Ecological Revolutions:

Grade Breakdown and Policies


Aspen Trees


Favorite Place/Favorite Technology comparative paper:

This assignment is worth 5 % of your overall semester grade.  The contours of the assignment will be explained in class.



Resource Research:

These essays will be worth 15% of your overall grade (2.5%/paper X 6…3 of each kind)


In these papers, you will do research about the place where we will ground our study of that particular element OR you will research the element itself.  So, for example, if you research a place for the element Copper, then you should research the history of the mining of that element and the cultural and political history of Arizona, especially as it relates to the copper economy over time. Dr. Berry will tell you the place to research and give you a source or 2.  If you research the resource for copper, you will research what copper is used for in human societies.  The first day of each element unit, we will have part of the class reporting on the element and part reporting on the place we are focusing on.



Water Project and Essay:

The collaborative project will be worth 15% of your grade.


The essay, that will focus on water in Tucson/SW, will be worth 25% of your grade.


Participation, Reading Quizzes, and Participation on Wiki discussions:

This category is worth 20% of your overall grade.  Dr.Berry would prefer to NOT give reading quizzes…she doesn’t like them for a variety of reasons.  BUT she will resort to them if we are collectively choosing to consistently refuse to read. See below for the participation rubric. On a regular basis, we will participate in discussions on our wiki. These are completion assignments (with little to no assessment of the quality of your posts), BUT if your contributions are really off-base or not useful to the group, Dr. Berry reserves the right to give you a 0 for that contribution.

There are a possible 10 points for each individual for each day of participation based on the rubric below.  You begin each day with 10 points  -- work hard not to lose them! I will assess participation almost daily. There is also a class grade that I will assess based on how I thought the class went in general (our collective effort). The group grade is based on a 10 point scale:

9-10 = An Awesome Class (we covered much ground and met our learning objectives impressively, we repsected one another, most all of the class was prepared and enthusiastic, most everyone was engaged most all of the time, we had fun and learned good stuff);

8-9 = A Solid Attempt (we covered less ground than we could have because we had to stop for distracting behavior, a few folks were rather disruptive repeatedly, 1/3 or more of the class obviously had not prepared for class, fun meter a little low because Dr. Berry had to play dictator);

7-8 = Eh...not Bad (we struggled to get through the learning objectives for the day because at least 50% of the class was completely unprepared, several people were consistently disruptive, folks were reticient to participate, fun meter too low);

6-7 We are in Trouble (more than 1/2 the class didn't prepare at all, energy was low and as a result few of our learning objectives were covered with any real effectiveness, we were disrespectful to one another through disruptive behavior, unpreparedness, or simple lethargy);

5 and below = WE GOTTA TALK... we will have a class meeting to decide strategies for improvement.

Periodically, you will be asked to assess yourself as well. Please feel free to come talk with me if you would like strategies to improve your participation grade and/or would like clarification on what great participation looks like!


A student who earns9-10 points for the day will:

A student who earns 8-9 points for the day will:

A student who earns 7-8 points for the day will:

A student who earns 6 or fewer  points for the day will:

Demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of the subject

Demonstrate a solid understanding of the subjects

Demonstrate a somewhat limited understanding of the subjects

Demonstrate a quite limited understanding of the subjects

Stimulate others to address and engage in the important points and issues for the day

Be uncertain about his/her own analysis of the day’s subject

Be uncertain about his/her own analysis of the day’s subject

Have no analysis of the day’s subject

Add important ideas to the discussion

Add  some ideas to the discussion

Add  very few ideas to the discussion

Add no ideas to the discussion

Directly address specific content from the readings at least once during discussion

Generally, not specifically, refer to the readings

Not demonstrate their close reading

Demonstrate they have not read for the day

Show respect for colleagues and Dr. Berry at all times (this includes NOT talking when someone else is talking)

Show respect for colleagues and Dr. Berry at all times (this includes NOT talking when someone else is talking)

Sometimes talk while others are talking, but generally show respect

Constantly talk while others are talking

Have thoroughly familiarized self with topic

Have familiarized him/herself with the topics, but will be a bit uncertain on some details

Be a bit uncertain on some details for the course material for the day

Will be rather clueless

Offer clear, accurate answers for questions

Offer clear, accurate answers for questions

Attempt to answer for questions but may offer searching or imprecise answers

Will demonstrate they have not read for the day

Try to help others clarify difficult concepts

Try to help others clarify difficult concepts

Not try to help others clarify difficult  concepts

Will not be willing to help others

Perform brilliantly on the day’s in-class and/or homework assignments

Perform highly on the day’s in-class and/or homework assignments

Complete in-class and/or homework assignments, but work is sloppy/poor

Not complete in-class and/or  homework assignments,

Listen intently and come to learn and have fun

Listen intently and come to learn and have fun

Listen intently and come to learn and have fun

Generally not want to be in class 


Conservation Essay and The Lorax essay:

Each 4-6 page paper will be worth 5% of your total grade. Assignments to come.



Final Exam:

This will be a longer term project of writing a chapter that corresponds with Dr. Berry's own work on the pedagogy of enviornmental history. More to come. The chapter will be worth 15% of your overall semester grade.





Academic Integrity !
At St. Gregory, we have an Honor Code that is in effect at all times and for all assignments.  When you agree to participate in this class, you pledge to do your own work, to be honest in all of your assignments, and, when borrowing materials from other sources, to give them due credit. Please sign each written assignment pledging that you have upheld the Honor System. Plagiarism is the act of using another person’s ideas or words without giving that person proper credit.  Your work should be original, but if you do use someone else’s idea(s), you MUST cite that person.  When in doubt, CITE IT!

We will discuss what plagiarism is. I will know it when I see it, and you will know it when you do it. There are a number of great sites to help you get a handle on the definition. Most importantly, just cite any original thought (that isn't yours) and do your own work. Never submit something you've taken from someone (including the Internet) else. For more information refer to the following sites:

Council of Writing Program Administrators

American Historical Association

Purdue University's OWL

Late Work

If you need an extension for any of the written assignments, you must ask Dr. Berry at least 24 hours in advance for that extension.  We will decide on a reasonable date and then the assignment must be turned in with no further extension (each student is eligible for one extension/semester).  Late work without an official extension will not be accepted without penalty.  For each day the assignment is late, your grade on that assignment will be decreased by a FULL letter grade.  For example, if an assignment is 2 days late, your grade automatically will drop from an A to a C. Needless to say...Dr. Berry does NOT like late work. There will be SOME assignments that Dr. Berry will NOT accept late. Pay attention to directions for each assignment.

Make-up Work

If you have been absent, see Dr. Berry the day you return, and we will discuss any missed in-class assignments. Please hand in late homework as soon as possible (the above late work policy will, of course, apply to ALL absences, including excused absences for any assignment assigned more than one week in advance). Make-up final exams will NOT be given. If you have an in-class presentation and are absent (even if it excused), you will be docked one full letter grade on the assignment.

Tardy Policy
The policy is: Do NOT Be Late to Class.  When the bell rings you should be in your seats ready to begin the class.  Walking in late is disruptive and disrespectful and will result in a 10% loss of your participation grade for the day (or a one point participation grade deduction).


For a list of the semester course grade breakdown see above. For daily reading assignments, see the Reading Schedule. For other daily homework, see our course Homepage.

Each assignment will have its own grading rubric. Each rubric will be posted on-line and usually discussed in class. All point totals are then based on the following scale.

A+ 4.3 (98-100) A 4.0 (93-97) A- 3.7 (90-92)

B+ 3.3 (87-89) B 3.0 (83-86) B- 2.7 (80-82)

C+ 2.3 (77-79) C 2.0 (73-76) C- 1.7 (70-72)

D+ 1.3 (67-69) D 1.0 (63-66) D- 0.7 (60-62)

F 0.0 (0-59)

You may inquire about your grade at any time during the year, and I encourage you to come talk with me if you have any concerns about your progress in the course.

And Remember!

A student will not be admitted to any state university with a  deficiency 
(an average lower than C or less than four mathematics courses)  
in more than two departments, or in both mathematics and science. 




| ©2010Michelle Berry