The four main Core course assignments can be be thought of as four questions, which when explored will give you a good grasp of the environment. Your instructor may take a different approach; these are just to give you a general sense and get you thinking about the big picture.:
Where are YOU coming from? (literally, and in terms of how you think of your relationship with the environment)
Where are WE coming from, and how did we get here? This involves the history of our relationship with nature (particularly here in the American West), but also our way of thinking about the value of wilderness.
Where are we NOW? What is the current state, and should be be worried about it?
Where are we GOING? What should we do? This is the final project for the course.