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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Postgraduate Courses (School of GeoSciences)

Postgraduate Course: Values and the Environment (P) (PGGE11114)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course examines issues related to modes of human understanding and valuing of 'natural' and built environments. The course is constructed around a range of environments (from wilderness to the city) and a range of concepts and approaches that help us to understand humanity's relationship to and embeddedness in the natural world (including wilderness, nature, the more-that-human, landscape and place). The course is taught through alternating interactive seminars and seminars focused on shared readings.
Course description Course description

Week 1. Valued Environments - An Introduction Tim Cresswell
Week 2. Valuing Wilderness/The Wild Nina Morris
Week 3. Reading Seminar - Reading One Nina Morris
Week 4. Valuing the Ocean Hayden Lorimer
Week 5. Reading Seminar - Reading Two Hayden Lorimer
Week 6. Valuing the Urban Dan Swanton
Week 7. Reading Seminar Reading Three Dan Swanton
Week 8. Valuing the Local Tim Cresswell
Week 9. Reading Seminar Reading Three Tim Cresswell
Week 10. One on one consultations All
Week 11. One on one consultations All
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  0
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 22, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Placement Study Abroad Hours 11, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 163 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 3 book reviews submitted to course discussion board and turnitin (3x500 words) 30% (Deadlines TBC- please check Learn)
Course essay (3000 words) 70%
Annotated Bibliography (1500 words)

The annotated bibliography is for formative assessment only.
Feedback Students will receive formative feedback (written comments) on the annotated bibliography assignment. This feedback will help you prepare for the essay. Summative feedback (written comments) will be given on the course essay and book reviews. 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 assignments. Examples of feedback can be found here:
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. A detailed, critical understanding of ways in which environments are valued and key theoretical/philosophical ways of approaching human/environmental interactions.
  2. An understanding of how a range of environments, from the wild to the urban are valued (or devalued).
  3. An understanding of the role of values in engagement with a range of environments and the conflicts that arise around different forms of value.
  4. Expression of the student's own critical thinking on environmental values in discussion and in writing, a thinking which will be informed by recent, relevant developments.
  5. The group discussions will give students the opportunity to demonstrate some originality and creativity in dealing with environmental issues and allow them to practise critically identifying and analysing complex problems.
Reading List
Alaimo, S. (2013) 'Violet-Black: Ecologies of the Abyssal Zone'. In J. Jerome Cohen (ed.) Prismatic Ecology: Ecotheory Beyond Green (University of Minnesota Press) 233-51
Baird Callicott, J. (2012) Intrinsic and Instrumental Value, Encyclopaedia of Applied Ethics. Second Edition, pp. 760-768. Online access.
Burgess, J. and Gold, J. (eds) (2020 [1982]) Valued Environments. Routledge.
Carson, R. (1937) 'Undersea', Atlantic Monthly, 78 55-67
Cronon, W. The Trouble with Wilderness; or, Getting Back to the Wrong Kind of Nature, in William Cronon, ed. Uncommon Ground: Rethinking the Human Place in Nature, (W.W. Norton, 1996), 69-90.
DeSilvey, C 2017 Curated Decay: heritage beyond saving, University of Minnesota Press
Farley, P. and Symmons Roberts, M. (2011). Edgelands. London: Jonathan Cape.
Farrier, D 2020, Footprints: in search of future fossils, 4th Estate, London
Gandy, M. & Jasper. S. (2020). The Botanical City. Berlin, Germany: Jovis.
Hinchliffe S (2005). Cities and natures: Intimate strangers. In Allen, j., Massey, D. and M. Pryke (Eds.) Unsettling Cities: Movement/Settlement, 141-185.

Gumbs, A. P. (2020) Undrowned: Black Feminist Lessons from Marine Mammals (AK Press)
Jamie, K. (2012) Pathologies in Jamie, K. Sightlines (Sort of Books).
Jamie, K. (2008) A Lone Enraptured Male. London Review of Books 30(5),
Saville, S. and Hoskins, G. (2020) Locating Value, in Saville, S and Hoskins, G. (eds) Locating Value: Theory, Application and Critique, (New York: Routledge),1-17
MacDonald, Fraser. "The ruins of Erskine Beveridge." Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 39.4 (2014): 477-489.
Meinig, D W (1979) The Beholding Eye: Ten Versions of the Same Scene. In The Interpretation of Ordinary Landscapes: Geographical Essays, edited by D. W. Meinig and John Brinckerhoff Jackson. New York: Oxford University Press
Niemanis, A. (2017) Bodies of Water: Posthumanist Feminist Phenomenology (Bloomsbury)
Roth, M.S. with Lyons, C and C. Merewether (ed.), Irresistible Decay: Ruins Reclaimed, Getty Research Institute for the History of Art and the Humanities, Los Angeles 1997.
Tsing, A.L. (2015) The Mushroom at the End of the World: The Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins. (Princeton University Press)
Thoreau, H.D. (1862) Walking (available on line at
Wolch, J. (2017). Zoƶpolis:
Yusoff, K. (2011) The Valuation of Nature: the Natural Choice White Paper. Radical Philosophy, 170 (Nov/Dec), 2-7.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Additional Class Delivery Information Following the introduction, the course is divided into two-week blocks on particular themes, In each two-week block the first week will feature an asynchronous lecture made available at the beginning of the week on Learn. You will be able to engage with this at a time that suits you. The second week of each of each block will consist of a reading seminar focussed on a particular book (or other assignment) and will be led by designated members of the group. These meetings will occur synchronously either in-person or on line depending on the ways the semester progresses and your own circumstances. Regardless, everyone will be expected to participate in these reading seminars. The course incorporates various learning and teaching strategies, including: reading, writing, listening to lectures, participating in class discussions, group work/exercises, and presentations. Discussion is an invaluable learning tool. It enables collaborative learning, sharing different perspectives in relation to the course material and an opportunity to develop and express your own thinking.
KeywordsPGGE1114,environmental ethics,environmental aesthetics,values,conservation,philosophy
Course organiserProf Timothy Cresswell
Tel: (0131 6)50 9137
Course secretaryMrs Lynn Taylor
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