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Lloyd Sealy Library
John Jay College of Criminal Justice


OER Course Conversion Projects


OER for SCI 112: Environmental Science

A Focus on Sustainability





Part I Fundamentals of Environmental Science and Intersectional Justice

Reading and References


Week 1 and 2

  • Before we begin with content, review learning styles and study habits.

    • How to Develop Good Study Habits:  COLLEGE INFOGEEK

    • Learning styles: Visual Learner, Verbal Learner, Logical Learner, and Active Learner.  Which one or more than one do you think you are?

  • Introduction to Environmental Science and Environmental Justice

    • Historical perspective and an Overview

  • Intersectional Environmentalism

  • In-class assignment and HW Dr. Bullard Video and response.

  • In-class assignment and HW: How big is your carbon footprint?

  • Dark Snow Project and Library resource: Climate Change -- John Jay Library Resources

  • Matter, Energy and Change

  • First reading from our OPEN SOURCE TEXT  Galileo Open Learning Materials    
  • The original open textbook is also hosted via LibGuides at this address:
    • Zehnder, Carolyn; Manoylov, Kalina; Mutiti, Samuel; Mutiti, Christine; VandeVoort, Allison; and Bennett, Donna, "Introduction to Environmental Science: 2nd Edition" (2018). Biological Sciences Open Textbooks. 4.

Week 3

  • Topics: Ecosystems, Ecology and Biomes: Ecosystems, Ecology and Biomes: Describe how energy and matter flow through an ecosystem. Open Educational Resource:  See the chapter on water (especially the hydrologic cycle): Galileo Open Learning Materials

Video or Podcast links

1) In-Class Assignment

  • Begin as an in-class assignment here (and also on BlackBoard under SESSION I)  Written Response to the Dr. Bullard Video

2) In-class assignment  

  • Go to the Website and take the quiz.  I have donated so you do not need to. Follow the instructions in the document handed out in class and on Blackboard SESSION I.

3) Dark Snow Project Response assignment on Black Board

4) Extra credit option on Hydraulic Fracturing on Black Board.


Part II Biodiversity, Population dynamics, Human Population & Sustainability

Reading and References

Week 4 

Week 5   

  • Human Population Growth       

    • Describe the potential limits to human population growth and analyze relationships among changes in population size, economic development, and resource consumption at global and local scales.

    • Review PPT

Week 6 

  • Water Pollution: Identify Earth’s natural sources of water and identify the factors that will affect the future availability of water.
  • View Video: A Fight to Save the River
  • What is NYC doing for Community Resiliency? What are new programs from the Mayor's office?
  • Review PPT

  • Cantwell, et al. 
    • Spatial patterns of pharmaceuticals and Waste Water Tracers in the Hudson River Estuary

Video or Podcast Link

In class Assignments and Homework

Week 4 

  • Read the Article on Medicinal Herbs/plants Historical Perspective of Traditional Indigenous Medical Practice: The Current Renaissance and Conservation of Herbal Resources. On BlackBoard.

Week 5

  • Listen to the Podcast on Population Slowdown in the United States; answer the questions posted on BlackBoard under Week 5 and below.
  • Feeding 11 Billion People podcast and Discussion Board responses. See BlackBoard.

Week 6

  • View the video on The Fight to Save The River: you will need to log onto the Library with your JJ ID. 
    • Choose 6 different Segments that interest you and write about each in a short paragraph. Be prepared to discuss your choices in class discussion.


Part III Investigating the Hudson River (water pollution), Air and Soil (solid waste) pollution

 Reading and References

 Week 7: Introduction to Final Course Project
  • Begin Final project – Investigating NYC Waterways – Finding a Solution to the Pollution - Field Study Assignment.  
    • Begin group work (or independently) for an introduction to e-portfolio. e-terns will teach you how to design in e-portfolio. See John Jay College Digication under Web Apps. Search for the title of the project or the last name of your Professor.  See Blackboard for more information.

Week 8:  Air Pollution

  • PPT on Air Pollution
  • Read the article on the impact of air pollution (below) 
  • See Video on air pollution in NYC
Week 9 Solid waste and Soil Pollution
Videos and Podcasts
In-Class Assignments and Homework

Week 7

Week 8 

  • View the Video on Smog (above) and respond on the Discussion board on BB
  • Read the article on Impacts of Atmospheric Particulate Matter (under Readings)... focusing on the Abstract, The Introduction and Background Contamination, then choose one of the three locations (urban, agricultural, or mountain systems) and summarize the effects.  Follow the 3 paragraph format

Week 9 

  • Work on your final project; use the references shown throughout this website.


Part IV: Human Health Risk and Pollution Regulation

Reading and References

Week 10  Human Health Risk

Week 11 and 12 

  • Biodiversity and Regulation Solutions to Pollution? The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); the Department of Environmental Conservation; Rachel Carson and the movement for change; grass-roots organizations and alternative energy.  

  • Learn about what Rachel Carson did to create the environmental movement: Rachel Carson
  • Research current EPA policy Environmental Protection Agency
  • PPT Biodiversity and Regulation
  • Galileo Open Source Alternative Energy (see link below)

Videos and Podcasts

  • Chemicals are used in plastics, furniture, cosmetics and even in the foods we eat, while other pollutants contaminate our air and water. But do you know how these environmental exposures impact your health? Harvard Medical School researchers will present the data behind this silent threat to your health and how you can protect yourself and your family.

In-Class and Homework Assignments

 Week 10

  • View the Video from Harvard University and write about one of the three presentations.
    • There are three different discussions: Cancer Epidemiology; Genetics and the Effect of Toxins, and Neurodevelopmental Effects on Children from Toxin Exposure.
    • Remember to follow the 3 paragraph format introduced at the beginning of the semester. Post on BB

Week 11

  • Stay focused on your final project using the Readings and References to guide you.  Class discussion will involve the topics of possible solutions to pollution and alternative forms of energy.

Week 12

  • Stay focused on your final project using the Readings and References to guide you.  Class discussion will involve the topics of environmental economics, sustainability and equity.


Economics Conservation and Sustainability

Weeks 13 and 14: Environmental Economics and Equity

  • PPT under Week 13 & 14 

    • Discuss sustainability in a variety of environmental contexts including human well-being Environmental Policy: Reducing pollution and stewarding the environment.