• (740) 245-7484

Environmental Practicum


Fall 2018

August 20 - December 6, 2018

Environmental Science Practicum
NSC 23101
School of Science


Professor:  Dr. Linda Sigismondi
Phone:      740-245-7484
Email:       lindas@rio.edu
Office:      Kidd Hall 100B
Office Hours: MW 1:00-2:20, T 3:00 – 4:00, R 1:30-2:20 and by apt.

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: http://www.rio.edu/lindas/Environmental-Practicum.cfm

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. 
  • Communicate scientific information in oral and written form. 
  • Relate models, theories and concepts to real world phenomena. 
  • Use standard scientific equipment appropriately and safely.

  • 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:

  • Become familiar with careers in environmental science
  • Participate in 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


Grades are determined by adding up the points that you earned (including bonus points), dividing by the points possible (220 at end of semester), and multiplying the result by 100 to obtain the percentage. 

A = 96 -100, A- = 90 - 95, B+ = 87 - 89, B = 83 - 86, B- = 80 - 82
C+ = 77 - 79, C = 73 - 76, C- = 70 - 72, D+ = 67 - 69, D = 63 - 66, D- = 60 - 62, F = 0 – 59

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.    


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 on or before 4:00 P.M. on October 11, 2018.  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 envpraceval.pdf

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.

Due Dates:  All work must be completed and turned in on or before 4:00 PM on Thursday, December 6, 2018.  Any items not received by this date and time will receive a 0.   The report may be turned in as hard copy or electronically as a MS Word file.


Environmental Practicum
Written Report Grading Rubric


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

INCOMPLETES: Standard university policy - Incompletes will only be granted for extenuating circumstances, such as illness, accident, etc. which will prevent the student from completing the course. An incomplete grade cannot be given to avoid a failing grade in the course. Appropriate documentation (i.e. medical) must accompany the Incomplete Grade Request.Students must have completed at least 75% of the course with a passing grade when requesting an incomplete. The student must request an incomplete from the instructor. It is the responsibility of the student to make up incomplete work. The instructor must complete the Incomplete Grade Request form and submit to the Registrar’s Office. Requests must include a valid reason why the work cannot be completed, a list of assignments to complete, a schedule for when the work will be completed, and the grade to be assigned if the work is not completed. Assignments should be completed as soon as possible, preferably within a few weeks.

MENTAL HEALTH STATEMENT: As a student you may experience a range of issues that can cause barriers to learning, such as strained relationships, increased anxiety, alcohol/drug problems, feeling down, difficulty concentrating and/or lack of motivation. These mental health concerns or stressful events may lead to diminished academic performance or reduce your ability to participate in daily activities. Services are available to assist you with addressing these and other concerns you may be experiencing.  Contact the office of Accessibility (740-245-7439) to learn more about the confidential mental health services available to you.

COPYRIGHT: Materials used in association with this course may be copyright protected. These items are provided for educational purposes and are intended for the use by only those students officially enrolled in the course. Individuals may not copy, duplicate, download, or distribute any of these items outside this course without first considering United States copyright law (Title 17, US Code) and Rio Grande’s copyright-related policies.

Last Updated: August 19, 2018