Mountain Empire Community College

Environmental Problems









Instructor and Contact Information:


Dr. Chuks Ogbonnaya

Industrial Technology



Internal extension: 64-9088  

The best way to contact me is via email.




·         Office hours: Monday-Thursday: 7:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.; Thursday: 12:30 p.m. – 2:10 p.m.

·         E-mail: If you e-mail me Monday through Friday you can expect a reply within 24 hours (usually sooner).  If you e-mail me Saturday or Sunday, I will try to reply within a timely manner but there may be times that I will be out of town and not available until Monday morning.  I usually check my email a couple of times on Saturday and a couple of times on Sunday if I am teaching an online course.

·         To send me e-mail, you must use your VCCS-provided e-mail address. I do not respond to personal e-mail addresses for security reasons; personal e-mail addresses often end up in my junk e-mail box.

·         To receive a timely reply, e-mail must be formatted as follows:

o   In the subject field place your course and section number.

o   At the end of your e-mail, type your name.

o   Write in the form of a letter, with complete sentences, grammar and punctuation.  Please do not use “texting shortcuts”.




Catalog Course Description:


Studies the relationship of man to his environment; ecological principles, population dynamics, topics of current importance including air, water, and noise pollution; poisoning and toxicity, radiation, conservation and management of natural resources.  3 credits





Required and Optional Course Materials:                                                     


Environmental Science, A Global Concern
ISBN# 978-1-260-15312-5
Author:  William P Cunningham and Mary Ann Cunningham  


This textbook can be purchased from the MECC bookstore or from an online source. 


Student must have a computer with Flash plugin installed in the browser.





Course Logistics:


·         The course will begin the first day of the regular semester.

·         Note! This course requires the use of a computer but it does not require you to own your own computer. It is your responsibility to have access to a working computer that meets the hardware and software expectations of this course. A malfunctioning or broken computer does not warrant extending due dates. If your personal computer is not working, you have other options: the computer labs at MECC or at your local library, a friend's computer, etc.

·         Quizzes and assignments can be taken as many times as the student desires; I take your highest grade for each.  Study the quizzes and assignments in preparation for the midterm and final exams.

·         Be sure to follow the naming conventions listed for each assignment.  All assignment submissions should include your name in the file name.  Name your assignments with the Chapter (Ch) and Exercise (EX) or Review Questions (RQ) or Problem (Prob).  Example: RosaCooke_ENV220_A1 




Purpose of Course:





Learning Objectives:


By the end of this course, student will be able to:

·         Understand the natural environment and its relationships with human activities.

·         Characterize and analyze human impacts on the environment.

·         Integrate facts, concepts, and methods from multiple disciplines and apply to environmental problems.





Student Requirements and Evaluation:


Critical Thinking Questions

Answer the Questions for Critical Thinking at the end of each chapter listed and turn in to your instructor via email or mail. The questions will be worth 50% of your grade. 


Weekly Summaries of Current Environmental Issues

You will need to find 15 current environmental issues that you can research and write a two-page summary for.  Email the summaries to your instructor.  The summaries will be worth 18.7% of your grade. 


Term Paper

You will be expected to write a term paper on "Green House Effects". You should incorporate at least five references into the paper. See the outline on how to write this term paper. The term paper will be worth 18.7% of your grade.


Field Trip

You will be required to have an all-day field trip. You will be expected to write a report on this field trip. The field trip is required for the completion of the class. You will need the approval of the instructor before you go on the field trip. You should also submit the name, address, and phone number of where you will be going on the field trip. Include pictures taken during the field trip. The field trip will be worth 12.6% of your grade.


Critical Thinking Questions


Weekly Summaries


Term Paper


Field Trip





Scale for Final Grade

A = 90-100 percent
B = 80-89 percent                                                                  
C = 70-79 percent

D = 60-69 percent

F = 59 percent and below







Participation Policy:




The student is required to work on the class weekly to avoid falling behind.  There are no set due dates since this course is continuous enrollment, but all the work must be turned in by the end of the course for grading purposes.




Withdrawals and Incompletes


W - Withdrawal

No credit. A grade of W is awarded to students who withdraw or are withdrawn from a course after the add/drop period but prior to the completion of 60 percent of the session. To ensure that students remain in good standing, they must initiate and process the withdrawal form on or before the withdrawal deadline. After that time, the student will receive a grade of F except under mitigating circumstances which must be documented, and approved by the instructor and the Dean.



I - Incomplete

A grade of I is awarded to students who have completed the majority of the course and are unable to complete the remainder due to mitigating circumstances. In this case, with documentation and submission of required form, the student may request the "I" grade and a mutually agreed upon date of completion will be established (before the end of the subsequent semester). In order to qualify for an incomplete, the student must complete 60% of the required coursework.  Upon timely completion, the student will receive the earned grade.




Code of Conduct:


Plagiarism and cheating are serious offenses and may be punished by failure on exam, paper or project; failure in the course; and/or expulsion from the college. In this course, all work must be your own original work: you may not copy from another student or share your work with another student. You may not collaborate with another student on exams, nor will you be allowed to use the Internet to search for answers while taking a test.


All students should adhere to the student code of conduct found on the Student Handbook webpage:




ADA Statement:


The College maintains compliance with both ADA and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.  Detailed information can be found on the Career & Disability Services webpage:





Class Equipment and Technical Support:


Content related course questions go to the instructor, anything else can be directed to the instructor or Complete the following form at




Academic Integrity Policy:

Academic work is evaluated on the assumption that the work presented is the student’s own, unless designated otherwise.  Anything less is unacceptable and is considered academically dishonest.  Please see the MECC Student Handbook for the full policy on academic integrity and the code of conduct.    For more information the student handbook is available at:




Core Competencies:


This course satisfies the following core competencies:


Civic Engagement is the ability to contribute to the civic life and well-being of local, national, and global communities as both a social responsibility and a life-long learning process. Degree graduates will demonstrate the knowledge and civic values necessary to become informed and contributing participants in a democratic society.


Critical Thinking is the ability to use information, ideas and arguments from relevant perspectives to make sense of complex issues and solve problems. Degree graduates will locate, evaluate, interpret, and combine information to reach well-reasoned conclusions or solutions.


Professional Readiness is the ability to work well with others and display situationally and culturally appropriate demeanor and behavior. Degree graduates will demonstrate skills important for successful transition into the workplace and pursuit of further education.


Quantitative Literacy is the ability to perform accurate calculations, interpret quantitative information, apply and analyze relevant numerical data, and use results to support conclusions. Degree graduates will calculate, interpret, and use numerical and quantitative information in a variety of settings.


Scientific Literacy is the ability to apply the scientific method and related concepts and principles to make informed decisions and engage with issues related to the natural, physical, and social world. Degree graduates will recognize and know how to use the scientific method, and to evaluate empirical information.


Written Communication is the ability to develop, convey, and exchange ideas in writing, as appropriate to a given context and audience. Degree graduates will express themselves effectively in a variety of written forms.






You are expected to comply with federal copyright law. The United State Copyright Law protects all copyrighted materials: printed materials such as books and journals, music, sound recordings; films, videocassettes, art works, and computer software. Most internet sites and all their contents are protected by copyright. The Copyright Act of 1976 grants copyright owners exclusive rights to publish, reproduce, perform, and display their works. Anyone publishing, reproducing, performing or displaying all or part of a copyrighted work is guilty of infringing the copyright unless the act falls within one of the fair use exceptions, or unless she or he has acquired permission to use the work from the copyright owner. Read the law at



Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA):


The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, is a federal law which allows students access to their educational records and prohibits the release of information from students’ educational records by the institution without the written consent of the student, with certain specified exceptions.   Additional information is available at:




Civil Rights and Non Discrimination Statement:


It is the policy of the Virginia Community College System and Mountain Empire Community College to provide equal employment and educational opportunities for all persons without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, political affiliation, veteran status, gender, age, or sexual orientation and for all otherwise qualified persons with disabilities. This policy permits appropriate employment preference for veterans. This institution promotes and maintains educational opportunities without regard to race, color, sex, ethnicity, religion, gender, age (except when age is a bona fide occupational qualification), disability, national origin, or other non-merit factors.  This institution prohibits sexual harassment including sexual violence.

The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies: Ron Vicars, Vice President of Financial and Administrative Services. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding student misconduct or equity issues based on gender: Lelia Bradshaw, Dean of Student Services. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding employee misconduct or equity issues: Pam Giles, Human Resource Manager. For more information, contact 276.523.2400, 3441 Mountain Empire Rd., Big Stone Gap, VA, 24219. Virginia relay users dial 711.





Emergency Statement


In the event of a College-wide emergency, course requirements, classes, deadlines, and grading schemes are subject to changes that may include alternative delivery methods; alternative methods of interaction with the instructor, class materials, and/or classmates; a revised attendance policy; and a revised semester calendar and/or grading scheme.


In the case of a College emergency, please refer to the following about changes in this course:


·       If you are unable to access the water/wastewater distance learning website, please contact IT services at 276-523-2400 or contact your instructor.  If power or servers are down across campus it may take a couple of hours for service to be reinstated.  Please be patient and your course material will be back up and running shortly.  If this does occur penalties will not be given for late assignments.

·         If the MECC mail server is down your instructor will use the following email address:
*****Please note that this email address will ONLY be used in case of an emergency when the MECC mail server is down!******

·         The telephone number for your instructor is as follows:
276-523-2400, ext 364

·         For more general information about the emergency situation, please refer to:

·       The Mountain Empire Community College web site at or the Virginia Community College System web page at

·         The college phone number is 276-523-2400

·         The college phone number to call in case of snow or inclement weather is 276-523-7495. You may also receive information about snow or inclement weather at the following TV and Radio Stations:

WJHL-TV—Johnson City
WQUT-FM—Johnson City

·         You may contact security at MECC from off campus by calling 276-523-7473 and from on campus by dialing 473 from any campus phone. There are also several emergency security phones located on MECC’s campus.



Emergency Notifications: When MECC considers an emergency to pose an ongoing threat to students and employees, the college community will be notified in several ways:

1.    Text Message (register to receive text messages from MECC at

2.    Email

3.    Telephone

4.    Postings on the college’s web site

5.    In person





What is "QEP"? 


QEP stands for "Quality Enhancement Plan." In short, a QEP is a plan to implement and assess a focused set of initiatives designed to improve student learning and/or student success across the College community.



MECC's Quality Enhancement Plan is "Get AMPED"--is a multi-year project to improve students’ problem solving skills through quantitative literacy. Get AMPED is an acronym for Applying Mathematical Principles to Everyday Decisions