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GEOG472 Developments in Environmental Management

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Advanced study of the interaction between socio-political and biophysical dimensions of contemporary environmental issues.

We have been "doing" formal environmental management for over 40 years. During that period, techniques and practices for environmental management have evolved to address the complex process of balancing human needs and ecosystem integrity at global and local scales. But given the worrying condition and trends of many global environmental systems, what have we accomplished? Is our approach to environmental management part of the problem? How can it be more effective? Is it worth reforming or do we need a radical alternative? What might an alternative approach to environmental management look like? We will use questions such as these as starting points to explore environmental issues and solutions in a variety of contexts.

Paper title Developments in Environmental Management
Paper code GEOG472
Subject Geography
EFTS 0.1667
Points 20 points
Teaching period Semester 1 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,371.61
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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This paper is available to student at or above 400 (i.e. graduate) level

Please contact Dr Sean Connelly for information on the recommended background for this paper.

Teaching staff

Course Co-ordinator: Dr Sean Connelly

Paper Structure

In this paper you will be exposed to a variety of theoretical approaches used to understand environmental management problems and solutions. These broad approaches will be explored in the context of three different modules.

In the past, modules have included: privileging health or the environment, managing environment or managing people, resource extracting/mining, rural development in Africa, biodiversity conservation, climate change impacts.

This paper is 100% internally assessed.

Teaching Arrangements

Two 2-hour lectures per week.


There is no single recommended text for this paper. Readings will be provided on the course Blackboard site. A wide range of topics will be covered via diverse literature and you should take the opportunity to seek out relevant references on your own.

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Environmental literacy, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

Students will achieve the following outcomes by the end of the paper:

  • The ability to conduct socio-political analyses of environmental issues in order to understand more fully the nature of environmental concerns and debates
  • The ability to assess critically key trends in environmental practices and processes
  • The ability to identify and evaluate practical strategies for handling environmental concerns in New Zealand and overseas
  • The ability to raise and advance innovative solutions to management problems
  • The development of enhanced skills in identifying information needs, locating appropriate information sources, and using them efficiently and effectively
  • The ability to work in a team, meeting personal and group responsibilities
  • The development of skills that enable critical engagement with contemporary environmental management issues

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Semester 1

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
L1 Monday 12:00-13:50 9-15, 18-22
Friday 13:00-14:50 9-14, 17-22