Zachary Seguin

ERS Courses

ERS 100 – Foundations: Environment, Resources and Sustainability

Introduces analytical approaches for problem definition and problem solving that are appropriate for a wide range of environment and resource issues. Considers the limitations of approaches that perceive and attempt to manage issues as isolated phenomena. Also examines alternative approaches that recognize the broader context and underlying roots in ethical positions and ecological, economic and institutional systems.

ERS 101 – Approaches: Environment, Resources and Sustainability

This course is one of 'solutions-based education' designed to use environmental case studies from local, provincial, national and international communities. We will analyze historical and contemporary cases and consider the interdisciplinary lessons that can be learned from them within the context of climate and technological change, political and economic constraints, community engagement and communication. The specific cases may change year by year depending on current events. Students will be encouraged to critically engage the scholarly, non-governmental, public media literatures and personalities.

ERS 102 – Sustainability and the Really Long View

Focusing on the relationship between complexity and energy in bio-physical, ecological and social contexts, we review trends in 'Big History' as it has unfolded from the Big Bang to the Internet. The course explores the implications of this 'deep-time' perspective for our understanding of the great challenge of sustainability.

ERS 110 – Environmental Analysis and Solutions I: Foundations

Introduces analytical approaches for problem definition and problem solving that are appropriate for a wide range of environment and resource issues. Considers the limitations of approaches that perceive and attempt to manage issues as isolated phenomena. Also examines alternative approaches that recognize the broader context and underlying roots in ethical positions and ecological, economic and institutional systems.

ERS 111 – Environmental Analysis and Solutions II: Experiential Approaches

This course builds on the analytical approaches from ERS 110 and advances these by examining a case study or series of case studies using a transdisciplinary approach to problem solving. During the course and depending on the current environment or resource issue(s) of relevance, the instructor may choose to use field studies, laboratory studies, dispute resolution hearings, charettes, or role-playing simulations.

ERS 201 – Environmental Policy, Politics and Governance

This course provides students with an introduction to processes of environmental policy, politics and governance. The roles of various actors, discourses and institutions involved in environmental policy-making and governance will be examined. These processes will be illustrated through an examination of a range of environmental issues from the local to the global level.

ERS 202 – Natural Resources Ecology

This course explores the ecology and context of Canada's main natural resources including mining, forestry, energy and agriculture. In addition, this course presents alternatives to status-quo approaches including organic agriculture, sustainable forestry and a movement away from traditional energy.

ERS 203 – Environment and Development in a Global Perspective

Examines the interface between human development and the environment in a global context. Various perspectives are explored to link environmental issues to wealth, poverty, consumption, population, and economic globalization. Case studies, with an emphasis on developing countries, are used to illustrate linkages.

ERS 210 – Environmental Analysis and Solutions III: Greening Communities

The course considers how 'green' communities might be fostered in a contemporary urban setting. It includes concepts and theories related to transformational learning, community resilience, socio-ecological systems thinking, communications, and public engagement. Students learn some basic qualitative methods which are then applied to a term project. Field sites are located in the Region of Waterloo (including the University of Waterloo). Students also learn how to undertake research in an ethical manner and how to effectively communicate their ideas and findings.

ERS 211 – Environmental Analysis and Solutions IV: Restoration Ecology

Application of conceptual, political and biophysical foundations of restoration in ecosystems, siting strategies, succession management, community assembly, intermediate statistical analysis, and ecological modelling. The course will take a transdisciplinary approach commensurate with the latest developments in restoration ecology. Field work will be a part of the course; subject to availability, students will participate in research and implementation of local projects.

ERS 215 – Environmental and Sustainability Assessment I

An introduction to processes and techniques for incorporating environmental considerations in planning and evaluating proposals for future undertakings that may have significant social and biophysical effects. The course provides an overview of methodologies for, and controversies surrounding, the design and conduct of biophysical and socioeconomic impact studies, and the testing of reported findings. The main focus is on the purposes and design of environmental assessment processes, with particular reference to the Canadian federal and Ontario provincial legal mandates, and the evolution of assessment into a sustainability framework.

ERS 225 – Gendering Environmental Politics

Social identities such as gender, race, and class shape our interactions with our environment. This course provides the tools to analyze gender and other forms of social difference in the context of environmental and resource issues. This course also examines how governance, policy, and politics can be used to create social and environmental change.

ERS 234 – Forest Ecosystems

This course examines the fundamental concepts of forest ecology and the role of forests in terrestrial ecosystems. The course will be divided into four sections, and will integrate case studies to introduce the student to current research problems in the study of forest ecology. Topics include: impacts/dependence of humans on forests; transfer and cycling of energy and nutrients; biophysical interactions; and forest management practices.

ERS 253 – Communities and Sustainability

Exploration of the interconnected roles that communities at various scales can play in a larger transition towards sustainability. Examination of structures, activities, options and initiatives and decision making processes involving a wide range of key concerns and opportunities and applications Illustrative cases include largely urban communities, the urban periphery and the broader influences that affect them.

ERS 265 – Water: Environmental History and Change

This course explores issues of water management from ancient to recent history. Tensions related to water supply and demand, agriculture and urbanization, health and sanitation, gender and household access to water resources, urban water and wastewater infrastructure, trans-boundary politics and water privatization debates are considered. Readings and detailed assessments of national and international cases from Europe, Western Asia, and North America are used as a basis for in-class discussion and research projects.

ERS 266 – Water: Environmental History and Change

This course explores issues of water management from ancient to recent history. Tensions related to water supply and demand, agriculture and urbanization, health and sanitation, gender and household access to water resources, urban water and wastewater infrastructure, trans-boundary politics and water privatization debates are considered. We use readings and detailed assessments of national and international cases from Europe, Western Asia, and North America as a basis for in-class discussion and research projects. In comparison to the similarly titled ERS 265, this course requires an extensive field component.

ERS 270 – Introduction to Sustainable Agriculture

Provides both survey and detailed examinations of the ethics, science, and techniques involved in sustainable agriculture. Topics normally include management of crops, soil, water, nutrients, wastes and pesticides, integrated pest management, organic farming, permaculture, ecological farm planning, use of genetically modified organisms, urban agriculture in developing nations, and innovations such as computer modelling and precision farming.

ERS 275 – Special Readings/Seminar on Select Topics

Background reading and study in consultation with faculty. Typically utilized when a student must study a topic in connection with other work, but no course offering in that topic is available.

ERS 280 – Applied Field Studies

Analysis of selected environmental issues or programs with particular emphasis on applied problem-solving/management perspectives. Field trips to chosen sites will be conducted to gather information for analysis. Key organizations and people will be involved in field trips and discussions.

ERS 283 – Ontario Natural History: Species and Patterns

An introduction to natural history, the art and science of identifying organisms, and observing their behaviour and ecological interactions. The students will reside for approximately nine days in a location in Ontario that has exceptional biodiversity. They will learn about local species (with an emphasis on insects, plants, and terrestrial vertebrates), human history and conservation initiatives. Each student must complete a project on an ecological "pattern" in consultation with the professor.

ERS 294 – The Sacred Earth: Religion and Ecology

An examination of the past and present effects of Christianity and other world religions on human treatment of the natural world. Historical background, recent debates, and contemporary approaches to the ethical issues will be investigated.

ERS 300 – Social Ecological Systems Analysis

This course provides an opportunity to learn and begin to apply systems-based tools in the context of an interdisciplinary research problem defined by the student in cooperation with the teaching-team. Students are provided with an introduction to the conceptual tools of systems thinking and resilience that help understand the dynamics of social change and social innovation. These conceptual tools will then be applied by students to provide a framework for interdisciplinary research and to develop a richer understanding of a case study of fostering social change and building adaptive capacity.

ERS 301 – Sustainability Thought, Practice and Prospects

A survey of humans making a living and otherwise interacting with each other and the biophysical environment in a complex world from ancient times to the present. Emphasis on the great agricultural and industrial transitions, reactions to their consequences, the rise of current sustainability concerns, and implications for transitions today in the pursuit of desirable and viable futures.

ERS 310 – Environmental Analysis and Solutions V: Environmental Thought

Examination of conflicting positions on how we do and should view the natural world and ourselves, beginning with review of the history of attitudes to the environment and our place in it. Emphasis on evolution of attitudes to human nature and the environment in industrial society, critiques of these attitudes and implications for approaches to modern environmental issues.

ERS 311 – Environmental Research Project I: Systems Thinking for Interdisciplinary Research

This course provides an opportunity to learn and begin to apply systems-based tools in the context of an interdisciplinary research problem defined by the student in cooperation with the teaching-team. Students are provided with an introduction to the conceptual tools of systems thinking and resilience that help understand the dynamics of social change and social innovation. These conceptual tools will then be applied by students to provide a framework for interdisciplinary research and to develop a richer understanding of a case study of fostering social change and building adaptive capacity.

ERS 315 – Environmental and Sustainability Assessment II

Continuing from concepts developed in ERS 215, this course places more emphasis on case studies and projects by students. The course provides a synthesis of ecological, physical, economic, socio-cultural and institutional concerns, as well as experience in the use of impact assessment methodologies and approaches, as a key element in achieving more informed and responsible decision making.

ERS 316 – Urban Water and Wastewater Systems: Integrated Planning and Management

Focus on urban water management in North America, Australia, Western Asia and the Global South as illustrative systems or cases. Given changing climate conditions, there is increased likelihood of extreme events (e.g., urban flooding and drought) and new water management challenges. Development and maintenance of urban water and wastewater systems, along with demand and supply management planning, efficiency mechanisms, development and equity concerns, will be examined.

ERS 317 – Waste Management

This course will deal with the solid waste system, landfilling, incineration, energy from waste, recycling, composting, reduction and reuse. The context will be primarily Ontario and municipal waste management.

ERS 318 – Photography for Sustainability

Use digital photography to communicate perspectives on sustainability topics; develop and strengthen creative photography and digital image processing skills. [Notes: Course fee required; will not exceed $50 + HST; some digital photography experience beneficial; access to a RAW-capable digital camera essential.]

ERS 320 – Economics and Sustainability

This course offers an examination of relationship between the economy, the environment and sustainability. The course aims to provide students with an understanding of the differing viewpoints on the economy-environment relationship and their associated methods, including their strengths, weaknesses and applicability in a policy context.

ERS 321 – Coastal Social-Ecological Systems

This interdisciplinary course integrates science and policy issues to consider coastal systems as dynamic and linked systems of people and nature. Course content and case studies emphasize key challenges and drivers of change in coastal systems, as well as frameworks and approaches to understand and sustainably govern coastal settings.

ERS 328 – Environmental Politics and System Change

Incremental, transformative and revolutionary system change is seen to derive from a variety of (technological, ecological, institutional, political) drivers. Exploring the history and sociology of environmental politics, the course reviews the drivers of disruptive system change focusing on the role of exogenous shocks, the cumulative impact of environmental science, radical ideas, disruptive technology, mainstream party politics and institutional adaptation, social innovation and traditional `revolutionary' politics.

ERS 330 – Environmental Journalism 1

Introduction to writing (and preparing graphics) for print media on environmental issues, through practical experience working on the environmental journal Alternatives: Perspectives on Society, Technology and Environment. Each participant covers an environmental news beat in a selected regional (e.g. Atlantic Canada) or sectoral (e.g. law, technology, waste) topic area.

ERS 335 – Restoration Ecology

This course will promote class discussion of the theoretical foundations of restoration ecology and their relationship to project implementation, current academic and professional practice, and forecast trends in the discipline. There will be an emphasis on how restoration ecology is changing in the face of small and large scale ecosystem and cultural dynamics. Class will include instruction and experience on how consultants and private or NGO sectors address restoration ecology. The course will emphasize experiential education in the form of a project scoped for time allotted and involve site design, experimental design, project implementation, statistical analysis of data, and professional level writing for academic and practitioner audiences.

ERS 337 – ReWilding and Ecological Restoration

Focus is on restoration and conservation at landscape scale, including an emphasis on connectivity, reintroduction of keystone species, novel ecosystems, re-introduction of apex predators, herbivores, and omnivores. Because ReWilding can be infused with various political agendas and ideologies, technocratic issues, policy ambitions, and governance issues, students can expect to experience a course focused on ecology and technical skills but contextualized and connected to the larger concepts of socioecological change and resilience. There may be opportunities for field experiences.

ERS 340 – Ecosystem Assessment

An applied ecology course for those interested in becoming professional ecologists. In keeping with the Ecological Society of America's Professional Ecologist Certification and the Society for Ecological Restoration's Certification Programme, intensive, multiple-weeks of field skill exercises are undertaken including advanced ecological sampling and experimental design, ecological sample analysis, use of provincially recommended protocols such as VSP (Vegetative Sampling Protocol), and intermediate to advanced taxonomic identification skills. May include certification and accreditation opportunities such as the Ontario Benthos Biomonitoring Network (OBBN) and the Ontario Stream Assessment Protocol and training in Electrofishing and Boating (for research). Location of the course will be within southern Ontario.

ERS 341 – Professional Conservation and Restoration Practice I

An applied ecology course for those interested in becoming professional ecologists. In keeping with the Ecological Society of America's Professional Ecologist Certification and the Society for Ecological Restoration's Certification Programme, an intensive, multiple-weeks field ecology project that students help design and then implement; students learn how to manage and perform ecosystem restoration and conservation projects. Students also will improve practical site inventory and assessment skills for restoration and conservation goals. Projects may involve site constraints, and potential for bioengineering, bioremediation, vegetation installation and erosion-control measures. Location of the course will be within southern Ontario.

ERS 342 – Professional Conservation and Restoration Practice II

An applied ecology course that is designed for those interested in becoming professional ecologists. In keeping with the Ecological Society of America's Professional Ecologist Certification and the Society for Ecological Restoration's Certification Programme, the core vehicle is a 7-10 day field trip that involves on-site discussions of the successes and challenges of ecological restoration and/or conservation projects with practitioners. Normally, these projects are located in the Carolinian Zone and have some focus on coastal areas of Lake Erie. The course will provide a platform for learning the advanced and professional principles of restoration and conservation ecology and the restoration of ecosystem services.

ERS 346 – Wildlife Ecology

This course introduces the main concepts and principles of wildlife ecology. Topics include: population dynamics, animal behavior, habitats, genetics, predation, and habitat use. The lab component will introduce students to wildlife data collection, analysis, and interpretation.

ERS 360 – Nature: Art, Myth and Folklore

This course explores the symbolic representation of nature in art, architecture, myth and literature from a multi-cultural perspective. The ideas about sacred spaces and environments will also be discussed.

ERS 361 – Food Systems and Sustainability

This course examines dimensions of food systems sustainability and food security, from production to consumption, from local to global scales, in the Global North and South. Specific themes covered in the course include technological and genetic change in food production, resource depletion and wider environmental impacts of the industrial food system, and policy, market-oriented, and civil society initiatives to bring about change in the food system, including organic production and localizing food systems. [formerly: GEOG/ERS 461] [Offered online only.]

ERS 365 – Water Governance

Water governance refers to the processes and institutions through which societies make decisions and take actions that affect water. A profound, world-wide shift in the nature of water governance is occurring because governments can no longer be the primary source of decision making authority regarding water. Instead, through mechanisms that range from markets to co-management arrangements, citizens, non-government organizations and corporations are now playing key roles in water governance. The course explores major water governance challenges in Canada, and assesses different ways of addressing or resolving them.

ERS 370 – Corporate Sustainability: Issues and Prospects

A course that examines the ways in which sustainability issues and business operations have interacted, considering progressively 'greener' corporate responses and broader sustainability challenges.

ERS 371 – An Ecosystem Approach to Environment and Health

This course will take an ecosystem approach to the issues of environment and health. The environment as defined in this course includes the natural (biological), built, social and political settings. Case studies will be used to illustrate environmental health issues using an interdisciplinary approach.

ERS 372 – First Nations and the Environment

First Nation environmental issues are often complex and require a holistic approach where the lines between different disciplines (e.g. natural, physical, health, and social sciences) are often obscured. The environment, as described in this course, includes the natural (biological) and built (social, political) settings. Case studies will be used to illustrate significant issues.

ERS 373 – Special Topics in Environment, Resources and Sustainability

Course content varies according to instructor availability and demand for specific topics in environment, resources and sustainability and may include field courses.

ERS 374 – Special Topics in Environment, Resources and Sustainability

Course content varies according to instructor availability and demand for specific topics in environment, resources and sustainability and may include field courses.

ERS 375 – Special Readings/Seminar on Select Topics

Background reading and study in consultation with faculty. Typically utilized when a student must study a topic in connection with other work, but no course offering that topic is available.

ERS 382 – Ecological Monitoring

Through on-line readings and a ten day field trip, this course provides students with theoretical and practical knowledge of ecological monitoring through active participation in programs applying protocols developed by the Smithsonian Institute/Man and the Biosphere Program. The course is a collaborative effort with professional staff from selected governmental agencies, and independent organizations.

ERS 383 – Tropical Ecosystems

This course examines the fundamental concepts of terrestrial ecosystems in tropical climates. The course has three sections: (1) biophysical aspects (climate, location, landforms, soil, vegetation), (2) tropical resource systems (forest- and agroecosystems) within the framework of conventional and sustainable resource extraction, and (3) current conservation issues. Case studies are presented.

ERS 400 – Social-Ecological Approaches to Sustainability

This course examines how societies and organizations deal with and respond to social-ecological system complexity, uncertainty and change, and emphasizes tools, strategies and approaches to foster environment and resource sustainability.

ERS 401 – Sustainability Science and its Critiques

This course is the capstone opportunity for students to engage in an advanced critical analysis regarding the validity and evidence for the notion of sustainability and where it intersects with the full range of the sciences (social, physical, natural) and political action. The course will explore what alternatives exist within and outside of the theoretical framework of sustainability and what implications these all have for the relationship and practical operations between society and the sphere of issues related environment and resources. While there will be some lectures, the intent is to have students participate more intensively in both class and tutorial discussions.

ERS 402 – Senior Honours Research Seminar

This course focuses upon research on complex problems that are typical when examining how to foster environmental sustainability and sustainable use of resources. The seminar format is designed to allow students to engage in deeper discussions about how to approach and attempt to resolve these complex problems. There will be tutorials to facilitate discussion in smaller groups. Learning opportunities will vary from term to term and may include small projects.

ERS 403A – Senior Honours Thesis

This course is for students who have defined a problem related to the mission and scope of the School of Environment, Resources and Sustainability and will undertake original research that leads to production of a thesis. ERS 403A normally consists of final revisions to a concise research proposal and beginning of the research tasks; this process may vary slightly, depending on the nature of the research. The research process and thesis write-up will continue and be concluded in ERS 403B.

ERS 403B – Senior Honours Thesis

This course is a continuation of ERS 403A. It normally consists of a continuation of the research process that began in ERS 403A and leads to the completion of the research and the thesis write-up. It is for students who have defined a problem related to the mission and scope of the School of Environment, Resources and Sustainability and will undertake original research that leads to production of a thesis. The procedures outlined in ERS 403A must be followed.

ERS 404 – Global Environmental Governance

Examination of the ways in which world society is striving to address environmental challenges by means of 'global governance' - that is, international organizations and institutions intended to deal with these challenges. The history of international environmental politics will be reviewed, specific organizations and other actors involved in global environmental governance will be examined and the management of particular global environmental challenges investigated.

ERS 406 – Paths to Sustainability

Experiential and reflective course examines everyday significance of several 'metaphors we live by' both as citizens and as environmentalists. Examines links between language, worldview and sustainability by contrasting metaphors used in sustainability discourse, including ecological balance and health, ecosystem services, planetary boundaries, resilience and restoration.

ERS 409 – Activism! Community Action for Environmental and Social Change

Focus on analyzing social and environmental problems and creating strategies for change. Theories and concepts of community development, critical analysis and praxis - integration of action and reflection - will be introduced. The role and importance of social movements, including environmentalism, feminism, and the peace movement will be discussed. Skills in developing and implementing change strategies in areas such as facilitation, consensus-backed decision-making and conflict resolution will be introduced.

ERS 410 – Environmental Analysis and Solutions VI: Ecosocial Systems

The final course in this theme will examine the cumulative lessons learned in ERS and focus on emerging issues and problems related to the environment and how transdisciplinary approaches may solve them. Advanced ideas drawn from a range of literatures (social, natural and physical sciences, literature, philosphy, history, economics) will be discussed and their influence on social movements and environmental policy and laws discussed.

ERS 411A – Environmental Research Project II

Founded on principles and efforts in ERS 311, students will begin research and actions needed to complete a project of sufficient scope to demonstrate mastery of problem-solving and communication skills on a selected problem or issue related to the environment.

ERS 411B – Environmental Research Project III

Continues ERS 411A; students will complete their project and present it during a conference-style and quality poster session near the end of term.

ERS 412A – Environmental Research Project II

Founded on principles and efforts in ERS 311, students will begin research and actions needed to complete a project of sufficient scope to demonstrate mastery of problem-solving and communication skills on a selected program or issue related to the environment. Greater credit weight relative to ERS 411A reflects a project more ambitious in scope.

ERS 412B – Environmental Research Project III

Continues ERS 412A; students will complete their project and present it during a conference-style and quality poster session near the end of term.

ERS 413 – Senior Honours Research Seminar

This course consists of intensive readings, seminar discussion and a major one-term research paper. It will be taken instead of ERS 411A/B or ERS 412A/B. One particular socio-ecological thematic area will be used in areas such as environmental health, environmental decision-making, climate change, ecological restoration, environmental history, etc. A major analytical research paper and presentation will be required, as well as participation in weekly seminar discussions.

ERS 413A – Environmental Research Project II

Founded on principles and efforts in ERS 311, students will begin research and actions needed to complete a project of sufficient scope to demonstrate mastery of problem-solving and communication skills on a selected problem or issue related to the environment. Greater credit weight relative to ERS 412A reflects a project more ambitious in scope.

ERS 413B – Environmental Research Project III

Continuation of ERS 413A; students will complete their project and present it during a conference-style and quality poster session near the end of term.

ERS 415 – Environmental and Sustainability Assessment III

Continuing from concepts developed in ERS 215 and ERS 315, this course will focus on the latest concepts and applications of assessment principles and practices. The course focus will vary from year to year following development in the field. Topics may include assessment into land use planning and community design, policy and program assessment, and assessment of new technologies and alternative futures.

ERS 422 – Biosphere Reserves as Social-Ecological Systems

A term-long reading course introducing students to social-ecological systems, using the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in Georgian Bay. Internationally known as "experiments in sustainable development," biosphere reserves pursue conservation of biodiversity, sustainable resource management, and aim to build social and ecological resilience. Students will link theories from their readings to guest lectures and excursions that address aquatic ecosystems, sustainable forestry, species at risk management, and indigenous knowledge.

ERS 430 – Environmental Journalism 2

Advanced work in environmental journalism including examination of ethical issues and practical problems. Special attention to complex stories, editing and design. Course focus depends on nature of individual projects selected by participants.

ERS 431 – Ecological Consequences of Climate Change

This course focuses on the ecological consequences of climate change and associated effects on biodiversity. This course examines the challenges a changing climate poses for ecology, conservation biology research and management. The evidence that we will use in this course will be taken from scientific papers, expert knowledge systems and a variety of alternative approaches.

ERS 443 – Ecosystem Field Research

This field research course is designed to involve students in high level intensive research on the function and/or structure of ecosystems as they change because of successional and human processes. Students will normally undertake an experimental approach to an ecosystem-based problem and evaluation outcomes of their experiment or long-term data sets. The course will be focused on one ecosystem per offering, e.g. marine, aquatic, terrestrial forest, mountain. It is expected that the course will be off-campus at a field station or protected area within North America but there may be opportunities to deliver it outside of North America. When offered, the syllabus will provide details on exact location.

ERS 446 – Wildlife Management

This course introduces the main concepts and principles for the management of wildlife species. This course builds on ERS 346 and explores the application of the principles from that course to the management of wildlife. The lab component will build on the skills of wildlife data collection, analysis, and interpretation presented in ERS 346.

ERS 454 – Parks and Protected Areas: Issues and Trends

Government decisions to conserve rather than develop natural resources are nationally and internationally significant, but are often controversial. This course examines public policy objectives, issues and diverse perspectives related to the conservation of marine and terrestrial environments through the establishment and ongoing management of parks and protected areas. Lectures, seminar discussions and assignments engage students in the exploration of key public policy conservation issues.

ERS 461 – Food Systems and Sustainability

This course examines dimensions of food systems sustainability and food security, from production to consumption, from local to global scales, in the Global North and South. Specific themes covered in the course include technological and genetic change in food production, resource depletion and wider environmental impacts of the industrial food system, and policy, market-oriented, and civil society initiatives to bring about change in the food system, including organic production and localizing food systems.

ERS 462 – Global Food and Agricultural Politics

This course examines the global food and agriculture system. Specific themes to be covered include political and governance issues related to the Green Revolution, global food corporations, agricultural trade liberalization, food aid, international agricultural assistance, the global agro-chemical industry, and agricultural bio-technology.

ERS 464 – Economics and Sustainability

Advanced introduction and examination of a range of approaches to the relationship among the economy, the environment and sustainability. Course material covers both theoretical and practical policy challenges.

ERS 473 – Special Topics in Environment, Resources and Sustainability

Course content varies according to instructor availability and demand for specific topics in environment, resources and sustainability and may include field courses.

ERS 474 – Special Topics in Environment, Resources and Sustainability

Course content varies according to instructor availability and demand for specific topics in environment, resources and sustainability and may include field courses.

ERS 475 – Special Readings/Seminar on Select Topics

Background reading and study in consultation with faculty. Typically utilized when a student must study a topic in connection with other work, but no course offering that topic is available.

ERS 476 – Environmental Education

This web-based course is designed to assist undergraduate teaching assistants to develop their own philosophy and strategies for environmental education, explore various methods in teaching, and become effective teachers themselves. TAs will learn how to document, prepare, and implement lesson plans for tutorials, evaluate assignments, communicate effectively, and develop productive approaches to effective class session management.

ERS 484 – Soil Ecosystem Dynamics

This course examines the role of soil in the environment, its importance as a natural resource in agricultural and forest productivity, and the effects on soil resources as a result of different management practices. It is divided into three sections: 1) introduction to soil composition, formation, and physical, chemical and biological characteristics of soil; 2) soil degradation and management approaches to rehabilitation; 3) soil pollution and the role of soil in maintaining environmental integrity.

ERS 489 – Global Food Systems

Examines the global nature of food systems from production to consumption, including both industrial and alternative models. Specific themes covered in the course include technological change in agriculture, corporate concentration, international agricultural trade, food aid, fair trade, and organic production in the Global North and South.

ERS 604 – Advanced Topics in Global Environmental Governance

This course examines the ways in which environmental challenges are being addressed by means of 'global governance' - that is, international organizations and institutions intended to deal with these environmental challenges. Concepts are investigated both to help analyze the relative strengths and weaknesses of existing structures and to suggest ways in which alternative forms of global governance might advance sustainability. Specific organizations and other actors presently active in global environmental governance are given particular attention, as is the management of selected global environmental challenges.

ERS 605 – Ecosystem Perspectives and Analysis

Review of recent theoretical and applied studies of ecosystems. Critical examination of the use of ecosystem concepts in ideologically-based calls for significant alternatives in the organization of societies, institutions, individual lifestyles and philosophical beliefs.

ERS 606 – Governing Global Food and Agriculture Systems

This course examines the international rules and organizations that have emerged to govern the increasingly global system of food and agriculture. Specific themes to be covered include governance issues related to the rise of global food corporations, agricultural trade liberalization and the WTO, food aid distribution, international agricultural assistance, the global agro-chemical industry, and agricultural biotechnology.

ERS 610 – Public Administration of the Environment & Natural Resources

Contemporary instruments of policy-making and public administration in the context of natural resources will be examined. A term project which will analyze a contemporary issue in the mining, forestry, fisheries, parks or protected areas will be undertaken.

ERS 615 – Community Economic Development

Community Economic Development is a field of theory, process and practice that is concerned with understanding the forces shaping communities and finding sustainable local solutions to economic needs. This seminar course will examine topics such as capacity-building, asset-based strategies, social capital, poverty-alleviation, social enterprises and co-operatives, and comprehensive community initiatives, using international and local examples and case studies.

ERS 618 – Sustainable Energy Systems

Background on energy issues in Canada in the context of an environmental imperative to develop energy systems that are sustainable in both ecological and socio-political terms.

ERS 619 – Energy Sustainability

Renewable and non-renewable energy supply systems are compared using economic and environmental measures. Consumption trends, conservation options and choices are considered at the household, community and global scales. Projects are used to demonstrate the economic and environmental challenges in the design of sustainable energy systems. *eligible for MES.

ERS 622 – Biosphere Reserves as Social-Ecological Systems

The Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve is one of 16 UNESCO biosphere reserves in Canada, and is used as a setting to learn about sustainable community development, adaptive resource management, and social and ecological resilience. The main objective is to link practical experience "on the ground" with some of the theoretical concepts related to sustainability and complex social ecological systems.

ERS 630 – Waste Management

Waste management will be considered in the context of environmental assessment and waste management master planning. The solid waste stream will be analyzed in terms of its make up and disposal options. Landfill will be considered in terms of siting, design and management. Incineration will be discussed as will recycling, composting and the handling of household hazardous waste. Students will be required to do a critical evaluation of a municipality's waste management experience in light of changing regulations and procedures over the last decade.

ERS 650 – Topics in Governance and Sustainable Communities

Topics in Governance and Sustainable Communities is a course that considers various contemporary socio-ecological issues and challenges in urban and rural communities. The course focuses on effective local approaches to environmental governance and decision-making. Topics will vary from year to year. Examples include integrated water, food, or energy systems, ecological design and restoration, biosphere reserves, green infrastructure, sustainable livelihoods, ecological democracy and environmental justice. Course requirements include weekly readings and discussants, a term paper and presentation related in some manner to a student's thesis work.

ERS 654 – Parks and Protected Areas

Government decisions to conserve rather than develop natural resources are nationally and internationally significant, but are often controversial. This course examines public policy objectives, issues and diverse perspectives related to the conservation of marine and terrestrial environments through the establishment and ongoing management of parks and protected areas. Lectures, seminar discussions and assignments engage students in the exploration of key public policy conservation issues.

ERS 660 – Perspectives in Resource and Environmental Management

Current research and practice in resource and environmental management. *eligible for MES.

ERS 669 – Research and Design Methods

This course will examine different ways of knowing and modes of research design relevant for interdisciplinary environmental research. Students will also be introduced to an array of quantitative and qualitative research methods in the natural and social sciences and will explore methods relevant to their research through class discussions and assignments.

ERS 670 – MES Research Development

The goal of the course is to ensure that all students will have a completed proposal by the end of term. The course will help students design and implement an appropriate research project and communicate results.

ERS 674 – Special Topics in Environment and Resource Studies

These courses allow for additions to the program on a short-term basis, and for development of future permanent courses. (Note: Field trip fee may apply)

ERS 675 – Special Readings and Seminars on Selected Topics in Environment and Resource Studies

Particular offerings may be initiated by a faculty member in consultation with interested students. In all cases instructor consent is required.

ERS 680 – Sustainability Foundations

This course is intended to help students establish a reasonable working base from which to explore different fields of interest related to the pursuit of sustainability in a world of complex socio-ecological systems. The course focuses on the nature and implications of the intertwined theories, concepts and principles that are foundational to studies and applications in the transdisciplinary MES program.

ERS 681 – Sustainability Applications

The course examines how societies can respond in practical ways to complexity, change and uncertainty, Social and ecological theory is blended with examples of applications and strategies (local/global) to support management and governance in social-ecological systems. Emphasis is placed on how individuals and societies can transcend disciplinary thinking to build our capacity to foster sustainability.

ERS 684 – Soil in the Environment

This course examines the role of soil in the environment and its importance as a natural resource in agricultural and forest productivity and the effects on soil due to mismanagement.

ERS 701 – Sustainability in Complex Socio-Ecological Systems

Consideration of transdisciplinary theoretical and methodological frameworks for analyzing issues that arise from the complex interactions among human decision making, communities and biophysical systems at various scales. The frameworks chosen are applicable to broad environment and resource issues as well as to a wide range of more specific topics.

ERS 702 – Critical Analysis and Advance Research in Environmental Studies

Examination of the process leading from design of critical transdisciplinary research to publication of findings and other outreach to the broader community. The course will include examination of doctoral research design in ERS, the nature of potential findings and means of dissemination of findings, including the diverse academic literature in environmental studies.