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ENVRMT-103 - Introduction to Environmental Science - Dr. Jessica Vannatta

Course:Introduction to Environmental Science
Professor:Dr. Jessica Vannatta
  • Hybrid
Course Length:
  • 16 Week


Environmental Science

Hello! My name is Dr. Jessi Vannatta, and I will be your instructor this semester. This course is considered hybrid because the lab will be taught in person where we will meet once a week to go over new material, review previous week's material, and discuss any issues students are having. The other half of the course will be recorded lectures, PowerPoints, etc. that you will view through Canvas on your own time outside of our meeting time (asynchronously). In this course, you will learn about the natural processes operating in the world and the human impact on the natural environment. 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. I look forward to connecting with you all in this exciting course!

Course Description

Introduction to Environmental Science (ENVRMT 103) explores the natural processes operating in the world and how humans impact those processes. The course explores environmental processes associated with society and emphasizes the scientific method, elements of sampling and statistics, and the completion of research-based experimental studies to analyze relevant environmental questions. Students will write a scientific paper and will gain experience collecting data.

What to Expect in this Course

This is a 16-week course that will be administered in person and through Canvas ( This is a 6-hour course with both a lecture and a lab component (3-hour lecture and 3-hour lab). The suggested amount of time for a college course is 2 hours per week per unit outside of class time. For this course, a (4-unit class) x (2 hours per week outside of class) = 8 hours per week outside of class. That is in addition to the 6 hours a week inside class, for a total of 14 hours per week to be spent on the class. Part of this course will be conducted synchronously, meaning we will meet for 3 hours each week to discuss the lab and review material from the previous week. The other part of the course will be conducted asynchronously, meaning you will be responsible for accessing Canvas and watching recorded material, completing assignments, etc. on your own time.

You must have regular and reliable access to the internet, a good web browser (Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox recommended), a word-processing program such as Microsoft Word, a graphing program such as Microsoft Excel, and Zoom software. You will need the ability to view PDFs, create and edit Excel spreadsheets/graphs and Word 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. Please do not use the Canvas app to complete assignments or post to the discussions because you will likely miss important information. 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. You are not required to have/use webcams or microphones for this course, but at least a microphone is recommended so you can more easily ask questions and talk to me through Zoom. Zoom will be used for one-on-one meetings outside of the lab period or during office hours, and the Zoom chat will be available for those without microphones. These Zoom meetings are optional but encouraged.

You will be expected to complete assignments each week and submit them through Canvas. You will be responsible for reading the chapters of the textbook, watching video recordings of the lecture, completing lab and lecture assignments, taking quizzes, and participating in discussions with your classmates each week. Each week’s content will be outlined and made available at the start of each week (no later than Sunday at 11:59 p.m.) with due dates noted. In the lab portion of this course, you will take weekly quizzes, conduct in-person lab experiments, write a research paper over an experiment, and participate in outdoor field trips. You will be required to turn in sections of the paper throughout the semester so I can comment on your progress as you develop the paper. You will also have two online lecture exams (midterm and cumulative final) and two in-person lab exams. 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.

I will send an email to the class one week prior to the start date with additional information for how to get started in the course.

Types of Assessments

exams, quizzes, discussion boards, lab assignments, lecture homework assignments, lab experiment, and research paper. All lab assignments will be in-person and all lecture assignments will be online.

Textbook Information

This text is required for the course and can be found at the campus bookstore or purchased online (e.g., Amazon).

Wright, R. and D. Boorse. 2017. Environmental Science - Toward A Sustainable Future, 13th ed. Pearson, San Francisco, CA. ISBN-13: 978-0134011271

Other Relevant Course Information

In the first week of class, I expect everyone to respond to a discussion post on Canvas 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. Since our in-person portion of the class is at the end of the week on Fridays, you will be expected to complete some work throughout the week before our Friday meetings so you are prepared and ready to finalize and turn in your assignments shortly after our lab meetings. 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 allow you to add the course so you can go to MyCanyons and register for the course.

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.


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Last updated: 06/26/2022 Sub#: 296