Text: Finding the Balance for Earth’s Sake


This course provides students with an introduction to the content of environmental science. This course is activity-oriented and employs a variety of learning/teaching strategies that emphasize the development of higher-level process skills. Critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making skills will be developed in the process of examining and analyzing environmental issues. Through objective and critical examination of present environmental management and conservation procedures, an appreciation for the need to maintain the equilibrium of the environment is promoted.

The course is to be taught in the following sequence:


  • Unit 1 Basic Ecological Concepts (20%)
    1. Biospheres
    2. Biomes
    3. Ecosystems
    4. Energy Cycles
    5. Nutrient Cycles
    6. Population Pyramids
    7. Interdependence
    8. Sustainable Development
  • Unit 2 Local Environmental Issues (50%)
    1. This unit provides students with the opportunity to examine issues that are particularly relevant to the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. This is approached by an analysis of selected case studies. Where possible, these local issues will be related to global concerns.
  • Unit 3 Global Environmental Issues (30%)
    1. Rainforest Depletion
    2. Acid Precipitation
    3. Ozone Depletion
    4. Global Warming
    5. Ocean Pollution
    6. The Search For and Use of Energy
    7. Hazardous Wastes


Evaluation Guidelines:

For Environmental Science 3205, the evaluation system must include both Formative and Summative components. Formative evaluation is used to find specific weaknesses and strengths, give feedback to student about their strengths and weaknesses, motivate students, and to allow teachers to modify instruction and thereby improve the learning process. Summative evaluation is used for the purposes of grading, certifying, and promoting students Primarily, these are designed to test students’ basic knowledge of content, their understanding and ability to apply content, and ability to synthesize and problem solve (higher thinking skills) with respect to the content.

Summative evaluation of students in science courses must involve a variety of evaluation instruments. Comprehensive unit tests, along with quizzes, are traditional instruments which must be a part of any summative student evaluation scheme. As well, Performance Assessment instruments shall be used for a portion of the summative evaluation.

Unit Tests/Quizzes:

All unit tests are based on the learning outcomes of the course and the objectives. The tests include a variety of testing techniques such as multiple choice and essay items. There is at least one test after each unit and sometimes the unit can be broken into several sections for the purpose of testing if he teacher deems it necessary. Each test is designed for completion in a single class period.

Performance Assessment:

Performance assessment instruments shall be used for a portion of the summative evaluation. Examples of performance assessment instruments are assignments, written homework, science fair, class observations, science projects, laboratory reports, in-class presentation, in-class cooperative education, practical laboratory tests, observation checklist, computer assisted evaluation and teacher-student interviews, research reports, field trip reports, portfolios, etc.
Teachers can determine the performance assessment instruments used in Environmental Science 3205. However, a variety of instruments shall be used to accurately assess students’ understanding of learning outcomes, with a focus on core labs and STSE topics.

Weighting of Evaluation Component:

Unit Tests/Quizzes 40%
Performance Assessment 60%




  • Laboratory Activities must account for 15% of Performance Assessment.
  • Student grades for the November reporting period comprised of results obtained from tests/quizzes (40%) and Performance Assessment (60%).