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Course Description

A global overview of the changing relationships among society, technology and the environment. This course emphasizes the major stages of human use of resources and the environmental consequences of global changes in production systems. It contrasts Third and First World experiences, focusing on core-periphery relationships.

Note: This course can be taken individually or as a part of a certificate program.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, the learner should be able to:

  1. Present an overview of how the Earth’s systems function and how we are affecting these systems (from both a historical and contemporary perspective);
  2. Enhance appreciation of environmental problems from a geographic perspective (for example, the consequences of spatial variability in the availability and use of resources);
  3. Facilitate oral and verbal written communication of environmental geography  in order to encourage the sort of innovative thinking required to manage human impact; and
  4. Understand management challenges and strategies employed to reduce human impact.

Course Topics

  • The Historical Context of Human Impact on the Environment
  • Natural Physical Systems and their Human Transformation
  • Natural Biological Systems and their Human Transformation
  • Agriculture and the Transformation of Biophysical Systems
  • Environmental Management and Fishery Resources
  • Water Resources
  • Forest Resources
  • Soil and Land Resources
  • Energy Resources
  • Environmental Ethics and Economics


Assessment Item Weight
Discussion Questions 20%
Essay Proposal 10%
Essay 30%
Online Final Exam 40%
Total 100%



Additional Technical Requirements

This course will use the following:

  • Zoom as a video communication tool.  A Webcam, a microphone to record video, and headphones/speakers to play back the recording are also needed. 

Please view the Technical Considerations.

Applies Towards the Following Certificates

Technical Requirements

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*Course details are subject to change.

Enrol Now - Select a section to enrol in
Section Title
Human Impact on the Environment
September 09, 2021 to December 03, 2021
Contact Hours
Delivery Options
Course Fee(s)
Domestic Tuition Fee (0.5 units) $683.39 Click here to get more information
International Tuition Fee (0.5 units) $2,908.38 Click here to get more information
Available for Credit
0.5 units
Reading List / Textbook

NOTE: The course is designed around the required CUSTOM paperback textbook. The ebook content is similar, but not an exact duplicate as chapters are paginated differently (and chapter 16 is not available). The ebook material will not correspond directly to assigned readings and if purchased, you will be responsible for ensuring you are doing the correct readings.

Section Notes

Note:  If you are in a degree program at the University of Guelph, please DO NOT register using the link above.  You must register through WebAdvisor.

Section Materials
  • Textbook (Confirmed) (Mandatory) Environment: The Science Behind the Stories by Withgott, Jay, Laposata, Matthew, and Barbara Murck © 2022 Pearson Education Canada 3rd -Custom for UofG edition ISBN Print: 9780137686247 eBook: 9780134267913
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