Environment Stewardship

Course Description

As individuals, it is often difficult to see or understand the consequences our decisions, actions, or existence may have on our environment and those around us. The purpose of this class is to show the effects each of us has as a member of a worldwide population of over seven billion, and the effects our population has on a local, regional, and global scale. The focus will be on how individually and collectively we impact the quality of our environment and human living conditions for both good and bad. Case studies will be used to examine an array of ecological, biological, agricultural, technological, economical, social, political, and other issues associated with a burgeoning human population. Class members will receive a foundation whereby they can make informed choices about their life, family, and community, and be better stewards of Earth's resources.  

Contents & Topics   

Science of Populations, Population Growth, Science of Sustainability, Food Webs & Ecological Footprints, Water Issues, Science of Global Water Cycle, Water Footprint, Science of Energy, Carbon Footprint, Science of Carbon Cycle & Climate Change, and Globalization  

Goals and Objectives

Students will become responsible stewards of Earth's resources:

  1. Describe environmental issues in view of their multi-dimensional, complex, and dynamic natures.  (i.e., What is the problem?)
    1. Identify the biases that can affect our perspective (this may include personal preferences, individual beliefs, social mores, religious standards, education level, world opinions, economic factors, political agendas, etc.).
    2. Apply scientific principles and reasoning to critically evaluate the information and data central to an issue.
      1. Evaluate the accuracy and judge the merits of the information provided.
      2. Identify and separate the issue from the emotion.
  2. Identify my role in a particular environmental issue and my responsibility to environmental quality.  (i.e., How am I involved?  How does it affect me?)
    1. Calculate the extent of my ecological footprint by identifying required or desired resources.
    2. Determine my contribution (both positive and negative) to environmental quality through personal choices.
    3. Compare my resource requirement to that of others, or contrast global resource availability with global standard-of-living levels. (I need help wording this outcome. The idea is to have the student understand that resource usage is not uniform for humankind, and how much of a global resource would be required if everyone used that resource at the student's current usage or standard-of-living.)
  3. Explore reasonable solutions to diminish or resolve environmental concerns, both locally and globally.  (i.e., What can I do?)
    1. Outline the extent that current science and technology may be applied.
    2. Identify potential risks and benefits to any proposed solutions, at various scales (i.e., locally, regionally, or globally).
    3. Develop a personal plan of action.
      1. Seek understanding and guidance through study and prayer.
      2. Identify any moral or ethical obligations to help or bless others.
      3. Consider what the potential consequences of any action or inaction might be.
      4. Act appropriately without violating local, state, national, and/or international laws
Course Requirements  

Course requirements include: position Statements, quizzes, unit activities, homework, class participation, journal entries, blogs, personal articles, and exams  

Course Prerequisites
  • Completion of FDSCI101 with a D- or higher
  • Completion of FDENG101 with a D- or higher
  • Completion of FDMAT108 with a D- or higher
Semesters Taught

Winter Spring Fall

Course Lead

Rob Coleman
Rob Coleman