload
In each term, students will be required to complete four at-home tutorial activities, one
in-class test, one major assignment (details TBA), and one end-of-term examination. Weekly
reading quizzes will be administered in class using the Tophat system (see below).
Tutorial activities involve hands-on exploration and have been designed to deepen stu-
dents’ understanding of the scientific approach and of selected parts of the course material.
During the tutorials TAs introduce, review, and answer questions about the assigned activ-
ity. Each activity must be completed at home and be handed in at the next tutorial
session according to the schedule included on the last page of this outline. Time permitting,
tutorials also provide a forum for discussion of selected readings or of other topics assigned
by the professor or the TA.
Weekly reading quizzes are intended to check students’ understanding of basic definitions
and ideas prior to lecture, and so to guide further discussion.
Grading
Item Fall Winter
Tutorial activities 10.0% 10.0%
Mid-term test 10.0% 10.0%
Assignment 10.0% 10.0%
Tophat Quizzes 5.0% 5.0%
End-of-term exam 15.0% 15.0%
Sub-Total 50.0% 50.0%
Total 100%
At the end of the course, the lowest two tutorials marks will be dropped. Additionally, only
the best 80% of the Tophat quiz scores will count toward the final grade. (Tophat questions
generally carry both a participation component and a correctness component. Details will
be presented in early September.)
In individual cases, this grading scheme may be altered to take account of exceptional
circumstances such as an illness or death in the family. Such exceptional circumstances will
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