• (740) 245-7484

Environmental Practicum


January 14 - May 9, 2013
Environmental Science Practicum
NSC 23101
School of Science

Spring 2013

Professor:  Dr. Linda Sigismondi
Phone:      740 245-7484
Email:       lindas@rio.edu
Office:      Kidd Hall 100B
Office Hours: MWF 2:30 - 3:20, Th 1:30 - 3:30

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course is a practicum. The student will spend thirty (30) hours with a local environmental agency. The student will write a report of his/her experiences and be evaluated by an agency supervisor.

PREREQUISITES: C- or better in NSC 22304 Environmental Science



COURSE WEBPAGE: www.rio.edu/lindas

PROGRAM OUTCOMES: The following outcomes have been adopted for the environmental science degree program for which this course is required:

  • Explain, using appropriate terminology, the major concepts in environmental science including major environmental problems, their causes, consequences, and potential solutions.
  • Explain the fundamentals of scientific inquiry, interpret the results of scientific investigations, and draw reasonable conclusions from data.
  • Explain, using appropriate terminology, the basic principles of biology, chemistry, and geology.
  • Explain, using appropriate terminology, the basic principles of the social sciences including economics, government and sociology.
  • Explain, using appropriate terminology, the major environmental laws in the United States.
  • Function successfully in an environmental science internship.

COURSE OUTCOMES:  The following outcomes have been adopted for this course.  All outcomes listed below have direct relevance to course material.  Upon completion of this course students are expected to:

  • To learn about careers in environmental science
  • To learn the workings of a local environmental agency


Grade Calculation:

Category Point Value
Mid-Term Report 10
Practicum Hours/Log 90
Final Report 100
On-Site Supervisor's Evaluation 20
Total 220


A = 93-100%, A- = 90-92, B+ = 88-89, B = 83-87%, B- = 80-82, C+ = 78-79, C = 73-77%, C- = 70-72, D+ = 68-69, D = 63-67%, D-=60-62, F =below 60%

Practicum Hours:  The student will observe and/or help at a local agency for 30 hours.  For each day, the student will complete a log indicating the number of hours completed and a brief description of what was observed/done that day.   The completed log needs to be signed by a supervisor at the local agency.   Two copies of the form are attached to this syllabus.  Possible agencies for the practicum include:

  • Gallia County Soil and Water Conservation District  (or other county)
  • Gallipolis City or Gallia County Water Treatment Plant (or other cities/counties)
  • Gallipolis Sewage Treatment Plant
  • Gallia County Environmental Health Department
  • Others with permission of instructor

Mid-Term Report
By mid-term, the student will submit a typed 1-2 page report indicating the agency at which the practicum will occur, the name, phone number and email address of the on-site supervisor, the anticipated starting date of the practicum and a brief description of what has been observed so far.  This must be submitted by email (MS Word format) or hard copy by 4:00 P.M. on March 1, 2013.  Late reports will receive a deduction of 10% per day.

On-Site Evaluation by Supervisor
The on-site supervisor will provide feedback on the student’s performance at the agency.  A copy of the form is attached. 

Final Report:
The written report should be 8-10 pages of text using standard fonts (Helvetica or Times), type size (10 or 12 point), margins (1 inch) and spacing (1 to 1.5). The report should be typed, spell-checked and grammar-checked. The report should include the following sections with section headings for each:

  • Location and Time of Practicum – The location should include the full name of the agency, complete mailing address, phone number(s), web address, as well as a general description of the location (county, area of state).  This section should also indicate the starting and ending dates.
  • Organizational Structure - This section should state the names, positions and a summary of the job descriptions of all personnel in the office where the practicum took place.
  • Summary of Students Experiences – This section should include a narrative of the experiences that you had at the agency including what your duties were, techniques learned, equipment used, and any other relevant observations.
  • Student Evaluation of Experience – This section is your evaluation of the experience.

Environmental Practicum
Written Report Grading Rubric

Due Dates:  All work must be completed and turned in before 4:00 PM on Monday, May 6, 2013.  Late items will receive a 10 % deduction per calendar day.  Any items not received by Friday, May 10, 2013 at 4:00 PM will receive a 0.   The report may be turned in as hard copy or electronically as a MS Word file.


PLAGIARISM – Plagiarism refers to copying and passing off another’s work as one’s own.  It includes copying information from published sources such as books, journals and webpages without appropriate citations.  It also includes copying the work of another student.  All students in the class are expected to do their own work.  Plagiarized work will receive a zero on the assignment. 

LATE PAPERS – Students are expected to turn in all assignments on time.  Assignments not turned in on time will lose 10% per day.


ADA POLICY: If a student wishes to be identified as having a physical, mental, or learning disability, that may or may not require reasonable accommodation(s), he/she must register with the Office of Accessibility.  These registered students should identify themselves to their instructors and provide a written statement from the Accessibility Office that indicates the appropriate accommodations.  The process of a student self-proclaiming the need for accommodation should occur as early in the semester as possible.  The Office of Accessibility is located in Rhodes Hall, Room 116, University of Rio Grande and the phone number is 245-7339.

FERPA:  The University of Rio Grande and Rio Grande Community College are committed to fully respecting and protecting the rights of students under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).  These rights generally include the right to inspect, review and seek amendment to the student's education records and the right to provide written consent before personally identifiable information from education records is disclosed.  Under FERPA, students have the right to file a complaint with the US Department of Education concerning alleged failures to comply with FERPA.  Please see the Student Records Confidentiality/Rights Under FERPA section of the Student Handbook for details and more information.

ACADEMIC DISHONESTY:  Standard university policies, as described in the Student Handbook, apply.

WITHDRAWAL: Refer to Student Handbook

University of Rio Grande
Environmental Practicum NSC 23101
Log of Observation Hours

The following must be filled out by the student and signed by the field supervisor.

Name: _______________________ Phone Number: _________________
Practicum Site: ________________ Site Phone Number: ______________

Field Counselor Signature: _______________________ Date: ___________
 Student Signature:  ____________________________  Date: ___________


University of Rio Grande
Environmental Practicum NSC 23101
Field Supervisor Evaluation

Student: ______________________  Date:  ______________________
Practicum Site: _________________  Practicum Supervisor:_____________

Please rank the student on the information below using the following scale:
4- exceptional
3- above average
2- average
1- needs attention
0- insufficient information

1.  Punctuality  4    3    2   1   0
2.  Responsibility 4    3    2   1   0
3.  Ability to work with others 4    3    2   1   0
4.  Ability to grasp problems 4    3    2   1   0
5.  Ability to follow through on work assignments 4    3    2   1   0
6.  Ability to express self  4    3    2   1   0
7.  Knowledge of subject area 4    3    2   1   0
8.  Ability to question and respond appropriately to questions 4    3    2   1   0
9.  Accuracy of work 4    3    2   1   0
10. Overall performance 4    3    2   1   0

Comments (strengths, weaknesses, recommendations for student or program):



Practicum Supervisor Signature:  ________________________ 

Date:  _________

This evaluation may be given to the student to be included in his/her final report or mailed/emailed directly to Linda Sigismondi, University of Rio Grande, 218 N. College Ave., Rio Grande, OH  45674, lindas@rio.edu

Last Updated:  January 8, 2013