Environmental Change and Sustainability
Welcome to BDP101 for Spring 2009. Reading for the first class meeting is posted on the class Blackboard site.
Forum Seminar will explore the range of environmental problems that have been
created by human activity and population growth. Among the major issues to be addressed are water resources,
climate change, biodiversity, and possible solutions to these problems.
The roles of science, policy-making, and economic interests`
will be examined in the context of these issues.
This course is one credit and serves as the gateway course into
Bridging Disciplines Program
on The Environment.
The class meets Wednesdays from 3-5 pm for the first half of the semester in
room 4.102 in the Geology Building. For a start on information about environmental science
at UT-Austin, visit the Environmental Science
Jay Banner, Department of Geological Sciences, firstname.lastname@example.org, Office: GEO 5.210 / 471-5016, Office hours: W 2-3, and by appointment
Richard Casteel, Department of Geological Sciences, email@example.com , Office: GEO 5.212, Office hours: W 5-6, Th 3:30-4:30.
How this Course is Organized
Environmental Change is a two-hour seminar, held once a week, during the first eight weeks of the Spring 2009 semester. Each week we will have invited lecturers from across campus and outside UT that will contribute to a multi-disciplinary perspective on the environment. Your contribution to this course will be in the form of participation, two weekly assignments and an in-class group presentation.
Reading assignments for each week are available electronically via Blackboard under the Course Documents link. Upon reading the assigned primary articles you must write a brief (3-line) synopsis of the main argument or idea and formulate an interesting question for the presenters. Assignments will be collected at the beginning of each class, beginning with week 2.
Weekly Reaction Papers
Tell us about your impressions on the articles, presentations and discussions by writing a 250-400 word, double-spaced (1-2 pages), typed, and well composed essay shortly after attending each class. Your paper should summarize the crux of the main issue discussed and the different perspectives offered, then it should present your insight/opinion regarding the problem and paths to solutions. A well-organized, well-written paper is much easier to understand. See the grading rubric.
The papers are due every Friday at 6 pm. Send them to the Blackboard
Assignment Drop Box, as an attached Word
document. If your paper is turned in up to 1 hour late, a 10% reduction of your
grade on the paper will be assessed; up to 24 hours late, 25% reduction; up to
48 hours late, 50% reduction; more than 48 hours late, not accepted.
coming to class on time, contributing to class discussions, preparing
beforehand, turning in assignments on time, etc.) and the Weekly Reaction Papers
constitute the largest portion of your grade. Unless the assignment indicates otherwise, the work you turn
in must be your own. Here is the breakdown:
Weekly Reaction Papers
Weekly Reading Assignments
Since this class meets only 8 times this semester, attendance is essential. If you miss more than one class your grade will be reduced by one letter grade. Allowances may be made for special extenuating circumstances. The group projects grading rubric is available to download (word .doc): Group Project Rubric.
Academic honesty and integrity
All written work handed in is considered to be your own and prepared without any unauthorized assistance. Falsification of attendance records, cheating, and plagiarism are three forms of academic dishonesty. All forms will be dealt with seriously. See Dean of Students website for definitions of and policies on academic dishonesty, students with disabilities, information on instructors, etc.
How to Succeed in this Course
Come to class, complete assignments, participate in discussions, and prepare a thoughtful presentation. Your questions and comments are always welcome, please feel free to contact us.