Contact the Environmental Studies ProgramLara Osiowy
Administrative Assistant Phone: 306-585-4222
Welcome to Environmental Studies
The environment refers to everything that surrounds us, including human beings. Under such a broad umbrella, environmental studies encompasses the study of how human beings connect with the physical structures, institutions and economies we build, the politics, language and culture by which we communicate, and the planet and its intricate variety of living and non-living elements and processes.
As Carson (2007) wrote:
- "Some questions, no matter how important or challenging, are well-understood and manageable. It may take hard investigative work to respond, but we know who to call. What do we do, however, when the problem is vast? When the dividing line between one problem and another is blurred? When the scope is global or subatomic? When there are many contributing factors, some unknown, some human and some culturally dependent? Such problems are especially characteristic of environmental studies, where even a small change can tug at the intricately woven fabric of our world and its conditions."
Environmental Studies asks these types of questions:
- What role does scientific knowledge have in environmental decision making?
- Is there a conflict between an economy based on growth and a planet with finite resources?
- Are nature and culture separate concepts?
- Are economic exploitation, environmental justice and environmental racism linked?
- What is the difference between environmental policy and environmental politics?
- Who defines what constitutes an environmental issue?
- Who benefits, and pays, for environmental reform?
- How do we systematically address problems that may be unsystematic?
Areas of study
Students in this program will study the concepts and interrelationships needed to understand the complexities of environmental issues. The Environmental Studies program includes courses in Biology, Economics, Geography, Geology, Sociology and Social Studies, Justice Studies, Philosophy and Classics, and Women's and Gender Studies.
A look at the future
Your degree in Environmental Studies prepares you for an environmental career that is in demand. The Environmental Careers Organization Canada (ECO) predicts the average annual rate of growth in environmental employment through 2010 to be 12.5 percent higher* than total Canadian employment across all industries. ECO categorizes employment into three* distinct interrelated sectors that reflect the integrated nature of the environment and ecosystems:
policy and legislation
communications and policy awareness
management for sustainable development
environmental protection management
human and environmental health and safety
air / water / land quality
restoration and reclamation
Conservation & Preservation of Natural Resources
natural resources management
fisheries and wildlife
forestry / agriculture / mining / energy
parks and natural reserves
*from the 2007 Profile of Canadian Environmental Employment, ECO Canada - a unique study, that claims the most accurate estimate of Canadian environmental employment to-date.
To find out more about the Environmental Studies program contact:
Dr. Ulrike Hardenbicker
Coordinator for Environmental Studies and Associate Professor
Department of Geography
Office: Classroom Building 325.1