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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Geography

Undergraduate Course: Values and the Environment (GEGR10079)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course examines issues related to two important modes of human valuing of nature, the ethical and the aesthetic. The course first covers key concepts and theories in environmental ethics including (normally): anthropocentrism and nonanthropocentrism; animal ethics; Leopold's land ethic; environmental pragmatism; urban environmental ethics; and climate ethics. We then examine aesthetic value in our engagement with wild nature, rural environments and other cultural landscapes. The course also considers conflicts between aesthetic, ethical and other values as they arise in various environmental issues, such as ecological restoration and climate change.
Course description Syllabus:
Wk 1: Environmental Values
Wk 2: Extending Ethics Beyond Humans: Animals
Wk 3: Animal Ethics in Context
Wk 4: The Land Ethic
Wk 5: Deep Ecology
Wk 6: Ecological Restoration and Rewilding
Wk 7: Aesthetic Value and Environment
Wk 8: Environment and the Arts
Wk 9: Ethics and Climate Change
Wk 10: Geoengineering the Climate
Wk 11: Course Review
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2015/16, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  31
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 22, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 2, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 170 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 40 %, Coursework 60 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Degree assessment: One 2,000 word essay (60%)
One two hour examination (2 questions) (40%)
Overall mark for the course (ie degree coursework and examinations) of at least 40 to pass.
Feedback Students will receive formative feedback (written comments) on the Reading Portfolio assignment. Summative feedback (written comments) will be given on the course assessments: the course essay and exam. All students will be invited to an examination feedback session following the release of course results. Informal feedback in the form of verbal comments will be provided to students during class discussions, small group work and during office hours if students wish to discuss aspects of the course or course assigments.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S1 (December)Values and the Environment2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Develop a detailed and critical understanding of environmental ethics and its key concepts and theories
  2. Develop an understanding of how aesthetic value relates to a range of environments, from the wild to the urban
  3. Develop an understanding of the role of values in engagement with a range of environments and the conflicts that arise between values in conservation and policy-making
  4. Develop critical thinking on environmental values in discussion and in writing, a thinking which will be informed by recent, relevant developments
  5. Demonstrate some originality and creativity in dealing with professional level issues and allow them to practise critically identifying and analysing complex problems
Reading List
Reading Lists
Armstrong SJ and Botzler R eds. (2004) Environmental Ethics: Divergence and Convergence. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Brady E (2003) Aesthetics of the Natural Environment. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

DesJardins J (2000) Environmental Ethics. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Gardiner, S. et al., ed. (2010) Climate Ethics: Essential Readings (Oxford UP).

Jamieson D (2003) A Companion to Environmental Philosophy. London: Blackwell.

James, S (2015) Environmental Philosophy: An Introduction. Polity.

Keller, D ed. (2010) Environmental Ethics: The Big Questions. Wiley.

Leopold A ([1949] 2000) The Land Ethic/Sand County Almanac. New York: Oxford University Press.

Light, A and Katz, E ed. (1996) Environmental Pragmatism. New York: Routledge.

O'Neill J, Light A and Holland A (2008) Environmental Values. London: Routledge.

Parsons, Glenn (2008) Aesthetics and Nature (Continuum).

Throop, W. (ed) (2000) Environmental Restoration: Ethics, Theory, Practice Amherst: Humanity Books.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Course organiserProf Emily Brady
Tel: (0131 6)50 9137
Course secretaryMiss Sarah Mcallister
Tel: (0131 6)50 4917
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