Environmental Studies Courses

Course Code Course Title Description
ENV 1001H Environmental Decision Making This course introduces and critically considers concepts and methods for making decisions about environmental problems. Topics include critical thinking, quantitative and qualitative approaches to decision making, science and the use of models, addressing conflicting objectives and stakeholders through formal evaluation methods and collective decision making, dealing with uncertainties, values, perceptions and ethical considerations. The material is presented through lectures and class discussions using examples and case studies. Note that all course material may not be posted on the site, and students must ensure that they receive all announcements and handouts given out during the classes.
ENV 1002H Environmental Policy Subject
The subject of the course is action taken or not taken by governments at all four levels (local, sub-national, national and international) to achieve environmental policy goals. The focus is upon Canada, but other countries are also discussed. The latter part of the course examines the failure to date of Canadian federal and provincial governments to put in place policies which are capable of meeting the international commitments as a member of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) regime Canada made in 1997 at Kyoto and 2009 at Copenhagen. The central question to be explored in that part of the course is this: what are the major factors explaining this Canadian policy failure?

Educational objectives
The purpose is to provide a comprehensive understanding of government organization, decision-making procedures, policy instruments and the roles of non-state actors in the environmental policy system. Secondly, the course explores the major factors which influence governments as they develop and implement environmental policy, such as the institutional structure and interests and powers of the policy actors. Thirdly, the intent is to give students a fairly detailed understanding of Canadian climate change policy.

ENV 1004H Urban Sustainability and Ecological Technology Ecological technology, in a limited sense, encompasses those technologies that incorporate ecosystems to replace mechanical or non-living components in a machine or a piece of infrastructure. These technologies might include green roofs, green walls and living machines. As cities grow and as densities increase, green space often decreases, leading to a number of consequences, some expected and some unexpected. Can ecological technologies replace the green spaces, in terms of area and function, within a city? Can these technologies be used as adaptation strategies to climate change? Are there unexpected consequences that would reduce sustainability? Expanding the definition of ecological technology to include design according to ecological principles, whether the design is for a particular machine, a building, a community or even a city expands the discussion to include economics, geography, sociology, psychology, engineering, architecture and urban planning.
ENV 1005H Business and Environmental Politics The subject is the role played by business in the development and implementation of environmental policy at the international and domestic levels. Although other countries are examined, the primary subject is the business role within Canada. The term "business" includes all sectors and levels of analysis but the primary focus is upon the individual resource or manufacturing corporation interacting with environmental regulators.
ENV 1008H Worldviews and Ecology This course undertakes a historical and interdisciplinary examination of diverse ecological worldviews as a means for instigating and enhancing class discussion. Our focus will be the current environmental situation/crisis and the several religious/spiritual as well as contemporary cultural worldviews that have given rise to the environmental situation today and the way in which we understand the way things are. We will assess the cosmological dimensions of human-nonhuman natural dynamics in various historical traditions/paradigms: (a) the spiritual worldviews of First Nations, Judaism, Islam, Western Christianity, Orthodox Easter Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Daoism; (b) contemporary dominant secular worldviews: globalization, postglobalization, modernity/enlightenment/modern science, capitalism/consumerism; and (c) emerging worldviews with new possibilities: ecofeminism, deep ecology, Whiteheadian process philosophy, Bateson’s systems theory, Thomas Berry’s ecozoism. We will delve into these worldviews with the hope of understanding them and their context for environmental concerns today. We will try to see how each one of them affects human consciousness and knowing awareness, as well as how each separately or some of them jointly inform our decision-making and activity in terms of the natural (human and nonhuman) systems.
ENV 1103H The UofT Campus as a Living Lab Sustainability is a growing priority for universities all over the world. Many are developing strong operational sustainability goals and targets, and are giving increasing emphasis to teaching and research on sustainability issues. Yet few have committed at the executive level to integrating academic and operational sustainability in the context of treating their campus as a living laboratory of sustainable practice, research and teaching. Arguably, it is such living lab approaches that offer the largest potential for universities to play a significant role in the sustainability transition. This course will explore and apply the living lab concept, in the context of operational sustainability at the University of Toronto. We will begin by looking briefly at the literature on university sustainability and the living lab concept. The bulk of the course will involve undertaking an applied research project on some aspect of campus sustainability, working in close partnership with operational staff at the University of Toronto. Students will develop the skills needed to work across disciplines and fields of study, and with non-academic partners.
ENV 1444H Capitalist Nature This course will draw on a range of theoretical and empirical research materials in order to examine the particularities of what might be referred to as “capitalist nature”. Specifically, the course is concerned with three central questions: (i) what are the unique political, ecological, and geographical dynamics of environmental change propelled by capital accumulation and the dynamics of specifically capitalist forms of “commodification”? (ii) how and why is nature commodified in a capitalist political economy, and what are the associated problems and contradictions? (iii) how can we understand the main currents of policy and regulatory responses to these dynamics?
ENV 1701H Environmental Law Law is a key instrument in environmental management. What is the general framework which governs the Canadian environment? What are the values, assumptions, and guiding principles which underlie this framework? Are there alternative models for regulation? How does the Canadian model compare to other models? This course will address these questions with the intention of giving students a basic understanding of regulatory policies in Canada governing the environment, natural resource use and allocation.
ENV 1703H Water Resources Mangement and Policy This course will address the interaction between energy and water resources in the context of climate change, focusing on institutional, socio-economic and policy aspects of water. Special topics include water resources management in (a) megacities in developed and developing countries (e.g. Greater Toronto and Beijing), (b) small islands, particularly tourism-intensive economies, (e) Canadian water issues (e.g. Great Lakes and the Alberta tar sands). The course is conducted as a graduate seminar. Each participant focuses on a selected topic or case study.
ENV 1704H Environmental Risk Analysis and Management

General concepts of risk analysis and management will be introduced in a framework that will include risk identification, estimation, evaluation, management, and emergency planning. These are illustrated by applications to natural hazards, climate change, medical risks, occupational health, contaminated industrial lands, banking and insurance.

ENV 1707H Environmental Finance and Sustainable Investing Environmental finance and responsible investing are fast-emerging fields. They involve the application of new and established financial market instruments and practices to the management of environmental issues, and the incorporation of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into asset management. Banks, insurance companies, pension funds, venture capitalists, financial services companies, corporations and governments are becoming increasingly engaged on the topic in order to manage risks and capitalize on new opportunities. This course explores the growing materiality of ESG factors on the bottom line financials, using real case examples of how various firms and investors are driving and responding to this relatively new strategic area. An in-depth knowledge of financial markets is not required.
ENV 2000H Topics: Environmental Studies Independent Study Special Reading Course. Before registering for this course, students will write a proposal to the School of the Environment's Coordinator of Graduate Studies, including the name of the instructor who has agreed to supervise this course.
ENV 2002H Special Topics: Environmental Studies Special Reading Course. Before registering for this course, students will write a proposal to the School of the Environment's Coordinator of Graduate Studies, including the name of the instructor who has agreed to supervise this course.
JSE1708H The Development of Sustainability Thought This course will examine how attitudes towards human nature and non-human nature have changed over the period from Mesolithic times until the present in Western society. By reading and discussing historical arguments and contemporary documents we will attempt to uncover the underlying assumptions about the world that were characteristic of different periods in the history of Western culture. The underlying question is whether contemporary concerns about sustainability require fundamental changes in the way we conceive of ourselves and our environment.
ENV 4444Y+ Internship Students who do a research paper are required to do an internship. Students must register with the School of the Environment Student Advisor before starting their internship and fill out the SOE  Internship Placement Form. Please check the Internship Guidelines page for more information.
ENV 5555Y+ Research Paper Environmental Studies students who do not have a home departmental alphanumeric code for their research papers will use this code. A final copy of the research paper (bound or unbound) must be submitted to the CFE Graduate Student Advisor. Please check the Research Paper Guidelines page for more information.
Joint and Cross Listed Courses Joint and Cross-Listed Courses Elective Joint and Cross-Listed Courses with the School of the Environment

Adult Education & Community Development (LHAE)
LHA 1104H Community Education and Organizing
LHA 1131H Special Topics in Adult Education: Commons, Communities and Social Justice
LHA 1160H Introduction to Transformative Learning Studies
LHA 1178H Practitioner/Ecological Identity and Reflexive Inquiry
LHA 1193H Special Topics in Adult Education: Adult Education for Sustainability 

ANT 6018H Theories of Nature and Society 

Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry
CHE 1435H Aerosol Physics and Chemistry 
CHE 2504H Industrial Pollution Prevention
JNC 2503H Environmental Pathway 

CHM 1401H Transport and Fate of Chemical Species in the Environment
CHM 1404H Molecular Analysis of Natural Systems
CHM 1410H Analytical Environmental Chemistry
CHM 1415H Topics in Atmospheric Chemistry
CHM 1420H Environmental Chemistry of Soil
CHM 1425H Modelling the Fate of Organic Chemicals in the Environment

Computer Science
CSC 2720H Systems Thinking for Global Problems

Earth Sciences
GRG 1213H Global Ecology and Biogeochemical Cycles

FOR 1270H Forest Biomaterial Sciences
FOR 1288H Design & Manufacturing of Biomaterials
FOR 1294H Bioenergy and Biorefinery Technology
FOR 1416H Forest Fire Danger Rating
FOR 1555H Wildlife Ecology & Conservation
FOR 1575H Urban Forest Conservation
JFG 1610H Sustainable Forest Management and Certification

Geography and Planning
GGR 1406H Sustainable Building Energy Use and Supply
GGR 1407H Efficient Use of Energy
GGR 1408H Carbon-Free Energy 
GGR 1214H Global Ecology and Biogeochemical Cycles 
JGE 1413H Environmental Impact Assessment 
JGE 1420H Urban Waste Management 
JGE 1425H Livelihoods, Poverty and Environment in the Developing Countries 
JGE 1609H Cities, Industry and the Environment   
JPG 1402H Environment and Development
JPG 1403H Political Ecology of African Environments
JPG 1404H Issues in Global Warming
JPG 1410H Institutional and Organizational Ecology
JPG 1415H Global Environmental Justice and Social Movements
JPG 1419H Aboriginal/Canadian Relations in Environment and Resource Management
JPG1426H Natural Resources, Difference and Conflict
JPG1428H Managing Urban Ecosystems
JPG1429H Political Ecology of Food & the Agrarian Question
JPG 1518H Sustainability and Urban Communities
PLA 1601H Environmental Planning and Policy

Global Affairs
JSE 1708H The Development of Sustainability Thought

INF 2125H Information and Culture in a Global Context

Mechanical & Industrial Engineering
MIE 1120H Current Energy Infrastructure and Resources  

Political Science
POL 2213H Global Environmental Politics

PHY 1498H Introduction to Atmospheric Physics
PHY 2502H Climate System Dynamics
PHY 2504H Atmospheric Dynamics
PHY 2505H Atmospheric Radiative Transfer and Remote Sounding
PHY 2506H Data Assimilation and Retrieval Theory

Social Justice Education
SJE 1909H Environmental (In)Justice: Race, Class, Gender, Nation 
SJE 1919H Environmental Sustainability and Social Justice II
SJE 2999H Special Topics in Sociological Research in Education