Singapore University of Social Sciences

Introduction to Environmental Science (PHYS142)

Synopsis

This introductory course stresses the interrelations of all aspects of the living and the nonliving world. It introduces the student to key concepts and principles that govern how nature works and the application of these concepts and principles to possible solutions to environmental and resource problems.

Level: 1
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: Every July
E-Learning: BLENDED - Learning is done MAINLY online using interactive study materials in Canvas. Students receive guidance and support from online instructors via discussion forums and emails. This is supplemented with SOME face-to-face sessions. If the course has an exam component, this will be administered on-campus.

Topics

  • Scientific Basics
  • The Earth Sun System
  • Earth's Lithosphere
  • Earth's Atmosphere and Hydrosphere
  • Earth's Ecosphere
  • Biogeochemical Cycles
  • Historical Framework of Global Environmental Change
  • World Population, Development, and Resource Consumption
  • The Changing Earth Surface
  • Global Climate Change

Learning Outcome

  • Explain the scientific system and how it applies to the study of environmental science
  • Demonstrate factual knowledge of the problems associated with explosive growth of human population on the resources of this planet.
  • Demonstrate factual knowledge of the scope of environmental science, matter and energy, laws of thermodynamics, relationships of matter and energy laws to resource and pollution problems.
  • Explain the different biogeochemical cycles and how climate and temperature influence the different biomes.
  • Describe the different zones of life in the ocean and how sunlight, salinity and wave forces affect life here
  • List some of the different ecosystems and their components as well as ways that man impacts ecosystems.
  • List some of the main causes of poverty and how politics, law and ethics affect resource use and environmental quality.
  • Demonstrate factual knowledge of factors that determine climate; problems and causes of global warming, ozone depletion, the principal components of the atmosphere and types of air pollutants.
  • List some of the principal components and types of soil, pesticides and herbicides and the advantages and disadvantages of each.
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