Environmental Studies

Programs & Courses




ENVS/GEOG-1030 Introduction to Environmental Studies: (3.0 credit hours) This course is a study of interactions between humans and the environment: the natural systems and resources upon which human activity depends, the environmental problems that have resulted from human activity, and the efforts being made toward environmental sustainability. Environmental problems such as air and water pollution, climate change, soil degradation and deforestation, energy sustainability, and biodiversity are introduced with an interdisciplinary perspective, using both Canadian and global examples.

ENVS/PCTS-2620 Ecological Peacebuilding: (3.0 credit hours) This course will explore the role of the ecology in peacebuilding, focusing on relationships between environmental insecurity and conflict, ecological integrity and justice, and on the politics, theory and skills of ecological peacebuilding.  Drawing upon a broad range of historical and contemporary case studies, students will be encouraged to apply these insights as part of the learning process. Prerequisites: PCTS-1110.

ENVS/IDS/GEOG-3010 Environment, Society, and Resilience: (3.0 credit hours) The course will help students analyze principles of sustainability, resilience and complexity associated with energy, matter and ecosystem functioning, within the context of social values, human technology and politics. The course seeks to equip students to assess socio-ecological issues including water management, climate change adaptation, agriculture, fisheries, forestry, and extractive industries from an interdisciplinary perspective.  Prerequisite: 30 credit hours of university-level study.

Natural Science Foundations 

BIOL-1010 The Evolutionary and Ecological Revolution: (3.0 credit hours) An introduction to ecology from a historical perspective, starting with the natural philosophers of the 18th century, through Darwin and his contemporaries, to the present day and the role of ecology in addressing environmental and resource development issues.

BIOL-1020 The Genetic Revolution: (3.0 credit hours) A journey through the historical development of our understanding of genes and their role in the development and evolution of living organisms. This course will emphasize the process of scientific discovery, from Mendel’s “heritable factors” to Crick’s “central dogma” of molecular Biology and our ever-growing ability to manipulate genetic information.  

BIOL-1310 Cells and Energy: (3.0 credit hours) This course will focus on the structure and work of cells as the fundamental units of life. Topics include membranes, the structure and function of organelles including the cytoskeleton, the cell cycle, enzymes, and the central metabolic pathways common to most living organisms. Includes a laboratory component (BIOL-1310L). A laboratory fee will be assessed. Prerequisites: Biology 40S, Chemistry 40S, and Math 40S (applied or pre-calculus), recommended corequisite: BIOL-1010. Students may not hold credit both for this course and the former BIOL-1331.

BIOL-1320 Diversity of Life: (3.0 credit hours) A survey course of organismal biology, with a focus on phylogenetic relationships between organisms, and form and function of living organisms within the context of their biotic and physical environments. Includes a laboratory component (BIOL-1320L). A laboratory fee will be assessed. Prerequisite: BIOL-1310; recommended co-requisites: BIOL 1010, BIOL-1020. Students may not hold credit both for this course and the former BIOL-1341.

BIOL/GEOG/IDS-2010 Introduction to Global Health: (3.0 credit hours) A survey of global health issues, including infectious and neglected tropical diseases, malnutrition and the nutrition transition, maternal and child health, and environmental health. Prerequisite: 30 credit hours of university-level studies.

BIOL-2100 Genetics of Eukaryotes and Bacteria: (3.0 credit hours) Mendelian genetics: genetic interactions, linkage, and chromosome mapping. Meiosis and its implications, including chromosomal abnormalities, gene duplications and deletions. Transcription, translation, and the regulation of gene expression. Population genetics and evolution. Includes a laboratory requirement (BIOL-2100L). A laboratory fee will be assessed. Pre-requisite: BIOL-1020, recommended:  BIOL-1310 and 1320.

BIOL-2200 Microbiology (3.0 credit hours) An introduction to the structure, physiology and genetics of microorganisms and viruses, focusing on bacteria. Laboratory work will cover aseptic technique, methods for growing, identifying and enumerating microbes in cultures and specimens and introduce students to central topics in bacterial genetics. Includes a lab component (BIOL-2200L). A laboratory fee will be assessed. Prerequisites: BIOL 1310 and 1320.

BIOL-2510 Ecology I: (3.0 credit hours) Introduction to the study of ecological systems: energy and nutrient flows in ecosystems, dynamics of plant and animal populations, structure of ecological communities and functioning of ecosystems, and ecological processes that structure biological communities in space and time.  Includes a lab component (BIOL-2510L). A laboratory fee will be assessed. Prerequisites: BIOL-1010 or 1320.

BIOL-3510 Ecology II: (3.0 credit hours) This course is a continuation of Ecology I, and will build on concepts introduced in Ecology I regarding the forces that regulate and shape populations and communities, as well as applied aspects of ecology, including harvesting, resource management, and ecological goods and services. Emphasis will be put on using the primary scientific literature to understand concepts. Prerequisite: BIOL-2510; recommended: BIOL 2100.

CHEM-1010 Structure and Modelling in Chemistry: (3.0 credit hours) An introduction to atomic and molecular structures, chemical bonding, chemical reactivity, to the bulk properties of matter, and the descriptive chemistry of the elements. Includes a laboratory requirement (CHEM-1010L). A laboratory fee will be assessed. Prerequisites: Applied Mathematics 40S or Pre-calculus Mathematics 40S, and Chemistry 40S (or equivalents).

CHEM-1020 Physical Chemistry: (3.0 credit hours) An introduction to topics including thermochemistry, chemical thermodynamics, and chemical kinetics.  Includes a laboratory requirement (CHEM-1020L). A laboratory fee will be assessed.  Prerequisite:  CHEM-1010.

CHEM-2010 Organic Chemistry I – Structure and Function: (3.0 credit hours) An introduction to the concepts of organic reactivity and bonding in organic molecules. Preparation and properties of functionalized organic molecules. A lab fee will be assessed. Prerequisite:  CHEM-1020.

CHEM-2110 Biochemistry I: Biomolecules and Metabolic Energy: (3.0 credit hours) This course is an introduction to the structure and function of biomolecules, including proteins, carbohydrates, nucleic acids, and lipids. This course also explores the mechanisms and kinetics of enzyme-catalyzed reactions and bioenergetics. Includes a laboratory requirement. A lab fee will be assessed. Prerequisites: CHEM-1020 and BIOL-1320.

Social Science Foundations 

GEOG-1000 Introduction to Physical Geography: (3.0 credit hours) An examination of elements of the physical environment such as weather, climate, hydrology, landforms, soils, vegetation, and the processes producing variations of these elements through time on the surface of the earth. Examples of environmental interrelationships and problems that affect people are emphasized.

GEOG-1010 Introduction to Human Geography: (3.0 credit hours) An examination of aspects of the human world. Topics may include: distribution of human populations, evolution of human societies, behavioural norms or cultures of these societies, and the influence of culture in its various manifestations (language, religion, customs, politics, etc.) on the human landscape including settlement types, forms of agriculture, and travel patterns. Attention is given to environmental and cultural factors involved in the present-day divisions between the “developed” and the “under-developed” worlds.

ECON/IDS-2010 Economics of Development: (3.0 credit hours) This course introduces neoclassical and alternative economic theories relevant to understanding various aspects of development: (i) national aspects, including theories of growth, inequality, labour, and the role of the state; (ii) international aspects, including theories of finance, international financial institutions, trade and globalization; and (iii) sub-national aspects of development, including theories of growth linkages, micro-credit and community economic development. Prerequisites: IDS-1110 or both ECON-1000 and 1010.

IDS-1110 Introduction to International Development Studies: (3.0 credit hours) This course will survey critical development issues, including understandings and definitions of poverty and sustainable development, broad development theories from modernization to post-development, the historical context of decolonization, and the roles of key local, national and international development actors.  It will focus primarily of countries of the global South – Africa, Asia and Latin America - but also examine how Canada participates in local, national and global dynamics of development and underdevelopment.

IDS-2110 Participatory Local Development: (3.0 credit hours) The failure of large scale development efforts to eradicate poverty in the South—Asia, Africa, and Latin America—and developing communities in Canada has led to a search for alternative participatory, community development projects. This course examines historic efforts at participatory development, including community development and co-operative formation, and then considers the attention given to non-governmental organizations and grassroots movements today. Prerequisite: 30 credit hours of university-level studies, including IDS-1110.

IDS/GEOG-2131 Rural Development: (3.0 credit hours) This course examines changes to rural society and economy in the South—Africa, Asia, and Latin America— and rural communities in Canada brought about historically by colonialism and more recently through modern development efforts. Discussion highlights the impact of agrarian reform, technological change, and domestic government policies on economic development and social differentiation. Prerequisite: one of IDS-1110, GEOG-1010 or GEOG-1030.

IDS-2521 Study of Voluntary Simplicity: (3.0 credit hours) Within International Development Studies, development is increasingly understood as a participatory, deliberate process aimed at enhancing the quality of life for individuals within community. This course examines the concept, theory, and practice of voluntary simplicity as a means of development for individuals seeking alternatives to consumer values and culture. The course explores both the historical roots of voluntary simplicity and its modern expressions, with special emphasis on the relevance of simplicity to building emotional well-being, vibrant community, sustainable environment, and social justice.

IDS/GEOG-3020 Just and Sustainable Food Systems: (3.0 credit hours) This course explores food system dynamics at multiple scales, from the household to the global, with particular attention to the diversity of worldviews that underpin the current discourses surrounding ecological sustainability, food security and food justice. The course follows food from the farms and fishing boats, through local and global marketplaces and finally to those who eat. Participants will examine models of agriculture, small-scale fisheries, water scarcity, the Asian and African Green Revolutions, corporate concentration in the food system, local and global food markets, community food security, obesity, hunger, food waste, the global food price crisis, energy, and the impacts of climate change. Prerequisite: 30 credit hours of university-level studies.

IDS/PCTS/POLS/SOCI-4100 Senior Seminar in Social Change: (3.0 credit hours) In this capstone seminar, students review and compare inter-disciplinary and discipline-based approaches to social change, including issues in peacebuilding and conflict transformation, social and economic development, environmental sustainability, and democratization and social movements.  Using a seminar format, students will examine contending theories of social change, and address questions of power, interpretation, ethics, commitments and virtues in understanding and working for social change.  These examinations will allow students to explore ways of integrating theories and practices, and articulate their own understanding and ethics of social change. Prerequisites: 60 credit hours of university level studies, including 18 credit hours in IDS, PCTS, SOCI, POLS, GEOG or PSYC; or permission of the instructor.  It is recommended that the practicum requirement be completed prior to taking this course.

PCTS-1110 Introduction to Peace and Conflict Transformation Studies: (3.0 credit hours). This course will enable students to develop an understanding of the roots and nature of conflict, violence, and peace. It examines a variety of models for constructive ways to respond to conflict, violence, and peace. Special attention will be given to the question of how to understand conflict in relation to violence and peace, and the complex realities they name. Related themes will be examined from an interdisciplinary perspective.

PCTS/IDS-2443 Conflict and Development Issues in Indigenous Communities: (3.0 credit hours) Within the broad framework of international development and conflict transformation studies, this course explores the dynamics of indigenous communities globally, with special reference to the Canadian context. Processes of marginalization and underdevelopment will be presented in order to understand indigenous communities’ social, economic and political situation. Prerequisites: either PCTS-1110 or IDS-1110.

ENVS/PCTS-2620 Ecological Peacebuilding: (3.0 credit hours) This course will explore the role of the ecology in peacebuilding, focusing on relationships between environmental insecurity and conflict, ecological integrity and justice, and on the politics, theory and skills of ecological peacebuilding.  Drawing upon a broad range of historical and contemporary case studies, students will be encouraged to apply these insights as part of the learning process. Prerequisites: PCTS-1110.

POLS-1000 Democracy and Dissent: (3.0 credit hours) An introductory study of democratic politics and institutions, political ideas, electoral systems and political culture. The lens of dissent is used to trace the emergence of democracy and its liberal development. Issues to be explored include: the roles of opposition, questions of accountability, the meaning and practice of justice, the evolving implications of citizenship, the crisis of the state under globalization, and the contemporary idea of democracy without dissent.

POLS-1010 Global Politics: (3.0 credit hours) An introduction to the fields of International Relations and Comparative Politics with particular emphasis on current global issues. Topics include globalization, American domination, terrorism and security, the changing nature of states, international law and justice, the politics of the environmental crisis, political development, human migration, and the dilemmas of democratization. Active participation in debates, simulation games, and media studies contribute to critical skills that provide insight behind the “political veil.”

POLS-2120 Peace and Conflict in World Politics [WP]: (3.0 credit hours) A study of large-scale violence, including conventional warfare and “low intensity” warfare (e.g. liberation movements, counter-insurgencies and terrorism). Consideration is given to the political economy of such violence, including the arms industry and resource wars. What is the role of politics in perpetuating militarism, violence and in enabling peace? How are conflicts politically mediated through diplomacy, international law, NGO’s, international organizations, etc.? We consider the relation of violence to underdevelopment, environmental degradation, and human rights violations.

POLS/COMM/SOCI-3000 Politics, Society and Mass Media [CPN]: (3.0 credit hours) This course examines the relationship between the mass communications media and the political and social processes in which they operate, investigating the state of research on mass media, the role of media in creating and shaping political awareness, and in influencing human behaviour and values. Examples of topics which may be covered are: media ownership and organization patterns, media in the electoral process, the media in developing nations, the media and globalization, propaganda, media freedom and public opinion. Prerequisite: 30 credit hours of university-level studies, including six credit hours in social science.

PSYC-2110 Social Relationships and Behaviour: (3.0 credit hours) A study of how relationships are formed, maintained, and disrupted. Topics may include group dynamics, close relationships, prejudice, aggression, attraction, and conflict. Prerequisite: PSYC-1020 or permission of instructor.

SOCI-1110 Introduction to Sociology: (3.0 credit hours) This course provides an introduction to sociology through the study of society, social institutions, group behaviour, and social change as guided by a range of theoretical and conceptual resources. It will place emphasis on using sociological thinking to understand a broad range of contemporary social behaviours.

Humanities Foundations

BTS-2250 Creation, Environment, and the Bible [B]: (3.0 credit hours) This course will explore the themes of creation and land as they are developed in the Bible, and in the context of contemporary environmental issues and approaches to ecology. The course will include a survey of ways in which readings of the Bible have contributed either to environmental degradation or to the emergence of eco-theology.

BTS-3220 Apocalypse – Then and Now [B]: (3.0 credit hours) With its ferocious multi-headed beasts, evil empires, angelic hosts, and other strange symbolism, apocalyptic literature is a challenge to interpret. This course explores the origins, worldview, and content of apocalyptic texts like Ezekiel 38-39, Daniel, Revelation, Mark 13, and several non-biblical writings, and how these texts portray God defeating earth’s evil empires and replacing them with the eternal reign of God. The course will also engage interpreters and movements throughout the ages, including the contemporary “Left Behind” phenomenon, who have used apocalyptic texts to argue that the End is near. Prerequisite: 30 credit hours of university-level studies, including 6 credit hours in Biblical and Theological Studies.

BTS-3740 Social Issues in Christian Perspective [T]: (3.0 credit hours) An examination of how the Christian imagination informs and addresses several social issues in today’s world. Students will choose a specific social issue from areas such as medical ethics, business ethics, political ethics, and sexuality.  Prerequisite: 30 credit hours of university-level studies, including 6 credit hours in Biblical and Theological Studies.

ENGL-3070 World Literature in English: (3.0 credit hours) Some of the most exciting and challenging writing of the past decades belongs to the literatures of former British colonies. This course will consider the complex relationship between indigenous and colonist literary traditions and the development of national voices within the colonial structures of language and genre. Individual instructors will focus the course, usually on a particular place or topic. Prerequisite: Two of ENGL-1010, 1020, 1030, and 1040, or permission of the instructor.

HIST/INDS-2040 History of Indigenous Peoples of Canada: (3.0 credit hours) The contemporary cultural resurgence and political organizing of indigenous peoples invokes new perspectives on Canadian history. This historical survey will explore pre-contact social organization, colonialism and resistance, treaties and land claims, reserves and residential schools as structures of social control, evolving public policy (e.g. Indian Act), Native identities, struggles for self-determination and the rights of revolution.

PHIL-2050 An Introduction to Metaphysics- What is Nature? (3.0 credit hours) The purpose of this course is to introduce students to several different visions of what nature is and what human flourishing involves.  In the course of understanding and evaluating these visions, students will become acquainted with central topics in metaphysics such as the problem of free will, the relationship between the mental and the physical, whether values such as goodness and beauty exist, and the nature and existence of God.

PHIL -2070 Business Ethics: (3.0 credit hours) Ancient wisdom tells us that, without justice, kingdoms are but great bands of robbers. Business professionals must not only discover the vision of justice that underlies their business practices but they also must submit this vision to critical scrutiny. The purpose of this course is to pursue both these aims. We will search for the moral ideals embedded in modern capitalist business practices and we will submit these moral ideals to critical evaluation. The goal is to discover the moral frameworks that can motivate and inform good business today.

PHIL-2080 The Ethics of Love: (3.0 credit hours) The purpose of this course is to examine the suitability of love as the focus of ethical inquiry and action.  In doing so we will: 1) ask whether love can be obligated; 2) examine the manner in which love attends; 3) consider the suitability of the distinction between religious and philosophical ethics.  We will pursue these questions through reading a variety of authors including Plato, Augustine, and Kierkegaard.

PHIL/BTS/ENGL-3120 Dante – The Divine Comedy: (3.0 credit hours) When, at the mid-point of his life, Dante found himself in the midst of a crisis, he turned to the dead to help him find his way. Equal parts literature, poetry, history, politics, philosophy, and theology, this course will follow Dante’s epic journey through hell, purgatory, and heaven as recorded in the Divine Comedy. Prerequisite: ENGL-1010 and 1020 OR 6 credit hours of 1000- or 2000-level philosophy or permission of the instructor.

POLS/SOCI/PHIL-2600 Social and Political Philosophy [PTM]: (3.0 credit hours) What is human nature? Should society be organized to reflect this? What is justice? Are states coercive by nature? How does property inform politics? What is ethical citizenship? These questions are explored through a survey of Western political thinkers including Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, de Gouges, Burke, Wollstonecraft, Mill, and Marx, and by examining their contemporary legacy.

Research Literacy 

BIOL-3380 Molecular and Cellular Laboratory Methods: (3.0 credit hours) A hands-on introduction to molecular biological and microscopy-based methods for the analysis of gene expression and organelle function. Prerequisites: CHEM-2110, BIOL-1020, 1310, and one of BIOL-2100 and BIOL-2200.

BIOL-3580 Quantitative Research Methods in Ecology: (3.0 credit hours) Quantitative research methods in ecology, using as examples species and habitat types common to the region of southern Manitoba. The course will cover experimental design, field data collection methods, and data analysis and presentation in ecology. Includes a laboratory requirement (BIOL-3580L). A laboratory fee will be assessed. Prerequisites: BIOL 2510 and MATH 1000; recommended: BIOL 3510.

MATH-1000 Basic Statistical Analysis: (3.0 credit hours) An introduction to the basic principles of statistics and procedures used for data analysis. Topics to be covered include gathering data, displaying and summarizing data, examining relationships between variables, sampling distributions, estimation and significance tests, inference for means, and applications for specific disciplines. Includes a laboratory requirement (MATH-1000L). A laboratory fee will be assessed. Cross-listed as PSYC-2040.  Students may not hold credit in both this course and PSYC-2040.

PHIL-1010 The Task of Philosophy II – The Question of Knowledge: (3.0 credit hours) Modern philosophy is often described as being preoccupied with the question of knowledge. More specifically, it defines knowledge in terms of a relationship between knowing subjects and an external, objective world. This course examines the story of modern philosophy’s apparent turn to knowledge and explores some ways in which contemporary philosophers have raised questions about that project.

PSYC/SOCI-4030 Qualitative Inquiry in the Social Sciences: (3.0 credit hours) Examination of principles and procedures for conducting qualitative research in the social sciences. Topics include: the assumptions that inform qualitative research designs; procedures for gathering meaningful data through interviews, observation and textual archives; the analysis of such data; and ethical issues pertaining to the research endeavour. Prerequisite: 60 credit hours of university-level studies, including 12 credit hours in social sciences.

PSYC-2030 Research Design in Psychology: (3.0 credit hours) An introduction to basic research designs in the social sciences. Topics include considerations in data collection, descriptive and survey methods, measurement techniques, experimental methods, the interpretation and reporting of results, and research ethics. Includes a laboratory requirement. A laboratory fee will be assessed. Prerequisite: PSYC-1020 or permission of instructor

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