Review Comment

BC1001 Environmental Science

November 06, 2018

Maenza-Gmelch, Terryanne Silver_nugget
BC1001 Environmental Science

This class has been really really difficult, even though it shouldn't be. Scared the class is not going to be curved even though there have been very low grades on the exams.

Workload:

Not bad but it's a lot to study. Memorization is very important.

January 20, 2018

Maenza-Gmelch, Terryanne Silver_nugget
BC1001 Environmental Science

Professor Maenza-Gmelch is approachable and a down to earth lecturer. Having her for both lab and lecture, I quickly discovered that her dry sense of humor and enthusiasm for the topic definitely shone through. While I did not necessarily find the subject matter fascinating, Professor Maenza-Gmelch was really great about presenting the material simply and well.

I also noticed that how she weighted the calculation of the final grade allowed students to make up for any mistakes or lower grades. For example, I got a C on the first test, but was able to make up my grade on subsequent assignments to get an A for the class.

tldr: Terryanne is great.

Workload:

Not that much. There were three exams throughout the semester, and a final, which was partly take home. Weekly homework of reading and questions. The homework definitely showed up on the tests almost verbatim.

December 07, 2017

Maenza-Gmelch, Terryanne Silver_nugget
BC1001 Environmental Science

Sounds easy, but is definitely harder than people think! Work is an excessive amount and teacher is largely unhelpful

Workload:

A lot for lab

December 06, 2017

Maenza-Gmelch, Terryanne Silver_nugget
BC1001 Environmental Science

Professor TM-G seemed very invested in her topic, unfortunately she just didn't for me in lecture class.

She was great in the lab section. However, in lecture I just didn't find her very interesting to listen to. Perhaps it was because of the way she talked, which worked better in a smaller class. Anyways, she posted the lecture notes in advance so I would simply copy them either before or during class.

Don't get me wrong, I do not in any case regret taking her course. The content is eye-opening and the lab section that goes with it is fantastic (you get to do such relevant and fun labs).

She also organized several guest lectures which were very interesting.

Workload:

Homework twice a week - consisted of about an hour and a half of reading articles and answering questions about it. Super pertinent to the course and connected course material to current issues. Didn't feel like a waste of my time at all!

Three exams and a final (+take-home final essay) - exams were a little hard and expectations/requirements were not made very clear...

December 08, 2016

Maenza-Gmelch, Terryanne Silver_nugget
BC1001 Environmental Science and Environmental Science

If you're thinking about taking Environmental Science lecture and lab keep in mind that Peter Bower no longer teaches the first semester!! Terryanne teaches it and she is AMAZING. Very passionate and accomplished and easy to approach. The class is incredibly interesting, well-rounded, and grounded in current events. I worked at a park over the summer and I was able to apply so much of what I learned to the job - fish identification, river currents, and bird identification.

Workload:

Three in class exams, a few lab reports, and many smaller quizzes. All very manageable if you go to class and keep up with work!

December 08, 2016

Maenza-Gmelch, Terryanne Silver_nugget
BC1001 Environmental Science

Good way to fulfill your science requirement without too much work. Professor Maneza-Gmelch realizes this and is very accommodating for those of us who were just taking the class for this reason. I had her for lab as well and her genuine enthusiasm and passion for the subject shines through at all times.

Workload:

Moderate - if you want to pass the tests, definitely do the homework. It is not difficult but occasionally time-consuming.

December 08, 2016

Maenza-Gmelch, Terryanne Silver_nugget
BC1001 Environmental Science

Great way to fulfill science requirement with minimal stress and workload! I had Terryanne for lab and lecture and she is very pragmatic and concise. She wants every student to succeed and tries to make it as easy as possible to do so. She emphasizes exactly which concepts you need to know for exams, and always uploads all lecture material to courseworks for easy access. She's got an adorably dry sense of humor and is a total delight, always.
Was never annoyed about anything she did. Great professor great person great course!!

Workload:

Three exams (mostly multiple choice, fill in the blank, and very short short-answers) and a (VERY easy, all multiple choice) final. Super simple labs each week, one on a boat and one in the park to bird-watch!!

November 11, 2014

Bower, Peter
BC1001 Environmental Science

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

As the other reviewer said: EVS 101 with Bower is a decent way to fufil the lab requirement if you're not a strong science person. Overall, I have enjoyed having class with him, although his tests are relatively difficult(though not impossible). I would say the test(there are three equally weighted tests) average is about 75-85%. There are no curvebals on the tests, and he will not put anything on the tests that he hasn't actually gone over in class. Answers emails very quickly, although is very difficult to get a hold of after class and doesn't really have office hours.

Also, Professor Terryanne Maenza Gmelch was my lab instructor, and she is lovely and very helpful.

Workload:

3 equally weighted tests and "lecture responses" for each class, which is basically an in-class easy worksheet you fill out to prove you attended class. If you're also taking the lab, your lab grade is 30% of your final grade. Trip to the Met and trip to the American Natural History Museum.

May 18, 2013

Bower, Peter
BC1001 Environmental Science

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

This class is a reasonable way to fulfill the Barnard science requirement. However, I would not say it is an easy A. There is quite a bit of chemistry involved and lots of memorization required for the exams. Lab is fairly easy, but A LOT of busy work. Lab reports are not difficult, but very time consuming. Sometimes you do fun things like boat on the Hudson or walk through the park. Sometimes you do not so fun things like concave maps for four weeks. At times the class seems to lack cohesion as there are so many components: several books (Never Cry Wolf, Silent Spring, etc), nuclear power, the Hudson River, art history, groundwater, etc. Even though I didn't enjoy this class at times (especially second semester), I do leave it feeling pretty well versed in many aspects of environmental science. Bower is pretty funny in class (perhaps more so when he's not trying to be) and is perfectly nice when you go to him with questions. I can't give this class a rave review, but it's not so bad either.

Workload:

2 exams and non-cumulative final (20% each)
Lecture Responses (10%)
Lab (30%)

May 07, 2012

Bower, Peter
BC1001 Environmental Science

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

none of the reviews on here really helped me much when I was trying to decide if I wanted to take this class, so I decided I would try my hand at it, and include more details about what the class is actually like and what you will be doing.
Coming in, I had yet to fulfill the science requirement, really really didn't want to do it with psych (not just bc people think it's a cop-out, but bc I fell asleep in the pysch class I would have otherwise taken.) So for someone like me, who wants to actually learn some science but blanks out when expected to do more than one problem with numbers in it- this is the class to take.

What the course actually is:

First semester: The Hudson River. you learn about what an estuary is and what lives in it, lifecycles of organisms, and the whole ecosystem. For example, how a particular fish reproduces and travels out to sea, when it returns to freshwater, and monarch butterflies. Learn the map of the Hudson and where all the towns are. how to test for suspended matter and contaminants in the water.
Second semester: Brownfields (aka polluted sites and what to do about them), contaminants (chemical and nuclear/radioactive) and how they leak and pollute the environment. environmental law (via a court case about a factory that dumped chemicals and kids in a nearby town that got leukemia). a little basic chemistry, good review. Groundwater, soil, and river systems (which sounds dull but I liked that part). in lab, you do a simulated ESA (environmental site assessment) with an online program Professor Bower designed. you act like a real environmental team and go to a site, check it for pollutants, make recommendations for cleanup. A former student got a job because she impressed the interviewer by knowing exactly how to do an ESA- a fact that Prof Bower will mention every other class. hey, he's allowed to be proud.

Pros and cons:
Pro: definitely the trip on the Sea Wolf, sailing on the Hudson river- a highlight of the course. the trips around Morningside heights, getting to know our neighborhood in new ways and exploring corners of it I'd never been to. planting flowers in riverside park. When I travel on the subway I understand why the subway goes aboveground at 125th (has to do with the bedrock!) I never understood before that organic food is not just a fad, and what chemicals actually do to you.

Con: the labs that aren't super cool are SUPER boring and pointless. painfully so. like, holding your eyelids open to pretend interest, while imagining ways you could push the hands of the clock forward without anyone noticing. and too many labs involved coloring on maps with colored pencils. I'm in college, not kindergarten, thanks. Still, you survive.
also hated the art history stuff- if I wanted an art history class I wouldve taken one. you have to learn about Hudson River school paintings and I never saw the point. And Prof Bower cannot talk about any kind of fish without mentioning a recipe at some point. Lab reports are tedious and frustrating.

Yes, the course can feel scattered and random sometimes, but as Prof Bower says, "your education is what you remember after 6 weeks," and you will learn a lot and have experiences that will be much more memorable than the nitpicky exams and lab reports. I do feel that I know a lot more about the environment, both ecosystems and pollutants, than I did before this class, enough to make me feel that taking it was worthwhile.

Workload:

2 midterms and a final each semester.

There are some readings, you can do them in pieces or all at once (Never cry wolf, a civil action, silent spring are the main ones.) You fill out the lecture responses as Prof Bower addresses each topic during lecture, and hand them in before you leave.

Then you have the horrible lab reports which come up a few times a semester. Nitpicky horrible grading system and really tedious and time consuming, you can do them the night before but it is stressful. Not exactly busywork, as others below have called it, although yes its boring. But harder than just copying answers. Second semester its a little easier to figure out what the requirements are. I disagree with anyone who says its an easy A, not when you get 10 points off every other section because you mislabeled something stupid, even after working on it half the night. I really hated them. But definitely better than chem or bio.

January 26, 2012

Bower, Peter
BC1001 Environmental Science

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

I really enjoyed this course. I am not a science person and took it to fulfill the lab science nine ways of knowing for Barnard, and I am glad I did! I was actually surprised how much I ended up liking the course, and by how much I learned. Professor Bower is clearly very excited by his subject, which is refreshing. He can get a bit ridiculous at times (talking about how he was once colleagues with George Bush, regaling us with stories of his fancy boat, etc), but he is quite amusing. He also really seems to appreciate other facets of the science, such as incorporating art, music and literature into the course, which made the material more interesting.
You do have to go to every lecture because he gives out worksheets that you turn in at the end of the lecture with your name (his form of taking attendance), but hey, at least the lecture isn't at 9 am. The lectures aren't that boring because Bower is an engaging speaker, and when he isn't, you can just do readings for other classes. His tests are fairly easy, just be sure to study- he tells you exactly what to expect. He is a pretty reasonable guy.
The lab section was my favorite, you actually get to do pretty cool stuff (go on a boat on the Hudson, go to the AMNH, etc) and Terryanne is the coolest lab instructor ever.
Overall, it's not a bad course to take if you want to get the science requirement out of the way. I wouldn't recommend it to someone who is passionate about Environmental Science, because it is a pretty easy course. However, like I said before, for those of us who aren't passionate about ES, you learn quite a bit about the basics.

Workload:

Assignments for each lecture that you absolutely do not have to do (they aren't turned in, helpful however if you are confused on something), readings from time to time, two midterms, a final, and the book "Never Cry Wolf" (super easy read).

January 18, 2012

Bower, Peter
BC1001 Environmental Science

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

I just adore him. He is enthusiastic, has a great sense of humor, and made a dry subject interesting and works hard to make the topic applicable to life. It was a great and educational class. Ignore the reviews where people think that if the class is too fun or easy it must not be academic enough. The criticism I have is that the amount of busywork was too much and didn't contribute to the learning process.

Workload:

Too much busywork versus critical thinking sole complaint. But if you do the work and engage you will get an A

December 13, 2011

Bower, Peter
BC1001 Environmental Science

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

Professor Bower is a professor unlike any other I have met. He is clearly very excited by the subject matter, and demonstrates a serious passion for environmental science. However, Professor Bower is overall an ineffective teacher. He often went on unrelated tangents, breaking the rhythm of the lecture. I remember a lecture that was supposed to be about fish life cycles in which he talked about etiquette for ten to fifteen minutes. His teaching methods were often rudimentary and condescending...I felt as though completing handouts with every lecture was very much a high school tactic. It seemed as though Professor Bower had trouble engaging students with the material. The expectations he had of students at the beginning of the course were low, so students consequently put in only enough effort to pass.

I would not recommend this course to a Barnard student. I certainly learned a lot of information about the Hudson River, but overall, I think the course sets low expectations for its students, and encourages a superficial understanding of the material. Most students (including myself) felt unmotivated to put in a serious effort because those efforts were not constructively evaluated (for example, getting 100 on every assignment simply because you completed it). This view was exacerbated by the fact that students were not required to take comprehensive notes; every lecture was accompanied by a handout with questions. I found myself (and most other students, after talking with them) listening to lecture only for the answers to the questions, as that would be the material we would be tested on.

The structure of the course is incredibly scattered. Although the objectives of the course were not those of a typical environmental science course, it felt difficult to keep up with what was expected of me, as much of the subject matter was scattered. I often felt like I was learning various facts without any cohesion or unity. It would have been much easier if the course was structured in chapters or units. The course was sometimes focused this way, but for the most part was not (for example, we learned about food webs at two different points in the course). I also felt like many of the topics covered were completely unrelated to the Hudson River, the primary subject matter of the course. I found little relevance in studying wolves in a course about the Hudson River. I also found it confusing to be writing an essay for a course that was forced to be interdisciplinary-I found myself wishing we did more hard science.

Workload:

Easy, but all of it is busy work. 2 midterms, a final, handouts with every lecture. 12 lab assignments that include a few lab reports, worksheets, field-journals and self-guided tours, along with a final power point project on a topic relating to the Hudson of your choice.

January 05, 2011

Bower, Peter
BC1001 Environmental Science

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

Great class for anyone who just wants to finish the science lab requirement. Easy easy easy. It is a 4.5 credit class; 50% of the final grade is lecture, 50% is lab. Bower is an incredibly random lecturer. He's hard to follow and kind of a wild card, but the material is SO basic. Lectures are very boring. If you do the readings, which are actually kind of interesting, you will get good grades on the tests. The last couple tests were take home and he gave us the answers!
Labs were actually interesting. Diane was my lab instructor and she is very enthusiastic, also an easy grader. I received 100% on almost all of my lab reports. Lab time, while very long, isn't terrible because we usually go off campus for field experiments.
Take this class if you want an easy A.

Workload:

Lecture: 8 tests worth 10% that are open book. 1 final worth 20% that is open book.
Lab: 3 lab reports, 1 final ppt presentation, in-class worksheets. Show up to lab and you will get an A/A+.

August 11, 2010

Bower, Peter
BC1001 Environmental Science

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

This class is love or hate. I thought this clas was wonderful. We went on cool field trips, like learning about the geology of Morningside Heights, identifying flora and fauna in Riverside Park, and taking a boat out onto the Hudson River doing samples and collecting creatures. We did interesting lab work, although it was rather tedious -- but, really, do you expect anything else in a science lab?

Bower had a very interdisciplinary approach to the course, which is what I think attracts most people who may be intimidated by other science courses. Everything in the course related back, somehow, to New York City and/or the Hudson River. Art, for example, was an important aspect of the course. We were sent to museums (like the Met) to look at perceptions of nature from the Hudson River School painters. Yes, the scavenger hunts were very high-school-esque, but they made sure you saw the things he wanted you to see, and if you put a little effort in you would get a lot out of the trip.

I actually liked doing the homework, partially because it was the directed busywork that it was. I had lots of difficult texts to read for other classes, and so I was grateful for the time I got to sit with a list of prepared questions and find the answers in the reading for environmental science. I was being productive while at the same time giving my mind a break.

And just as the class is love or hate, you will either do really well or you will do terribly. And this class is NOT worth doing terribly in. If you do the (simple) readings and the worksheets you are asked to do (it's really not so much), you will get an A. Put a couple neurons of that smart brain of yours towards the class and you will succeed with flying colors.

Workload:

Significant, but nothing terrifically mentally challenging.

May 11, 2010

Bower, Peter
BC1001 Environmental Science

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

If you go to Barnard and wanna fulfill that obnoxious sciencerequirement yet you SUCK at science, TAKE THIS CLASS! I am terrible at science yet still got an A both semesters. Yeah, there's a lot of busy work, but, um...ITS BUSY WORK. As in, reeeeally easy work. Bower is funny and weird so for that reason, his lectures are worth attending, but honestly, you don't even have to go to the lectures to get an A. Goodness, this was the easiest class ever. Also: DIANE ROCKS she is so sweet! The labs are kind of hard...but waaaay easier than any chem lab would ever be.

Workload:

a lotta busy work. all tests are OPEN NOTE/BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!! including the final!!!!!

April 13, 2010

Bower, Peter
BC1001 Environmental Science

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

The review below sounds frustrated. Yes, it sucks sometimes, but it's so so sooo handleable. Lady below, did they not tell you studying is all about studying SMART and not just pushing your way through the impossible workload? My, my, I feel bad for people who haven't worked out the Format by now.

Look, Ill put it plain and simple: If you care about your GPA and you just aren't a science person. TAKE. THIS. CLASS. Put some effort in, figure out the format (yes, there is a friggin' format- take notes and MAKE FRIENDS- trust me, cut the 'i don't want to help you' bullshit, you'll end up helping each other all the time), and you won't get anything lower than an A. I promise you this now. Well, unless, you're retarded like the lady below, who seems to be...a rare kind.

On the other hand, If you do care significantly about intellectual engagement and do have a knack with science- don't take this class. You'll be transferred right back into your high school classroom. By the way- Diane Dittrick (your lab instructor) is absolutely lovely. Ask her anything, I mean ANYTHING, even THE ANSWERS to your quiz, and she'll give them to you. She'll PRETEND for a second and get you to think for yourself, but she'll tell you -- she's the most wonderful, friendly, nice and frankly useless instructor I've ever met in my life. Absolutely amazing in terms of personality, quite laughable really.

Honestly guys- once you've figured out how everything works, it'll be one of those classes that you just kind of shove on the side, and work on it for an hour before class, and smile secretly at the way too easy 4.0 GPA booster.

Workload:

Yes yes lots of work- mini quiz every other week in first half and mini quiz every week in second- HONESTLY, form an aliance, and work on it an hour before class every single week. Seriously. Who whines about an A+ in SCIENCE??? Busy work...SO BE IT!

March 08, 2010

Bower, Peter
BC1001 Environmental Science

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

I don't think I have ever hated a man more than I hate Peter Bower. This class and this man has not only made me reconsider my decision to come to Barnard, but has also made me ashamed that such a class could be taught at a college that regards itself as prestigious. Not only is Peter Bower's personality condescending, where he name-drops his friends such as George W. Bush, but the work of the class has absolutely no application to anything useful. All of the reviews that said this class was "easy" were clearly not taking the same class as me. Environmental Science I and II are without a doubt the worst classes. There is so much work that I want to kill myself. Yes, it's "easy" work, but there is SO much of it and it is work that you cannot get away with not doing because it's collected. In Environmental Science II, there are 12 tests not including the final exam plus three 10-15 page lab reports that are never well-explained so that you have no idea what to do when you write it.

Workload:

So much work. 12 tests plus a final, three 10-15 page lab reports. 1-2 take home tests per week to be due at the test. 1-3 chapters of reading and questions for every test. 1-2 take home assignments per lab. Quizzes during every lab that are usually not well-explained. Tedious assignments that may require you to walk around campus.

September 12, 2009

Bower, Peter
BC1001 Environmental Science

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

How the heck can a prestigious college like Barnard have a professor who openly denies global warming's existence be in their environmental science department!? If you are looking for a class that is about what you might perceive Enviro to be about this is not the class you should take. You might imagine interesting lectures on how mass production is not environmentally sustainable, instead you will get mind numbingly retarded lectures on sailing in the Hudson and Bower's years at Yale with his good buddy George Bush. I honestly can't believe this guy has tenure. It blows my mind. You have to do hundreds of questions on the reading that are neither useful or tolerable, like "Where was FDR buried?" Do you know why Bower assigns "literature" and not text book reading? Because every Enviro text book talks about global warming and other things his politics disagree with. If you're still thinking about taking this class ask someone why he doesn't have office hours anymore and maybe that will persuade you.

Workload:

Blow your brains out amount of busy work that will contribute nothing to your understanding of the environment but will take up all of your time so that you can't do work for other classes that actually matter.

January 09, 2009

Bower, Peter
BC1001 Environmental Science

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

Honestly?...The greatest class my first semester at Barnard. A lot of students like to bash him because he's a Republican, but don't judge a class (especially a science one) on the political leanings of the professor. The class has been amazing. You do learn a lot about a variety of subjects concerning the Hudson River. I think grading is pretty easy, and it's an amazing gpa booster. A lot of people complain the class is too easy. But, what? Do you want a class that grades harshly? You can learn a lot about the local ecosystem from this class, but it all depends on your committment to actually learn. The labs are enjoyable also. You rarely stay in the building.

Workload:

8 Tests (most, if not all, open book, open note, open anything). But, it's all about preparation for the tests, which, to achieve the highest grades, can take hours and hours. One final exam. Open book, note also. Labs. Easy. Research Project. Easy again.

September 09, 2001

Ammirato, Philip
BC1001 Environmental Science and [BIOL BC3340] Plant Physiology

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

Professor Ammirato is a wonderful teacher and person. He clearly loves what he does - not only his life's work with plants, but teaching what he knows to others. He is an easy person to get along with and is always available. His exams and homework assignments are fair, along with his grading style. Although he is very understanding and accomodating, don't expect to get away with anything you didn't deserve. Overall, his kind personality makes plant physiology a desirable course, even for those clammering to get into animal physiology.

Workload:

2 midterms, one final. For more advanced classes, some weekly or bi-weekly problem sets. For labs, weekly lab reports.

December 31, 1999

Bower, Peter
BC1001 Environmental Science

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

Incredibly irritating! He talks about being the mayor of Tenafly at least twice per class. All he does is think up sick scenarios for how we could all possibly die from radiation poisoning for example if HE " just reached up and broke the exit sign, we'd all have to clear out of here for weeks or else we'd die from acute poisoning". Has a different way we might die for every topic, how does the man leave the house everyday? the lab is the most torturous four hours of your week, especially if you get joe for lab. UGH! BUT, it's easy. you just have to ask yourself if it's worth it...

Workload:

tiny=handouts to keep track of attendance, three tests all of equal value, dont study, one during exams-not cumulative, lab is lots of busywork w/a huge 20pg. paper

December 31, 1999

Bower, Peter
BC1001 Environmental Science

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

The professor is ridiculously full of himself...("did I mention that I used to be the mayor of a relatively large town in New Jersey?" "Since I used to be the mayor of a large town in New Jersey..." "My experience as the mayor of a large town in New Jersey..." every class!) He brought a camera crew into class to tape his lecture, and repeated all of his old jokes again to get them on tape, never explaining why the cameras were there. Oh, and he is exceedingly proud of having graduated Yale '68, with one George W. Bush, having played on the same baseball team. If you can listen to him preen for three hours a week, you'll get through it.

Workload:

No textbook, so class notes dictate what will be on the exam...making attendance important. A thousand hand-outs to memorize, but not a hard class at all . Read two novels, pay attention to detail. Lab is a cakewalk. An easy way to get through the science requirement.

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