Based on 17 Users
Don’t take this class!! He is monotone and boring. He expects you to have a really good background in biology since he goes over very advanced topics. Classes are two hours and very boring. He said too many people did well in the homework so he wanted to make the questions harder even through everyone through the homework was hell. The TA, Jocelyn Cannot take criticism and gets very defensive when people ask questions about the class. She is bitchy all the time. This class has 0 structure and is a shit show.
Do not take this class unless it is required. The class is poorly structured and the grading done by TA is harsh. It is a good training for reading science journals but I believe you can get this experience else where as well.
YOOOO do not take this class if you can. Don't waste what could be a fun or interesting upper-division credit on Dr. Collins. This guy openly wants his students not to do well. He said in class (on zoom) that they hired him because the previous professors were giving out too many As. On our second homework assignment, he said "I hope not everyone did well" implying that otherwise, he would curve us down. On our first homework, the average was around an 80% which he said was too high and said he would have to make the next one more challenging. The homework itself was 7-8ish free-response questions and answer keys only accepted very specific answers, despite the fact that we could use outside sources (and therefore come up with more than one answer). In summary, unless you are REALLY REALLY interested in the biochemical pathways behind how certain chemicals are carcinogenic, avoid this class.
Side note, it's not about the health of the environment like I first thought, it's about how human health is impacted by environmental factors.
I took this class as a upper division GE because I was genuinely interested in the content material. However, I feel like the way that the class was structured (especially given that it was online) was not super conducive to my learning. For one, the professor's slides are often word heavy and contain screenshots of scientific literature, which he then explains during lectures. There wasn't really any learning objectives that were clear to me because he would often cover many, many subtopics within one topic (such as within occupational health or toxicology), and it was difficult to know exactly which topics we should know. Also, I wish that the professor would have posted the lecture slides earlier because it would have made it much easier to take notes and follow along. There were no exams because he was unsure how to administer them in an online setting, and the grade was comprised of 3 homework assignments and an optional final homework (which was worth more of the grade). The homework assignments were pretty difficult and required a lot of digging into the lecture slides and readings and other online sources.
The TAs were generally very helpful and tried their best to help the students in any way that they could, but it did not always seem like Dr. Collins really cared that much about the students. I think the most valuable skill that I learned from the class was how to read through heavy scientific literature, and the information was still interesting to learn, but I would not necessarily recommend this class to others.
Hybrid undergrad/grad course.
Both are 8 questions for undergrads, 10 questions for grad students. Both are insanely difficult so the averages are low. For my class, the midterm average was 35% for undergrads and 25% for grad students.
He gives handouts every lecture and lectures the entire time. Be ready to take lots of notes or record the lectures.
If you're trying to choose an easy class as an elective, this is not it.