Syllabus: Course Information Summer 2013
Course The Environment ENV100Y5Y (SCI) LEC9999
Description This introductory environmental science course examines large-scale features of
Earth, natural hazards, climate and weather systems, energy and mineral resources,
human population growth, extinction, biodiversity, environmental toxins, soils and
wetlands, forests and fisheries, water resources, urban environmental management,
and food resources. Interdisciplinary interaction among science, social science, and
the humanities is a major theme.
Location The summer version of this course will be offered in a fully digital environment;
there are no in-person class meetings, and all assessments and assignments (except
the Final Exam) will be completed online.
The only date when students are required to attend on campus in person will be the
Final Exam, to be scheduled by the UTM Registrar during the August exam period.
Meeting times Lectures will be archived for viewing online at a time that is convenient for the
student. Approximately two to three new lectures will be introduced each weekday
(generally Mondays through Thursdays). Detailed instructions for accessing the
online lectures will be provided on Blackboard. Regularly scheduled interactive help
sessions will be offered online; detailed instructions for accessing these sessions also
will be provided on Blackboard.
In-person attendance is only required for the Final Exam (August 21–23). Quizzes
and the Term Test will take place online, during a specified window of time; please
plan ahead to set aside the times specified below and in the course schedule. If
distance will prevent you from attending the exam in person, it may be possible to
arrange for an outside testing centre or request to write a deferred exam. Either of
these arrangements must be made ahead of time, through the UTM Registrar’s Office
> Current Students. The deadline is July 31, 2013.
Instructor Dr. Monika Havelka, Ph.D. [email protected]
(Although Dr. Barbara
Murck gives many of the recorded lectures, she is not involved directly in the delivery
of this course.)
Office location Davis (South) Building, Rm. 3260
Phone 905-828-5366 (however, it is far easier for you to reach me by email!)
Office hours Online chats through Blackboard every Thursday evening 7 – 9:30 pm. Skype
conversations (monika.havelka1) or in-person meetings can be arranged by
Teaching TBA (Contact information and TA office hours will be posted on the course website
Assistants after the term starts – see “Contact Us” on our Blackboard site.)
1 Required Textbook
Environment: The Science Behind the Stories, Canadian 2 ed, by J. Withgott, S. Brennan, B. Murck
(2012), Pearson Canada, Toronto, ISBN 9780321795960.
Additional Notes About the Textbook:
PLEASE make sure you get the 2 Canadian ed. The 2nd edition is substantially different from the
first edition. The 2dedition was used over the 2012-13 academic year; so used copies should be
Hard copies are available at the UTM bookstore, but a cheaper and more environmentally friendly
option is to purchase the digital version of the textbook (e-book) on its own. The e-book can be
purchased directly from the publisher, Pearson. To purchase the e-book:
1. Go to www.myenvironmentplace.ca nd
2. Click on “Books Available” tab and then click on your book cover (2 Canadian
edition Environment: The Science Behind the Stories).
3. MAKE SURE YOU SELECT the option “with e-text” for $67.95; the
$40.00 will get you the supplement without the textbook!
4. Once you click “Get Access” , you will be brought to a page where you will
be asked to create a Pearson account and will be billed in Canadian dollars.
Please do not purchase an i-clicker for this course.
Prerequisites and Expectations
Prerequisites There are no prerequisites for this course. It is open to any U of T student. A
significant number of students who take this course do not have a background in the
sciences. We fully understand this, and want you to know that is entirely feasible for
you to succeed in the course, with appropriate effort.
Many students who take this course are speakers of English as a second language; if
language skills are a concern for you, please approach us for assistance.
Digital Access A “live” introduction to the materials and activities of the day will be videotaped and
archived online for you at the beginning of each class day (generally Mondays
through Thursdays for the duration of the course; please refer to the Course
The lectures have been pre-recorded and will be archived online. You can watch
them at whatever time is most convenient for you (although we highly recommend
that you keep up with the schedule, as much as possible).
All assignments, all quizzes, all participation exercises, and the Term Test will be
administered online, through our course Blackboard site; you do not need to attend
in person, except for the Final Exam. You will need to have access to a computer
with a stable internet connection and up-to-date browser, preferably hard-wired, for
the purpose of completing the online assessment components of the course.
Office hours and question-and-answer sessions also will be carried out using
interactive, online formats. For all of these reasons, it is important that you have
access to a computer with a reliable internet connection. Several hundred
computers are available for your use at the U of T Mississauga campus if you do not
have personal access to a computer.
Academic We have the expectation that students will treat each other and all faculty, staff, and
Conduct TAs with respect and honesty. Students can expect the same from us. Please see
below for additional comments regarding academic conduct and expectations.
2 Course Goals
The overall goals of ENV100Y5Y are to:
introduce students to a range of current environmental issues;
enhance and develop the abilities of students to:
critically analyze news, data, and other information about the natural environment and human
impacts on the environment, thereby becoming more informed consumers of both products
understand the roles of various academic disciplines (mainly in Science but also in Social
Science and Humanities) in enhancing and contributing to our knowledge about the natural
environment and human impacts on the environment;
appreciate the difference between disciplinary and interdisciplinary studies;
approach problems from a scientific perspective;
undertake further studies in disciplines related to the environment; and
contribute more fully to life on campus, in the home, and in the community as a result of their
understanding of environmental science; and
use a variety of online teaching-learning and communication tools to enrich the learning
environment and enhance the learning experience for all students in the course.
Student Learning Objectives
After successfully completing ENV100Y5Y, students will be able to:
articulate basic concepts relating to the contributions of the following disciplines to our
understanding of the environment:
Geography & Demography
Biology & Biotechnology
Anthropology & Archaeology
Soil Science & Agricultural Sciences
Atmospheric Science & Climatology
and cognate disciplines in Science, Social Science, and Humanities;
use by memory, without aids, the basic terminology with which professionals in contributing
disciplines communicate their work and their research findings;
synthesize information from a variety of disciplines, and apply it to environmental problems;
critically analyze information presented to them in a variety of formats, including textual,
graphical, pictorial, quantitative, and symbolic formats;
express, in writing, the content of their learning about specific environmental topics;
apply a systematic, analytical approach to problem-solving and the interpretation of graphs and
utilize a wide range of academic skills in active listening, note-taking, studying, reading, test-
taking, and communication in university-level courses.
3 Communications Policy
Please always use your @utoronto.ca or @mail.utoronto.ca e-mail address for all course-related
communications. Other e-mail addresses may be filtered as spam and we cannot promise to
Please read the course handouts and check the Blackboard site before e-mailing a question, to
make sure that it hasn’t already been answered. All e-mail messages must include “ENV100Y” in the
subject line, and your full name and student number in the body of the e-mail.
Students are advised to consult www.enough.utoronto.ca for University policies concerning the
appropriate use of information and communication technology.
For course-related queries, please contact the Course Instructor or Head TA (“Contact Us” on the
course Blackboard site).
For department- or program-related queries, or to submit documentation regarding a missed quiz,
assignment, or test, contact Geography and Environment Undergraduate Counsellor Sabrina Ferrari
Course Format, Online Learning, and Academic Supports
There are no formally scheduled labs or tutorials. We will have regularly scheduled interactive Question-
and-Answer sessions; the dates for these are provided in the Schedule and will be posted on the course
Blackboard site. Additional optional help sessions may be provided, as needed, both in person and
online, and will be available to all students. When possible, any such session will be recorded, archived,
and made available to anyone who is unable to attend in person.
We also provide support via the Discussion Board and Virtual Office Hours (online chats), available
through the course Blackboard site. Online chats are scheduled to occur the evening before each quiz.
The dates and times will be announced on the Blackboard site, along with instructions for accessing the
chat forum. The sessions are recorded and the recordings are made available to anyone in the class
who is unable to attend the live interactive session. One-on-one contact with Prof Havelka can be
through Skype conversations, email exchanges or by on-campus appointments. Please contact the
instructor by email to arrange any of the above.
If you have language-related concerns or problems with specific academic skills (test-taking, note-taking,
etc.), please approach e-mail me for assistance, or contact the Robert Gillespie Academic Skills Centre.
Assessment Scheme and Dates
Item Weight Dates
Assignments 4 @ 4% July 15, July 22, Aug. 12, Aug. 19Submitted online (via Blackboard)
Quiz #1 5% Friday, July 12 Completed online (via Blackboard)
Quiz #2 5% Friday, July 19 Completed online (via Blackboard)
Quiz #3 5% Friday, July 26 Completed online (via Blackboard)
Term Test 15% Monday, July 29 Completed online
Quiz #4 5% Friday, August 2 Completed online (via Blackboard)
Quiz #5 5% Friday, August 9 Completed online (via Blackboard)
Quiz #6 5% Friday, August 16 Completed online (via Blackboard)
Participation 4% Various dates, unannounced; online. Details will be provided on Blackboard.
Final Exam 35% Scheduled by the Registrar during August Exam Period (Aug. 22–24). Written in
4 person at UTM campus. Alternative times or locations must be pre-approved.
Notes about Dates
Dates for lecture topics (see Course Schedule) are tentative but are not likely to change much.
Quiz dates and assignment due dates are not tentative; they will only change in the case of an
emergency, such as a prolonged and unexpected loss of service from the Portal or Blackboard.
The date for the Term Test is Monday, July 29. The test will be completed online; please set aside
the scheduled two hours on that date for completion of this assessment (4 to 6 p.m. EST).
The date for the Final Exam will be set by the Registrar during the August Exam Period (August 21–
23, 2013). Please don’t make any irreversible plans until the exam schedule has been posted. The
deadline for requesting an outside test centre or deferred exam from the Registrar is July 31.
Other important dates and a list of daily lecture topics and reading assignments are provided in the
Course Schedule. Please also visit http://www.utm.utoronto.ca/registrar/, the website of the UTM
Registrar’s Office, for additional information about drop dates and other important deadlines.
Notes and Goals for Assessment Items
Specific information, reminders, and study guidelines will be posted on our course website for each
quiz. All quizzes will be administered online, through Blackboard; you do not need to attend in
person. Please see the Course Schedule for quiz dates and times. There will be a window of time
during which you will be able to launch and complete the quiz, from any location where you have
reliable internet access. Quizzes are in multiple-choice format. They are not cumulative, and cover only
the material introduced since the previous quiz. We will have online, interactive Q&A sessions before
each quiz. Additional details will be provided on Blackboard.
Goals for Quizzes: The principal goal for the quizzes is to test your comprehension and retention of
material presented in class and in the readings.
The Term Test will be cumulative, covering material from the entire first half of the course. It will be in
written-answer format. The Term Test will be completed online; you do not need to attend in
person. Please set aside 4 to 6 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, on Monday, July 29, 2013 for the
completion of the Term Test. Additional information will be posted on the course Blackboard site.
Goals for Term Test: The principal goals for the Term Test are to test your comprehension and
retention of material presented in class and in the readings; to give you the opportunity to synthesize
and apply what you have learned to practical situations; and to assess your ability to communicate this
understanding and synthesis in written format, in an organized and coherent manner.
Policy on missed quizzes and tests: If you miss a quiz or a test, you must contact the Undergraduate
Program Counsellor Sabrina Ferrari ([email protected]
) in the Geography and Environment
Office (905-828-5465) as soon as possible, and submit appropriate documentation in support of your
petition. Please note that the link for submitting petitions regarding missed quizzes, missed test, or late
assignments is https://utmapp.utm.utoronto.ca/SpecialRequest and it doesn't work well from Mac
computers. You must follow up any petition by submitting the original documentation as soon as
possible to Sabrina Ferrari in the Department of Geography.
The Final Exam will be cumulative, covering material from the entire course. It will be in written-answer
format, three hours, to be scheduled by the Registrar during the August Exam Period (August 21–23).
5 The Final Exam must be writt