Science, Technology and the Environment

Course Code: NATS 1840 A 6.0

Instructor's Name: Carl Wolfe

Course Description:

Subject: The Science Behind the Hype Humanity, and in particular technological advancements accompanying the development of humanity, have an impact upon the environment. Students need to be able to make more informed (and less emotional) decisions about environmental matters to make meaningful contributions to environmental debates. This course endeavours to convey basic knowledge concerning the interplay between science, technology, and the environment, and in the process develop scientific reasoning skills which will help students to better assess key environmental issues. Following an overview of the fundamental scientific principles underlying environmental issues, the course will examine the environmental threats to our planet, emphasizing underlying causes such as the population explosion and the growth in demand for food and energy. The concept of the ecosphere will be introduced, and topics such as the greenhouse effect, global warming, the ozone hole, pollution, agriculture, genetically-modified organisms, nuclear power, radioactivity, and recycling will be discussed extensively.

Course Format:

Three lecture hours per week, plus one two-hour laboratory in roughly alternate weeks (eight in total). A schedule of lab meetings will be available at the start of the course. Laboratory sessions are designed to deepen students' understanding of selected concepts through guided hands-on exploration.

Course Credit Exclusions:

ES/ENVS 1500 6.00, SC/NATS 1510 3.00. Not open to any student enrolled in the Faculty of Environmental Studies.

Mathematical Content:

Minimal amount of descriptive math; modest calculations; scientific notation. Some facility with basic arithmetical operations is expected and required (e.g. multiplication and division).

Course Outlines:

Course Outline Fall/Winter

Archived Course Outline:

Archived Course Outline