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Monday, August 6, 2012

Environmental Science: Answers to Questions About Overpopulation, Global Warming and More

Open up the newspaper on any given day and you are sure to see headlines and stories that are related to environmental science: climate change, population growth, green energy, carbon footprints, and more. What do all of these things mean? Does the mainstream media get it right? What does all this mean in the context of our Catholic faith?

Homeschool Connections is offering a new course next semester to help upper high school students make sense of it all. Learn from an environmental scientist who will not only teach the scientific facts, but also share the Church's teaching on environmental issues and what it all means to you in today's world.

(click on course title to register)

Class dates: Wednesdays, Sept. 12 to Dec. 12, 2012. No class Nov. 21.
Total classes: 13
Starting time: 8:00 pm Eastern (7:00 Central)
Duration: 1 hour (45 minute lecture with 15 minutes for Q&A)
Prerequisite: Earth Science and/or Biology
Suggested grade level: 11th to 12th (ages 16 to 18)
Suggested high school credit: 1 full semester
Fee: $185 for all 13 classes.
Instructor: Matt Watkins, MS
Course description: The course will be a combination of several scientific topics including ecology, geology, physical geography (oceanic and atmospheric processes), and hydrology. It will keep to scientific theory and the laws of nature. The course will culminate with an investigation and discussion of the current environmental issues.
Course outline:
Class 1: Catholic Social Teaching on the Environment – Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church
Classes 2 to 4: Ecology
Classes 5 to 7: Geology
Classes 8 to 10: Physical Geography
Classes 11 to 13: Current Environmental Issues
Course materials: Vatican documents (found free online) plus the textbook Environmental Science: How the World Works and Your Place 3rd edition found at Also search for it used online or see if it's available through your public library's inter-library loan.  ISBN: 0920008488

Homework: Mr. Watkins will grade homework each week. Student should expect to spend 4 hours per week outside of class time.

Instructor biography: Matt Watkins is a homeschooling father of 11 children (ages 24- to 4-years old) along with Rachel Watkins, creator of Little Flowers Girls Club. The family has been homeschooling for 18 years. His two older daughters both hold Bachelor of Arts degrees and his next two children are attending college. Matt works as an environmental policy analyst and works an advocate for the housing industry on environmental issues. He holds his Master of Science in Environmental Science and Policy from Johns Hopkins University. He is a Ph.D. candidate in Public Policy. While this is the first semester Mr. Watkins will be teaching online, he has been a student in many online courses. He hopes he does not have the same pitfalls as some of his first-time online teachers.

(click on course title to register)

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