10 courses you can take to understand and help our planet

Posted on Friday, May 17, 2019

Bill Nye on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver via YouTube.

According to a recent UN report, 1 million animal and plant species are at risk of extinction due to climate change, pollution and invasive species. As climate change worsens, misinformation spreads. In the words of Bill Nye the Science Guy: "The planet is on #$@&%* fire!”.

The following courses will arm you with the information you need to drive important conversations and make an impact on our collective future.

Une montagne couverte de verdure entourée de nuages

1. The Earth and How It Works

GEO 1301
Learn about a number of geological processes that started 4.6 billion years ago and continue to mold our Earth today, including earthquakes, volcanoes, and mountain building. The evolution of life and the scientific and environmental issues related to natural resource exploitation (water, oil, gas, coal, metals) will also be discussed.

Des dizaines de bouteilles d'eau en plastique

2. Global Environmental Challenges

ENV 1101
The threat of human induced environmental degradation and the societal responses to these environmental challenges. Case studies from contemporary examples such as climate change, air and water pollution and its impact on human health, from a social science perspective.

Une affiche en carton sur laquelle est écrit «Sauver la planète»

3. Ecopolitics

POL 3175
Analysis of major debates about the politics of the environment. Focus on environmental political theory, environmental movements, green political parties and environmental public policies in various countries, including Canada, as well as at the international level.

Le secteur riverain de Toronto avec un paysage urbain

4. Sustainable Cities

GEG 2110
Examination of the interface between built and social environments with an emphasis on environmental sustainability and social equity.

Trois vaches dans un champ

5. Ecology

BIO 2129
Introduction to the study of ecological systems: the nature of ecological experiments; population dynamics; population harvesting; ecological processes structuring biological communities in space and time; energy and nutrient flows in ecosystems; the relationship between ecological goods and services. Field and lab exercises expose students to basic principles in ecological study design, experimentation and sampling, data analysis, and illustrate important ecological processes. Prerequisite: BIO 1130.

A bird-eye view of a beach with a canoes of different colours lineup on the beach

6. Introduction to Environmental Science

EVS 1101
Introduction to the various environmental sciences including biodiversity, ecotoxicology, contaminant transport and fate in soils and the hydrosphere, climatology and global warming, atmospheric chemistry, and waste management. Prerequisites: Advanced Functions and Introductory Calculus 4U or Calculus and Vectors 4U or MAT 1319 or MAT 1339 and two of the 4U Science or Mathematics courses.

Des étudiants marchent dans un passage pour piétons

7. The Human Animal

BIO 1300
The biology of the human species. The human species' place, and what it means to be, within the Kingdom Animalia. The human species' origin, evolution, basic anatomy, physiology, reproduction and sexuality. The biological basis of human families, cultures and societies will also be discussed. This course cannot be taken for credit by Science or Engineering students.

Agriculture sur la montagne du Machu Picchu

8. Climatology

GEG 2304
The climate system. Energy balance, atmosphere dynamics and resulting weather conditions. The general circulation, mid latitude and tropical climates.

Un ours polaire marche sur la neige

9. Geography of Polar Regions

GEG 3107
Regional geography of the Arctic and the Antarctic. Physical environment, ecosystems, environmental change, natural resources and development, governance, social issues. Contrasts between the two ends of the earth. Course with laboratory or field excursions.

La planète Terre vue de l'espace

10. The Physical Environment

GEG 1301
Interactions of the atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, cryosphere, and biosphere. Selected themes discussed in relation to global change. Course with laboratory or field work.

Looking for electives without prerequisites? Browse the list.

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