Skip to Main Content

Introduction to Environment Studies: Course Outline

This course is a basic introduction to environmental studies. Students will learn to apply various concepts in the biological, physical, social sciences

Relevant Book

Learning Outcomes

The student will be able to:

  1. Explain general concepts and principles in environmental science and their relationship to understanding and addressing local and global environmental problems;
  2. Grasp the complexity of environmental issues in their real-world context, including their various economic, political, cultural and philosophical dimensions;
  3. Explain the changing nature of our understanding of the environment and the effects of human actions on it;
  4. Explain and evaluate the changing nature of public awareness and perception about environmental issues, from both historical and cross-cultural perspectives;
  5. Explain and evaluate the changing nature of policies, laws and regulations that have developed to address the effects of human actions on the environment;
  6. Explain the concept of sustainability and the importance of considering environmental, social and economic issues in order to arrive at long-term solutions to environmental and other problems                                                       
  7. Employ the concepts and methods learned in class to conduct independent literature research and analysis into the causes and consequences of particular consumer products and behaviors;
  8. Analyze and evaluate the behavior of individuals and institutions in terms of their intentions and consequences for the environment and society.
  9. Analyze and evaluate solutions offered to address environmental problems

Google Books

Google Book Search

Google Scholar

Google Scholar Search

Course Outline (BBA)

Introduction to Environmental Studies

  • Defining “Environment”
  • Relation to Physical and Biological Sciences
  • Relation to Social Sciences and Humanities
  • Science vs. Other Ways of Knowing

Air Pollution

  •  Air Quality and Atmospheric Science
  •  History of Air Pollution and Regulation
  •  Major Categories of Air Pollutants

Water Pollution

  •  The Water Cycle and Fresh Water Scarcity 
  •  Major Categories and Causes of Water Pollutants

Other Water Issues

  •  Droughts and Water Scarcity
  •  Floods 
  •  Dams and Water Diversion

Waste and Recycling

  •  Human “Waste” and Natural Systems

 Solid Waste Management 

  •  Where Your Garbage Goes.

 Garbage Barges and Landfills

  •  Recycling
  •  Incineration

Toxic Waste, Toxins and Toxicity

  •  Types of Toxins
  •  Determining Toxicity
  •  Hazardous Waste Management

The Built Environment 

  •  Shelter, Architecture and the Environment
  •  Conventional vs. Sustainable Building Materials and Methods

Agriculture and Food 

  •  Traditional Agriculture
  •  The “Green Revolution” and Industrial Agriculture
  •  Organic Agriculture and Other Alternatives
  • Transportation
  •  Physics and History of Transportation
  •  Fuel Efficiency Standards and Regulations
  •  Public Transportation and Other Alternatives
  • Mid-Term Exam
  • Quantification Theory

Climate Change and Alternative Energies

  •  Global Warming: Science and Politics
  •  Alternative Energies and Energy Conservation

Sustainability: Politics, Economics and the Environment

  •  Natural Limits to Economic “Growth”                                                    
  •  Individual and Corporate Power
  •  Environmental Rights and Responsibilities
  •  Consumerism and Industrial Economics
  •  “Free” and “Fair” Global Trade
  •  Sustainability and the “Triple Bottom Line”

Final Exam