Trinity Western University

Course Descriptions

Environmental Studies

Environmental Studies at Trinity Western is an interdisciplinary program spanning three departments. In addition to ENVS courses, see Multidisciplinary Environmental Studies Program (B.Sc.) and Multidisciplinary Environmental Studies Program (B.A.) for other courses in this major.

NB: Only ENVS 121, 131; 320, 321, and 322 fulfil academic core's natural science course requirements (only ENVS 121 fulfils the academic core's natural science lab course requirements). Also note that ENVS 111 fulfils the academic core society and culture course requirement, but human geography courses cannot be taken to meet the natural science (lab or non-lab) course requirement.


    • ENVS 111 Human Geography and Global Change (3 sem. hrs.)

      An introduction to human geography and the notion of globalization by exploring some of the major economic, political, social, cultural, environmental, and technological changes that have recently occurred at the global level and are shaping local places. The course is designed to provide students with better understanding of the variation, interaction, and interdependence of places, regions, people and their environments in a globalizing world; and to demonstrate how human geographers might consider and examine the concepts, forces, processes, issues, and ideas that are associated with global transformation.

      NB: Fulfils academic core society and culture requirement but not for natural science (lab or non-lab) core requirement.

      Cross-listed: GEOG 111

      Prerequisite(s): None. (3-0; 0-0)


    • ENVS 121 Earth and Atmospheric Science (3 sem. hrs.)

      An introduction to the fundamental concepts and systems of Earth and atmospheric science from a geographic perspective. Emphasis is placed on the origins and development of Earth's surface features; the characteristics and circulations of the atmosphere, including weather and global climates; and the biophysical principles governing vegetation on Earth.

      NB: Fulfils academic core laboratory science requirements.

      Cross-listed: GEOG 121

      Prerequisite(s): None. (3-3; 3-3)


    • ENVS 131 Global Environmental Issues (3 sem. hrs.)

      An investigation of the scientific principles behind global environmental issues. The course focuses on key ecological concepts and the changing relationship of humans with the natural world; including the different approaches to understanding and solving environmental problems, from local to global scales. It investigates such issues as human populations and environmental impact; loss of species biodiversity; air, water, and soil pollution; energy use; climate change; and waste management.

      NB: Fulfils academic core natural science requirements.

      Cross-listed: GEOG 131.

      Prerequisite(s): None. (3-0; 3-0)


    • ENVS 282 Geographic Information Systems (3 sem. hrs.)

      This course introduces the basic principles of Geographic Information Systems (GIS). It focuses on the theory and practice of GIS including how to store, analyze, and display geographic information; how to use GIS as tool in the social and environmental sciences; and the development of skills in the operation of GIS software.

      Cross-listed: ENVS 382, ISYS 390.

      Prerequisite(s): None. (0-0; 3-2)


    • ENVS 320 Geomorphology (3 sem. hrs.)

      A scientific examination of the physical processes that shape landform development, structure, and dynamics. Topics include weathering, slope systems, fluvial and coastal environments, and glacial and periglacial systems. Special emphasis is placed on deciphering past events from current landscape structures. Field trips and field studies are required.

      NB: Offered every other year. Fulfils academic core natural science requirements.

      Cross-listed: GEOG 320, GEOL 320.

      Prerequisite(s): 6 sem. hrs. of Environmental Studies or Geography including one of ENVS/GEOG 121, 131, 220, or GEOL 109; or instructor's consent. (3-2; 0-0)


    • ENVS 321 Geography of Soils (3 sem. hrs.)

      A scientific investigation of the various aspects of soil as a natural resource. Topics include physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of soils applied in the context of soil formation, soil classification and land use, agriculture, and environmental engineering. Soil mapping and spatial distribution of soils is also considered. Field trips and field studies are required.

      NB: Offered every other year. Fulfils academic core natural science requirements.

      Cross-listed: GEOG 321, GEOL 321.

      Prerequisite(s): 6 sem. hrs. of Environmental Studies or Geography including one of ENVS/GEOG 121, 131, 220, or GEOL 109; or instructor's consent. (3-3; 0-0)


    • ENVS 322 Global Climate Change (3 sem. hrs.)

      A scientific examination of the systems and processes that govern natural and human-induced climate change. Topics include atmospheric composition, structure, and function; climate change over tectonic, orbital, deglacial, and historical timescales; climate modeling; climate change impacts on terrestrial and marine ecosystems; and the political and socio-economic dimensions of climate change. Field trips are required.

      NB: Offered every other year. Fulfils academic core natural science requirements.

      Cross-listed: GEOG 322.

      Prerequisite(s): 6 sem. hrs. of Environmental Studies or Geography including one of ENVS/GEOG 121, 131, or instructor's consent. (0-0; 3-0)


    • ENVS 341 Resource and Environmental Management (3 sem. hrs.)

      An introduction to key concepts and issues in natural resources management. The course examines major resource-based industries, including agriculture, fishing, forestry, mining, energy, and recreation. It also emphasizes understanding the varied influences that environmental, socio-economic, and political factors have on the spatial distribution of resource utilization and resource management.

      NB: Offered every other year.

      Cross-listed: GEOG 341.

      Prerequisite(s): 6 sem. hrs. of Environmental Studies or Geography including one of ENVS/GEOG 111, 131, 212, or 230; or instructor’s consent. (3-0; 0-0)


    • ENVS 356 Urban and Regional Planning (3 sem. hrs.)

      This course provides a comprehensive introduction to the principles, problems, and techniques of urban, suburban, rural, and regional land use planning. It focuses on the elements and make-up of the comprehensive plan, the politics of planning, and the assessment of economic, social and environmental plans.

      NB: Offered every other year.

      Cross-listed: GEOG 356.

      Prerequisite(s): 6 sem. hrs. of Environmental Studies or Geography including one of ENVS/GEOG 111, GEOG 212, or GEOG 355, or instructor’s consent. (0-0; 3-0)


    • ENVS 372 Internship (3 sem. hrs.)

      This internship/practicum course gives students an opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills acquired in the classroom to a real-world work environment. The course is an efficient way to hone students' practical skills in scientific and social scientific analysis within the realm of environmental science/studies helping them gain valuable work experience by learning new skills, gaining new perspectives in areas such as environmental assessment and ecological analyses, and networking with the experts in this field. This practicum is offered as a tripartite arrangement that includes the student, the University's course instructor/program coordinator, and the approved practicum supervisor in a reputable government department, business, or non-profit/non-governmental organization.

      Prerequisite(s): Third year standing with a minimum of 9 sem. hrs. of ENVS core including two of BIOL 113, CHEM 101 or 111, ENVS 131 and GEOG 121 or instructor’s consent. (3-0 or 3-0)


    • ENVS 373 Internship II (3 sem. hrs.)

      This internship/practicum course gives students an opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills acquired in the classroom to a real-world work environment. The course is an efficient way to hone students' practical skills in scientific and social scientific analysis within the realm of environmental science/studies helping them gain valuable work experience by learning new skills, gaining new perspectives in areas such as environmental assessment and ecological analyses, and networking with the experts in this field. This practicum is offered as a tripartite arrangement that includes the student, the University's course instructor/program coordinator, and the approved practicum supervisor in a reputable government department, business, or non-profit/non-governmental organization.

      Prerequisite(s): Third year standing with a minimum of 9 sem. hrs, of ENVS core including two of BIOL 113, CHEM 101 or 111, ENVS 131 and GEOG 121 and ENVS 372. (0-3 or 0-3)


    • ENVS 382 Applied Geographic Information Systems (3 sem. hrs.)

      This course focuses on the utility of Geographic Information Systems in problem solving and decision-making in real world settings. Students are expected to complete a major term project in consultation with the instructor.

      Prerequisite(s): Third year standing with a minimum of 9 sem. hrs, of ENVS core including two of BIOL 113, CHEM 101 or 111, ENVS 131 and GEOG 121 and ENVS 372. (0-3 or 0-3)

      NB: Offered every other year.

      Cross-listed: GEOG 382.

      Prerequisite(s): 6 sem. hrs. of Geography including GEOG 282, or instructor's consent. (0-0; 3-2)


    • ENVS 383 Geographic Data Analysis (3 sem. hrs.)

      This course focuses on the use of quantitative methods as an aid to problem-solving in the geographical and environmental sciences. Topics include sampling and data collection, methods of statistical description;, and methods of statistical inference and hypothesis testing.

      Prerequisite(s): 6 sem. hrs. of Environmental Studies or Geography. (0-0; 3-2)

      NB: Offered every other year.

      Cross-listed: GEOG 383.

      Prerequisite(s): 6 sem. hrs. of Geography including GEOG 282, or instructor's consent. (0-0; 3-2)


    • ENVS 409 Thesis Preparation (1 sem. hr.)

      Students are required to choose a topic for their senior thesis (ENVS 410) in consultation with an instructor. Selected readings and references pertinent to the topic are assigned. A final written and oral report is presented consisting of a detailed thesis proposal and a literature review. Students are advised to start in their third year to allow observations over a full calendar year.

      Prerequisite(s): Advanced standing in Environmental Studies or instructor's consent. (1-0; 0-0)


    • ENVS 410 Senior Thesis (2 sem. hrs.)

      Research in a chosen area of Environmental Studies with a final written report. Presentation of research findings are also made by the student in a seminar.

      NB: Normally 2 sem. hrs. are assigned unless arrangements are made with the Department chair.

      Prerequisite(s): ENVS 409, a related directed study in preparation, or instructor's consent. (0-0; 1-2)


    • ENVS 411 Senior Thesis (3 sem. hrs.)

      Research in a chosen area of Environmental Studies with a final written report. Students present research findings in a seminar. Allows students with larger projects to gain extra credit.

      NB: Normally 2 sem. hrs. are assigned unless arrangements are made with the Department chair.

      Prerequisite(s): ENVS 409, a related directed study in preparation, or instructor's consent. (0-0; 1-2)


    • ENVS 442 Environmental Thought (3 sem. hrs.)

      A survey of the origin and development of those streams of geographic thought reflecting people's relationship to the natural environment. The course includes discussions within the context of Christian and non-Christian alternatives, the development of a responsible Christian environmental ethic and its application to global environmental issues.

      NB: Not offered every year. See Geography coordinator.

      Cross-listed: GEOG 442.

      Prerequisite(s): 6 sem. hrs. of Geography including one of GEOG 111, 131; 212, or 230 or instructor's consent. (3-0; 0-0)

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This page contains official TWU academic program information.