Earth & Environmental Science

Summer 2016 Online


I’m excited for our online format for this class and hope that you have a great time learning this material. Earth and Environmental Science is a great practical science class because it deals with things that we see and experience in our day to day lives. I hope that this class opens up a whole new understanding of the world around you as you learn more about God’s amazing creation. I know I never cease to be amazed by how ordered and unique our planet is and I hope you come to feel the same way.

First, let me introduce myself. I’m Amy McGrann and I’ve been teaching Earth and Environmental Science at WJU for the last three years. My husband, Dr. Michael McGrann, is the Environmental Sciences department chair here at Jessup. We have three children: Clayton (7), Micah (5), and Addamay (2). I love teaching both on campus and online, as it gives me freedom to be able to homeschool too!

I have two masters’ degrees, one in Environmental Science and one in Geography, and my main field of study within these disciplines is California native plants. I love plants and spend a good amount of time digging in the dirt at home enjoying my fruit, vegetables, and flowers. I have worked with several endangered plant species in the past and have a passion for conserving God’s creation – more on that later. My husband and I also have spent many months in the wilderness on the Pacific Crest Trail in California doing research on birds (his specialty) and their habitats (my specialty). We have each hiked over 5000 miles collecting data and publishing our work on this research. And, as a side note, if you want to test a marriage to see if it will stand the trials of life, I recommend spending months in the wilderness collecting data, hiking thousands of miles, sleeping on the ground, and eating trail food! If a marriage can make it through that, it can make it through anything!

I look forward to meeting each of you as you post your introductions before class starts and getting to know each of you as the class progresses. Like I said before, this is a great science class, but it is not easy. There is a lot of reading each week and complete understanding of a subject will often require you to read through it multiple times. There are also great videos and animations that you will view each week which will hopefully clarify the most difficult subjects.

However, if you are still having a hard time understanding something after being thorough with the reading and viewing all the videos, please feel free to post a question about it or email me about it. I will be happy to help and some of your classmates may also be very helpful. As you know, the online format of this class requires you to take full responsibility for your learning. You will not be able to cruise through this course without doing the reading. It will require copious amounts of your time for the next seven weeks and the schedule is rigorous. However, hopefully you will come out of the course with a much better understanding of the world around you.

Please begin by completing the Jessup Online Student Orientation. Next, please download and thoroughly read our course syllabus. Finally, introduce yourself in the introductions forum. Then you'll be ready to start Week 1!