Environmental Sciences Seminar I (ENSC 505, Spring 2013)


Instructor:††††††††††††††††† Dr. Zhi-Qing Lin

Office:††††††††††††††††††††††† 0328 Science Building

Phone:††††††††††††††††††††††† 618-650-2650

E-mail:††††††††††††††††††††††† zhlin@siue.edu


Class Schedule & Place:†††††† Tuesdays, 5:30pm - 6:20 pm; 0412 Peck Hall

Office Hours:†††††††††††††††††††††††† By appointment


Course Description:


One of the most important aspects of environmental studies is to communicate your findings of scientific research experiments or environmental analysis on current environmental issues. In this course we will discuss and practice different skills and approaches necessary for giving an effective oral or poster presentation. Guest speakers and Faculty in the Environmental Sciences Program will demonstrate how to prepare and give a scientific presentation, and registered students will each make an oral and a poster presentation.


ENSC 505 is required to be taken during the first year of study in the Environmental Sciences Program. Students registered in ENSC 505 will be required to give a 15-minute oral presentation on a scientific topic of their choice in Environmental Sciences and a poster presentation of the same material or on a different topic.


Course Objectives:


1)      to learn how to organize materials for scientific oral presentations

2)      to practice different technical skills for giving an effective scientific presentation

3)      to enhance our oral and written communication ability


Grading System:


Each oral presentation will be evaluated by the audience (including students in both ENSC 505 and 506 and the instructors) following your presentation (see Evaluation Form). The ENSC 505 instructor will meet with you to review the evaluation materials during non-class time by appointment.


Oral presentation†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 50%

Poster presentation††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 35%

Attendance†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 15% (i.e., 1 point each week)


The total points will be converted to course final grades as follows:A: 90-100%; B: 80-89%; C: 70-79%; D: 60-69%; F: 0-59%. The passing grade of this course is C or above.


Course Attendance: Regular prompt attendance is required for success in this course. Only the University approved absences will be accepted for missing classes.


Guidelines for Presentation:


You presentation may include the following components: 1) title, 2) introduction (e.g., background information and questions that need to be addressed), 3) methods and materials (if applicable), 4) analysis and interpretation of your results (if applicable) or current available information or literature, 5) discussion (e.g., your explanation, speculation, and future research needs), 6) conclusion. In short, your presentation needs to be informative and presented clearly in a logical way. Be creative!


Academic Misconduct:


"Acts of academic misconduct for which students are subject to sanctions include, without limitation, plagiarism, cheating, failure or refusal to follow clinical practice standards, falsifying or manufacturing scientific or educational data and/or representing manufactured data to be the result of scientific or scholarly experiment or research, and soliciting, aiding, abetting, concealing, or attempting such act. Plagiarism is defined as including, without limitation, the act of representing the work of another as one's own. Plagiarism may consist of copying, paraphrasing, or otherwise using the written, electronic, or oral work of another without proper acknowledgement or consent of the source or presenting oral, electronic, or written material prepared by another as one's own. Plagiarism also includes using information from electronic resources, including the Internet, without the use of proper citations." (SIUE Student Academic Code)


In the event of academic misconduct, the student is subject to a number of penalties, including a failing grade on the course.

Students with Disabilities


Students with disabilities should visit the Disability Support Services (DDS) located in the Student Success Center, Room 1270, at their earliest convenience to meet the director and discuss available services.The student with a documented disability and a disability ID card from DSS should also notify the instructor as soon as possible to make any necessary arrangements, including assistance in emergency evacuation. 


Course Schedule:


Week 1 (Jan. 8):††††††††† Course introduction; seminar signup (Drs. Guehlstorf and Lin)

Lab safety training (Video: Lab Safety - under the hood, ~20 min)


Week 2 (Jan. 15):††††††† Preparing and presenting an oral scientific presentation (Dr. Guehlstorf)


Week 3 (Jan. 22):††††††† Preparing and presenting a poster scientific presentation (Dr. Lin)


Week 4 (Jan. 29):††††††† Professional Science Masterís (PSM) in Environmental Science Management (Dr. Theodorakis)

Graduate school guidelines and organization of thesis (Dr. Guehlstorf)


Week 5 (Feb. 5):†††††††† Guest speaker presentation


Week 6 (Feb. 12):†††††† Guest speaker presentation


Week 7 (Feb. 19):†††††† Guest speaker presentation


Week 8 (Feb. 26):†††††† ENSC 505 research presentations


Week 9 (Mar. 5):†††††††† Spring Break (No class)


Week 10 (Mar. 12):†††† ENSC 506 research presentation


Week 11 (Mar. 19):†††† ENSC 506 research presentation


Week 12 (Mar. 26):†††† ENSC 506 research presentation


Week 13 (Apr. 2):†††††† ENSC 506 research presentation


Week 14 (Apr. 9):†††††† ENSC 506 research presentation


Week 15 (Apr. 16):†††† ENSC 506 research presentation


Week 16 (Apr. 23):†††† Poster presentations by ENSC 505 students (Poster preparation using PowerPoint). The posters will be evaluated by students in the seminar courses and faculty in Environmental Sciences Program (see Poster evaluation form).