A Quick Overview of
BSC 1050
Biology and Environment
with Professor Chris Migliaccio

Department of
Natural Sciences,Health &Wellness

BSC 1050 is an exciting 3 credit course that fulfills the biological science requirement for graduation with an A.A. degree and meets the one science or math course requirement for an A.S. degree.

Because the human species is at a turning point, there is a critical need for college graduates who are not just environmentally literate but who are environmentally articulate and well informed as to how current and future technologies will affect their only home, Earth.

This course provides you with an understanding and appreciation of how the natural world functions, how human attitudes and actions alter natural systems, creating environmental problems, and how a combination of new attitudes towards Nature and sustainable approaches can resolve these problems while focusing on how individuals can make a difference through their actions.

It will also to introduce you to the interconnectedness of phenomena in the natural world, encourage you to examine your impact on your environment, and increase your interest in the natural world.

You will thus examine the structure and function of your home in order to play your part in a sustainable society in which everythingispartofeverythingelse.

Course Units include:

  • Earth Ethics, Values & Worldviews
    • roots of human attitudes towards Nature
    • how we construct and shift our paradigms
    • Western and non-Western worldviews, including religious perspectives on Nature
    • environmental racism and justice issues

  • Sustainability
    • overview of the great environmental issues of our time
    • sustainability: what? why? how? and the challenges
    • scientific method applied to environmental problem solving
    • environmental economics

  • The World We Live In
    • introduction to basic ecological principles
    • the Gaia Hypothesis
    • "what eats what" - energy transfer through food chains and webs
    • "the worms crawl in ; the worms crawl out, eating your guts and spitting them out": cycles of matter and energy through Earth's systems

  • A Crowded World
    • why populations grow and shrink
    • environmental impact = population x affluence x technological impact
    • a historical view of how human populations have changed over time
    • overview of national strategies to deal with population growth
    • a comparative look at the population demographics of developed and developing nations

  • Our Precious Resources: Only One Atmosphere
    • global atmospheric problems: global warming, ozone depletion, acid rain, photochemical smog
    • causes, effects and solutions on a personal, local, national and global basis

  • The Search for Energy
    • evaluation of the US National Energy Policy
    • pros and cons of all currently used nonrenewable and renewable energy sources
    • energy conservation
    • shopping for a "green" car: the latest generation of automobiles

By the end of this course, you will...

  • be excited about learning about the natural world and your place in it.
  • have developed an open mind to considering new ways of environmental problem-solving.
  • have discovered how you can act as a more responsible citizen of Earth.
  • have increased your awareness of how "everythingispartofeverythingelse".
  • have developed "leaky margins"
  • have had some experience of the fundamental unity of all things in the natural world.

This course features:

  • electronic presentation (via computer) of all lecture materials
  • outline copies of all lecture notes
  • exciting musical, video and CD/DVD presentations on a great classroom sound system
  • in-class, cooperative learning activities
  • optional fieldtrips to Everglades National Park & Miami Metrozoo
  • small group presentation
  • plenty of service-learning opportunities
  • online practice quizzes
  • partnership testing for 3 of 6 in-class Unit quizzes
  • Honors Contracts and / or an Honors College section each Term
  • a friendly and lively class environment that is never boring

"OK, Professor M, this sounds pretty cool, but what do I have to do in this course in order to do well? "

  • Read a little each day to keep up with the assigned readings.
  • Attend class regularly.
  • Participate in each day's class discussions.
  • Study and then take 6 quizzes (3 with a partner if you wish, lowest score dropped).
  • Complete the designated in-class writing assignments with a partner.
  • work with your team to present a topic to the class
  • Take advantage of all extra credit opportunities.
  • Have fun!

Thanks for visiting this website today;

I look forward to seeing you in BSC 1050 soon!

All photographs on this page (except Earth, hurricane and dodo) including background are © Christopher P. Migliaccio except where noted
and may not be used for any purpose without the express written permission of Christopher P. Migliaccio