Course

Global Environmental Change

Faculty
Science & Technology
Department
Earth & Environmental Sciences
Course Code
EAES 1201
Credits
3.00
Semester Length
15
Max Class Size
35
Method(s) Of Instruction
Lecture
Seminar
Course Designation
Certificate in Global Competency
Industry Designation
None
Typically Offered
Fall
Winter
Summer

Overview

Course Description
The survival of this planet will, in large part, depend upon people acquiring an understanding of the intricate interrelationship of the physical, chemical and biological systems found in nature and the impact upon them of human activity. In this context, this course will provide an overview of contemporary changes to our global environment, the driving forces and the observed and foreseen consequences, from a natural science and social science perspective.
Course Content

1. Introduction to the Ecosphere:

  • Introduction to the “spheres”.
  • Defining our environment. Introduction to various worldviews.
  • Introduction to the concept of global change, timescales and rates of change.
  • Environmental systems (cycling of energy and matter, biogeochemical cycles).  

2. Humans and our Environment:

  • World population, development and resource consumption.
  • Human health and the environment.
  • History of environmental consciousness in North America.
  • Environmental law and ethics.
  • Environmental economics.  

3. The Changing Biosphere:

  • Ecosystems (definition), community dynamics (species interactions, niche, disturbance, succession, trophic levels and food webs) and factors affecting ecosystem functions.
  • Biomes/biogeoclimatic zones and factors affecting their distribution.
  • Species diversity, evolution and adaptation, extinction rates, factors affecting biodiversity, etc.

4. The Changing Lithosphere:

  • Land use changes (urbanization, agriculture, forestry, etc.) and related impacts.
  • Natural resource exploitation (mining, energy, forestry, etc.) and related impacts.
  • Pollution (contaminants, sources) and related impacts.
  • Waste generation and disposal (solid, liquid and hazardous) and related impacts.  

5. The Changing Hydrosphere:

  • Natural resource exploitation (fisheries, fresh water use, etc.) and related impacts.
  • Pollution (contaminants, sources, effects on marine and freshwater aquatic ecosystems) and related impacts.  

6. The Changing Atmosphere:

  • Atmospheric pollution and related impacts.
  • Climate change and related impacts.
  • Ozone depletion and related impacts.  

7. Achieving a Sustainable Future:

  • Sustainability and strategies.
  • Ecosystem management.
  • Case studies.
Learning Activities

The primary method of instruction will be weekly lectures and seminar, which may include guest speakers.

Means of Assessment

Assignments

10-20%

Term project(s)

20-30%

Midterm exam

20-25%

Final exam

25-30%

Evaluation will be carried out in accordance with Douglas College policy. The instructor will present a written course outline with specific evaluation criteria at the beginning of the semester. Evaluation will be based on the table above.

Learning Outcomes

After successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Identify the spheres that make up our planet, provide examples of natural environmental systems and describe the cycling of energy and matter within these systems.
  2. Explain the concept of homeostasis and species adaptation in an ever changing environment.
  3. Discuss the driving forces of environmental change (both human and otherwise) and the main feedback effects. Discuss the role of humans both as drivers of global change and as a species that needs to adapt to an ever changing environment.
  4. Define the concept of “sustainable development” and discuss its importance and relevance to the future of human activity.
  5. Show how an individual, through their own lifestyle, makes an impact upon the environment and how they might be able to contribute to finding solutions to environmental problems.
  6. Perform scientific literature research on an environmental system or issue, formulate a thesis statement, evaluate the relevance and usefulness of the information researched, synthesize the information and communicate it.  
  7. Critically evaluate publicly available information (example, from the media) regarding environmental issues and be able to identify logical fallacies, propaganda techniques, etc.
Textbook Materials

Students should consult the bookstore for the latest required course materials, including the textbook.

Berg, L.R., Hager, M. C., Goodman, L. and Baydack, R. Visualizing the Environment, Canadian Edition, Wiley/National Geographic. Latest edition; or equivalent text.

Requisites

Prerequisites

No prerequisite courses.

Corequisites

No corequisite courses.

Equivalencies

Course Guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

Course Transfers

These are for current course guidelines only. For a full list of archived courses please see https://www.bctransferguide.ca

Institution Transfer Details for EAES 1201
Alexander College (ALEX) ALEX SOSC 1XX (3)
Capilano University (CAPU) CAPU GEOG 101 (3)
College of the Rockies (COTR) COTR GEOG 1XX (3)
Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) KPU ENVI 1121 (3)
Langara College (LANG) LANG GEOG 1XXX (3)
Nicola Valley Institute of Technology (NVIT) No credit
Okanagan College (OC) OC EESC 1XX (3) or OC GEOG 1XX (3)
Simon Fraser University (SFU) SFU REM 100 (3)
Trinity Western University (TWU) TWU GENV 1XX (3)
University Canada West (UCW) UCW ECOL 1XX (3)
University of British Columbia - Okanagan (UBCO) UBCO EESC 1st (3)
University of British Columbia - Vancouver (UBCV) UBCV EOSC 1st (3)
University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) UFV GEOG 111 (3)
University of Victoria (UVIC) UVIC ES 2XX (1.5)
Vancouver Island University (VIU) VIU GEOG 101 (3)

Course Offerings

Winter 2023

CRN
Days
Dates
Start Date
End Date
Instructor
Status
CRN
15335
Tue Thu
Start Date
-
End Date
Start Date
End Date
Instructor Last Name
Reith
Instructor First Name
Geoffrey
Course Status
Open
Max
Enrolled
Remaining
Waitlist
Max Seats Count
35
Actual Seats Count
25
10
Actual Wait Count
0
Days
Building
Room
Time
Tue Thu
Building
New Westminster - South Bldg.
Room
S3820
Start Time
14:30
-
End Time
16:20
CRN
Days
Dates
Start Date
End Date
Instructor
Status
CRN
16078
Mon
Start Date
-
End Date
Start Date
End Date
Instructor Last Name
Reith
Instructor First Name
Geoffrey
Course Status
Open
Max
Enrolled
Remaining
Waitlist
Max Seats Count
35
Actual Seats Count
19
16
Actual Wait Count
0
Days
Building
Room
Time
Mon
Building
Coquitlam - Bldg. A
Room
A2100
Start Time
18:30
-
End Time
21:20