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Course Description

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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:

  • Identify the underlying causes of contemporary environmental degradation
  • Investigate the ways in which our dominant culture, economics and politics might shape particular human-environment relations
  • Critically assess the potential of various strategies for amending current human-environment relations

Course Topics

  • Population and scarcity
  • Markets and commodities
  • Institutions and “the commons”
  • Environmental ethics
  • Risks and hazards
  • Political economy
  • Social construction of nature
  • Carbon dioxide
  • Trees
  • Wolves
  • Uranium
  • Tuna
  • Lawns
  • Bottled water
  • French fries
  • E-waste
  • Environmental governance

Additional Requirements

GEOG*1220 is recommended


Assessment Item Weight
Discussion and Reflection Report 1 7.5%
Discussion and Reflection Report 2 7.5%
Research Paper 35%
Fact-Checking Assignment 10%
On Campus Final Exam 40%
Total 100%

Applies Towards the Following Certificates

Technical Requirements

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*Course details are subject to change.


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