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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
Discussion Participation and Reflection Paper 20%
Book Reviews (2 x 20% each) 40%
Take-Home Final Exam 40%
Total 100%

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
Environment and Resources
January 09, 2023 to April 10, 2023
Contact Hours
Delivery Options
Course Fee(s)
Domestic Tuition Fee (0.5 units) $683.39 Click here to get more information
Domestic Tuition Fee - Non-Ontario (0.5 units) $713.81 Click here to get more information
International Tuition Fee (0.5 units) $3,106.72 Click here to get more information
Available for Credit
0.5 units
Reading List / Textbook
Note: Unsettling Canada (1st edition only): A national wake-up call is available via Ares.
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) This Changes Everything by Naomi Klein © 2015 Penguin Random ISBN 9780307402004
  • Textbook (Confirmed) (Mandatory) Unsettling Canada by Arthur Manuel Between the Lines 1st 2016/2nd 2021 edition ISBN 1st Ed: 9781771131766 2nd Ed: 9781771135566
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