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Introduction to Environmental Science

by The Ohio State University

This course material is only available in the iTunes U app on iPhone or iPad.

Course Description

Environmental science is an interdisciplinary field of research that focuses on the physical and biological surroundings in which all living organisms exist.  It relies on a range of sciences including anthropology, biology, chemistry, climatology, ecology, engineering, geography, geology and physics.  One of the main objectives of this class is to understand the science behind the processes and principles that govern our natural environment.  We will examine the impacts that human activities have on the environment and explore solutions to many of our environmental problems.  We will also focus on understanding environmental processes; discover links between organisms water, atmosphere, and land systems; learn how to properly manage and restore ecosystems; and explore ways to move towards a sustainable planet. 
We will investigate the mechanisms behind climate change, learn how to support and preserve biodiversity, learn about approaches to sustainably manage Earth’s resources, explore the benefits of using renewable energy (biofuel, geothermal, solar, tidal, waste, wind) versus nonrenewable energy (coal, natural gas, nuclear, petroleum) and examine projects around the world that seek to restore and maintain healthy ecosystems.  Several of the topics that we cover in class include: aquaculture, agriculture, air pollution, biodiversity, biofuels, climate change, coal, ecology, engineered crops, environmental policy, evolution, fisheries, fossil fuels, livestock, mining, nonrenewable energy, nuclear power, nutrient cycling, ocean acidification, petroleum, population growth, renewable energy, Superfund sites, sustainability, urbanization, waste management and water pollution.   

This class uses the textbook: Scientific American Environmental Science for a Changing World, 2013, by Anne Houtman, Susan Karr, and Jeneen Interlandi and published by W.H. Freeman.  

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