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Course Description

This course examines the interrelationships between people and biophysical processes. The main themes are: 1) characteristics of natural resources and processes through which they are developed and used and 2) human response to environmental conditions, including natural hazards and global change. Contemporary Canadian case studies will be presented at the regional and national scales.

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:

  • Critically evaluate the merits of frameworks for understanding environment-society relations and resource use
  • Identify and understand the relationships that shape environmental-society relations and resource use in advanced, neoliberal, capitalist economies; especially the role played by political economy
  • Identify and understand the main ways in which setter-colonialism shapes environment-society relations and the dynamics of resource use in settler colonies (like Canada)
  • Critically analyse and assess information about environmental problems

Course Topics

  • Framings of environment-society relations
  • Population and scarcity
  • The “tragedy of the commons”
  • Markets and market-based environmentalism and regulation
  • Political economy, power, and resource use
  • Climate change and system change
  • Capitalism and neoliberalism
  • Environmental justice
  • Resource governance
  • Settler colonialism and Canadian environmental governance

Additional Requirements

GEOG*1220 is recommended


Assessment Item Weight Learning Outcomes
Discussion Participation  20% 1, 2, 3, 4
Book Reviews (2 x 20% each) 40% 1, 2, 3, 4
Final Exam 40% 1, 2, 3, 4
Total 100%  

Applies Towards the Following Certificates

Technical Requirements

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*Course details are subject to change.


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