Problem-based course introducing key techniques in environmental research.

Faculty: Arts
Subject: Geography
Year / Level: 3
Theme(s): Climate Science; Climate Justice and Social Science




This problem-based learning course for 3rd year Environment and Sustainability (Geography) majors introduces students to key concepts and techniques employed in environmental research. Students will develop a core set of qualitative and quantitative research and analytical skills, including data interpretation, life cycle analysis, literature assessments and risk assessment, through three modules focused on present-day challenges in the areas of climate change mitigation, agriculture, and coastal hazards. Through lectures, in-class activities and assignments, students will gain exposure to the relationships between data, information, knowledge and action in the environmental space. The students will also gain experience using a variety of analytical tools and techniques common in environmental work.

Learning outcomes

At the end of this course students will be able to:

  1. Interpret environmental data, including understanding probability, uncertainty, sampling, signal detection and data scaling
  2. Apply analytical methods used in environmental research (e.g. footprint analysis, life cycle analysis, literature review, risk assessment)
  3. Create, use and manipulate data in spreadsheets
  4. Conduct searches of the scholarly literature and read scholarly publications
  5. Assess the reliability of information sources and detect biases in the presentation of environmental information in the media and elsewhere


Check SSC to see if the course is currently offered and if you meet pre-requisites etc.



Read a copy of the course syllabus to see reading lists, assignments, grading, and more.



Simon Donner

"Climate change is a crisis not because of the immediate impact of our actions, but because the actions we choose now will have impacts for decades and centuries beyond."