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BI3507: SOCIETY AND ENVIRONMENT (2017-2018)

Last modified: 30 May 2017 16:40


Course Overview

You will be trained in broad environmental thinking required to understand the complex nature of contemporary environmental problems. The main purpose of the course is to work towards a sufficiently deep understanding of society's relationship with the environment to appraise and start to address so-called wicked (i.e. impossible to fully comprehend, insoluble and chaotic) problems.


The course will follow a textbook to allow immersion in the author's ways of thinking. During the first three weeks, key aspects of human-environment relationships will be developed through lectures and subsequent discussion. During the last two weeks, students will be engaged in the co-production of knowledge by preparing and presenting worked out case studies themselves as starting point for debate on focal 'objects of concern (e.g. the return of the wolf, uranium in society, e-waste).

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 3
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
Co-ordinators
  • Professor Rene Van Der Wal

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Either Programme Level 3 or Programme Level 4
  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?

None.

What courses cannot be taken with this course?

Are there a limited number of places available?

No

Course Description

In this course students develop an understanding of the diverse and complex relationships Western societies hold with their environment. The first three weeks of teaching concerns unfolding topics succinctly covered by the textbook Environment and Society (Robbins, Hintz and Moore, second edition 2014), thereby furthering their understanding and critical thinking around the key 'political ecology' dimension Population and Scarcity, Markets and Commodities, Institutions, Environmental Ethics, Risks and Hazards, Political Economy and Social Construction of Nature. During the last two weeks of teaching concerns lectures created and presented by students themselves on chosen 'Objects of Concern'. Nine of those are covered by the textbook so that all students will be able to familiarise themselves with each of them, and those students that selected a Concern working this up to provide the deeper and richer levels of understanding and generating debate around those.

Degree Programmes for which this Course is Prescribed

  • BSc Conservation Biology
  • BSc Forestry
  • Bachelor Of Science In Environmental And Forest Management

Contact Teaching Time

Sorry, we don't have that information available.

Teaching Breakdown


Assessment

All written assignments are brief texts of various sorts, designed to deepen engaging with the complex nature of society-environment relationships (70% of overall course mark). Presentation of own teaching, as part of a small group, is a one-off occurrence (20% of mark) and parting in discussion expected throughout the course (10% of mark). There is no final exam.

Formative Assessment

None.

Feedback

Students will receive individual feedback on each assessment through MyAberdeen. Also, during presentations and discussions students will receive informal, verbal feedback.

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