An examination of contemporary environmental issues using concepts of scientific understanding, social, political and cultural construction and contestation, and intervention and transformation strategies.
Where do you stand on environmental issues? There seem so many it can feel overwhelming. In this paper we don't want to tell you what to think about those issues. We want to help you make sense of them by developing a way of thinking about them: what does the science tell us, what are the main social debates, and what solutions or interventions are possible? There is always more than one way to think about complex environmental issues, so we want you to be able to recognise those perspectives before deciding where you stand on things.
|Paper title||Understanding Environmental Issues|
|Subject||Environment and Society|
|Teaching period||Second Semester|
|Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD)||$1,038.45|
|International Tuition Fees (NZD)||$4,492.80|
- ENVI 111 or 108 points
- Schedule C
- Arts and Music
- This paper is open to students from any background, but it does require a willingness to learn and to participate in discussion.
- More information link
- View further information about ENVI 311
- Teaching staff
- Course Co-ordinator: Dr Ralf Ohlemuller
This paper is team-taught, involving staff with expertise in the physical and social sciences, environmental policy, planning and management.
- Paper Structure
- Each year three topics are selected as the core themes of the paper. Each of these
topics is addressed in three ways to represent dominant academic modes of generating
knowledge and developing understanding and considering solutions to environmental
- First, we examine the science around each topic
- Second, we look at each topic in terms of the political, social and cultural constructions and contestations associated with them
- Finally, the key mechanisms for influencing change, or for regulation or transformation of the particular crisis, are described
- Teaching Arrangements
- The paper has two sessions per week: typically a lecture, then a lecture/workshop for the second session.
- There is no set text book: readings are prescribed as necessary for the various modules.
- Graduate Attributes Emphasised
- Communication, Critical thinking, Environmental literacy, Information literacy, Research,
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
- Learning Outcomes
- On completion of the paper students should be able to:
- Engage critically with scientific and social-scientific framing of environmental issues
- Recognise the varied processes by which new knowledge and understanding about environmental issues are developed
- Understand the means by which people engage in political transformation, intervention strategies, tools for change and .policy development.