Please note that not every course listed is offered each year and students should consult STU Self Service for current course offerings.


ENVS-1013. Understanding Environmental Problems

Earth systems science reveals that the environmental conditions that supported the development of human civilization over the past 10,000 years are becoming increasingly destabilized. This course introduces students to the Earth's regulatory systems such as climate, nitrogen and phosphorus flows, forests, oceans and biodiversity, and the social structures and processes that are interfering with them. Students will come to understand that environmental problems cannot be solved by individual behavioural changes; solutions will require collective action to achieve systemic change.

ENVS-1023. Environmental Praxis I: Thinking Globally, Acting Locally

Praxis can be understood as reflection and action for social change. Drawing on learning in ENVS 1013, students will investigate how global environmental problems are manifested at the local level. They will then develop local action strategies to effect change in those systems. This approach will foster citizenship skills and empower students in the face of global problems. This course will qualify for the STU Experiential Learning Certificate. Prerequisite: ENVS 1013.

ENVS-1503. Principles of Biology I (BIOL)

This course introduces students to the study of life. Topics include the scientific method, biological molecules, cell structure and function, energy flow, respiration, and photosynthesis.

ENVS-1513. Principles of Biology II

This course examines mitosis, meiosis, and genetics. Surveys the structure, function, and evolution of the kingdoms of life. Discusses the basics of ecology, culminating in ecological interactions and the impact of humans on the planet.

ENVS-2023. Perspectives on Human- Nature Relations

Social systems are constructed on a set of dominant beliefs, assumptions and values that are largely unexamined but shape the way societies perceive and interact with the natural world. In this course, students examine the dominant perspectives that give rise to environmental degradation, as well as alternative paradigms offered by Green, ecojustice, global south, sustainability, and indigenous movements. Students also engage with political, economic, and cultural theories of environmental change. Prerequisite: ENVS 1013 or permission of the instructor.

ENVS-2043. Sustainability Communications (COPP)

The public sphere is filled with competing visions, agendas and styles of speaking about the critical social ecological issues facing our world such as climate change, ecosystem destruction and chemical pollution. This course examines how communication shapes our perceptions of sustainability issues; introduces various media platforms and public forums that are used for communicating about sustainability issues; analyzes the communicative strategies of various actors (scientists, corporate lobbyists, environmentalists, ordinary citizens) in trying to influence decision makers; and prepares students to participate in conversations and debates about sustainability issues in their communities. Prerequisite: ENVS 1013.

ENVS-2113. Ecological Literacy

This course introduces students to key ecological concepts through the study of the Grand Lake Lowlands ecoregion where Fredericton is located, including its biodiversity and ecosystems, the flow of materials, energy and waste from the ecosystem through human systems and back again, and the implications of these flows for sustainability. As they become acquainted with the local ecoregion, students will also explore the literary tradition of nature writing in which writers infuse their intense observations of local natural history with ethical reflections on being an inhabitant, rather than simply a resident, of a place.

ENVS-2123. Critical Food Studies

Everyone eats, and by eating we are all connected to a global system of industrialized food production and local networks of distribution and waste management. The system outputs include ecological devastation, food insecurity, poor health, and precarious rural economies. As individuals, we are embedded in various food cultures that either bolster the system or are threatened by it. Drawing from political ecology, political economy, sociocultural and health perspectives, this course takes a critical look at food systems and our relationship to them, including Indigenous and Global South perspectives, and practices of and movements for food sustainability, security, and sovereignty. Prerequisite: Must have completed 27 credit hours of coursework.

ENVS-2203. Community Economic Development

A course which explores the theory and practice of community economic development. It will include the examination of case studies of successful community economic development. The focus will be on the appropriateness and applicability of the model to the Maritimes.

ENVS-2243. Health and Sustainability I: Introduction

Good health and wellbeing depend on clean air and water, nutritious food, functioning ecosystems, a stable climate, peace, and security. Conversely, pollution, climate change, ecological destruction, and conflict have devastating health impacts, especially for the most vulnerable populations. Using a public health framework. this course introduces the concept of ecological determinants of health and their intersection with social conditions and population health. This includes examining the roots of the COVID-19 pandemic. This course is open to all students with 27 credit hours of completed course work.

ENVS-2263. Understanding Sustainability

This survey course introduces the concept of sustainability as encompassing three dimensions -ecological, socio-economic, and personal - and explores the societal changes necessary to achieve sustainability. Prerequisite: ENVS 1013

ENVS-2313. Energy and Society

This course examines energy systems (oil, gas, coal, hydroelectric, nuclear, and renewable) both historically and in the contemporary world, in terms of environmental and economic impacts, theories of technological change in their creation, deployment, and decommissioning, as well as public policy issues.

ENVS-2413. Social Dimensions of Climate Change

This course will introduce liberal arts students to the scientific basis of the problem of climate change, the social systems and dynamics at the root of the problem, and the measures necessary to avoid climate breakdown. There is no prerequisite for this course.

ENVS-3013. Global Environmental Politics

The modernist view is that knowledge leads to rational decisions. From an environmental perspective, however, this idea is seriously challenged. Never has society known so much about ecological and climate change; yet collective responses to these changes have failed to reverse the downward trends. This course examines this dynamic by examining the politics of the environmental crisis, and in particular the power struggles between those resisting change and those promoting alternative visions of a sustainable society. We consider how those alternative visions translate into public policy and how citizens can engage to make this happen. Prerequisite: Must have completed 30 credit hours of coursework.

ENVS-3023. Environmental Praxis II

This course explores how alternative visions of the future translate into political action at the international, national, provincial, community, and personal levels. This involves an analysis of alternative theories of the nature of social change. A component of this course may be service learning. Prerequisites: ENVS 1013 and 1023, or permission of the instructor.

ENVS-3043. Canadian Environmental Law and Policy

To a great extent, the state of the natural environment in Canada depends on laws and policies adopted by municipal, provincial and federal governments. This course introduces students to these systems of government, the processes by which environmental laws and policies are developed, and the power relations that shape the outcomes. Topics include endangered species, toxic chemicals, plastics and global warming. Prerequisite: students must have completed 30 credit hours of courses before enrolling in this course.

ENVS-3053. Sustainability Auditing and Reporting

This course refers to standards and methods for analyzing and reporting on the ecological and social sustainability of an organization or business. This course examines principles and design of various auditing and reporting frameworks, theories of sustainability reporting and behaviour change, and design and implementation of action plans. Student projects will involve hands-on experience with an audit or action plan as appropriate.

ENVS-3113. Research Methods

This course introduces the idea of research for sustainability, the application of social science research methods to assist the transition to a sustainable society. Methods such as participatory action research, case studies, interviewing, surveys, and critical policy analysis are examined in the context of real research projects at the community, institutional and sectoral levels. Prerequisite: ENVS 2213.

ENVS-3133. Regenerative Food Systems

This course explores the traditional and scientific knowledge systems embedded in industrial and sustainable food production systems, how food systems shape cultural relationships with food, and the practical application of sustainable food production models.. Prerequisite: ENVS 2123 or by permission of the instructor.

ENVS-3143. Sustainability Theory

The concept of sustainability is grounded in systems theory, which understands our current reality as emerging from the interaction of multiple social and ecological systems. Other social science theories that deal with behaviour, values, culture, identity, trust, public participation, and accountability help to illuminate what is going on within those systems. This course introduces students to these theoretical tools which help us to understand why current social systems are unsustainable, and how we can construct a sustainable future. Prerequisite: ENVS 2213.

ENVS-3243. Health and Sustainability Ii: Planetary Health

In recent years, public health and health promotion experts have introduced the concept of Planetary Health which stresses the crucial links between physical and mental wellbeing and the state of the planet. Building on concepts learned in ENVS 2243, this course introduces students to the planetary health framework for health promotion and advocacy. This framework provides a systems-based analysis of the environmental drivers of mental and physical illness and proposes system changes that would result in healthy people and a healthy planet. Prerequisite: ENVS 2243.

ENVS-3413. The Political Economy of Climate Change (ECON)

The course explores the systemic economic and political relationships which have created the problem of global climate change and its associated impacts for humanity. There is no prerequisite for this course.

ENVS-3613. Sustainable Community Transitions

At the heart of sustainability transition is the communities within which people live. Housing, mobility, food, energy, recreation, culture, health care, education, child and elder care, and livelihoods all take place in community. This course looks at the changes that communities can make in these systems to bring them in line with the goals of social equity, economic resilience, and ecological sustainability. There are experiential learning components. Prerequisite: ENVS 2213.

ENVS-4003. Capstone Seminar

This is a required course for the Major in Environment & Society which is designed to integrate the entire programme of study. The seminar will focus on developing a multidisciplinary understanding of a selection of environmental issues as determined by student and faculty interests. Issues considered will include ecological damage, social origins, and alternative approaches to addressing problems. Prerequisites: ENVS 3013 and ENVS 3023 or permission of the instructor.

ENVS-4103. Work Study Project

This is a course in experiential learning for students in the final year of their major in ENVS. Students will work with a non-profit organization which is actively involved in addressing environmental problems. Each student's activities will be designed under the direction of a faculty supervisor in consultation with the student and the work-place mentor. Enrolment is subject to the approval of the Coordinator of the Environment and Society programme.