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ENVRMT-101 - Introduction to Environmental Studies - Dr. Jessica Vannatta

Course:Introduction to Environmental Studies
Professor:Dr. Jessica Vannatta
  • Online
Course Length:
  • 5 Week
  • 8 Week


Cupped hands holding a small plant that is planted in dirt. The background is green.

Hello! My name is Dr. Jessi Vannatta, and I will be your instructor this semester. I am a full-time environmental scientist for California State Parks with a strong background in biology and environmental science, so I strive to bring real-world, personal experiences to this course. This course is fully online and will be administered through Canvas. In this course, we will analyze the impact of humankinds' actions on the environment, highlighting current problems and potential environmental solutions. I look forward to connecting with you all in this virtual course!

Course Description

Introduction to Environmental Studies (ENVRMT-101) introduces the use of the Earth's natural resources by human civilizations; the roles that economics, ethics, law, history, politics, culture, and gender inequity have played in resource use and distribution; as well as career opportunities in environmental studies. It is a 3.0-unit UC and CSU transfer course.

What to Expect in this Course

This is either a 5-week (winter) or 8-week (summer), 3-hour online (asynchronous) course. There will be no live/synchronous class meetings for this course. The course will be administered through Canvas over five (winter) or eight (summer) weeks. Be prepared to dedicate 18-24 hours per week to this class, depending on the student.

All materials will be posted to Canvas, including PowerPoints, recorded presentations, quizzes, discussion topics, assignments, exams, announcements, etc. You are expected to visit Canvas almost daily. Please do not use the Canvas app to complete assignments or post to the discussions because you will likely miss important information. You should check Canvas (and your Canyons email) very often for weekly announcements and class updates.

You must have regular and reliable access to the internet, a good web browser (Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox recommended), and a word-processing program such as Microsoft Word. You will need the ability to view PDFs, create and edit Word and PowerPoint documents, and view Canvas course materials (including images and videos). The Microsoft Office suite is available to download for free to your personal computer using your COC credentials. If you have an accessibility issue, please reach out to me so I can adjust file types as needed. File types, such as .pages, will not be accepted. Zoom will be needed for a presentation assignment and if you wish to meet during office hours.

You will be expected to complete assignments each week and submit them through Canvas. You will be responsible for reading the chapters of the book, watching video recordings, completing assignments, taking quizzes, and participating in discussions with your classmates each week. Presentations for the course will be recorded in Zoom and posted for viewing each week. Please watch these videos presentations. After assignments are turned in, an additional recorded presentation going over the assignment answers may be posted for review if necessary. Each week’s content will be outlined and made available at the start of each week (no later than Saturday at 12:00 a.m.) with due dates noted. You will have two exams (midterm and cumulative final) that will be completely online. Both quizzes and exams will utilize a variety of question types (multiple-choice, matching, short answer, essay, true/false, etc.) With this being an introductory course, you will be mentored on what is expected of you and how to adequately complete each assignment.

Types of Assessments

online exams, quizzes, discussion boards, reading and homework assignments, and a presentation/paper assignment

Textbook Information

This text is required for the course and can be found at the campus bookstore or purchased online (e.g., Amazon). You are welcome to purchase this as an ebook as well.

Kolbert, Elizabeth. 2014. The Sixth Extinction - An Unnatural History. ISBN 978-1-250-06218-5

Other Relevant Course Information

In the first week of class, I expect everyone to respond to a discussion post on Canvas within the first few days as a form of attendance so I know you are part of the class and will be participating. If I do not hear from you in the first week either through the discussion board or via email, I will have to drop you so those on the waitlist have a chance to be a part of the class.

To log in to Canvas (, use your MyCanyons username and password. Instructions for how to change your password can be found at

If you are on the waitlist, please be patient. Once the class starts, if someone drops within the first week, I will reach out to my waitlist to see if you still want to be added. If you do, and a spot becomes available, I will give you the ability to register for the course.

I usually respond to emails within 24 hours if sent on a weekday, so please always feel free to reach out, and I will respond to you as soon as possible.

Additional Resources


This course can be accessed on the first day of class via Canvas at Log into Canvas using your CanyonsID single sign-on:

  • CanyonsID Username is your COC student email address (Ex:
  • CanyonsID Password is your COC student email password

Please visit the Get to Know Your Online Classroom page for help logging into Canvas and for tips on using Canvas and Zoom. Canvas Chat Support is also available 24/7 for any Canvas related issues.

Online Education

Check out the Online Education website for more information on a variety of topics that can help you be a successful online student such as: exam proctoring, learning styles, computer skills, and tips for student success. If this is your first online course, feel free to take our online learning readiness assessment to assess your skills.

The Learning Center (TLC)

The TLC provides FREE online tutoring resources to COC students!

Academic Accommodation Center (AAC)

College of the Canyons AAC provides educational services and access for eligible students with documented disabilities who intend to pursue coursework at COC. A variety of programs and services are available which afford eligible students with disabilities the opportunity to participate fully in all aspects of the college programs and activities through appropriate and reasonable accommodations. For more information on their services visit the Academic Accomodation Center website.

Online Counseling

The Counseling Department offers appointments online. You can schedule an appointment by visiting the Online Counseling website. Counselors can help you map out a plan to reach your educational goals as well as advise you on course selection and registration.

Management of Stress and Mental Health

Often the pressure on our students is very strong, involving academic commitments, relationships, outside jobs and family pressure to name a few. The staff and faculty of College of the Canyons are here to see you succeed academically and care about your emotional and physical health. You can learn more about the broad range of confidential student services, including counseling and mental health services available on campus by visiting the Student Health & Wellness Center in the Student Services Building (across from the bookstore). The phone number is 661-362-3259 that you can call 24/7. You can also e mail for an appointment at At the Canyon Country Campus the Health Center will be in the new Student Services Building.

Also, the National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline number is now 988. All students at COC are encouraged to enter that phone number in their cells. You can call it when you, or someone you know, is having thoughts of suicide or is in severe distress.

You can also now use the Crisis Text Line: Just text "Courage" to 741741. Someone will get back to you immediately. Its free, 24/7, and confidential.

Veterans Resource Center

The College of the Canyons Veterans Resource Center is a department within the Student Services Division at the college, created to help veterans and veteran dependents with applying to College of the Canyons, enrolling in classes, and requesting VA Education or Vocational Benefits. For more information please visit the Veterans Resource Center website, email or phone (661) 362-3469.


The Library provides live online and in-person research help, access to a full range of e-resources and physical materials that support the curriculum, individual and group study areas, and much more!

Last updated: 04/13/2023 Sub#: 1136