History of the Environment

Course Code: NATS 1510 A 3.0

Instructor's Name: Ian Slater

Course Description:

This course looks at the history of human impact on the environment through the lens of technology and science. It is posited that technology has magnified our impact on the environment, both in scale and in scope (e.g. the magnitude of impact and new kinds of impacts – e.g. new technologies). Science has contributed to creating new materials (e.g. plastic) that are harmful to the environment, but science is also our primary tool to determine how we are damaging the environment, and possibly how to fix it. Thus science and technology both hinder and help the environment. We will look closely at the claim that the tendency of science and technology to be appropriated by business and government undermines the ability of environmentalists to enact positive change. The course will consider examples of human interaction with the environment (so-called anthropogenic impacts) from the earliest of human civilizations to present day.

Course Format:

Three lecture hours per week.

Course Credit Exclusions:

SC/NATS 1840 6.00

Mathematical Content:

Minimal simple arithmetical calculation at about the Grade 10 level.

Course Outlines:

Archived Course Outline:

Archived Course Outline