Global Environmental Change - EBIO 1040

Cades Cove, Smoky Mountain
          National Park, photo by B.E. Fleury

These course materials are intended for students enrolled in EBIO 1040 for Summer 2014.
EBIO majors must take EBIO 2050, offered by Dr. Chambers.

  • Lecture Syllabus

  • Class Schedule

  • Terms

  • Lecture Notes

  • The Louisiana Environment

  • Links
     Return to B. Fleury's Home Page

    Lecture Syllabus

    Class Time:  Tues, Thurs., 6:00 to 8:50, Elmwood Campus, EL-O

    Instructor:  Dr. Bruce E. Fleury
                        Stern 4030, (862) x8290, or leave a message at x5191 (EBIO Office, in Boggs 400)
                        email to:
                        home page:

    Office Hours: by appointment.

    Textbook: Raven and Berg, Environment. Wiley, latest edition, Mann, Michael E., Dire Predictions: Understanding Global Warming, DK.

    Course Philosophy and Goals

    Change is an integral part of natural systems. The constant cycling of energy and materials through ecosystems maintains a delicate natural balance. Human impacts on ecosystems, however, have affected natural cycles in many unexpected ways. By changing both the magnitude and timing of energy and materials cycling through global systems, by reinforcing some processes and restricting others, we are slowly but steadily changing the face of the planet we share. Some of these changes are desirable, but most are not.

    Somewhere in the course of human evolution, we have lost touch with the Earth. Most of us neither understand or appreciate the true complexity of our environment, nor the many ways in which we have disturbed it. This class will attempt to acquaint you with the natural processes that keep our planet alive, and the many ways in which we have upset those processes. This class will also help make you an environmentally literate citizen, who can speak (and vote) with authority on environmental issues. You will learn the language and conceptual structure of basic ecology and environmental science. This knowledge will allow you to develop informed opinions on a wide range of environmental issues.

    Course Requirements

    Readings:  Textbook and other reading assignments are listed below. The text should reinforce the lecture material, and fill in the cracks between lecture topics. Additional outside readings (book excerpts and journal articles) appear in italics. These outside readings are available on BlackBoard.

    Exams:  Exams will be based on materials covered in lecture and in your outside readings. Exams will not include topics in the textbook that are not specifically covered in class. The general format of the exams will be about 50/50 short-answer essays and objective questions (definitions or fill-ins).

    Lectures:  The full text of all lecture presentations is available through the link to the "lecture notes" above. The full PowerPoint presentation files are not available to students, but the online lecture notes contain the full text of every slide. The lecture notes and term list, though an essential resource for exam review, are no substitute for regular attendance. Lecture presentations include extensive multimedia material, more detailed explanations of critical concepts, and lots of helpful hints on what you need to know for the exams.

    Grading:  Exams will be based solely on material covered in lecture, therefore attendance at lecture is strongly recommended. There will be two lecture exams  (no cumulative final exam). Each of these exams will count for 100 points. There will be no make-up exams or extra credit work under any circumstances. Missing a lecture exam will result in a grade of zero for that exam. Each student will be expected to uphold the ideals of academic integrity expressed in the Honor Code of their college or division. The LAS Honor Code, which can be found at: . Violations of the honor code will be prosecuted.

    Initial grades will be based on a standard percentage scale (see table below). Before final grade are assigned, however, significant individual improvement over the course of the semester will be considered as an important factor in the final grade. Further information about examination format and content will be given in lecture. Final grades will be calculated as a percentage of 100 points as follows:  

    A      93-100  B+    87-89 C+    77-79 D+    67-69
    A-     90-92 B      83-86 C      73-76 D      60-66

    B-    80-82 C-    70-72 D-    55-59

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    Course Topics

    Date Topic Readings


    Intro, The Balance of Nature

    Earth Systems, Feedback Loops, and Gaia Ch. 1-, Ch. 5, Calhoun
    Energy Flow and Ecosystem Structure Ch. 4, 6

    Equilibrium, Feedback, and Disturbance - Community Processes Ch. 5, Reice
    Origin and History of Life on Earth
    Ch. 16

    Biodiversity and Extinction Ch. 16 (p. 365+)
    Conservation I
    Conservation II - Ecosystems as Islands
    Midterm Exam

    Introduction to Population Ecology Ch. 8-9

    Human Population
    Soil – Fertility and Degradation Ch. 14

    Agriculture, Food, and Water Ch. 13, 17, 18
    Global Change - Fossil Fuels and their Global Impact Ch. 20

    Global Change - Alternate Sources of Energy Ch. 10
    Global Climate Change I Ch. 11, 12

    Global Climate Change II Ch. 20, Vitousek #2,


    Global Climate Change III
    Taylor, Fischetti, Penland

    Global Climate Change IV; Sustainable Lifestyles
    Final Exam

    Lecture Notes in Text Format

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    Go Here  for a list of links to general environmental sources on the internet.

    Go Here  for information on local ecosystems and local environmental problems.

    Go Here to access the textbook student web site, provided by the text publisher and keyed to the chapters in your text.

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    This page was last updated on 5/22/14