New Academic Program & Course Offerings at the Centre

Wednesday, January 30, 2008 12:05:24 PM

Program News


Starting in 2008-09, the Centre for Environment will be offering two new collaborative minor programs:

1. Environment and Energy B.Sc. Minor: jointly sponsored with the Department of Geography, it addresses the scientific, technological, environmental and policy aspects of energy use and supply, with a focus on the reduction of environmental impacts.

2. Environment and Behaviour B.A. Minor: jointly sponsored with the Department of Psychology, it focuses on understanding issues of psychological motivation and attitudes that underlie environmental decision making.

Also to be offered in 2008-09 are the following new courses:

  • As part of the new Environment and Energy Minor: ENV 346H, Terrestrial Energy Systems, offered by Engineering, and JGE 347H, Efficient Use of Energy, and JGE 348H, Carbon-Free Energy, offered by Geography, and starting in 2009-10 ENV 450Y, Energy and Environment Solutions.
  • JEH 455H, Current Issues in Environmental Health, a science course offered jointly with Human Biology, addresses complex issues at the interface between environment and health, and is a capstone course for the Environment and Health Specialist program.
  • ENV 336H, Ecology in Human-Dominated Environments, is a two-week science field course in Southern Ontario is an introduction to human impacts on semi-natural and human-dominated environments, and tools for assessment of the states of these ecosystems.


For more information, please contact David Powell at 416-946-8100 or
For information on current undergraduate programs and courses, please visit:



 2007-08 Update:
In the Fall of 2007, the Centre for Environment welcomed 25 new graduate students, four of whom are Ph.D. students, in its collaborative program in Environmental Studies (ES). This brings the total of students enrolled in its two collaborative programs (including Environment and Health) to 65. The majority (12) of the new students in the ES program are also enrolled in the Department of Geography; others are in Department of Adult Education, Community Development and Counselling Psychology (OISE/UT); Department of Chemistry; Department of Economics; Faculty of Information Studies; Department of Political Science; and the Department and Centre for the Study of Religion. Our continuing ES students also include several from other diverse units such as the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Faculty of Forestry, Department of Philosophy, and the Faculty of Social Work.

 Also in 2007-08, the Centre has introduced four new graduate course offerings. In the Fall of 2007, it offered the newly revised ENV 1002H Environmental Policy course (formerly Environmental Management Case Studies) taught by Dr. Douglas Macdonald, Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Environment, and ENV 1004 Urban Sustainability and Ecological Technology taught by Dr. Brad Bass of the Adaptation and Impacts Research Division of Environment Canada, and the Centre for Environment.

In the Spring 2008 term, the Centre will offer two new courses:

  • ENV 1005H Business and Environmental Politics to be taught by Dr. Douglas Macdonald. This course will look at the role played by business in the development and implementation of environmental policy at international and domestic levels. Although other countries are examined, the primary subject will be 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 corporations interacting with environmental regulators.
  • ENV 1008H Worldviews and Ecology taught by Dr. Tim Leduc. This course will undertake a historical and interdisciplinary examination of diverse ecological worldviews as a means for deepening the class discussion and analysis of both the current environmental situation, and the arising religious/spiritual responses. Students will have the opportunity to assess the validity of contemplating the cosmological dimensions of human-nature dynamics in various historical and geographical contexts. Following an introduction of some contemporary religious/spiritual thought on today’s environmental crisis, there will be a historical progression of sessions on hunter-gatherer, agricultural and urban ecological worldviews, all ranging in time from the past to the present. The course will end with a re-thinking of Canada, Ontario and Toronto’s present ecologies, environmental issues, and bioregional/national visions.


We are pleased to welcome Dr. Tim Leduc as the Sessional Lecturer for the new ENV 1008H course above. He graduated with a Masters and Ph.D. in Environmental Studies from York University and a Masters in Social Work from U of T. His doctoral research brought into intercultural dialogue Western interdisciplinary climate change analyses and Inuit ecological and cultural understandings of today's northern warming. Excerpts of the research have been recently published in the journals Climatic Change; Worldviews: Environment, Culture and Religion; Ethics and the Environment; and Ecological Economics. His current research focuses on applying n intercultural-interdisciplinary approach to climate and ecological changes in the Greater Toronto Area's past, present and future. He has taught courses at York University on culture and ecology, including Religion and the Environment and Resource Management courses. This year he is also teaching ENV 333H Ecological Worldviews and co-teaching JGE 221Y Environment and Sustainable Development in the Centre for Environment’s undergraduate program.

We are also pleased to welcome Dr. Kenneth Maly as a new graduate Sessional Lecturer this year. In the Fall 2007 term, he taught JPV 2147H Environmental Philosophy and co-taught ENV 1001H Environmental Decision Making with Professor Philip Byer, from the Department of Civil Engineering and the Centre for Environment. Dr. Maly has previously taught courses on Environmental Ethics in the Department of Philosophy at U of T. He graduated with a Masters and Ph.D. from Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, U.S.A. and was a Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse until 2005. Over the last ten years there, he helped to create an interdisciplinary Environmental Studies program and was its Director for eight of those years. He divides his time between doing interpretive phenomenology and environmental philosophy/studies. His book Heidegger's Possibility: Language, Emergence–Saying Be-ing will be published by The University of Toronto Press in April 2008.

From January 1 to June 30, 2008, Professor Stephen Scharper will be Acting Graduate Coordinator. He is an Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology, U of T Mississauga, and the Centre for Environment with research interests in environmental ethics, environmental worldviews, liberation theology and ecology, and religions and environmentalism. He currently has a research project exploring the integration of liberation theology and newer religious approaches to environmental questions. This research attempts to probe differences and confluences between social justice approaches and more spiritual, worldview based environmental approaches. He also serves as a bi-monthly Faith and Ethics columnist for the Saturday edition of the Toronto Star. He received an M.A. in Theology at U of T and a Ph.D. in Religious studies at McGill University.

(January 30, 2008 update: Hilary Cunningham will resume her position as Graduate Coordinator as of February 1, 2008.  She is an Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology.)


2008-09 Update:

Proposed for next Fall 2008, as part of its collaborative Environment and Health Program is a new course: ENV4002H Environment and Health of Vulnerable Populations to be taught by Dr. Clare Wiseman, Centre for Environment. Through readings and discussion, students will explore the potential health effects of exposures in children and other vulnerable populations to a variety of chemical and physical agents in both the indoor and outdoor environments. A number of case studies or topics will be examined to exemplify why certain populations may be especially vulnerable to various environmental hazards. Topics for discussion will be chosen to demonstrate the wide range of potential human health effects due to chemical and other exposures. Policy instruments and tools in place to protect the health of vulnerable populations, as well as issues related to equity and justice, will be critically examined.

For more information, please visit or contact Pavel Pripa, Graduate Student Advisor, or 416-978-3475.



The Centre for Environment’s Master of Environmental Science stand-alone professional program located at U of T Scarborough is growing in leaps and bounds. Forty-two new students arrived in September 2007, joining 18 others who are finishing up their programs, to give a total of 60 students currently enrolled, just 18 months after the program launch. The first admissions to the program were made in January 2006 with the second class of 27 students starting in September 2006. Twenty-six students have graduated to date.

The Program offers a unique interdisciplinary approach that gives students a well-rounded grounding in the science that they will need to tackle the serious issues that affect our environment. This 12-month program prepares students to deal with vital environmental challenges and includes an internship or a research paper. The program can also be completed part-time.

For more information, please visit: or contact Julie Quenneville, or 416-287-7357.



The Centre for Environment has recently introduced three new certificate programs and courses to its existing web-based Distance Education program: a new Certificate program in Renewable Energy which started in the Fall of 2007, new courses in the current Certificate in GIS for Environmental Management, and a new Certificate program in Environmental Health proposed to start in the Fall of 2008.

  • Certificate in Renewable Energy: Renewable energy is becoming one of the fastest growing industries in the face of the current environmental crisis, resulting from dependence on fossil fuels and unprecedented global rate of development. With the Renewable Energy program, students will explore historical and current forms of renewable energy, their current usage in developed and developing nations, drivers in forming markets, and political will. The interdisciplinary approach in the certificate program challenges the student with a holistic view of the impact of renewable energy on the current global energy picture.
  • Certificate in GIS for Environmental Management: Environmental GIS (Geographic Information Systems) describes the use of geo-spatial management methodology and tools in order to assist in developing an Environmental Management strategy. As GIS applications reach a broader audience, and the utilization of GIS spreads into new industries every day, the demand within the private and public sectors continues to grow. GIS has become a primary means of communicating spatial information in a multitude of settings in environmental applications. The objectives of the certificate program in GIS for Environmental Management are to build a foundation for understanding GIS and Remote Sensing theory and techniques, and develop GIS software skills to solve practical tasks related to environmental management. In 2008-09, the following new courses will be offered as part of this program: GEM 402 Geospatial Technologies for Environmental Mapping with GIS, GEM 403 Environmental Remote Sensing, and GEM 404 GIS Modeling for Environmental Applications.
  • Certificate in Environmental Health: Proposed to start in the Fall of 2008, this program may offer courses on health policy, health of vulnerable populations, air pollution, human health risk assessment, global environmental change and human health and climate change and human health. (Summer 2008 update: the Environmental Health program is proposed to start in the Fall of 2009.)


For more information on the Centre for Environment’s distance programs, visit or contact Donna Workman, 416-978-7077,