Introduction to Environmental Studies (IES) 2009-10


This program will explore broad features of environmental science, policy, international conditions and community impacts. The program will open with an exploration of environmental cycles and processes and the “big questions” of population, consumption, climate change and sustainability. Following this initial introductory part, the program will focus more deeply on the key feature of public health and the environment. We will be looking at some of the potential human health effects of pollution in water, air, soil and food systems.

We will explore how occupational and environmental health is approached by a range of scientists, health care providers, policy analysts, social scientists and citizen activists. We will be shaping some of our learning through area fieldtrips, consultation with regional experts and advocates along with hands-on field sampling and laboratory analysis. Most importantly, we will critically assess the alternatives that people are working hard to develop.

Note: Registered students, please visit the IES program moodle website with full access to readings, discussion forums and other materials.

Learning Objectives:

•    Understand the basic concepts and principles of physical, chemical and biological environmental processes and interrelationships between humans and their environment
•    Learn about biological systems at the population, organism, cellular and molecular level
•    Understand the properties of chemical substances and their behavior in the environment and in living organisms
•    Develop an understanding of the principles of toxicology and health risk
•    Become familiar with basic concepts of epidemiological studies
•    Develop skills in laboratory and field research methods and analysis, including sampling, experimental design and analysis and interpretation of results
•    Develop an ability to understand and critically interpret scientific information from the literature
•    Develop and/or strengthen quantitative reasoning in evaluating information from scientific and public oriented sources
•    Develop a critical understanding of public process and public policy.
•    Learn how environmental and public health issues are approached from a range of perspectives, including citizen activists, policy strategists, and environmental scientists.
•    Build experience with group research projects, including conception, design, execution and presentation

Class Schedule:
Class schedule