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ENVRMT-101 - Introduction to Environmental Studies - Nazanin Naraghi

Course:Introduction to Environmental Studies
Professor:Nazanin Naraghi
  • Online
  • InPerson
Course Length:
  • Applies to All Course Lengths


Person smiling while standing outside

Dear Potential Student,

Hello, my name is Dr. Nazanin Naraghi, and welcome to Environmental Studies 101. I've been teaching at College of the Canyons since 2014, in both the Geography and Environmental Studies departments, and I'm thrilled to be your instructor this semester.

Environmental Studies 101 is an exciting and dynamic course that requires enthusiasm, dedication, and a keen interest in our planet. Keeping up with the readings is critical, as is your scholarly participation in class discussions. We learn about the complexities of scientific inquiry, major mass extinctions (yes, we learn about the demise of the dinosaurs), environmental justice, the climate change movement, indigenous knowledge systems, and zero-emission cities.

For this class, we use two low-cost texts: The Sixth Extinction (Kolbert) and Finding the Mother Tree (Simard), which cost about $20 USD combined. All readings, assignments, quizzes, exams, and papers will be completed entirely online and can be completed anywhere you have internet access, as long as they are turned in on time. Your module for the week will be available to you on Monday morning. Discussions are due on Thursdays, and class assignments, quizzes, papers, and presentations are due on Sundays. Canvas will also be used to complete course assignments, administer quizzes and tests, track grades, and access course study materials.

This course is available entirely online, in person, and in semester lengths of 16 weeks, 8 weeks, or 5 weeks.

We will have meaningful interactions through discussion boards, weekly announcements, messages, group work (if in person), and office hours, whether this course is online, hybrid, or in-person. I am available to answer any questions you may have on a regular basis. I want you to succeed in this course, so please feel free to contact me at any time during the semester. I will also communicate with you via class announcements and discussion boards on a regular basis. You are a member of a team that is working together to succeed and learn more about our shared planet.

Regardless of format, it is vital that you check for any class updates posted in the Announcements section of our class Canvas site on a regular basis (preferably twice a week). There you will find information about upcoming exams, assignments, and any changes to our schedule that may be necessary. Please keep in mind that the Canvas site for this course will not be accessible until the first day of class this semester. In the meantime, please contact me via email if you have any questions about this course.

If you enroll in the 100% online and asynchronous course, you will complete the weekly modules and submit assignments by their due date. 100% online courses do not include in-class, face-to-face meetings at any point during the semester.

Course Description

Introduces the use of the Earth's natural resources by human civilizations; the roles that economics, ethics, law, history, politics, culture, class, race, gender inequity and uneven economic development have played in resource use and distribution; as well as career opportunities in environmental studies.


By the end of this course you will be able to:

  • Analyze complex environmental and sustainability issues from a variety of perspectives
  • Critically analyze and address environmental challenges
  • Effectively communicate environmental and sustainability issues and solutions through scientific and non-scientific writing
  • Recognize and engage in practices that work toward social and environmental justice

What to Expect in this Course

Students should expect to complete a minimum of 16-18 hours of class work per week to be successful in this course. This includes:


4 to 10 hours per week of textbook readings, watching lecture videos, listening to podcasts and going through lecture slides.

4 hours per week of quizzes, discussion boards, assignments, research papers, tests and presentations.

Textbook Information: The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History ISBN-13: 978-1250062185


Types of Assessments

You will be assessed using weekly class discussions, quizzes, assignments, one paper, two tests, and one presentation.

Textbook Information

Textbook Title: The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History ISBN-13: 978-1250062185

Other Relevant Course Information

The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History ISBN-13: 978-1250062185


Cost estimate: twenty dollars (or less) for textbooks

Access to Netflix (we can always discuss if this is a barrier)

For in-person classes only: possible field trips to Natural History Museum and La Brea Tar Pits (cost of tickets and parking are the responsibility of the student)


Here are a few other tips for succeeding in this course that you might keep in mind:

  1. Check the Specs - Make sure you have the proper software and other technical requirements and specifications before the course begins. You don’t want to fall behind early or be dropped from the course, so check to see that you are able to log in to Canvas at least a few days prior to the beginning of the semester (even if your specific course isn’t yet available). Then, if there are any problems, you’ll have time to seek help.
  1. Create a schedule (and stick to it) - Make a calendar for the course, and plot all of the due dates and important assignments. By doing this, you’ll be able to keep up with the course and not have to log in to Canvas every time you’re wondering what’s coming up in the course.
  2. Organize – This goes along with creating a schedule and is generally a good idea for all of your courses.
  1. Stay connected – Don’t hesitate to contact your instructor with questions. There’s no such thing as an unimportant question, and I am here to help you and guide you through the course. Also, don’t be shy about connecting with your fellow students. If you’re unclear about something, post a question on a discussion board; chances are, you’re not alone and others have the same question. 
  1. Find Your Motivation – This class is an opportunity to restart your academic career and succeed. If you would like to know about how to succeed in colleges classes of all types, contact your instructor, or your counselor for further guidance.

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: 08/03/2023 Sub#: 914