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ENV 236Y1 study guide


Department
School of Environment
Course Code
ENV100H1
Professor
Diamond

Page:
of 3
1
University of Toronto
Centre for the Environment
ENV 236Y Human Interactions with the Environment
Course Outline
2010/2011
Instructors: Prof. M.L. Diamond
Physical Geography Building, 45 St. George St., Room 207B
Tel: 416 978-1586; FAX: 416 946-5992
E-mail: miriam.diamond@utoronto.ca
Office Hours: Wednesdays after class or by appointment
Dr. Marco Belmont
Environmental Protection Office, Toronto Public Health
U of T office: Room ES2104.
E-mail: marco.belmont@utoronto.ca
Office Hours: Wednesdays after class or by appointment
Prerequisite:
BIO 150Y/GGR 100Y or permission of instructor.
Lectures:
Wednesday 2-4pm, ES B142
Website: Blackboard
Introduction and Learning Objectives:
With a staggering 6.782 billion people inhabiting the planet, our impact is felt in virtually every corner of the
world. As we impact the world, the changes we are bringing about impact our survival. What are these
impacts? How can we minimize our impact on the world and visa versa? It is very tempting to fall into
paralysis given the myriad problems that we face. However, in future we will not have this option (luxury?) as
environmental impacts are expected to increasingly constrain our lives.
This course presents an overview of these issues mainly from a scientific viewpoint. Our goals are to:
1. understand and connect to the major impending issues that challenge our continued survival, and
2. understand and identify solutions to tackle these challenges.
Our learning objectives are to:
1. familiarize you with a wide array of environmental processes and issues arising from human
impacts, predominantly from a scientific viewpoint,
2. learn to integrate disparate issues with roots in science and social science, into policies and other
actions
3. improve your critical thinking and analytical tools,
4. improve your problem solving skills,
5. improve your ability to conduct research, assemble information, and communicate the results of this
analysis.
Evaluation:
In class writing assignments 3 × 5% = 15%
November 3, November 25 and February 9 you will write in class a one page summary of your position
on the debate question that is posed for that weeks topic.
1st assignment 15%
Discussed in class on September 29 and due on October 27 (due in class at 2pm). The purpose of this
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assignment is to connect you with your environmental impact and opportunities for reduction. To
accomplish this goal, you will calculate your carbon footprint using the “carbon footprint calculator
developed by Zerofootprint and the City of Toronto http://toronto.zerofootprint.net/ You will present
the input data, calculations, and the results. You will conduct a sensitivity analysis of your footprint and
analyse your results in a global context. You will discuss the results by identifying those activities
leading to the greatest impact and those activities which you can successfully target to reduce your
impact (the two may not be the same).
2nd assignment 25%
Discussed in class on January 12 and due on February 2 (due in class at 2pm). This assignment will
be a window into achieving goals. Sachs writes at length about the UNs Millennium goals and the
imperative of working to achieve them now. For this assignment you will role play as an official of the
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. You will design a program to tackle one aspect of the Millennium
Goals. The design will include the scientific rationale, design of the intervention, and ways of assessing
the effectiveness of the intervention.
Midterm exam in December 15%
The one hour exam will cover material from September to December that is presented in lectures and
readings.
Final exam 30%
The exam will cover material from the entire course from Sept to April, presented in lectures and
readings.
Required Text:
Jeffrey Sachs. 2008. Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet. Penguin Press, NC.
Thomas Homer-Dixon. 2006. The Upside of Down: Catastrophie, Creativity, and the Renewal of Civilization.
Knopf Canada, Island Press (US); Souvenir Press (UK).
Donella Meadows, Jorgen Randers and Dennis Meadows. 2004. Limits to Growth, The 30-Year Update. Chelsea
Green, White River, VT.
Available at the University of Toronto Bookstore
COURSE POLICIES
All assignments will be evaluated with a letter grade according to:
- the quality and depth of information presented including additional research,
- your originality, effort and judgement,
- your ability to assemble and synthesize information into a coherent thesis, and
- your ability to communicate ideas (e.g., writing style).
Consult the undergraduate calendar as to what constitutes the various grades.
Late Penalty: A lowering of the grade by one increment per day, unless accompanied by a note from a
physician, police or registrar, e.g., from B+ to B for 1 day late, B+ to B- for 2 days late.
Plagiarism, including the submission of someone elses work as your own (including phrases or
sentences taken from the web or any printed material) and the resubmission of academic work that has
been previously submitted for credit, are considered serious offences. Assignments are reviewed for
evidence of these infractions. Penalties for these offenses can be severe and can be recorded on your
transcript. If you are unsure what constitutes plagiarism, or how to appropriately reference other
peoples writing and ideas, please ask us!!!! We encourage you to get help with writing – check out
www.writing.utoronto.ca
Accessibility Needs:
The University of Toronto is committed to accessibility. If you require accommodations for a disability, or have
any accessibility concerns about the course, the classroom or course materials, please contact Accessibility
Services as soon as possible: disability.services@utoronto.ca or http://studentlife.utoronto.ca/accessibility
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Lecture Schedule:
Date
Topic
Reading
Lecturer
Extra
Sept 15
Introduction
MB
Michael Moores
“Capitalism
Sept 22
Whats the problem?
Sachs Ch1 &2
MD
Sept 29
How can systems analysis help?
Meadows Ch3
MD
Discuss Assignment 1
Oct 6
Energy Return on Energy Invested
H-D Ch2
MD
Oct 13
Population too many people!
Meadows Ch2
MB
Oct 20
Population whats the demographic
shift?
Sachs Ch7
MD
Discuss Assignment 1
Oct 27
Population control solutions
Sachs Ch8
MD
A
SSIGNMENT
1
DUE
Nov 3
Population control in Toronto
MD, MB
Lyba Spring
1
st
writing assignment
Nov 10
Food how do we feed a hungry
planet?
Sachs Ch6
MB
Nov 17
Food complexity & vulnerability
H-D Ch5
MB
Nov 24
Food policy in Toronto & Canada
MB
Yusuf Alam, TPH
Debate II & 2nd writing
assignment
Dec 1
Review
MB, MD
Bring your questions
WINTER VACATION!!
Jan 12
Water we need it!
Sachs Ch5
MD
Discuss Assignment 2
Jan 19
Water balance & budgets
UNDP report
MB
Jan 26
Water quality
UNDP report
MB
Feb 2
Water, poverty & health
H-D Ch8
MB
ASSIGNMENT 2 DUE
Feb 9
Water Guest speaker
MB
Guest speaker
Debate III & 3rd writing
assignment
Feb 16
Technology problem or solution
H-D Ch9
MD
READING WEEK
March 2
Technology & pollution
H-D Ch10
MD
March 9
Technology solutions
H-D Ch11
MD
Guest speaker
Engineers without
Borders
March 16
The Real World of Technology
H-D Ch12
MD
March 23
Solutions, Part 1
Sachs Ch13
MB
March 30
Solutions, Part 2
Sachs Ch14
MB
April 6
Review
MD &
MB
Bring your questions
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