GEOG 2156 - Environmental Ethics

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2015

This course will familiarise students with the content and the processes within ethical decision-making concerning the natural and social environment. This course will introduce students to the main ethical theories pertaining to the environment and include introduction to anthropocentric, biocentric and ecocentric viewpoints. The course considers the impacts of ethical considerations on a range of real world environmental situations including ethics in stakeholder consultation, working with Indigenous peoples and ethics within environmental management. The course will provide case studies to assist build student understanding of how world views and ethical considerations influence and shape decision making and develop environmental management.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code GEOG 2156
    Course Environmental Ethics
    Coordinating Unit Geography, Environment and Population
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 4 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites At least 12 units of level 1 undergraduate study
    Assumed Knowledge Understanding of environmental issues and management will be an advantage
    Course Description This course will familiarise students with the content and the processes within ethical decision-making concerning the natural and social environment. This course will introduce students to the main ethical theories pertaining to the environment and include introduction to anthropocentric, biocentric and ecocentric viewpoints. The course considers the impacts of ethical considerations on a range of real world environmental situations including ethics in stakeholder consultation, working with Indigenous peoples and ethics within environmental management. The course will provide case studies to assist build student understanding of how world views and ethical considerations influence and shape decision making and develop environmental management.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Professor Melissa Nursey-Bray

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes

    On completion of this unit students will be able to:
    1. Read and reflect on efforts to formulate an environmental ethic
    2. To demonstrate understanding of the social movements which correlate with and carry various perspectives on human responsibility toward the environment.
    3.To apply environmental ethical theory to real-world environmental conflicts and issues.
    4.To demonstrate understanding of a range of ethical theories and their applications in debates about the environment
    5. Demonstrate understanding in key areas in debates about environmental matters

    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1, 2, 3, 4
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 2, 3, 5
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 3, 4, ,5
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 4, 5
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 2
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 2, 3, 4
    A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 4
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources

    Students are not required to read any particular core text. However, it is expected that readings provided will be read prior to class, and that students will undertake their own research and reading as relevant to course themes.



    Some good texts to start with are: -

    Eugene C. Hargrove, Foundations of Environmental Ethics (Prentice-Hall, 1989)

    Mark Sagoff, The Economy of the Earth: Philosophy, Law, and the Environment (Cambridge University Press, 1988)

    Joeseph Des Jardins, Environmental Ethics: An Introduction to Environmental Philosophy

    Jan E. Dizzard, Going Wild (Massachusetts University Press, 1994)
    Recommended Resources

    Students will have many resources available to them on Canvas. These will be sufficient to pass the course and do the assessments. However, students are encouraged to do further research via journals and other documents/resources to value add to their information.
    Online Learning

    The Canvas website for the course will provide you with access to the following features to help manage your study:

    Announcements


    Powerpoint slides


    Course readings


    Course outlines; and,


    Any additional materials



    You are advised to regularly visit the Canvas website for the course to receive course announcements and reminders.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes

    The teaching and learning mode for this course will be delivered via one block activity, i.e. a weekly seminar, one field trip, a core online task and a number of tutorial exercises.
    Workload

    No information currently available.

    Learning Activities Summary


    Module 1: What is Ethics

    Introduction: What is environmental ethics?
    History of environmental ethics (Gaia to Bookchin)
    Anthropocentrism
    Ecological footprint analysis


    Module 2: Environmental Ethics and World Views

    Indigensou world views
    Ecofeminism 
    Deep Ecology
    Animal Rights
    Social Ecology
    Socially Just Conservation

    Module 3: Global Ethics in Practice

    Global ethics in practice
    Corporate social responsibility (CSR)
    Climate Justice
    Food Security
    Water rights
    Fishing

    Module 4: Ethics in (Individual) Practice

    Consumer ethics
    Food ethics
     
    Module 5: Environmental Ethics and Management – why does it matter?
    A summary session.
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    Tute work is small group work that simulates real life ethical problems and asks students to solve them.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    TASK                                                                                                 WEIGHTING                                            Learning OUTCOMES

    1. World Views Assessment (1500 words)                                             25%                                                    1, 2, 3,


    2. Participation and attendance in two hour seminars and tutes               20%                                                   1, 2, 3, 4,5
    (including article/ notes/activity summary
    and ecological footprint analysis)
     
    3. Online Ethical Conundrums (2000 words)                                           30%                                                   3, 4, 5


    4. Consumption Ethics Report (1000 words)                                           25%                                                   1, 3
    Assessment Detail

    Attendance and participation 20%

     Assessed seminar exercises and activities, including participation and attendance. You are also required to hand up your ongoing review notes and evidence of having undertaken the seminar and tutorial activities. Altogether this is worth 20% and you have to attend at least 70% of all sessions (tute and seminars). 

     
    World Views Assessment: 25%

     
    Using peer reviewed literature and case studies to justify your points, write an essay that

    answers ONE of the following questions: - 

    Which world view (or components of various world views) most closely accords with your own

    world view? Explain.

     
    OR

     
    Using case studies and references, discuss why different world views matter when it comes to

    resolving environmental issues?

     

    Online ethical dilemmas exercise

     
    This task is designed to get you thinking about environmental ethics in global practice.

     You will divide into pairs.
    Over a period of six weeks you will each research and find three ethical dilemmas (ie one a week as there will be the two weeks mid term break in the middle of this time).
    You will email a description of the dilemma and your suggested response to it to each other.
    You will then each respond to each other’s dilemmas
    At the end of the period, you will print out your email exchange and then write a summary reflection the ethics in practice in environmental management and their implications for policy. 
    You will be expected to support your reflection with peer reviewed literature.
     You will be shown an example in class of how to do this and receive further detailed



     

    Consumption Ethics Reports

    This task is meant to get you thinking about how individuals can change their own ethical

    practice. It does so by asking you to document and then report on you own shopping practice

    over a period of two weeks.



    Submission

    No information currently available.

    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
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