The University of Winnipeg
Course Descriptions
Course Calendar 2012 - 2013
Course Calendar DESS 2012 - 2013
Careers
Testimonials

Participating in the Environmental Studies program at the University of Winnipeg was a horizon-expanding opportunity for me. It opened my eyes to so many different challenges that our planet faces, viewed from so many different angles and perspectives.

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The multi-disciplinary approach taken in this program gave me a broad understanding of many different fields, but also allowed me to specialize where I thought fit; no two graduates have taken identical paths to completion.

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The program is extremely flexible, allowing students to take time off to work and travel, and gives multitudinous course offerings and options.

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I believe it has given me a better understanding of the world in which we live and that it has left me well-prepared for my post-university life, both in terms of my career and my personal life.

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The many lessons learnt, papers written, sleepless nights, and laughs throughout my classes, will always be cherished as a great chapter in my life.

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Throughout my studies at the UW, the exceptional aptitudes and expertise portrayed by professors and instructors have been intellectually and personally, enriching.

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The University of Winnipeg's Environmental Studies program familiarized me with the complex and evolving nature of environmental issues, which extend beyond the scientific domain into the social, economic and the ethical.

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Course Descriptions

BUSINESS AND ENVIRONMENT

ENV-3606(3) BUSINESS AND ENVIRONMENT (Le3)
This course examines practical examples of ways in which business operations have responded to environmental and sustainability challenges and opportunities. The course provides an historical perspective on corporate environmentalism, and covers current topics such as selfregulation and voluntary initiatives, environmental management systems, product stewardship, life-cycle analysis, industrial ecology, toxics use reduction, strict liability and due diligence, and sustainable performance management. The course uses case studies from Canada and elsewhere, including less-developed nations, to illustrate the issues, problems, and solutions discussed.

PREREQUISITE: ECON 2317(3) or permission of instructor.

CRITICAL ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES

ENV-4614(3) CRITICAL ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES (Le3)
This course examines current issues of controversy and public concern in environmental studies and environmental science. The content varies from year to year and students should consult the Environmental Studies department for a more detailed description of topic areas in terms in which the course is offered.

PREREQUISITES: ENV-1600(3) or permission of the Director of Environmental Studies.

RESTRICTIONS: Students may take this course only once.

DIRECTED STUDIES IN ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES

ENV-4613(3) DIRECTED STUDIES IN ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES (Le3)
This course allows students to undertake research in their areas of interest. The research may take the form of a literature review, may be experimental in nature or involve analysis of existing data. Evaluation is based on a written submission summarizing the student’s findings.
Permission to enrol is dependent on the availability of an instructor in the student’s field of interest and the permission of the Director of Environmental Studies.

PREREQUISITES: ENV-1600(3) and permission of the Director of Environmental Studies.

ENVIRONMENT AND HEALTH

ENV-2604(3) ENVIRONMENT AND HEALTH (Le3)

There is growing concern amongst the scientific community, media, and general public that environmental chemical contamination may be responsible for some human and ecosystem health problems. This course provides a scientific overview of selected chemical contamination issues, discusses relative risks of recognized and potential hazards, and assesses possible technical and regulatory solutions. Topics may include stratospheric ozone depletion, tropospheric air pollution, acid rain, greenhouse gas emissions, anthropogenic pollutants such as PCBs and perfluorinated chemicals, and other relevant issues.

Knowledge of high school level chemistry is useful, but not absolutely necessary.

This course may be used towards fulfilling the Science requirement for the BA degree

PREREQUISITES: ENV-1600(3) or permission of instructor.

ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABILITY

ENV-4450(3) ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABILITY (S3)

This course considers geographic and environmental approaches to sustainable staples-based development, particularly as they apply to water, energy, and mining. Discussion begins by outlining change, complexity, uncertainty and conflicts associated with primary and derived resources, including those contributing to climate change.

Important technological innovations and policy developments designed to address these challenges are contemplated.

Topics include the following:

  • corporate social responsibility policies,
  • public/private initiatives,
  • community-based resource management,
  • adaptive management, and
  • social learning through public participation.

PREREQUISITES: ENV-2603(3), or two of GEOG-2204(3), GEOG-2212(3), GEOG-3408(3).

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT

ENV-4611(6) ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT (Le3)
This course explores the methodology of environmental impact assessment (EIA). Students learn about various types of EIA, the components of EIA review, the regulatory aspects of EIA, and how to complete their own EIA. Students are expected to undertake EIA examples in both written and oral form.

PREREQUISITES: Completion of a minimum of 60 credit hours towards their degree or permission of the Director of Environmental Studies.

ENVIRONMENTAL SOIL SCIENCE

ENV-4615(3) ENVIRONMENTAL SOIL SCIENCE (Le3)
The course provides students with a comprehensive knowledge of environmental issues related to soil science emphasizing the significant role soil plays in sustaining environmental quality. It focuses on soil functions, soil quality and quality indicators, environmental significance of physical, chemical, biological properties and processes, ecological implications of soil-water-nutrient interactions, fate and transport of organic and inorganic contaminants in soils, and environmental impact of soil erosion, all of which are interconnected to current environmental issues such as global warming, surface and groundwater pollution, soil degradation, ozone layer depletion, atmospheric pollution etc. The course also aims to provide the conceptual knowledge required to manage soil on a scientifically-based, environmentally friendly, and ecologically sustainable manner.

PREREQUISITES: GEOG-2213 (3) and CHEM-1112 (3) (or the former CHEM-1101 (6)) or the permission of instructor

ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY: A GLOBAL DILEMMA

ENV-2603(3) ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY: A GLOBAL DILEMMA (Le3)

This course focuses on environmental factors relevant to understanding and implementing sustainable development. Its aim is to teach students to understand and appreciate fundamental ecological principles within the context of social values and technological constraints. Moreover, the course seeks to equip students to assess environmental problems from an interdisciplinary perspective, and to develop strategies that might solve these problems. Topics or issues that may be addressed include: ecosystem dynamics; feedback in environmental processes; the concepts of carrying capacities and population thresholds; optimum yield theory; loss of biodiversity; over consumption and overpopulation; deforestation, desertification and pollution; energy demand versus supply; urbanization trends; global warming; ozone layer depletion; resource management, conservation, and recovery; and environmental monitoring and impact assessment. This course may be taken for major credit in Environmental Studies and International Development Studies.

This course may be used towards fulfilling the Science requirement for the BA degree

PREREQUISITES: ENV-1600(3) or IDS-1100(6), or permission of instructor.

CROSS-LISTED: International Development Studies IDS-2603(3).

ENVIRONMENTAL TOXICOLOGY

ENV-3611(3) ENVIRONMENTAL TOXICOLOGY (Le3)

This course provides an understanding of how and why chemicals may damage humans and other organisms. Students learn basic principles of toxicology and environmental chemical exposure, and detailed analysis of the body’s defenses against toxicants and the physiological and/or biochemical mechanisms by which toxicants cause effects. Toxicological modeling and environmental risk assessment are introduced. Students apply these principles to explore emerging topics of interest in their own disciplines.

PREREQUISITES: CHEM-2202 (3) and CHEM-2203 (3) or the former CHEM-2201 (6).

CROSS-LISTED: Chemistry CHEM 3611(3).

FOREST FIELD SKILLS CAMP

ENV-2401(1) FOREST FIELD SKILLS CAMP (1A)

This intensive two-week field course is mandatory for students in the Forest Ecology program and is designed to give students field survival and basic forestry skills. Topics include bush camp construction; safe use of boats, ATV's, and chainsaws; and basic bush survival skills. Students also learn how to correctly use topographical maps, compasses, air photos, GIS maps and other forestry equipment. This course is offered at University College of the North at The Pas, Manitoba.

CROSS-LISTED: Biology BIOL-2401(1)

FOREST WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT

ENV-3608(3) FOREST WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT (Le3)
This course focuses on the management of wildlife populations in forested environments in Canada. Students participate in an examination of forest biodiversity including discussion of terrestrial and aquatic species, ecosystems, conservation strategies, coarse and fine filter approaches, forest fragmentation, core habitat ranges, management at forest stand and landscape levels and how animals use forest habitats. Topics include habitat supply and modelling, population monitoring methods, the cumulative effects of forest management activities, legislation and guidelines, role of endangered species, adaptive forest management and the importance of terrestrial and wetland classification.

COREQUISITE: ENV-3607(3)

FORESTS AND THE ENVIRONMENT

ENV-3607(3) FORESTS AND THE ENVIRONMENT (Le3)
This course is intended to provide students with the fundamental knowledge of the interactions between human and forest ecosystems. It examines current forestry practices and study new alternatives in forest resources management based on our growing knowledge of the natural dynamics of these ecosystems. The concepts underlying forest sustainability and forest conservation in a changing world are developed. Using the boreal forest as an example, students acquire an understanding of natural ecosystem dynamics and of proposed alternatives in forestry practices. The effect of global climate change and increasing human pressure on our forests are also examined.

PREREQUISITE: BIOL-2403(3) or the former BIOL-3403(3).

HONOURS ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES THESIS

ENV-4701(6) HONOURS ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES AND SCIENCES THESIS (P)
This course provides an opportunity for students to undertake a research project of personal interest under the guidance of a faculty member or equivalent and the Course Coordinator. Practical experience is provided in research design and methodology, data analysis, in the verbal and written presentation of the findings, and participation in academic conferences. This course is intended to provide students with a solid background for entry into graduate programs or research-oriented careers.

PREREQUISITES: GEOG 2309 (3) and ENV 4611 (3); 30 credit hours in the Environmental Studies major; A minimum 3.0 GPA (B) in honours subject courses.

RESTRICTIONS: Enrolment in this course is limited by the availability of faculty to serve as supervisors. Students must obtain written permission from the Director to register for the course. A written agreement between the student and the faculty supervisor is required before permission is granted.

HUMAN-ENVIRONMENTAL INTERACTIONS

ENV-1600(3) HUMAN-ENVIRONMENTAL INTERACTIONS (Le3)

This course deals with a variety of topics which illustrate the complexity and diversity of environmental issues. The central theme is understanding natural processes in the environment as a means of measuring human impact. Topics dealt with reflect current environmental concerns–for example, global warming, overexploitation, wildlife management, urban issues, health issues.

This course may be used towards fulfilling the Science requirement for the BA degree

RESTRICTIONS: Students with standing in the former ENV-2600(3) may not receive credit for this course. The course RHET-1106(3) Academic Writing: Links with the Disciplines, Environmental Studies, is required. The Department recommends that students take RHET-1106 early in their 1st year of studies as most courses in DESS programs include multiple writing assignments.

ISSUES IN SUSTAINABLE CITIES

ENV-3025(3) ISSUES IN SUSTAINABLE CITIES (Le3)

This course addresses issues of sustainable urban development. Topics may include the following: world population growth and urbanization in developed and developing countries; the impact of technology, trade, and commercial globalization on urban environments; the degradation of land, water, and air inside of cities and in their bio-regions; the consumption of fossil fuels and the local and global impact of their combustion; the politics of sustainable urban development; the role of planning and urban administrative practices and policies in environmental degradation and mitigation; and the place of local environmental initiatives in national environmental actions.

PREREQUISITES: GEOG-2414(3), the former GEOG-2404(6), or UIC-1001(3), or permission of instructor.

CROSS-LISTED: UIC-3025(3).

LAW AND THE ENVIRONMENT

ENV-3035(3) LAW AND THE ENVIRONMENT (Le3)

This course provides an introduction to Canadian environmental law, including common law and statutory regimes. Topics include endangered species, air, water and waste management, toxic pollutants, contaminated land, resource development, the division of constitutional powers, regulatory approaches, environmental assessment, monitoring and enforcement, and environmental torts. The socio-economic, political, and scientific backgrounds of environmental problems are also considered. Current Manitoba examples are used to illustrate the concepts, problems and solutions discussed.

RESEARCH METHODS AND DESIGN

ENV-3609(3) RESEARCH METHODS AND DESIGN (Le3)
This course is a pre-requisite for the Research Projects course (ENV-3610(3)) and teaches students the steps and methods required to produce a successful research project. Students learn to develop a clear research question, form hypotheses and predictions and formulate a study with the appropriate measurements and design structure. Students are shown examples of experimental and other designs and methods used in the natural and social sciences. Finally, students develop a research design for their own project used in the Research Projects course.

PREREQUISITES: GEOG-2309(3) or STAT-1301(3) or the former STAT-1201(6) or STAT-1501(3) or permission of the Director of Environmental Studies and Sciences.

RESEARCH PROJECTS

ENV-3610(3) RESEARCH PROJECTS (Le3)

This course teaches students to understand, develop, and complete research projects with relevance to real world situations. The primary objective is to help students develop research skills for the workplace. Students are required to undertake a research project in an area of environmental interest, typically using proposals developed in ENV-3609(3). Presentation of results, both orally and in written form, is required. Students work closely with the instructor or another member of the faculty and an external advisor from the community during completion of the project. Research projects are designed to assist community groups, government departments, private sector firms or other organizations.

PREREQUISITES: ENV-3609(3) and completion of a minimum of 60 credit hours towards their degree or permission of the Director of Environmental Studies.

SEX, GENDER, SPACE AND PLACE

ENV-2416(3) SEX, GENDER, SPACE AND PLACE (Le3)

This course examines, from interdisciplinary perspectives including those of Women's Studies, Geography, and Environmental Studies, relationships among sex, gender, space and place in societies, cultures, environments, and ecosystems. Selected relevant topics are considered, such as ecofeminism, the cultural politics and political geography of sex and sexual identities, the gendering and sexing of city landscape and architecture, notions of public and private space, and the space/place in the sociocultural construction of femininity and masculinity. We consider how sex, gender, race, ethnicity, class, sexuality, and other aspects of identity affect the transformation of space into place.

PREREQUISITES: ENV-1600(3) OR GEOG-1102(3) and GEOG- 1103(3) OR WGS-1232(6) or permission of instructor.

CROSS-LISTED: Geography GEOG-2416(3) and Women's Studies WGS-2416(3).

SOCIOLOGY OF THE ENVIRONMENT

ENV-2502(3) SOCIOLOGY OF THE ENVIRONMENT (Le3)

This course offers an examination of environmental issues and concerns from a sociological perspective. Topics for review include environmental values, attitudes and behaviour; the environment movement; the political economy of the environment, and environmental risk and risk assessment. Debates surrounding such concepts as sustainable development, deep ecology, environmental justice and global change are emphasized.

PREREQUISITES: ENV-1600(3) or SOC-1101(6), or permission of instructor.

CROSS-LISTED: Sociology SOC-2502(3).

URBAN POLICY ISSUES

ENV-3030(3) URBAN POLICY ISSUES (Le3)

The course looks at issues in a Canadian context. Students examine a broad array of issues that have an impact on the quality of urban life: the environment, policing, finances, social services, planning, public health, economic development, and so forth. These issues are analysed in the context of a federal state and the policy-making processes and political interests that shape the decision-making of the civic government. Class dialogue, speakers, student presentation, and a free flow of ideas and perspectives are encouraged.

CROSS-LISTED: Urban and Inner-City Studies UIC-3035(3).

VOLUNTARY SIMPLICITY

ENV-2521(3) VOLUNTARY SIMPLICITY (Le3)

Development is increasingly understood as a participatory, deliberate process aimed at enhancing quality of life for individuals within community. This course examines the concept, theory, and practice of voluntary simplicity as a means of development for individuals seeking alternatives to consumer values and culture. The course explores both the historical roots of voluntary simplicity and its modern expressions, with special emphasis on the relevance of simplicity to building emotional well-being, vibrant community, sustainable environment, and social justice.

PREREQUISITES: ENV-1600(3) or IDS-1100(6), or permission of instructor.

CROSS-LISTED: International Development Studies IDS-2521(3).

WINNIPEG AND THE ENVIRONMENT: A CASE STUDY APPROACH

ENV-3603(3) WINNIPEG AND THE ENVIRONMENT: A CASE STUDY APPROACH (Le3)

This course focuses on the particular problems facing the City of Winnipeg in its interaction with the environment. Students are required to participate in an in-class strategic planning session to select issues and concerns that will become the case study content of the course. Municipal planning initiatives are used to select the issues, to define their scope, and to propose policy and program solutions. The course format involves small interactive group discussions led by the students and facilitated by the instructor. A high level of student participation is expected.

PREREQUISITES: ENV-1600(3), or UIC 1001(3), or the former ENV-2600(3) or permission of instructor.

CROSS-LISTED: Urban and Inner-City Studies UIC-3603(3).

WOMEN, HEALTH AND THE ENVIRONMENT

ENV-3004(3) WOMEN, HEALTH AND THE ENVIRONMENT (S2, Le1)

This course introduces students to a number of pertinent issues and questions feminists are dealing with when considering women, health and the environment. We investigate how women, health and theenvironment intersect and explore some of the repercussions of particular environmental situations (including, but not limited to, environmental pollution, nuclear radiation, and synthetic hormones) on women’s physical, emotional, spiritual and psychological health. We also study the ways in which feminists are researching and calling attention to the injustice of environmental degradation on women’s health and various feminist strategies developed in challenging dangerous environmental practices.

PREREQUISITES: WGS-1232(6) OR WGS-2300(3) OR the former WGS-2301(3) OR permission of the instructor.

CROSS-LISTED: WGS-3004(3).