CEGE 1501 -- New Course

Thu Aug 25 12:36:34 2016

Approvals Received:
on 08-25-16
by Tiffany Ralston
Approvals Pending: College/Dean  > Provost > LE > Catalog > PeopleSoft Manual Entry
Effective Status: Active
Effective Term: 1173 - Spring 2017
Course: CEGE 1501
UMNTC - Twin Cities/Rochester
UMNTC - Twin Cities
Career: UGRD
College: TIOT - College of Science and Engineering
Department: 11101 - CSENG Civil, Envrn & Geo-Eng
Course Title Short: Envir Issues Solns
Course Title Long: Environmental Issues and Solutions
Max-Min Credits
for Course:
4.0 to 4.0 credit(s)
Open to students from all colleges. Importance of science in understanding/solving various environmental problems. Case studies. Laboratory exercises.

prereq: High school chemistry or equiv, one yr high school algebra
Print in Catalog?: Yes
CCE Catalog
Only include CCE Catalog Description in CCE Catalog.
<no text provided>
Grading Basis: Stdnt Opt
Topics Course: No
Honors Course: No
Online Course: No
Contact Hours:
0.0 hours per week
Course Typically Offered: Every Fall & Spring
Component 1 : LAB (no final exam)
Component 2 : LEC (with final exam)
Progress Units:
Not allowed to bypass limits.
4.0 credit(s)
Financial Aid
Progress Units:
Not allowed to bypass limits.
4.0 credit(s)
Repetition of
Repetition not allowed.
for Catalog:
<no text provided>
CSE 1101
Add Consent
No required consent
Drop Consent
No required consent
(course-based or
No prerequisites
Editor Comments: This is an effective renumber of CSE 1101 which will have the equiv to this course added and be deactivated once this is approved. (We do not actually want to renumber to maintain flexibility in the future.)
Proposal Changes: <no text provided>
History Information: <no text provided>
Sponsor Name:
Miki Hondzo, William Arnold
Sponsor E-mail Address:
mhondzo@umn.edu, arnol032@umn.edu
Student Learning Outcomes
Student Learning Outcomes: * Student in the course:

- Can identify, define, and solve problems

Please explain briefly how this outcome will be addressed in the course. Give brief examples of class work related to the outcome.

students are required to quantitatively describe human and natural systems

How will you assess the students' learning related to this outcome? Give brief examples of how class work related to the outcome will be evaluated.


- Can communicate effectively

Please explain briefly how this outcome will be addressed in the course. Give brief examples of class work related to the outcome.

Type written lab reports and a group presentation

How will you assess the students' learning related to this outcome? Give brief examples of how class work related to the outcome will be evaluated.

grading of lab reports and group presentation

Liberal Education
this course fulfills:
PHYS Physical Sciences
Other requirement
this course fulfills:
ENV Environment
Criteria for
Core Courses:
Describe how the course meets the specific bullet points for the proposed core requirement. Give concrete and detailed examples for the course syllabus, detailed outline, laboratory material, student projects, or other instructional materials or method.

Core courses must meet the following requirements:

  • They explicitly help students understand what liberal education is, how the content and the substance of this course enhance a liberal education, and what this means for them as students and as citizens.
  • They employ teaching and learning strategies that engage students with doing the work of the field, not just reading about it.
  • They include small group experiences (such as discussion sections or labs) and use writing as appropriate to the discipline to help students learn and reflect on their learning.
  • They do not (except in rare and clearly justified cases) have prerequisites beyond the University's entrance requirements.
  • They are offered on a regular schedule.
  • They are taught by regular faculty or under exceptional circumstances by instructors on continuing appointments. Departments proposing instructors other than regular faculty must provide documentation of how such instructors will be trained and supervised to ensure consistency and continuity in courses.

Physical Science/Lab Core

As shown in the attached syllabus, CEGE 1501 focuses on the natural physical, chemical, and biological phenomena that drive environmental systems and how humans impact and alter these phenomena. Representative topics include the cycling of nutrients and energy through ecosystems, impacts of agricultural production of water resources, and global climate change. Although biological topics (e.g., biodiversity, agriculture, ecosystems) are necessarily discussed, the emphasis is how the physical and chemical characteristics affect the environment and ecological systems. For example, in discussing biogeochemistry, it is demonstrated how the cycling of chemical nutrients and energy inputs allow life to prosper and how specific physical conditions (water availability, temperature) impact ecological niches. A major emphasis is how physical and chemical alterations (e.g., channelization of streams, addition of pesticides) impact biology/ecology. To emphasis the physical/chemical focus of the class, the environment is presented in terms of systems, and students are required to quantitatively describe human and natural systems. For example, the students must be able to perform mass balances on lakes (input and outputs), understand the concept of steady state, and quantitatively describe human population growth. In general, issues are presented and analyzed from a variety of perspectives.  For example, we may consider an issue by discussing the scientific basis, experimental and analytical evidence, assumptions, uncertainty, interpretation of data, model predictions, stakeholder perspectives, policy effects, the consequence of inaction etc.  In all cases the students are immersed in the process of scientific enquiry. The students are versed in the scientific method, the difference between hypothesis and theory, and proper data collection and analysis protocols.

The Laboratory component of the class meets 12 or 13 times per semester for 3 hours. Groups of three or four students perform experiments related to the course material. Prior to the laboratory session, students are to read the laboratory exercise and hypothesize what will happen in their experiment.  In laboratory exercises, the students are required to set-up experiments, make physical, chemical and biological measurements, analyze and interpret the data, graph results, and compare their results with the results of other students.  For experiments making biological measurements, these measurements are made to demonstrate how chemical parameters affect the environment.  For example, biochemical oxygen demand is a measurement that demonstrates how organic wastes lead to the depletion of oxygen in rivers. Similarly, in the water quality lab, the levels of oxygen and water clarity are related to the abundance of phytoplankton (the more light and oxygen, the more phytoplankton). Most of these labs are conducted in the environmental engineering laboratories but at least two laboratories are conducted at field sites. Individually typed laboratory reports and graphical analysis of data using a spreadsheet package are required. Principles tested include steady-state analysis, chemical precipitation, exponential growth, and biochemical oxygen demand. Each group of students is required to give a 10-15 minute presentation on an environmental issue of interest to them. The students give a Powerpoint presentation and answer questions on their presentations from other students in the laboratory section.
Criteria for
Theme Courses:
Describe how the course meets the specific bullet points for the proposed theme requirement. Give concrete and detailed examples for the course syllabus, detailed outline, laboratory material, student projects, or other instructional materials or methods.

Theme courses have the common goal of cultivating in students a number of habits of mind:
  • thinking ethically about important challenges facing our society and world;
  • reflecting on the shared sense of responsibility required to build and maintain community;
  • connecting knowledge and practice;
  • fostering a stronger sense of our roles as historical agents.

Environmental issues are woven throughout the material in CEGE 1501. Issues of major significance covered include population growth, biogeochemical cycles, biodiversity, water supply and treatment, the developing world (including environmental justice/equity), ecological restoration, energy, agriculture, air pollution, and climate change. For each topic, the relationship of humans with and their impact on the environment is stressed. For example, it is described how urbanization has caused many environmental problems (e.g., air pollution, degraded rivers) but is also a solution to our environmental problems (low carbon footprint, centralized waste treatment). The regenerative capacity of the biosphere is illustrated with a discussion of and assignments on ecology and nutrient and hydrologic cycles. The dependence of the earth on humans for sustained health is also discussed with respect to species diversity, ecosystem health, and the ability of the earth to continue to support life as we know it. Additionally, it is emphasized that humans are stressing the regenerative capacity of the environment.

The scientific basis for both the causes and solutions of environmental problems are also discussed in the class. For example, it is described how inputs of phosphorus (the limiting nutrient) cause algal blooms in lakes and how chlorofluorocarbons are responsible for ozone depletion. Methods of water treatment and sustainable agriculture are examples of science-based solutions to environmental problems. Throughout the class students are asked to offer their own solutions to environmental problems via active learning exercises.

Finally, the role of society, government, and economics in environmental issues is discussed.  The notion that while some solutions may be scientifically feasible while still not providing an economical solution to a problem is an important one.  Furthermore, the very make-up of societies and the role that this plays in environmental issues is an important area.  The rise of industrial nations has contributed to many of our environmental problems and there is the potential for developing nations to repeat the mistakes of the past. It is important to note that modern technology (both ┐high tech┐ and ┐low tech┐) may also solve some of these problems in the developed and developing worlds. As citizens, it is important to be aware of the daily choices that we make (what we eat, how we travel) impact the environment.  These behaviors are linked to the behavior of the society as a whole and changes in these behaviors are driven by societal change as well.
LE Recertification-Reflection Statement:
(for LE courses being re-certified only)
<no text provided>
Statement of Certification: This course is certified for a Core, effective as of 
This course is certified for a Theme, effective as of 
Writing Intensive
Propose this course
as Writing Intensive
Question 1 (see CWB Requirement 1): How do writing assignments and writing instruction further the learning objectives of this course and how is writing integrated into the course? Note that the syllabus must reflect the critical role that writing plays in the course.

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Question 2 (see CWB Requirement 2): What types of writing (e.g., research papers, problem sets, presentations, technical documents, lab reports, essays, journaling etc.) will be assigned? Explain how these assignments meet the requirement that writing be a significant part of the course work, including details about multi-authored assignments, if any. Include the required length for each writing assignment and demonstrate how the minimum word count (or its equivalent) for finished writing will be met.

<no text provided>
Question 3 (see CWB Requirement 3): How will students' final course grade depend on their writing performance? What percentage of the course grade will depend on the quality and level of the student's writing compared to the percentage of the grade that depends on the course content? Note that this information must also be on the syllabus.

<no text provided>
Question 4 (see CWB Requirement 4): Indicate which assignment(s) students will be required to revise and resubmit after feedback from the instructor. Indicate who will be providing the feedback. Include an example of the assignment instructions you are likely to use for this assignment or assignments.

<no text provided>
Question 5 (see CWB Requirement 5): What types of writing instruction will be experienced by students? How much class time will be devoted to explicit writing instruction and at what points in the semester? What types of writing support and resources will be provided to students?

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Question 6 (see CWB Requirement 6): If teaching assistants will participate in writing assessment and writing instruction, explain how will they be trained (e.g. in how to review, grade and respond to student writing) and how will they be supervised. If the course is taught in multiple sections with multiple faculty (e.g. a capstone directed studies course), explain how every faculty mentor will ensure that their students will receive a writing intensive experience.

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Statement of Certification: This course is certified as Writing Internsive effective  as of 
Course Syllabus
Course Syllabus: For new courses and courses in which changes in content and/or description and/or credits are proposed, please provide a syllabus that includes the following information: course goals and description; format;structure of the course (proposed number of instructor contact hours per week, student workload effort per week, etc.); topics to be covered; scope and nature of assigned readings (text, authors, frequency, amount per week); required course assignments; nature of any student projects; and how students will be evaluated. The University "Syllabi Policy" can be found here

The University policy on credits is found under Section 4A of "Standards for Semester Conversion" found here. Course syllabus information will be retained in this system until new syllabus information is entered with the next major course modification. This course syllabus information may not correspond to the course as offered in a particular semester.

(Please limit text to about 12 pages. Text copied and pasted from other sources will not retain formatting and special characters might not copy properly.)

University of Minnesota
College of Science and Engineering
CEGE 1501: Environmental Issues and Solutions
Fall Semester, 2016
This course will address the behavior of natural systems, human population impact on the
environment, how we are trying to meet the challenges of supplying the population with
water, energy, and food. Students will participate in hands-on water quality labs, field trips
and small discussion groups.
Q: Can coastal Louisiana?s land loss
be reversed, could the land even be
View of the delta of the lower
Mississippi River below New
Orleans, schematizing predictions of
the new land (delta surface) that
could be built over 100 years starting
from 2010 (Courtesy of National
Center for Earth-surface Dynamics;
Instructor:Miki Hondzo Laboratory Manager: Kathy Wabner
Office: 157 Civil Engineering (CivE) Office: 149 CivE
Phone: 612-625-0053 Phone: 612-625-1125
E-mail: mhondzo@umn.edu Email: wabne001@umn.edu
Lectures: Tu, Th Laboratory-related questions
TA: Jacqueline Harapan TA: Nathan Karp TA: Sara Binahmed
E-mail: hara0112@umn.edu E-mail:karpx036@umn.edu E-mail: binah003@umn.edu
Lab section: M (am) Lab section : M (pm), W (pm) Lab Section : Tu (pm)
Lectures: 11:15-12:30; Tu and Th; Amundson Hall B75
Lab: 9:00-12:00 (M); 13:00-16:00 (M, Tu, W); Civil Engineering 650
Office hours: 12:45-13:45 (Tu and Th); Civil Engineering 157
Text: Botkin, D.B. and E.A.Keller, "Environmental Science: Earth as a Living
Planet",Wiley, New York, NY., 9
th Edition, 2014, ISBN 978-1-118-42732-3.
Lab Manual CSE 1101: Environmental Issues and Solutions, Fall 2016.
Online Material: www.wiley.com/college/botkin
(go to 9
th Edition; Student companion site; Students resources; Browse by resource)
Practice quizzes
Video questions
Environmental debates
Course Website: MOODLE FOR ACADEMIC YEAR 2016-2017 (MOODLE 3.0)
Day Topic Chapter
6 Introduction
8 Key Themes in Environmental Sciences 1
13 Science as a Way of Knowing 2
15 Economics of Environmental Issues 3
20 The Big Picture: Systems and Change 4
22 The Human Population and the Environment 5
27 Ecosystems: Concepts and Fundamentals 6
29 The Biogeochemical Cycles 7
4 The Biogeochemical Cycles 7
6 Environmental Health, Pollution, and Toxicology 8
11 Biological Diversity and Biological Invasions 9
13 Ecological Restoration 10
18 Agriculture, Aquaculture, and the Environment 11
20 Landscapes: Forests, Parks and Wilderness 12
25 Wildelife, Fisheries, and Endangered Species 13
27 Energy: Some Basics 14
1 Fossil Fuels and the Environment 15
3 Alternative Energy and the Environment 16
8 Nuclear Energy and the Environment 17
10 Water Supply Use and Management 18
15 Water Pollution and Treatment 19
17 The Atmosphere, Climate, and Climate Change 20
22 Air Pollution 21
24 Urban Environments 22
29 Material Management 23
28 Our Environmental Future 24
30 Projects: Environmental Case Studies (preparation for presentations)
1 Group Presentations (Environmental Case Studies: Domestic and International)
6 Group Presentations (Environmental Case Studies: Domestic and International)
8 Group Presentations (Environmental Case Studies: Domestic and International)
13 Challenges to Students of the Environment
Quizzes 50 % (biweekly)
Laboratories 45 % (weekly)
Group Presentation 5 %
Introductory laboratory lecture (first 30 minutes) will take place in the Civil Engineering (CivE)
building in room 650. Laboratory experiments will be conducted in the CivE in room 650.
Lab Section Building Time Instructor
Monday (002) CivE room 650 9:00-12:00 Jacqueline Harapan
Monday (003) CivE room 650 13:00-14:00 Nathan Karp
Tuesday (004) CivE room 650 13:00-16:00 Sara Binahmed
Wednesday (005) CivE room 650 13:00-16:00 Nathan Karp
Strategic Objectives & Consultation
Name of Department Chair
Joe Labuz
Strategic Objectives -
Curricular Objectives:
How does adding this course improve the overall curricular objectives ofthe unit?

Strategic Objectives - Core
Does the unit consider this course to be part of its core curriculum?

Strategic Objectives -
Consultation with Other
In order to prevent course overlap and to inform other departments of new curriculum, circulate proposal to chairs in relevant units and follow-up with direct consultation. Please summarize response from units consulted and include correspondence. By consultation with other units, the information about a new course is more widely disseminated and can have a positive impact on enrollments. The consultation can be as simple as an email to the department chair informing them of the course and asking for any feedback from the faculty.