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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 modes of human valuing of nature, mainly the ethical and the aesthetic. The course covers, first, key concepts and theories in environmental ethics including (normally): anthropocentrism and nonanthropocentrism; animal ethics; Leopold┐s land ethic; and deep ecology. Second, we examine aesthetic value in our engagement with nature and cultural landscapes. Finally, we look at conflicts between aesthetic, ethical and other values as they arise in various environmental problems, such as ecological and environmental justice, ecological restoration and climate change.
Course description Syllabus
Week 1. Environmental Values
Week 2. Extending Ethics to Nonhuman Animals
Week 3. Animal Ethics in Context
Week 4. The Land Ethic
Week 5. Deep Ecology
Week 6. Ecological and Environmental Justice
Week 7. Ecological Restoration and Rewilding
Week 8. Aesthetic Value and Environment
Week 9. Environment and the Arts
Week 10. Ethics and Climate Change
Week 11. Revision workshop
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 2017/18, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  30
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 60 %, Coursework 40 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Written Exam: 60%, Course Essay: 40 %, Reading Portfolio: 0%.

The two-hour written exam, in the December diet, will cover course topics. The course essay is 2000 words (essay title chosen from a list provided). Students also have a Reading Portfolio assignment of 1500 words for formative assessment only.
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
1. Armstrong, Susan.J. and Botzler, R. eds. (2004) Environmental Ethics: Divergence and Convergence. McGraw-Hill.

2. Brady, Emily (2003) Aesthetics of the Natural Environment. Edinburgh University Press.

3. DesJardins, Joseph (2000) Environmental Ethics. Wadsworth.

4. Gardiner, Stephen et al., ed. (2010) Climate Ethics: Essential Readings. Oxford University Press.

5. Gardiner, Stephen M. and Thompson, Allen, eds. (2016) The Oxford Handbook of Environmental Ethics. Oxford. Ebook.

6. Hourdequin, Marion (2015) Environmental Ethics: From Theory to Practice. Bloomsbury Academic.

7. Jamieson, Dale (2003) A Companion to Environmental Philosophy. Blackwell. Ebook.

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

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

10. Leopold, Aldo ([1949] 2000) The Land Ethic/Sand County Almanac. Oxford University Press.

11. O'Neill John, Light Andrew, and Holland Alan (2008) Environmental Values. Routledge.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Course organiserProf Emily Brady
Tel: (0131 6)50 9137
Course secretaryMiss Kirsty Allan
Tel: (0131 6)50 9847
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