The goal of this course is to provide students with the scientific principles, concepts, and methodologies to understand the interrelationships of the natural world, to identify and analyze environmental problems both natural and human-made, and to evaluate the risks associated with these problems and examine alternative solutions for resolving and/or preventing them. This course provides students with a coherent perspective of the interrelationships between environmental systems and societies; one that enables them to adopt an informed personal response to the wide range of pressing environmental issues that they will inevitably come to face. Using a systems approach, this course aims to help students:
- gain a quantitative, scientific understanding of environmental processes on a variety of scales,
- recognize the extent to which technology plays a role in both causing and solving environmental disturbances,
- appreciate that environmental issues may be controversial and provoke a variety of responses, and
- respect that human society is both directly and indirectly linked to the environment at a number of levels and at a variety of scales.