CEM 400 Fundamentals of Environmental Management
This course provides students with an understanding of environmental management. from both a global and a Canadian perspective. The course content examines the natural science, political nature, and policy approaches to the environment. Additionally, this course investigates how management strategies are utilized in a wide variety of settings, how various paradigms and sets of values affect the strategies employed and, the process of decision-making in environment management.
This course focuses on key approaches, processes, challenges, and problems related to the field of environmental management. Through the introduction of a wide variety of course materials, ongoing discussions, and individual and teamwork assignments, students will become familiar with, and equipped to engage in, the cooperative resolution of complex environmental issues.
When one thinks about the natural environment, often images of majestic waterfalls, pristine forests and wild animals wandering endless savannah are conjured up. In recent years, these images are being overshadowed by the impact of human activities on the environment - images of melting polar caps, reports of depleted fish stocks, satellite imagery showing large tracts of burning forests due to anthropogenic effects, and increased incidence of diseases like SARS and bird flu that are a result of globalization and other factors. The general population is becoming increasingly aware of the far-reaching impacts of humans on the natural environment.
The study of environmental management requires an understanding from a multitude of perspectives, drawing upon skills from numerous areas. The effects of environmental management can be critical for both developed and developing nations, often requiring different approaches and decision-making processes. Through an interdisciplinary approach, the course is designed to engage students in various environmental issues and to impart a set of skills they can utilize in the decision-making process for environmental management.
Additional material will be assigned and available through electronic links or in .pdf format. You may need to download the free version of Adobe Reader if you currently do not have this (see http://www.get.adobe.com/reader/ for link to free Adobe Reader download). Keeping up with the readings is essential in the course.
In order to participate effectively in class interactions, please have the assigned readings completed early in the week in which they are assigned.
The goal of this course is to give the student an understanding of environmental management from various scales, including the Canadian and global context. The student will study the natural science, political nature and policy approaches to the environment, how management strategies are utilized in a wide variety of settings, the process of decision-making in the environmental context, and how various paradigms and sets of values affect the strategies employed. Historically, the focus of environmental management has been narrow, centred on how to control and utilize the environment for the benefit of humans. Today, the focus has broadened. There is the need to understand environmental issues and processes from a more encompassing perspective. In many sectors of the economy, it is necessary to understand potential solutions to environmental problems and their management. Through course readings, discussions and course content, students will become familiar with important historical and current issues in environmental management, as well as approaches and processes used in the strategies employed in environmental management. By the end of this course, the student should be able to:
- Understand the variety of perspectives on environment issues and how they impact on environmental management.
- Know key historical documents and events in the study of the environmental issues and how they have shaped the current perspective in environmental management.
- Connect the current strategies employed in environmental management to a number of case studies and on multiple scales (local, national and global).
- Know the key organizations and bodies which study, regulate and manage the environment.
- Understand the interrelationships between various components in decision-making and underlying values.
- Describe the various approaches to resource environmental management.
- Understand the nature of problems associated with sustainable development.