Water and the Environment
Selected environmental issues related to water, including floods and droughts, irrigation, effects of water management projects and pollution. Examples from Canada and the world.
|Three lectures; one term
|Prerequisite(s): Registration in Level II or above. One of BIOLOGY 1M03, EARTH SC 1G03, ENVIR SC 1A03, 1B03, 1G03, ISCI 1A24 is strongly recommended
Time/Term Offered: Term Two Winter 2012-13
Instructor: Dr Luc Bernier
Room: General Science Building Rm. 202
Tel:(905) 525.9149 x26363
Teaching Assistant: TBA
The primary aim of this course is to introduce students to environmental issues related to water resources and processes, especially freshwater. The first segment of the course will present fundamental scientific concepts: the hydrologic cycle, surface water, groundwater, water quality issues (e.g. eutrophication), etc. The second segment of the course will examine various dimensions of the dependency of human societies on water resources, sometimes using an historical perspective: water and industry, water and energy, water use conflicts, water allocation policies, etc. Another segment of the course will focus on the Laurentian Great Lakes. This segment will serve as a case study where both the physical and social dimensions of water resources management are required to understand the past and future of the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth. The final segment will emphasize water sustainability issues and to how address them.
By the end of this course, students should be able to: 1) understand the linkages between the scientific dimensions of freshwater resources management, and human perspectives on water-related problems; 2) and to discuss how these apply to the Canadian context, and the Laurentian Great Lakes in particular.
Lectures are on Wednesdays, from 2:30 to 3:20 p.m., and Fridays, 4:30 to 5:20 p.m. There will NOT be lectures on Mondays, unless stated or announced otherwise. Check your lecture schedule attached for further details. ALL students are expected to attend ALL lectures. Partial lecture notes will be available on A2L (Avenue to Learn). It is responsibility of the student to ensure that notes are obtained for any classes missed.
The live lectures will be supplemented by Podcasts that will be posted on Avenue to Learn (A2L). The material covered in these podcasts is just as important to your understanding of the course as the material covered during the live lectures.
We will be using the iClicker this year during lectures. These personal response units are recommended but not required. The iClicker is meant to enhance your learning experience during lectures. For instance, you may be asked to establish connections between concepts, voice your opinions on some issues, or to make predictions on future water sustainability.
Avenue to Learn (A2L)
A2L is an online system which will be used in this class for communicating information relating to the course (e.g. lecture notes, etc.). To log in to A2L, use your MUGSI login and password. See the A2L home page above for more instructions if you need them. It is the student’s responsibility to check A2L regularly (i.e. AT LEAST twice a week) for updates.
Students should be aware that, when they access the electronic components of this course, private information such as first and last names, user names for the McMaster e-mail accounts, and program affiliation may become apparent to all other students in the same course. The available information is dependent on the technology used. Continuation in this course will be deemed consent to this disclosure. If you have any questions or concerns about such disclosure please discuss this with the course instructor.
If you encounter any technical problems with this service go to the following website for support: http://avenue.mcmaster.ca/help/. Please note that it is not the responsibility of the teaching staff of EARTH SC 2WW3 to assist you with A2L issues.
Required Text Books/Course materials:
Jones, J.A.A., 2010. Water Sustainability: A Global Perspective. Hodder Education. ISBN: 978-1-444-10488-2
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Great Lakes: An Environmental Atlas and Resource Book. URL: http://www.epa.gov/glnpo/atlas/index.html. Third Ed. Last update: June 25th, 2012
Additional reading material may be posted, as required, on A2L (Avenue to Learn).
This course will consist of online quizzes, one term paper and a final exam. There will be 6 quizzes in the course covering lecture and textbook material. Quizzes are valued at 8% each and the lowest quiz mark will be dropped. Quizzes will be available on A2L for a 7-day period. Their schedule will be posted on A2L. It is the responsibility of the student to be aware of quiz start and end dates, and of due dates for assignments. Please see the section titled ‘Missed Work or Late Work’ for information regarding missed quizzes.
This course will also contain Final Exam. The final exam will cover all lecture and textbook readings, as well as subjects covered by the assignment. The final exam will consist of multiple choices, and short and/or long answer questions.
Term Paper 20%
Online quizzes (best 5 out of 6@8% each) 40%
Final Exam 40%
Academic dishonesty consists of misrepresentation by deception
or by other fraudulent means and can result in serious consequences,
e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation
on the transcript (notation reads: “Grade of F assigned for
academic dishonesty”), and/or suspension or expulsion from the
The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:
Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s
own or for which other credit has been obtained.
Improper collaboration in group work.
Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.
It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes
academic dishonesty. For information on the various kinds of academic
dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at http://www.mcmaster.ca/policy/Students-AcademicStudies/AcademicIntegrity.pdf
The instructor and university reserve the right to modify elements of the course during the term. The university may change the dates and deadlines for any or all courses in extreme circumstances. If either type of modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. It is the responsibility of the student to check their McMaster email and course websites weekly during the term and to note any changes.