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ESS 130 System Theory and Information Management

Dr. Steven Fassnacht, Department of Ecosystem Science & Sustainability, NR Room 335,
Colorado State University, Tel. (970) 491-5454, <Steven.Fassnacht@colostate.edu>
Dr. John Moore, Department of Ecosystem Science & Sustainability, NESB, Room B204,
Colorado State University, Tel. (970) 491-1796, <John.Moore@colostate.edu>
Times: Spring 2015, Mondays and Wednesday, 1:00-1:50pm; January 21 March 11, 2015
Prerequisites: CS 110 or BUS 150 (BUS 150 has a challenge exam to test out)
Office Hours: Dr. Fassnacht MW 9-10 NR335; Dr. Moore TR 8-9 NESB B204
Location: Education Room 007
01. January 21/2015: Introduction: What is a System?, Types of Systems, Properties of Systems
02. January 26/2015: Information - How system information is used in Ecosystem Science
03. January 28/2015: Hierarchic Systems
04. February 02/2015: Experimental Design
05. February 04/2015: Data Analysis Concepts
06. February 09/2015: Information and Data Formatting
07. February 11/2015: Statistical Analysis, Time Series
08. February 16/2015: Data Investigation
09. February 18/2015: Graphing I
10. February 23/2015: Graphing II
11. February 25/2015: How Spatial Data Represent the World: Maps and Digital Information
12. March 02/2015: Online Spatial Data - GoogleMaps, GoogleEarth and other online sources
13. March 04/2015: Using Data in Systems Analysis
14. March 09/2015: Overview of Assignments, Examination Review, Q&A
15. March 11/2015: Exam
Grading (Traditional Letter Grade) based on score out of 250 total points:
1. Assignments (due Monday in class) 7x20 points please put your name, the class, date,
semester, and assignment number on each assignment. Consider framing the situation in a
systems context and defining the boundaries.
2. E-portfolio (due last day of class) 60 points. The E-portfolio will be submitted electronically
as a pdf or online via a secure website. We recommend writing a daily log for reflection. This
can be a handwritten addition or an annotation to your full document.
3. Exam (last day of class) 50 points
ESS130 E-portfolio Rubric (60 points)
1. copy of this rubric for grading as the first page (5)
2. table of contents (5)
3. organization (10) - how well is it put together?
4. neatness (5) - don't be sloppy, take pride
5. material/content - is everything included?: notes (5), assignments (10), consider using sections
6. personal notes taken in class (10) - did you add your own notes
7. narrative/reflection (10) - use post-its or similar to annotate this document to provide
additional insight

Library & Research Help

The CSU Libraries Help Desk provides research and technical assistance either in person at
Morgan Library or by phone at 970-491-1841. Jocelyn Boice is the librarian supporting this
course. Contact her by email at jocelyn.boice@colostate.edu or by phone at 970-491-3882 to ask
questions or set up an appointment for in-depth research help.
It is crucial to provide all the necessary information and it is important to be consistent with
formatting of references. Various disciplines use difference styles, such as MLA. Journals in the
same discipline use difference formatting, and even journals from the same publisher can use
different styles. It is recommended that the student go to the author guide for a particular
journal (from one of the papers they retrieve) and adopt that referencing format for this course.
For example, the following is taken from the Journal of Hydrology (accessed 2013-12-18):

Responsibility for the accuracy of bibliographic citations lies entirely with the authors.
Citation in text
Please ensure that every reference cited in the text is also present in the reference list (and vice
versa). Any references cited in the abstract must be given in full. Unpublished results and
personal communications are not recommended in the reference list, but may be mentioned in
the text. If these references are included in the reference list they should follow the standard
reference style of the journal and should include a substitution of the publication date with either
"Unpublished results" or "Personal communication". Citation of a reference as "in press" implies
that the item has been accepted for publication.
Reference links
Increased discoverability of research and high quality peer review are ensured by online links to
the sources cited. In order to allow us to create links to abstracting and indexing services, such as
Scopus, CrossRef and PubMed, please ensure that data provided in the references are correct.
Please note that incorrect surnames, journal/book titles, publication year and pagination may
prevent link creation. When copying references, please be careful as they may already contain
errors. Use of the DOI is encouraged.
Web references
As a minimum, the full URL should be given and the date when the reference was last accessed.
Any further information, if known (DOI, author names, dates, reference to a source publication,
etc.), should also be given. Web references can be listed separately (e.g., after the reference list)
under a different heading if desired, or can be included in the reference list.
References in a special issue
Please ensure that the words 'this issue' are added to any references in the list (and any citations
in the text) to other articles in the same Special Issue.
Reference management software
This journal has standard templates available in key reference management packages EndNote

(http://www.endnote.com/support/enstyles.asp) and Reference Manager

(http://refman.com/support/rmstyles.asp). Using plug-ins to wordprocessing packages, authors
only need to select the appropriate journal template when preparing their article and the list of
references and citations to these will be formatted according to the journal style which is
described below.
Reference formatting
There are no strict requirements on reference formatting at submission. References can be in any
style or format as long as the style is consistent. Where applicable, author(s) name(s), journal
title/book title, chapter title/article title, year of publication, volume number/book chapter and the
pagination must be present. Use of DOI is highly encouraged. The reference style used by the
journal will be applied to the accepted article by Elsevier at the proof stage. Note that missing
data will be highlighted at proof stage for the author to correct. If you do wish to format the
references yourself they should be arranged according to the following examples:
Reference Style
Text: All citations in the text should refer to:
1. Single author: the author's name (without initials, unless there is ambiguity) and the year of
2. Two authors: both authors' names and the year of publication;
3. Three or more authors: first author's name followed by "et al." and the year of publication.
[Note that et al. is italicized as it is a foreign language word/abbreviation meaning and others.]
Citations may be made directly (or parenthetically). Groups of references should be listed first
alphabetically, then chronologically. For Notes containing more than one citation, references
should be separated by a semi-colon.
Examples: "as demonstrated (Allan, 1996a, 1996b, 1999; Allan and Jones, 1995). Kramer et al.
(2000) have recently shown ...."
List: References should be arranged first alphabetically and then further sorted chronologically if
necessary. More than one reference from the same author(s) in the same year must be identified
by the letters "a", "b", "c", etc., placed after the year of publication.
Reference to a journal publication:
Van der Geer, J., Hanraads, J.A.J., Lupton, R.A., 2000. The art of writing a scientific article. J.
Sci. Commun. 163, 5159.
Reference to a book:
Strunk Jr., W., White, E.B., 1979. The Elements of Style, third ed. Macmillan, New York.
Reference to a chapter in an edited book:
Mettam, G.R., Adams, L.B., 1999. How to prepare an electronic version of your article, in:
Jones, B.S., Smith , R.Z. (Eds.), Introduction to the Electronic Age. E-Publishing Inc., New
York, pp. 281304.
Journal abbreviations source
Journal names should be abbreviated according to the
List of title word abbreviations: http://www.issn.org/2-22661-LTWA-online.php.

Please turn off or mute cellular phones and other mobile devices and put them away. In class
mobile device use, including texting is disruptive. If you are expecting an urgent call, please put
your device on vibrate and leave the classroom to answer or respond to the call or message.
This course will adhere to the Academic Integrity Policy of the Colorado State University
General Catalog and the Student Conduct Code. For more information, see the TILT website:
<http://tilt.colostate.edu/integrity>. For project, writeups, and examinations, a student shall not
have given, received, or used any unauthorized assistance, and a student shall not give, receive,
or use any unauthorized assistance. Academic integrity also refers to citing references properly.
It is assumed that the students may be communicating with one another while working on the
assignments. While each student will submit their own work, discussions related to
methodology are acceptable, when necessary.
Instructors shall follow the following procedures when they feel academic misconduct has
If a course instructor has evidence that a student has engaged in an act of academic
misconduct in his or her course, prior to assigning any academic penalty, the course instructor
shall notify the student of the concern and make an appointment with the student to discuss the
concern. The student shall be given the opportunity to give his or her position on the matter.
After being given this opportunity, if the student admits to engaging in academic misconduct, or
if the course instructor judges that the preponderance of evidence supports the allegation of
academic misconduct, the course instructor may then assign an academic penalty. The course
instructor may refer the case to the Office of Conflict Resolution and Student Conduct Services
for a Hearing before deciding on a penalty. The course instructor shall notify the student in
writing of the infraction and the academic penalty to be imposed. A copy of this notification
shall be sent to the Office of Conflict Resolution and Student Conduct Services. Examples of
academic penalties include assigning a reduced grade for the work, assigning a failing grade in
the course, removing the Repeat/Delete option for that course, or other lesser penalty as the
course instructor deems appropriate.
If, after making reasonable efforts, the course instructor is unable to contact the student or
is unable to collect all relevant evidence before final course grades are assigned, he or she shall
assign an interim grade of Incomplete and notify the student in writing of the reason for this
If evidence of academic misconduct is discovered after the final course grades have been
submitted, the course instructor shall follow the above procedure in properly notifying the
student and providing an opportunity for the student to give his or her position on the matter
before making a decision about any academic penalty. The course instructor must notify the
student in writing of the infraction and any academic penalty subsequently imposed. A copy of
this notification shall be sent to the Office of Conflict Resolution and Student Conduct Services.
If the course instructor so desires, he or she may request that the Office of Conflict
Resolution and Student Conduct Services conduct a Hearing to determine whether additional
disciplinary action should be taken by the University, or if the offense warrants the addition of
the AM (Academic Misconduct) notation to the students transcript.